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Mozfest: Promoting Freedom of Expression with Tor

The Mozilla Festival is coming to London November 6 to 8. I have proposed a workshop for this year's Mozfest around using Tor to promote freedom of expression and access to information. I've included that proposal below for two reasons: if the session is accepted, hopefully you'll want to attend, and so you can reuse the words or concept in your own future conference proposal around Tor.

Session Name

Promoting Freedom of Expression and Access to Information with Tor

What will your session or activity allow people to make, learn or do? Describe your session's goals in 150 words or less.

Participants will learn that it is fun, easy and inexpensive to contribute to freedom of expression and access to information around the world by contributing to the Tor network.

Tor is open source software combined with a global network of developers and volunteers that provide online anonymity. It does this by routing a user’s Internet traffic through geographically-dispersed intermediate relaying computers all the while protecting traffic endpoint and content confidentiality.

During this session we will explain and then experience the various methods to contribute to Tor. This includes operating a Tor relay or bridge or simply using Tor for day-to-day web browsing. We will discuss the costs and requirements of the various options and show that people can meaningfully contribute for less than $10 per month while earning fun geek-garb.

Three concurrent paths within the session will allow participants to work at various technical depths and levels of investment.

How do you see that working? Describe your session's agenda in 150 words or less. Please also describe the format of the session, such as workshop, fireside chat or other.

This 90 minute workshop will have three levels of activities:

  • Introductory: This path will focus on participating as a user of the Tor network. This strengthens the anonymity properties of the network and counters the misperception that Tor is only used for ill-intended ends. Participants will install the Tor Browser on their laptops or install Orbot on their Android devices. They will then experience using Tor and see how their connections are made anonymous.

  • Intermediate: This path will focus on setting up new Tor relays. It will discuss the different types of nodes and why they are important. We will show how operators can run a Tor relay for less than $10/month. Participants will be encouraged to setup new relays during the workshop.

  • Advanced: This path will focus on more advanced Tor operators and the setup and management of multiple and high-capacity nodes.

How will you accommodate varying number of participants in your session? Tell us what you'll do with 5 participants. 15? 50? In 150 words or less.

Using three levels of activities with three session facilitators will allow participants to follow the discussion and activities at their desired level and it will allow us to more easily tailor the conversation and activities to smaller audiences.

What do you see as outcomes after the festival? How will you and your participants take the learning and activities forward? In 150 words or less.

During this session we will build a set of benefits and checklists that participants can share and reference with others after Mozfest. Additionally, if the session is successful, participants will do the following:

  • Carry forward the conversations and outcomes and promote the use of Tor in other settings

  • Continue to use Tor as users

  • Setup and operate Tor relays and bridges

  • More successfully manage multiple and high capacity nodes

Creative Commons License.