Happy 10th birthday, TAILS -- the real Paranoid Linux!

In my 2008 novel Little Brother, the underground resistance uses a secure operating system called "Paranoid Linux" that is designed to prevent surveillance and leave no evidence of its use; that was fiction, but there's a real Paranoid Linux out there: Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, and it turns 10 today. Read the rest

Double your EFF donation with POWER UP!

This week, I've been doing our family's annual charitable giving (here's a guide to some of the charities we support), a long process that involves using Charity Navigator to verify that the groups we support are still spending money effectively, figuring out how much to give, and then submitting the receipts to my wife's employer for donation-matching. Read the rest

Crowdfunding another year of Theyworkforyou, the UK's astounding, essential political tool

For more than a decade, Britons have relied on Mysociety's Theyworkforyou to find out who represents them in Parliament (as well as the regional assemblies), find out what those people are doing and saying, and to get in touch with their lawmakers and their fellow constituents to hold them to account. Read the rest

The Internet Archive's Open Library will let you sponsor a book, paying for it to be scanned

The Internet Archive's Open Library scans books that they have physical copies of, then lends the resulting ebooks to its patrons, building on the precedent set in 2014's Hathi Trust ruling. Read the rest

Crowdfunding the "grassroots first responders" helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian

Steve Boyett writes, "HeadKnowles Hurricane Relief Foundation gofundme is raising funds to go to 'grassroots first responders, 1000's of volunteers providing meals, shelter and equipment to displaced persons.' They are on the Approved Dorian Donations list of organizations (more Hurricane Dorian relief organizations). Read the rest

It's time for the Clarion/Clarion West Write-a-Thon!

The Clarion workshops (Clarion at UCSD, Clarion West in Seattle) are key elements of the pipeline for producing excellent new science fiction and fantasy writers; I am a graduate of Clarion 92, and have taught both workshops, and volunteer on the board for The Clarion Foundation, which oversees the Clarion workshop at UCSD. Read the rest

#TacosForTeachers: crowdfunding to feed LA's teachers as they strike against privatization and austerity

Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (America's largest district) are walking the picket line this week in the pouring rain, demanding an end to the billionaire dark-money backed privatization movement that funnels public education funds to the shareholders of racially segregated, underperforming charter schools. Read the rest

Thunderbird team vows faster, easier-to-use, more stable versions in the year to come

In 2015, Mozilla announced that it would turn Thunderbird -- one of the last freestanding, cross-platform email clients -- into a freestanding, independent project, and in 2017, Thunderbird became a community-overseen project with institutional backing from Moz. Read the rest

This week: donations up to $140,000 to EFF will be doubled with matching donations

It's the Electronic Frontier Foundation's annual Power Up! week, when donations to the charity are matched by a group of challenge donors, making every tax-deductible dollar you give count twice! I'm a contractor for EFF (my fees come out of a grant from the MIT Media Lab, where I'm a Research Associate), and I've been involved with the org for more than 15 years now, and I've never seen a nonprofit spend its money smarter to make more of a difference in the world. Read the rest

Protest without strategy is performance

In times of trouble, people want to do something, but as activist Kat Calvin points out, make sure your time and resources are spent wisely. Otherwise you end up enriching grifters: Read the rest

Facebook is unfixable. We need a nonprofit, public-spirited replacement.

The corruption and surveillance culture of Facebook is baked in deep and can never be removed; if you doubt it, just peruse a sampling of their patent filings, which are like Black Mirror fanfic written by lawyers. Read the rest

Kickstarting a public radio-backed revival of Gothamist, a beloved site killed by an evil, union-hating Trumpist billionaire

Gothamist voted to unionize in late 2017; immediately thereafter, its new owner, the evil, Trump-supporting billionaire Joe Ricketts killed it and all its sister publications in a fit of petty revenge against the uppity laborers in word-mines; but then, in February, a consortium of public radio stations announced plans to revive the beloved site, backed by an anonymous donor and the sites' original founders. Read the rest

CIPPIC: Standing Guard for Canadians' Digital Rights

NAFTA 2.0, the return of the TPP, mobile phone surveillance, copyright term extension, class actions targeting movie downloads: Canadians' digital liberties have never been under more pressure than they are today. Digital liberties matter to Canadians. CIPPIC, Canada's public interest tech law clinic, stands on guard for Canadians' digital liberties.

Challenge Racist Narratives with Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors, a New Book and Teaching Tool

Pre-order Watermelons, Nooses, and Straight Razors through Kickstarter to help cover the expensive printing costs of this 272-page, full-color, story-based book and increase accessibility by charging an affordable list price. Donations are tax deductible. Books will ship before the holidays. Check out the Kickstarter HERE.

Be Prepared: EFF's Summer Security Camp

Aaron from EFF writes, "EFF has just launched the Summer Security Camp, a two-week membership drive that challenges people everywhere to gather ‘round the online rights movement and prepare for the privacy and free speech challenges in their paths. Through the 4th of July, everyone who signs up as a Silicon level member and above can receive a set of three different miniature field guides with shareable digital security tips:" Read the rest

Melissa del Bosque, Ta-Nehisi Coates & co: "Cigarette cards" for muckraking journalists

Dave Maass writes, "In the 1890s, a tobacco company included collectors cards featuring 'American Editors' in its cigarette packs. In all, they were 49 white dudes and one woman, and the only diversity was in their beards and mustaches." Read the rest

Neil Gaiman will read the Cheesecake Factory menu if we raise $500K for the UN High Commission on Refugees

The campaign to raise $500K for the UN High Commission on Refugees started with author/comedian Sara Benincasa daring Neil Gaiman to do a dramatic reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu; Gaiman responded that if she raised the half-mil, he'd not only read the Cheesecake Factory's (notoriously florid) menu, he'd follow up with a reading of Dr Seuss's Fox in Socks if the funds hit $1m (I hasten to point out that this activity involves some risk to Gaiman, given the Seuss estate's penchant for bullying acts of copyfraud). Read the rest

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