There’s no you in srveillance

Another, wonderful post from the Open Whispersystems “Winter Break of Code”. This passionate, idealistic group of young techies, giving of their time to refine and extend a set of tools that provide free, secure phone calls and texting make my heart sing. It is all that the world of total surveillance, endless political lies, militarised police, paedo-sadism and endless war is not. May their efforts survive the attempts emerging in the U.K. to shut such services down. I quote:

The work that Open Whisper Systems was doing looked so refreshing when I first discovered the project. Freed from the constraints of legacy systems, their novel approach to solving challenging mobile security problems was very easy for me to admire. I decided that I wanted to become a lot more involved, and I felt very fortunate when that opportunity presented itself last March.

Since then, I have been writing content, handling emails, responding to questions at the Support Center, and doing whatever I can to be a thorn in the side of mass surveillance. This week I had the privilege of working with a wildly talented team of designers, videographers, writers, and UX experts on the website redesign. It’s looking absolutely fantastic so far, and that’s only one of many exciting things that happened.

It’s difficult to find new ways to describe the beauty of Hawaii. Suffice it to say, there’s nothing quite like swimming underneath a waterfall, staring up at a blue sky, and watching falling drops become a constellation of stars as you travel through time and space itself. Also, if you ever find yourself scuba diving for the first time and gasping with awe as your brain struggles to process the impossibility of your position, try an impromptu underwater dance party. Further experiments are necessary, but the early results are extremely promising.

When we can find a way to make applications that are accessible, well-designed, and highly secure (e.g. Flock, RedPhone, Signal, and TextSecure), the focus can shift to the numerous benefits provided by additional privacy protections instead of the drawbacks that are typically associated with making that choice (e.g. the entire PGP ecosystem).

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine installed the new Signal beta on his iPhone that included TextSecure protocol support. He’s incredibly talented in so many ways, but he does not work in technology. I wanted to see what would happen, and hoped that a turning point had been reached. Without asking for any help, and without expressing any frustration, his first message quickly arrived:

“I think this is working.”

I think this is working too.

End of quote. May it be allowed to continue to work.

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