Global South meeting 2, Sunday 26 March

Some highlights of last meeting

  • Tor has a USian and European dominance problem. We need to do real work to have more users, developers, and relays in the majority world
  • "Majority world (MW)" was agreed to be a less problematic term than "Global South" though the second is more recognizable. Need to discuss further how to use the term MW and make it understood.
  • What Tor people are currently doing: connecting with trainers in the majority world and providing material support for trainings; Derechos Digitales is helping to run relays in a number of places.
  • What needs to happen: board members in the MW; Tor Meetings in the MW; supporting local Tor meetups; representation in technical infrastructure eg DirAuths, BWAuths, relays, and also more discussion about bandwidth limitations in the region
  • People from the MW often feel like "consumers" whereas the

include people from the south in Tor -- stop treating folks in the south as only consumers of what people from US and EU do; rather, engage people from the MW to become leaders within Tor, work on projects collaboratively, do a lot more listening.

This meeting

  • Introductions
  • Reviewed highlights of yesterday's meeting
  • In this meeting we want to focus on next steps

Initial ideas:

  • What are the goals? exposing the whole population to Tor -- users, developers, researchers, activists. representation needs to be at all levels -- leadership in Tor -- how do we find trusted people to make this happen? With the board, directory authorities, other leadership positions.
  • In Latin America there isn't a very big Tor community. A few people from the region shared that building that community is their main goal, and Tor Project can provide resources to do that. For example, some people are very technical, but might not know how to teach, and vice versa. LatAm is short of people who can do the work and we need some ways to help solve that problem. One idea: a train-the-trainer camp about how to teach (the Tor community team has funds to support some travel for people who want to do this).
  • Training the trainers is an important part of this but we also need to identify the other roles needed.
  • Before Roger did too many other things he used to do this -- find excited people who are funded by some other organization and try to teach them about Tor. The org is usually excited to have a Tor person.
  • Let's be aware of the existing power imbalance (consumers in the MW vs creators in the US and EU) and make it so that training materials are co-created and locally contextualized.
  • Otherwise, people will not use the resources we're teaching them.
  • There are other big limits on offering trainings: trainings alone don't build community. usually people go to the training, they use the tools, but that's the end of the relationship.
  • What we would actually like to achieve is having a community that is established and exists. The Cryptorave in Brazil is a good example of an established community. People do go there and want to learn, bring their friends, later teach other people about what they learned, etc.
  • Existing organizations in the region can't be the canonical point for Tor training anyway -- they have other stuff to do. And it's not a great idea to pick one organization and say "you're in charge of this region now".
  • Other points of contact: there are lots of collectives and movements that are not related to NGOs but do a lot of work in the grassroots, for example women who anonymously advocate for reproductive rights
  • What might be useful is having a coordinator who distributes work across a network of groups, can connect to various types of groups
  • Also: we need a balance between approaching grassroots activists and institutions. There is a traditional approach in the North where you approach NGOs that parachute some person in to cover an event, like a conference, and they don't actually care about anything going on in the region and they build no relationships.
  • In addition to building relationships, we need good, simple, localized media to counter the capitalist poison narrative that exists now.
  • what does the process of a new directory authority? meeting with other directory authorities to establish trust in that small group. for example, the newest DirAuth just joined yesterday but the conversations about including him started about a year ago. two necessary things: must be able to do the operations, must have the trust.
  • but showing up to the Tor Meeting itself is prohibitive for people in the majority world so what kind of material support are we offering? how are we building relationships with people to make this happen?
  • is it possible to establish this trust without in person meetings? it seems not.
  • what is the requirement for a board member? it's also about trust, and this one is trickier because it's got to be an even more established relationship. suggesting people that could be good is a first place to start.
  • on the trust thing: some of the current board members had never even been to a board meeting before they joined the board. they were not chosen for being trusted parts of the community, they were chosen in a very different way. Are they even trusted in the way that DirAuths are trusted? It makes it seem like there's a special requirement just for the majority world groups and that's bullshit.
  • because the community is overwhelmingly European and North American, you are unlikely to find people from the majority world who will work in these leadership roles because they are unlikely to be able to establish the trust needed. how do we break that cycle?
  • also, does the board member need to reside in the majority world or just be from there?
  • in the NGO world, there are lots of trainings bringing together journalists or whatever, they go to these trainings, and then after everyone is like "why didn't the world change". what is the point of doing trainings? it seems to be a better tactic is to find people within the community who want to get more involved, maybe they want to do trainings and all that, but how do we get them to be successful beyond that? how do you find the person who is really good at building community?
  • we need some central location for upcoming events taht includes a set of people who can go and host talks, workshops, whatever about Tor
  • we need to have some Tor events at cryptorave
  • we need a mailing list, or some other thing with these resources available
  • how do we influence people who don't speak English well/at all? there is a major entry barrier here
  • maybe we need to make an international-Tor list
  • another thing: hosting relays in Brazil for example is much easier than in Europe because the Brazilian police don't care so much about exit nodes (yet). not always true actually. police raids do happen.
  • mentoring: sometimes controversial but if done well it's a good way to integrate people
  • producing content: we underestimate what it means to make good content that actually reaches people. it's not Tor for dummies, it's not "oh it's translated so it's fine", it's good material that is effectively localized
  • budget needs: people from the core Tor team going to the majority world for events, and people from the majority world going to Tor events elsewhere. also we need to get grants to pay people in the majority world directly
  • workshops that co-develop training materials together
  • people in the majority world feel intimidated by even approaching people in the Tor community
  • there is an organization in Brazil called NIC that does trainings all over the country. we should train one person to be the "Tor person" from NIC
  • how do we make the next meetings more focused? we need a plan for decision making processes, outreach, infrastructure
  • on the infrastructure point: there are formal and informal ones. universities have both possibilities.
  • the current approach to making someone a "tor person" is the "Roger blessing" which is a way of excluding certain political realities -- unintended consequences. lots of groups are turned off to this approach. tactical methods we choose have political consequences
  • We've talked about a diversity of tactics and different ways that majority world representation can happen in Tor. What kind of support is needed to make this happen? how do we make everyone in this room and people who are not in this room become a part of Tor?

ideas for next steps

  • create a team for making Tor content, set up a network in LatAm to create and distribute this content
  • approaching major websites to embed a widget to download Tor, speaking to different groups around the world to identify which are the most important websites to do this (provide legitimacy and reach out to more users)
  • mapping out who the specific types of groups are that we want to reach out to -- supporting in all kinds of ways from material support to stickers

-reach out to all the hackerspaces on the planet to encourage them to run relays

  • reaching out to legal groups to support their effort and collaborate with the
  • organize events in other parts of the world eg google summer of code
  • connecting with local groups and building trust
  • Tor participation in local events: contribution in terms of money, resources, people
  • in the context of lawyers: in brazil there was a group of lawyers who were teaching people about digital rights and they got arrested for terrorism (??) we need a better strategy for places where this kind of activity is dangerous
  • what kind of responsibility should Tor have given there are different threat models?
  • ideas for majority world tor dev locations
  • ideas for tor local meetups
  • helping the people in this room identify as "Tor people"
  • "mentoring" system that is non-heirarchical
  • one specific thing we can do is support festivals and conferences, eg Cryptorave. give money.
  • empowering the Tor community in the majority world
  • reach out to developer conferences, FOSS conferences all over the world, it's not hard to find people who are interested in working with Tor
  • should there be specific actions for the board to take? should the board begin an active search for a majority world board member?
  • dirauth: what are the next steps here? not just waiting for people to come, but approaching possible candidates
  • we need to build the set of Tor people all over the majority world. what are the steps we need to take to do that?
  • we should be reaching out to communities directly instead of just reaching out to developers. we should talk to the audiences who are going to use these resources. but that also seems to be a way of creating the "consumer vs developer" dichotomy which is harmful
  • create a communication channel for LatAm Tor
  • do a Tor meetup at Cryptorave in Brazil
  • The same organizations that we talk to about trainings can host conferences
  • conference squatting - hold two conferences in one space, e.g. alongside or right before Cryptorave in Brazil
  • events mailing list for Tor people across the region
  • Portunhol (Portuguese and Spanish) track at upcoming Tor Meetings
  • Find local champions who are well connected in the community to coordinate trainings and events that can engage the wider world about Tor
  • Reach out to locals who are already working in this space -- eg hackerspaces, activists, NGOs, collectives -- and asking what they need
  • maybe one of the most efficient ways to empower people is to make them feel that they have ownership over something that is in their local region and they have responsibility and leadership

immediate next step: mailing list? majority world Tor with a collaborative approach

Last modified 3 weeks ago Last modified on Apr 8, 2017, 3:40:37 AM