#morethancode and Securing Change

Back in August, the Technology for Social Justice Project released a report: MoreThanCode: Practitioners reimagine the landscape of technology for justice and equity available at https://morethancode.cc

This document represents a current snapshot of a number of interconnected communities (civic tech, nonprofit tech, technology for good, etc etc) and offers recommendations on how we as an ecosystem can move tech forward as a force for liberation.

I’ve been ranting and raving about this report to my friends and collaborators since the executive summary came out in June. If you work in tech or work with technologists, I highly recommend giving it a read.

One thing I noticed while reading the report is that it seemed like the beginning of a strategic planning document for an organization that doesn’t yet exist. This is relevant to my interests because one of my responsibilities this next year is to facilitate a strategic planning process for Securing Change.

Lo and behold, a major part of this work has already been done for us! The #morethancode report represents an environmental scan of the tech ecosystem we operate within and offers scenarios for potential programs informed by the knowledge and experiences of peer organizations.

I’m in the process of writing a strategic brief for my collaborators within Securing Change based on the recommendations within the #morethancode report. This will help us identify opportunities for collaboration on new program development in 2019.

I’d love to hear how other people are using this report to inform their activities within and between organizations in tech.

re-startup mode

For nearly two years, my primary focus has been on the information security of activists and marginalized communities at risk of being targeted by hostile actors through the internet. I began working on this as part ActSecure, an ad-hoc group of movement technologists formed after the 2016 election.

The need is great, and there’s only so much an informal group of volunteers can do before hitting the limits of what we can deliver. Despite the fact that we mainly work with individuals, we’ve been approached by a number of non-profit organizations over the past two years looking for help.

Serendipitously, we met Oliver Day, founder and executive director of an organization called Securing Change. Oliver had just had a baby and was in discussion with his board of directors around shutting Securing Change down. With a focus on helping non-profit organizations with tech security and five years of history, we started talking about what we could do together. Earlier this year, we began the process of transitioning leadership of Securing Change to the ActSecure core team and rebooting the organization.

As I have the most experience with startup and non-profit work, my primary focus right in facilitating this merger is to build an operation under which we can develop new programming within and parallel to ActSecure.

More to come.

just released: ‘Amira 1.0.0’ A Self-Sovereign Web of Trust Engagement Model

I helped make a thing!

Amira 1.0.0: A Self-Sovereign Web of Trust Engagement Model

This paper began as a collaborative project at the fifth Rebooting the Web of Trust^1 workshop, held in Cambridge MA in October 2017. We reinterpret Christopher Allen’s Rebooting the Web of Trust user story,^2 through the lens of the Information Lifecycle Engagement Model (described in Appendix A). We present a human-centric illustration of an individual’s experience in a self-sovereign, decentralized realization of the Web of Trust as originally conceived by Phil Zimmerman for PGP.^3

In our scenario, Amira is a successful programmer working in Boston at a prestigious multi-national bank. Outside of working hours, Amira wants to give back to her community by writing software that matters. On the advice of her friend Charlene, Amira joins RISK, a self-sovereign reputation network that connects developers with projects while protecting participants’ anonymity, building reputation, and sending & receiving secure payments.

This paper came out of the Rebooting the Web-of-Trust workshop series. The purpose of #RebootingWebofTrust is:

This facilitated design workshop (“DesignShop”), hosted by Christopher Allen, is focused on the creation of the next generation of decentralized web-of-trust based identity systems. The goal of this event is to generate 5 technical white papers on topics decided by the group that will have the greatest impact on the future, followed by a hackathon early in the new year to implement those ideas.

http://www.weboftrust.info/index.html#fh5co-tab-feature-center2

via GIPHY