Community Groups Doubling Down on Defending Digital Rights

  • After the 2016 U.S. election, the prospects for digital rights under the incoming administration seemed particularly grim. A silver lining in this dark cloud has been the concerted efforts we:undefined:’:undefined:ve seen by groups working to defend digital rights at the local level. Over the past year, a growing network of grassroots groups,the Electronic Frontier Alliance, has taken substantial steps forward in protecting online civil liberties in dozens of communities across the U.S.

    Our preliminaryconcerns about the Trump administration:undefined:’:undefined:s attacks on digital rights unfortunately proved valid.

    President Trump inherited a surveillance apparatus that threatened privacy in a number of ways, fromwarrantless surveillance of Americans:undefined:’:undefined: electronic communications tomonitoring the social media accounts of immigrants, including naturalized U.S. citizens. The administration:undefined:’:undefined:s escalating attacks on other digital rights came quickly, with various departments targeting access to knowledge byremoving publicly funded research from the web and issuingunconstitutional subpoenas to web hosts seeking the identities of visitors to websites used to coordinate protests of the Trump administration. Less than year into the new administration, free expression is under threat in Congress in the form ofbills like SESTA that would likelypush marginalized voices offline.

    But through the EFA, groups are working together to educate communities and bring about change at the grassroots level.

    The Alliance has served as a national hub for local activism that addresses a spectrum of civil liberties and digital rights issues, by bringing together groups pursuing a range of strategies and tactics:undefined:—:undefined:from hacker spaces facilitating the open source development of software tools, to student groups hosting teach-ins and documentary screenings, to community coalitions activated by concerns about affronts to digital rights. Across the political spectrum, these groups are coming together to championthe EFA:undefined:’:undefined:s uniting principles: privacy, creativity, free expression, security, and access to the intellectual commons.

    Some standout results from the past year that are worth highlighting include:

    • A community group in Providence,Rhode Island Rights, helped establish the nation:undefined:’:undefined:s strongestlocal civil rights and civil liberties policy. Included within the law they helped secure are protections and reforms for individuals included ingang databases, requirements for police to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal activity before targeting individuals with electronic surveillance, and protecting thecivilian right to observe and record police activities.

    • On the other side of the country in California,Oakland Privacy was originally born from the Occupy movement and more recentlyspearheaded continuing policy advocacy in half a dozen jurisdictions across the Bay Area addressing law enforcement surveillance. In Oakland and Berkeley, we anticipate upcoming votes by local legislative bodies on proposals to require community control over the acquisition and deployment of surveillance technologies by local police.

    • Another Bay Area community group,Citizens Rise in Redwood City, reached out to their state senator to support SB 21,a proposed statewide measure that would subject police surveillance to local oversight by elected officials. Unfortunately, after being approved by the California Senate, the billstalled in the Assembly:undefined:’:undefined:s appropriations committee. Their engagement, however, ensured the bill:undefined:’:undefined:s integrity and prevented it from being replaced with a weaker bill that could have limited future policy opportunities in other jurisdictions.

    • A community group in Chicago,Lucy Parsons Labs, played a key role through public records requests in raising awareness about Stingrays, which helped the push for state reformsthat set a national high watermark for restrictions on these and other cell site simulators. The group also recently paired with another local Chicago area group in the EFA, theChicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, to host a Surveillance Self-Defense training that served as one of the first pilots of EFF:undefined:’:undefined:s newSecurity Education Companion materials, which provide teaching best practices to facilitators and trainers.

    • Another mid-western community group,Privacy Watch St. Louis, has organized a coalition supporting proposedBoard Bill 66, which (like SB 21 in California or the measures championed by Oakland Privacy) would require city agencies to seek approval from the city:undefined:’:undefined:s Board of Alders before adopting new surveillance equipment. In addition to canvassing neighborhoods and reaching out directly to members of the Board to garner support, Privacy Watch has also supported community education efforts. Recently, the coalition hosted an event at the headquarters of theOrganization for Black Struggle, a force in the community since 1980, that drew connections between thehistory of COINTELPRO and current experiences with federal and local police surveillance.

    • The Journal of Law and Technology at Texas (JOLTT) is a registered student organization at the University of Texas-Austin whose goal is to spark discourse among staff and students on complex issues at the intersection of law and technology. They recently hosted their inauguralsymposium, in which speakers addressed a series oftimely topics such as the possible forfeiture of personal privacy in relation to prosthetics and body modification, and the legal and societal tensions inherent in police body camera policies.

    • In New York City,RethinkLinkNYC creatively raised privacy issues implicated by LinkNYC:undefined:’:undefined:s free public Wi-Fi kiosks and the system:undefined:’:undefined:s use policy, which incorporated welcome changesearlier this year partially responding to their and others:undefined:’:undefined: concerns.

    The above examples are drawn from a list ofmany more successes for the EFA since 2016.

    If you:undefined:’:undefined:re working with a local organization concerned about the future of digital rights,we want to hear from you. And even if you:undefined:’:undefined:re not yet organizing locally, you:undefined:’:undefined:re welcome to jointhe next EFA teleconference to connect with the dozens ofallied groups around the country who already are and learn from them.

    As wesaid a year ago, dissent and resistance grow only more meaningful in times of crisis. We are excited to support local efforts to inform, inspire, and mobilize communities to defend digital rights, bringing all of us closer to a society that honors civil liberties online.


  • Make ISO from DVD

    In this case I had an OS install disk which was required to be on a virtual node with no optical drive, so I needed to transfer an image to the server to create a VM

    Find out which device the DVD is:



    NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT sda 8:0 0 465.8G 0 disk ├─sda1 8:1 0 1G 0 part /boot └─sda2 8:2 0 464.8G 0 part ├─centos-root 253:0 0 50G 0 lvm / ├─centos-swap 253:1 0 11.8G 0 lvm [SWAP] └─centos-home 253:2 0 403G 0 lvm /home sdb 8:16 1 14.5G 0 disk /mnt sr0 11:0 1 4.1G 0 rom /run/media/rick/CCSA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV5

    Therefore /dev/sr0 is the location , or disk to be made into an ISO

    I prefer simplicity, and sometimes deal with the fallout after the fact, however Ive repeated this countless times with success.

    dd if=/dev/sr0 of=win10.iso

    Where if=Input file and of=output file

    I chill out and do something else while the image is being copied/created, and the final output:

    8555456+0 records in 8555456+0 records out 4380393472 bytes (4.4 GB) copied, 331.937 s, 13.2 MB/s


    read more
  • Recreate postrgresql database template encode to ASCII

    UPDATE pg_database SET datistemplate = FALSE WHERE datname = 'template1';

    Now we can drop it:

    DROP DATABASE template1;

    Create database from template0, with a new default encoding:

    CREATE DATABASE template1 WITH TEMPLATE = template0 ENCODING = 'UNICODE'; UPDATE pg_database SET datistemplate = TRUE WHERE datname = 'template1'; \c template1 VACUUM FREEZE;

    read more