CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

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Grassroots surveillance resistance at your local library

Alison Macrina, Library Freedom Project

[Download (MP4)] [View on Youtube]

February 2, 2016 1:30pm, in DC 1304


Libraries have long been bastions of democratic ideals like free speech and privacy; librarians not only provide access to information and technology freely, but have fought back against threats to civil liberties like the USA PATRIOT Act and National Security Letters. But in the post-Snowden era, libraries have taken to fighting mass surveillance on the ground, teaching privacy-enhancing technologies to their patrons in free computer classes, installing these tools on library PCs, and getting deeply involved in the growing anti-surveillance movement. Alison Macrina, director of Library Freedom Project, will talk about the work of her organization, which helped kickstart this movement of radical crypto-librarians, and how FOSS tools like Tor Browser, Signal, OTR, GPG, and Tails are being deployed and taught in libraries to an overwhelmingly positive reception. Alison will also discuss LFP's newest project, bringing Tor exit relays into libraries, what happened when the Department of Homeland Security tried to shut down that project at a small New Hampshire library — and how the local and global community fought back, and won.


Alison Macrina is a librarian, privacy activist, and the founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, an initiative which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries by teaching librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms. Alison is passionate about connecting surveillance issues to larger global struggles for justice, demystifying privacy and security technologies for ordinary users, and resisting an internet controlled by a handful of intelligence agencies and giant multinational corporations. When she's not doing any of that, she's reading.