Riseup Letters: Who are you really? # Civil Liberties in the Digital World

Riseup Letters: Who are you really?

Friday 13 October 2017 > français > Español > italiano

Here is a common question we are asked:

I was wondering, how can I know that Riseup is trustworthy? Something like riseup.net could be the perfect place to lure social movements to a concentrated place for monitoring. Guess this is a tough question... hope it’s taken with best thoughts.

Our answer:

Trust, in computer security, is about the harm that someone can cause if they betray your trust. To be more secure, you mostly want to reduce the things and people that you trust, but it is impossible to eliminate trust relationships entirely.

If someone asks you to trust them, particularly when it comes to technology, you should be extremely wary. For this reason, Riseup has never asked anyone to trust us.

However, we do demonstrate through our actions that we will fight for you. We have designed our system to know very little about you, and for it to be impossible for us to read your mail when you are not logged in; we actively support other autonomous tech collectives to start and thrive; we create and contribute to free-libre open source software development; and we answer hundreds of tech questions every week for social justice organizers across the planet who aren’t so tech savvy.

Seventeen years ago, when Riseup was getting started, we had very strong trust with most of the people and groups that we provided services for. We were connected through networks of organizing and solidarity. We protected them, and they knew it, because they knew us. In the interest of providing resources to more people, we made a decision to open up Riseup to people outside our activist circles. Unfortunately, this has made Riseup seem anonymous and distant for many. We are real people! We have lives, day jobs, and kids. We are geeks and writers and students and lawyers and social workers.

Although we are real live people, you probably don’t know us. So we don’t ask you to blindly trust us, and we never will. Talk to someone who is tech savvy in your community and ask them who they trust and why. There are many fine autonomous tech projects in the world, and you are likely to find one that you trust

We have a lot of costs to keep Riseup going.

With every bit of money you give to us, you are also supporting other people’s access to Riseup and more secure communications across the planet. Many thanks!

Read more and support - Donate to Riseup

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