Riseup Retreat

At the very end of 2008 the riseup birds all met up in slushy Seattle to plot, scheme, and strategize about our future. Many of us were meeting face to face for the first time after working together for years. After thirty hours of meetings and work parties, we were exhausted and kind of amazed at how hilarious, passionate, and kind everyone was.

One of our big topics was staying sustainable, in terms of both money and labor. There is a tendency in the collective to work too hard, and we talked about how to get more people involved in order to distribute the weight. We also tried to find balance in thinking about all the new shiny projects we want to do, and making sure we keep doing the old things well. We have some potential opportunities to grow, but will stay true to our principles and long term vision.

We want you…

One thing that came out of our meeting was a desire to be more in touch with you, yes you! We have been working on some social organizing software to do just this for the last couple of years, but it is not quite ready to launch. Before it does, we thought this newsletter might be a good place to do some of this.

So, any questions or ideas about…. How something works? Why internet security is important? Why computers are awesome? Why computers suck? Some project we should be doing? Some new service we should offer? Some revolutionary idea that all of the riseup users should hear about?

Send any of these and more to pigeon@riseup.net and she will put the evil genius geek squad on it.

Forgotten, not gone

When you delete a file, just how deleted is it? This is an important question when your cat is walking around on your keyboard and accidentally drags your term paper into the trash and then accidentally clicks on empty trash. But it also comes up when you have sensitive information that should not fall into the wrong hands.

The sad fact is that “delete”-ing files often means that they are forgotten, but not gone. The spooks can recover some or all of your deleted data if they get their spooky paws on your hard drive.

If you use ubuntu, or debian (linux distributions many Riseup birds use), or any other GNU/Linux based distro, you can increase the chances that your data is gone once and for all by installing the ‘shred’ package and then typing this on the commandline:

shred [filename]

No promises, but that should at least make the private security creeps work a little bit for their money.

If you want to get rid of some data forever, throw the disk in the microwave for 10 minutes! (small print: cooking times may vary, microwave may no longer function afterwards, turn off the lights for a spectacular show)


Thanks so much for your donations last month. We always put out cries into the internet wilderness, and feel so happy when people respond. So thank you, and you, and you. And of course, we can always use more, in case you wanted to give and forgot. http://riseup.net/donate.