Internet Freedom And Digital Security
CREATING AN INTERNET CENTERED IN RACE, CASTE, AND GENDER EQUITY
As South Asian religious and cultural minorities, we have often been the target of online harassment and bullying. As some of us began to use the internet to express ourselves and talk about the experiences of our people, we were subject to threats and abuse from both white and Hindu supremacists. We've also witnessed the rolling back of civil liberties by authorities that limit or even outlaw the right to protest.
The least of these has resulted in humiliation and emotional distress, but it has become increasingly common to receive threats of physical violence.
While the experience is personally traumatic, threats to our security that originated online often compromise and silence our movement. Through our own experience, we understood that resistance begins with understanding how we can organize safely, and protect ourselves and our communications.
We realized that to continue our fight towards caste and gender equity, we had to adopt a more proactive approach. We had to be a step ahead.
But we weren't going to do it on our own. The most robust defense against surveillance is a collective one rooted in Community, self-care, and accountability. We’ve seen people respond en masse against dictatorial rule with much success. Keeping one another close and sharing knowledge is therefore critical to our protection as a whole.
As a result, Equality Labs has several projects that look at the digital rights, freedom of information, and digital resiliency of our communities.
We've begun to train people in digital security and have spent the last year traveling the length and breadth of the country helping our partners understand their rights and keep themselves safe online. We've joined conversations on building secure technology and participate actively in policy battles. We believe that in this holistic convergence of practices, we can create an internet that centers race, caste, and gender equity.
DIGITAL SECURITY TRAINING
Our training presents immediate, common-sense measures to help activists and organizers learn how to protect each other and their movements.
Digital security will not end repression on its own. But people must use it to guard data and strategies that help us fight against it. Where the law has failed to protect our privacy rights, digital and operational security practices can help us defend it. Our training will help you make informed decisions about how to protect yourselves and your partners online, reduce harmful levels of surveillance and navigate new risks as they arise.
We adopt a holistic approach. Your digital security is as strong as your weakest link, so it's crucial to cover all bases. For instance, if you are conducting non-secure communications across borders, you may be putting your contacts or even yourself at risk. We can help you begin constructive conversations with people in your national or international movements who do not have routines around digital security.
While there can never be a silver bullet solution to surveillance, we believe being informed about what tools to use and knowing your rights can help you feel safer as you organize. We can guide you through that process. Think of it as harm reduction for the digital organizer!