Washington Privacy Organizers email list

wa-privacy-organizers@lists.riseup.net is an invitation-only mailing list for organizers working on privacy advocacy and activism in Washington state.  Topics include state, federal, and local legislation; developing and sharing resources, open letters, and actions; scheduling and sharing information about campaigns and events; and hopefully learning ways to advocate even more effectively for strong privacy legislation.

Community guidelines

1. Leave abusive behaviors at the door
No racism, ableism (including mental health shaming and stigmatization), sexism, microaggressions, gaslighting, sea-lioning, trolling, bullying, calling group members names, personal attack or harassment are allowed.

2. Share information that’s useful for other organizers — and feel free to ask questions and make suggestions!
Please try to keep things relevant to privacy and related issues (although of course the lines are sometimes blurry). Share resources (events, calls to action, videos, signon letters); discussing strategy and tactics. Questions, suggestions, and other kinds of feedback are welcome!

On the other hand, please avoid sharing ads, commercial posts (it’s fine to post a link to a publisher’s page for a book but try not to share the Amazon link), crowdfunding unless it’s from a non-profit you know and directly relevant to privacy.

3. Respect Group Members’ Privacy
Assume list members do not want their activism to be public until you find out otherparticipation known until you find out otherwise. Do not reveal email addresses, phone numbers, or any personal information without permission. Please do not forward emails, or screenshots of conversations, without documented permission of the post author(s).

Of course, ff somebody’s email says “please help get the word out!” and includes some suggested text (for an action item or meeting invitation, for example) it’s fine to cut-and-paste that text. Similarly if somebody says something like “feel free to share my email address”, you should feel free to share their email address. Otherwise, please ask permission before sharing.

4. Lift and Make Heard Marginalized Voices
Corporations and governments exploiting weak privacy legislation harm everybody — and especially harm those who have always been most targeted by surveillance, including people of color, LGBTAIQ+ people, unhoused people, immigrants, and people dealing with harassment, stalking, and domestic violence. All too often these voices are ignored. Don’t be like that! Instead, amplify these crucial perspectives.

5. Support Respectful Disagreement/Debate
Diversity of honest perspectives is a strength. Diversity reflects not only differences in opinion, but also differences in lived experience and perspective. The sharing of these differences is invaluable to the work of a group like ours.

6. Be aware of survivors
Do not include links to videos and images showing violence or abuse (mental, emotional, verbal, sexual) in a main post without a content warning.

7. Keep accessibility in mind
Some of our members may use assistive technology like screen-readers. Others may have limited access to technology. Keep their needs in mind as well. Include alt-text, captions, or descriptions on visual images. Try to use software that works for everybody, not just people with the latest high-end phone or computer.

Controlling how much mail you get and seeing the archive

To see the list archive, manage your subscription, you’ll need to create an account on lists.riseup.net. Once you do that:

Why are we using riseup and cryptpad?

We’re in favor of privacy — and against surveillance capitalism. We’re not purists about it, in fact many of us use Google, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Slack, and the like from time to time. We even use Zoom for video meetings! But we prefer to avoid it, and instead use — and support — open source software, especially when it’s privacy friendly, accessible, and written by people who share our values

We use riseup.net for our email lists and collaborative editing. The Riseup Collective is an autonomous body based in Seattle with collective members world wide. Riseup has is a non-profit that’s provided online services to activists since 1999, hosts thousands of activist mailing lists, and has a very solid privacy policy — including not keeping logs of IP addresses. Riseup pads let multiple people edit a document at the same time — think of them as a very simple version of Google Docs. For more on the Riseup Collective, see the lengthy interview from June 2020.

Riseup’s process to sign up for a list is not incredibly user-friendly — it involves getting mail from an account called SYMPA with a subject that looks like auto-generated spam. So at least for now we’re asking people to request invitations via a form. The form uses Cryptpad, another open-source Google docs alternative with much broader functionality including forms, and is hosted on cryptpad.fr. We also use Cryptpad for collaborative editing when we need anything more than basic formatting, but it is not as accessible as Riseup pads and some people have problems using it on Firefox so we try to use riseup whenever possible.

We appreciate that it costs time and money to host services like these so we have a paid subscription to Cryptpad. We also donate to riseup.net and encourage you to join us. As Riseup says on their donation page:

When you get a service from a corporation that doesn’t charge you, chances are that the money comes from extensive surveillance. Riseup, on the other hand, relies on donations by users like you who believe in supporting democratic alternatives.

Riseup is a registered 501c(4) but donations to them are not tax deductible. You can find out more and donate to riseup at https://riseup.net/donate.