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(en) [USA] Support Riseup! Today, we will present the story of Riseup. By ANA (pt)

Date Tue, 26 Dec 2017 09:37:16 +0200


Once upon a time, it was a twenty-something couple who had just come out of an exhausting and exciting week of beautiful protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle. They had a question in their burning hearts: what would be our best way to build justice movements in the world? Being more of a hacker and geek vein, they came up with the idea called riseup.net . ---- In the beginning, the project provided emails and lists to a handful of friends who needed secure ways to communicate, something that would not come from the corporations they were fighting against. It was a very simple project: we ran the server, encrypted the messages and did not save the logs. That was in the 2000s and the internet was still a new thing.
As Riseup.net grew with new members, everyone began to think and theorize about why core technology collectives were an essential part of creating the movement. There was an increasingly evolving conversation about how technology could have, rooted and within itself, systems that protected and served people's needs, rather than exploiting them. At that time, all our servants were in communes and friendships in Seattle, and there were several downs to the basements to solder wires and keep the services running.

Some members of the collective left, others entered. Sometimes with a lot of conflict, the way it usually happens when we work collectively. Some of us went to university, others moved to Canada, had children, got married, got busy. Many people left for a while and came back when they had time and space for Riseup again. Many people stayed. Throughout that time, our systems and technologies have grown to provide more services to our users, who were not just our friends but also our allies in this quixotic quest.

We've moved our servers to a more secure location. We have made friends with tech activists around the world and we have given tools and broadband to smaller tech groups to avenge. We write a lot of cool software and make it all free and openly distributed for anyone to use. We were sued by right-wing religious types who did not like our users to kiss their conservative church. With activist advocates, we put on our best clothes and went to federal court, and we refuse to give any information about our incredible users. We win the case. And we keep growing.

And then came Edward Snowden. Suddenly, the things we've been saying to people for years have stopped sounding like conspiracy theories. People understood that surveillance was coming at us. The number of users has increased and we have improved our security. Spammers and phishers attacked us on all sides and we counterattacked in a continuous and boring war. Enemies have encountered several bugs to use our services and we play cat-and-mouse to find them and kick them out. Every year we improve something, like encrypted email storage this year. Every year, we keep talking about our why and theorizing how technology, which is changing everything around us, is an essential place to reclaim space and create liberation shifts.

And here we are, eighteen years later. Some of you have been with us since the beginning. Some of you are new to Riseup. We are very lucky to be on this journey with all of you and we remain as stiff, exuberant and exhausted as ever. Please, please keep us running for another year, if you can.

Donations: https://riseup.net/en/donate
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