As dissent and protest are increasingly criminalized, it’s important for protesters and activists to protect themselves – to the degree possible – from surveillance. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (#EFF) offers a guide for surveillance defence. It’s useful to read this even if you aren’t a protester, because the right wing (and sadly, some of the left) are increasingly willing to trample on trust building in activism. Let’s hope for the best, but good to understand the possible bad outcomes.

While the EFF’s guidance is useful, it’s important to acknowledge that the level of organized paranoia required for this to be effective is overwhelming and damaging to “trust” based activism. So It’s key to strike a balance, which is a lived challenge. It’s best to focus on the “fluffy spiky” debate—ensuring that spiky, direct activism uses this guide to inform their actions without dictating to more #mainstreaming and outreach “fluffy” activism.

The concept of (open data, open source, open standards, and open process) is integral in building trust, which is how and why these grassroots #DIY protests and movements can be effective. It is crucial for sustaining impactful activism.

By maintaining a balance between necessary security measures and open, inclusive activism, we can continue to protect our rights while promoting a more a “native” and importantly affective path to build an equitable society.