Activist Infrastructures

A number of organisations (RiseUp, the Autonomic Cooperative) provide for the internet infrastructure needs of activist groups. These organisations espouse using FOSS software on non-corporate clouds. This is out of concern for activists.

This concern is well founded. In 2021, for example, Google helped imprison an Indian Climate Activist using Google Docs for their organising needs. Said differently, proprietary software on (or off) corporate clouds are risky to trust.

Though the international conspiracy case appears to be falling apart, Ravi’s arrest has spotlighted a different kind of collusion, this one between the increasingly oppressive and anti-democratic Hindutva nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Silicon Valley companies whose tools and platforms have become the primary means for government forces to incite hatred against vulnerable minorities and critics – and for police to ensnare peaceful activists like Ravi in a high-tech digital web.

It opens a question: have any studies been undertaken that gauge the security of these activist internet infrastructures in a panoramic way, examining the common security limitations of different groups? If dark forces went after activist stacks, what could they reasonably inflict?


I have no clue at all and can’t find much, but I think this might be a good proposal for a project. As people on the tech side of activism I’m pretty sure that we could learn where we can augment other struggles and bring others on side in our own.

Pretty simple to gather the data too if we go out and explain who we are and why we’re doing so. With a lot of these organisations being pretty international in scale there could be some serious gaps in countries where it would be problematic for them to exist.


locus opsec consultations? Could be a good thing to offer out, get people interested in what we do…