TA3M Seattle, January 2016


Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3M) is an informal meetup designed to connect software creators and activists who are interested in censorship, surveillance, and open technology. Currently, TA3M are held in various cities throughout the world, with many more launching in the near future. In Seattle, thanks to a special donor, there will be free pizza!

When: Monday, January 18, 2016, 6:30 – 9:00 PM
Where: University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering building (CSE) room 403 [directions]

The State of Internet Censorship (7 PM)

By: Will Scott

The techniques to control access to the Internet, and the ability to bring transparency to those processes are both continuing to evolve. We’ll give an update on the landscape of online information controls, and our ability to measure them.

The talk will give an update on current country-level practices, the techniques in use to measure them, and an overview of major tools in use.

Over the past couple years, restrictions on Internet access have grown even more ubiquitous. Many take the form of URL or Domain blacklists implemented by western countries, along with increased levels of self censorship on social platforms with user generated content.

The measurement community continues to play a catch-up game. Through a mixture of watching legislature, an increased understanding of what we need to build to keep track of internet controls, and discoveries of side channels that let us externally measure connectivity, we’re making progress!

Will is a fourth year graduate student in the networks lab at the University of Washington. Over the last two years, Will has been teaching computer science in Pyongyang, North Korea. Will’s research centers on how to make a more resilient web, through working with in-browser peer-to-peer and caching, and applying operating systems lessons to web frameworks.

Introduction to Tor and Onion Services (8 PM)

By: Christopher Sheats

The Tor ecosystem, including Tor Browser, tor relays, and onion services are critical parts of your digital hygiene even if you’re not a journalist, lawyer, or domestic violence survivor. This talk will include an overview of how the Tor network works, how using Tor can protect you, Tor Browser best practices, how onion services (including “the dark web”) work, and examples for why you and the organization(s) that you work for should host an onion site along side your normal HTTPS website.

Christopher is an Encryption Evangelist at the ACLU of Washington, a board member of Seattle Privacy Coalition, a TA3M organizer, and a surveillance self-defense lecturer.

Privacy job openings!

Open Whispter Systems is looking for iOS developers, Android developers, and a Mobile UI / Product Designer.

Electronic Frontier Foundation is looking for a Criminal Defense Staff Attorney, an Activist, and a Technology Generalist. Various internships.

ACLU of Washington is looking for a Director of Accounting and Administration. Various internships.

Join the email list!


We’re on Twitter!

To best support the global TA3M meetup, please tweet using the #TA3M hashtag.


TA3M Seattle, December 2015 (w/ Cascadia Wikimedians)


Techno Activism 3rd Mondays is an international, monthly meetup designed to connect people interested in modern anti-censorship and anti-surveillance issues. TA3M Seattle is Seattle Privacy Coalition’s “sister organization” because of our shared goals in advocating for personal privacy, and we are happy to be announcing December’s TA3M! This month’s meetup, like December 2014’s TA3M, is a joint meetup with Cascadia Wikimedians, so expect an extra-intelligent group of folks!

We are meeting this month!

If you are planning on attending, please register by picking the type of pizza you would like (or no pizza).

There are no scheduled talks, only 5-minute flash talks. If you would like to give a 5-minute flash talk, please include that information in the above registration form.

When: Monday, December 14, 2015, 18:30 to 21:00 (6:30 – 9:00 PM)
Where: University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering building (CSE) room 403 [directions]

Questions? Please email Christopher: yawnbox at riseup dot net

TA3M Seattle, November 2015


Techno Activism 3rd Mondays is an international, monthly meetup designed to connect people interested in modern anti-censorship and anti-surveillance issues. TA3M Seattle is Seattle Privacy Coalition’s “sister organization” because of our shared goals in advocating for personal privacy, and we are happy to be announcing November’s TA3M!

We are meeting this month!

When: Monday, November 16, 2015, 6:30 – 9:00 PM
Where: University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering building (CSE) room 303 [directions]

* Free pizza! *

Talk one (7PM):

Virtualization for Security: An Introduction

This talk will explore virtualization and it’s utility within security and maintaining privacy. Learn about what virtualization is, the attack surface and threat model for virtualization software, the impact of recent vulnerabilities such as VENOM, and what the future of virtualization looks like. Finally, find out how you can use virtualization to limit compromise and compartmentalize everyday activity with the open source operating system Qubes OS. Note: despite the technical nature of this topic, effort will be made to ensure that this material is valuable to end users.

Andrew Sorensen is a security engineer at Twitter and former security consultant at Leviathan Security Group. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys researching virtualization security issues and building secure implementations of typically challenged software use cases (including home automation / internet of things).

Talk two (8PM):

Informational Privacy and Social Privilege: Discriminatory Data Practices in the Information Society

The well-off have historically sought to separate themselves from everyone else, employing privilege to maintain affluence and exclusivity. Gated communities, private schools, shell corporations, complex financial instruments — the tendency by elites to seek special advantages and insulation from others and to obscure themselves within walled gardens is well-established. Ghettos, glass ceilings, housing and employment discrimination and other elements of institutionalized oppression are obstacles that have historically prevented the unprivileged from gaining access to the educational and economic opportunities necessary to escape cycles of poverty and achieve the “good life.” As both the positive and negative inclinations of the material world find expression in the digital world, a move to separate and segment society is finding its way there as well, leading to new forms of oppression and social sorting.

These effects are not arbitrary, but reflect the biases inherent in our society and within the culture of information technology production and use. Information systems are truly socio-technical systems and, as such, have the capacity to amplify preexisting inequalities through practice and use, including pervasive data collection by major data controllers and an increasing inability to engage in socially-beneficial “forgetting.” So, we are left to cope with the fallout of the status quo as if this were all inevitable. Given the demographic makeup of the designers, producers and early adopters of information systems, it should not be surprising what inclinations these systems reflect and which groups find themselves dispossessed within the information society.

Mike Katell is a PhD student at the University of Washington Information School.

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Surveillance Self Defense for Activists, January 2015



Greetings Seattle activists!

Seattle Privacy Coalition is starting a new workshop in Seattle called Surveillance Self Defense, a name gratefully adopted from the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications“. Our workshops will be free to the public but limited in space.

Surveillance Self Defense for Activists will start in January 2015 and occur every-other month. So if you miss January’s, remember that another workshop will happen in March 2015. We are also starting Surveillance Self Defense for Journalists, which will begin in February 2015.

Our first workshop, for activists, will be on Sunday, January 18. Registration is not yet open. The time, location and curriculum will be announced when registration opens next week. Curriculum will include securing your phone and computer (and related communication) for on-the-ground activists, no matter if you’re an organizer or participant.


There will be no form of registration that will record who is attending, so no Facebook, Meetup, or email invites of any kind. This is done to protect the privacy of the attendees. Depending on our workshop space, we will have a limit to how many people we can accommodate. We’ll know how many people to expect based on how many anonymous surveys are submitted.

Below is a set of draft survey questions that we’ll be asking each participant to answer before they attend. They have been created with the help of Internews’ SaferJourno project. We’re putting these here now just to give you an idea of what kinds of things we’ll be educating you about:

  1. Do you use a cell phone when participating in protests?
  2. What is the operating system of the cell phone that you take to protests?
  3. Select the capabilities of said cell phone:
    1. Phone calls
    2. SMS (text messaging)
    3. Data (internet access via 2G, 3G, or 4G)
    4. Bluetooth
    5. Camera
    6. Video camera
    7. (fill in the blank)
  4. When participating in protests, what communication platforms do you use?
    1. Google Hangouts
    2. Apple iMessage
    3. SMS/texts
    4. Facebook Chat
    5. Email
    6. Twitter
    7. (fill in the blank)
  5. Do you know any differences between HTTP and HTTPS?
  6. Have you used privacy enhancing tools such as a VPN or Tor, either on a computer or on a cell phone?
  7. Have you ever sent an encrypted email before?
  8. Is your cell phone password protected?
    1. Yes, with a pin number
    2. Yes, with a password
    3. Yes, with a pattern
    4. Yes, with a fingerprint
    5. Yes, with a faceprint
    6. No
  9. Is your cell phone’s storage encrypted?
  10. Do you know what an IMSI-catcher, or “Stingray”, is?
  11. Regarding the personal computer that you use to coordinate protests, what is its operating system?
  12. Have you ever had a personal computing device seized or confiscated?
  13. Are you currently a victim of active surveillance?
  14. Do you drive, carpool, bus, bike, or walk to protests?
    1. Drive
    2. Carpool
    3. Bus
    4. Bike
    5. Walk
  15. Do you use your electronic debit, credit, and/or bus card(s) before, during, or after attending a protest?
    1. Yes, debit/credit
    2. Yes, bus (Orca) card
    3. No
  16. Do you have access to a technical specialist when you have questions about digital safety tools and practices?
  17. What topics would you like to see covered at this workshop?
  18. Will you be bringing your cell phone or laptop to the workshop? We encourage you to for our hands-on training.

Please be sure to check back here next week for registration! For organizing queries, please send an (ideally PGP encrypted) email to “yawnbox at riseup dot net”. If you’re a security or legal educator and wish to get involved, please email me.


TA3M Seattle, January 2014

====== Seattle TA3M, January 2014 ======

When: January 20, 2014, 6:30-9:00pm

Where: Black Coffee Coop (BOOKED, we WILL be there!)

====== This Month (January) ======

The focus will be user training this month, which is something we’d like to start doing on a regular basis. We want to introduce members of the audience, especially people who aren’t necessarily technical experts, to some simple encrypted chat apps on the PC and Android. We would like everyone to start playing with chat applications like Cryptocat, Pidgin + OTR, Jitsi, and Bitmessage. If you are more technically inclined and already familiar with these apps, please help anyone that is interested in learning to get set up and start playing!

The entire audience is encouraged to bring a laptops and try playing with some of the programs after a brief introductory talk. We of course recommend using some flavor of Linux, but if you’re running Windows that’s fine. All of the apps we’ll be covering work on both operating systems, and the point is to get started playing with some apps that you can use to regain some dignity for your personal communications.

In our second talk, we will introduce people to a few smartphone apps, developed by The Guardian Project and others. Possible apps include ChatSecure (formerly Gibberbot), Orbot, Orweb, Textsecure and Redphone.

We will be providing flyers with links and brief descriptions of the apps we cover, and will post any presentations online. We encourage anyone to use our course materials and if you learned something interesting, to share it with the people you regularly communicate with.

====== What to Bring ======

Bring someone new! Bring anyone you know that you would like to be introduced to private communication software. Friends, family, activists, co-workers; people all technical levels will be welcome. You won’t be an expert in two hours, but it’s plenty of time to learn how to bring some privacy and dignity back into your personal conversations with friends and family.

A laptop, Linux or Windows (we won’t be covering Apple products specifically, but there is an OTR-compatible chat client called Adium that is quite user-friendly). Though we don’t endorse Windows and suggest transitioning to an open source operating system as soon as you can, it’s what most people have. The apps we’ll be covering have both Windows and Linux versions that are easy for anyone to start playing with. Ideally, bring a laptop that has the above-mentioned programs already installed. You can also bring a LiveCD for Xubuntu or Linux Mint, which will allow participants to test new apps without making any changes to their systems.

An Android-compatible smartphone, if you would like to follow along with our second talk of the evening. All of the apps we will be demonstrating should be readily available on the Google Play store.

====== Schedule ======

6:30 – Intro, announcements

6:40 – Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Each Other – Encrypted Chat for Beginners

7:00 – practice time, networking and conversation

7:40 – Privacy Apps for Android

8:15 – Practice, networking, open floor for discussion

9:00 – Official end

====== Links to This Month’s Topics ======






The Guardian Project



====== About TA3M ======

TA3M-Seattle (Techno-Activism 3rd Mondays) is a monthly event taking place in cities worldwide, focusing on the issues of surveillance and censorship, and how open technology can be used to combat it. We bring together software developers, activists, concerned citizens, and anyone who cares about these issues. Our mission is to help improve open technology and get more people using it. We do this by showing people how to start playing with free and open source privacy and communications software, and by giving developers a chance to raise awareness of their projects among both potential users and technical contributors.


Each month we will have 1-3 presentations, with time for networking in between and after. Presentations cover the general topics of 1) Training, teaching privacy and security-centric skills, accessible to novice computer users. 2) Presentations about open technology projects, both to spread awareness to the general public and to tell technical people what they need to know to contribute. 3) Societal issues related to privacy and technology, and announcements for related events and projects.

TA3M-Seattle has 2 goals: 1) Help novice computer users – especially groups that need it most, including journalists, activists, etc. – learn about using technology securely and privately. 2) To get advanced users and developers to contribute to existing tools and sharing knowledge about how to make use of them.


We’re always looking to give a platform to knowledgeable speakers and to collaborate with the local tech community. Let us know if you’re interested in speaking. Soon you might even get a t-shirt!

TA3M-Seattle is a member of the Seattle Privacy Coalition, , and is sponsored by the Open Internet Tools Project .

partial list of groups that we have been associated with include, Seattle Privacy Coalition, Tor Project, LibrePlanet-WA, ACLU-WA, RiseUp.net, Seattle MeshNet, FreeGeek Seattle, Geeks WithOut Bounds, local hackerspaces, local open source-related user groups… and many others.

Please suggest any other groups that should be involved in what we’re doing!

====== Training Resources ======

In addition to attending monthly TA3M sessions, we hope that participants will be able to share anything they learned with others. We would like everyone to be involved with scaling up TA3M and helping to spread open technology. In the future, we will be posting downloadable pamphlets and handouts here.

Until then, here is some existing educational material we like:

– PRISM Break, – A current list of security and privacy-oriented software projects and services.

– Press Freedom Foundation’s Encryption Works,

– EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense,

– Cryptoparty Handbook,

– NSA surveillance: A guide to staying secure,

====== Contact Us ======

We need help! We need speakers both to teach users and explain to developers how to get started contributing. We need an A/V people to tape our training talks. We need an artist to help with our logo and promotional materials. We need event hosting locations, large enough for 50 people or more.

Sign up for our mailing list:

====== November Videos! ======


Embedding information is here – https://archive.org/help/video.php?identifier=t3am-seattle-nov2013

====== Possible Future Topics ======

February 17th – Seattle Meshnet

March 16th – Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, 1-2 guest speakers. Let us know if you’d like to be one of them!

April – transparency/Freedom of Information Act

Copied for archiving from: https://wiki.openitp.org/events:techno-activism_3rd_mondays:january_2014