Interesting projects – riseup

This weekend I talked to Tom, a friend from England I got to know through Couchsurfing. He is studying political science and was in the past year travelling around Europe and several times to Iran, as that’s where the special focus of his studies lies. He also learned Farsi and spoke with several political activists and politically interested people there.
The Internet in Iran is censored and communication is often intercepted – especially the devices of activists and students are of special interest. This poses a major problem for these people and of course also to Tom, as he did not want to miss international news and open communication with his friends elsewhere in the world. So he found out a lot about the technological possibilities to make communication secure or access blocked pages – like SSL, proxies or projects like TOR or Picidae (already introduced here).

He also mentioned another project I had not heard about so far. It was riseup, a US-based initiative providing people with secure webmail, mailing lists and information about secure communication.

Our purpose is to aid in the creation of a free society, a world with freedom from want and freedom of expression, a world without oppression or hierarchy, where power is shared equally. We do this by providing communication and computer resources to allies engaged in struggles against capitalism and other forms of oppression. [snip taken from here]

The communication is completely secure, there are no log files or whatever, every information is encrypted. The organization hosts to date over 10 000 mailing lists with over 2 000 000 subscribers.
As Tom told me, this service is a huge relief for politically interested people in Iran, to openly discuss issues and express their opinions.

I find the project particuarly interesting as freedom of communication and protection from oppression are vital assets that can be granted when ICTs are utilized like in the riseup project.
The D in ICT4D does not only stand for economic, but also for social development.

Check out their site and news about the project in the wiki

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Interesting projects – riseup
was published on 23.07.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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