This newsletter is brought to you by the letter “s”. It is for all riseup.net list admins, mail account users, and website owners. It contains vital information, handy tidbits, and useless trivia.
Holy smokes! In case you wondered why things are getting slow, we now host one million mailing list subscriptions. Our birds are hard at work to upgrade our list server with new features and higher capacity.
On the other hand, our huge backlog of help ticket requests cannot be solved with more servers. The tickets are consuming a rapidly expanding amount of our limited time. We have a plan! We are working on a new system which will hopefully allow help requests to become more of a community effort. When the system is ready to test, you will be the first to know.
Note the ’s' at the end of the http. The ’s' is for ‘secure’. Also, there will be a little lock icon in the location bar or in the lower corner of your browser window. If your connection is not secure, people can listen in on your email and your passwords as they are transmitted in plain text. When it is secure, the data sent between your computer and riseup.net is encrypted.
Soon, we are going to make it so that if you go to mail.riseup.net or lists.riseup.net, only https will work. If you want to use plain http (without the little ’s'), then you will need to use the domain insecure.mail.riseup.net or insecure.lists.riseup.net.
Why would you want to use insecure.mail.riseup.net? You don’t! But some web browsers are so old that they cannot work properly with a secure connection. You would only use this if nothing else worked and you didn’t care if someone hacked your account, stole your personal information, read all those racy love letters you are sending, and infiltrated your plans for that direct action you’ve been planning all year.
This only affects the website: your email address will stay the same.
To prepare for this transition, you should head on over to http://help.riseup.net/certs. This page will walk you through the process of making your web browser or mail client work well with the riseup certificates used for secure connections. Please read http://help.riseup.net/security for more information on communication privacy.
On August 3, the US Senate ratified the Convention on Cybercrime. This paves the way for greater international cooperation on cybersecurity issues… doesn’t sound so bad until you hear that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls this “the world’s worst internet law.”
According to the EFF:
The treaty requires that the U.S. government help enforce other countries' ‘cybercrime’ laws–even if the act being prosecuted is not illegal in the United States(!!) That means that countries that have laws limiting free speech on the Net could oblige the F.B.I. to uncover the identities of anonymous U.S. critics, or monitor their communications on behalf of foreign governments. American ISPs would be obliged to obey other jurisdictions' requests to log their users' behavior without due process, or compensation.
Unlike in the EU, the law in the US still allows for the general practice of keeping no logs. In fact, we have developed a lot of software to make this possible. However, this law could make it so that we might be ordered to begin logging at the behest of a foreign government.
As usual, we will keep you updated on this law and our evolving police state.
It is like this: You donate and riseup.net stays alive. You don’t donate, and we fade away to that internet castle in the sky crowded with failed dot coms and last year’s gadgets. Save us from that fate!
You might ask yourself “why should I pay for something I can get for free from gmail/yahoogroups/hotmail/aol?” The answer is quite simple: it ain’t free! Society pays when you use a service designed to sell advertising and create consumer desire, society pays when you depend on infrastructure which censors political speech, shuts down political lists, and cooperates with the government to track your associations and jail dissidents. When you use those services, you aid in their project of world domination. Don’t do it!
So, do yourself a favor: visit http://riseup.net/donate and empty your piggy bank.
In solidarity, the riseup collective
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_censorship  http://www.onlinepolicy.org/research/ospa/yahoo-censors.shtml  http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/  http://web.amnesty.org/pages/chn-310106-action-eng