Jim Belinger Tracy Record - West Seattle Blog Thomas Bangasser - Vashon College Jacob Caggiano Jeris JC Miller Phil LeGood - Vancouver Coop radio
I started this group because I myself have always had many questions about how information is gathered, stored, and accessed in the internet age, and I realized that I had no idea what kind of information about me is kept online and how this information can either help or harm me, especially given the fact that I have no control over it.
I also feel that in the emerging news ecology, journalists who gain people's trust will need to understand how to protect the valuable information that they gather until they are ready to disclose it.
Much of our time was spent in conversation about why this issue was important.
Thomas Bangasser asked why this matters to people, and my answer was basically that it matters to me because I feel that information is powerful and the more control I have over information involving myself, and information I collect on others, the better I am able to prevent this kind of power from being used in a dangerous way.
This of course led to discussions about how paranoid can we be?
Phil LeGood from Vancouver Coop radio had some interesting stories that made me think, perhaps not as paranoid as we should.
As a reporter who has covered the Olympics in Vancouver extensively, he shared stories about people who were detained at the Canadian border and had their laptops confiscated, particularly a professor (if I heard correctly) from Reid college who was searched and denied access to the country just because he/she was going to speak in public about the Olympics.
I gave examples of China and Iran as countries that deny basic freedoms to communicate, and how a lack of care or understanding in information security/privacy will have deep effects on our First Amendment rights here at home.
Closing up we talked about a few tools such as truecrypt, and websites that cover this issue more extensively such as the EFF, EPIC, and the Center for Digital Democracy.