Why activists, protesters and organizers need to encrypt their communications

Activists in Ferguson, MO are planning a rather large protest in the city this weekend. They’re calling it Ferguson October. They are asking for people all over the country to converge on Ferguson with noted figures like professor Cornell West already said to be attending.

While I’m supportive of these and other efforts to organize, resist and educate another thought also came to mind. If you’re an activist and an organizer wouldn’t it be logical that law enforcement, the federal government and corporations would be trying to infiltrate your networks? After all it’s widey known that police departments send undercover officers to peace groups and Occupy organizations to gather intelligence.

I bet law enforcement in Ferguson are gathering every bit of information they can on key figures in opposition to the status quo like members of Hands Up United.

This is why I feel it’s important for activists to start thinking about securing their communications. The tools are now widely available and easy to implement.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a great resource for learning how to communicate securely online. There’s also the TAILS operating system which I plan to learn more about too.

Photo by Leo Reynolds

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