all together now!

Riseup will never ask for your password. Never ever. Do not give it out–when you do, people use your email to send out spam.

A Riseup user asks, Who are you, really?

Hello, Well, I was just wondering, how can I know that riseup is reliable? Something like could be the perfect place to lure social movements to a concentrated place for monitoring. Guess this is a tough question… hope it’s taken with best thoughts.

Response #1 Great question, and one for which there is no great answer. Even if we say that we are not an activist sting operation with our most honest chirps, you still wouldn’t have any reason to believe us. But our movement will wither if we spend too much effort working towards a “perfect” security culture (see PB Floyd’s article “Is the cure worse than the illness” in our new zine!) Since what we say cannot convince you, also look at what we do: we encourage other autonomous tech collectives to start and thrive, we lead and contribute to free-libre open source software development, and we answer hundreds of tech questions every week for social justice organizers who aren’t so tech savvy.

Response #2 For the first couple years of riseup’s existence, we knew most of the people we provided services for. In the interest of providing resources to more people, we made a decision to open up riseup to people outside our activist circles. Unfortunately, this has made riseup seem anonymous and distant for many. We exist! We have lives and day jobs and babies (well, only one). We are geeks and writers and students and lawyers and social workers and mathematicians. Although we are real, we have never asked anyone to trust us, and we never will.

If you do not know us, or know anyone who knows us, then may we suggest these other fine autonomous tech projects:

Riseup Zine

Hot off the press! Get your riseup security zine full of daring adventure tales and geeky narratives on how to protect our movement’s security. It’s currently only in English–anyone out there want to translate it? Read it on line or print it up!

Tech tip

People often write in and ask us how they can set up an automatic out-of-office reply. Riseup does not offer out-of-office replies. The most important reason why is that if you have an auto-response enabled, then you respond to all emails, including spam. Spammers will flag your email address as one that responds to spam. This makes your email get spammed more. For more information about spam, check out

Also, if you’re on mailing lists, then they can go out to the whole list.

Last, depending on how they’re set up, auto-replies can get in a never-ending loop, where your account sends an auto-reply and somebody else responds with an auto-reply and your account immediately sends another one, and so on… Riseup already has enough problems getting blocked as spam by major providers, and having auto-replies coming from Riseup accounts would only increase that problem.


Thanks for all your donations! Really, truly, they keep all systems and some humans running. We are ready to take a huge technical step that will allow us to do more for you, with less effort from us. To do this we need raise money to buy a new (to us) server.

Recent sightings on the road to the surveillance apocalypse

DNA databases: fun for everyone

In response to an EU ruling against its DNA database of over 5.1 million people (~8% of the entire population), the UK government has announced it will purge its database of DNA from “innocent” people who have never been convicted of a crime. But only after six to twelve years. [1]

The U.S. has decided that the UK had the right idea. Previously, DNA databases in the US were reserved for people convicted of crimes. Now, the DNA databases will include detained immigrants and anyone awaiting trial. The FBI hopes to add 1.2 million new samples a year [2].

The French government: not just stupid, also mean

The French government recently passed its “three strikes” law against file sharers. Anyone accused of piracy three times will be presumed guilty and will lose access to the internet for up to a year[3]. There are no concrete rules yet, but the plan is to enforce this by maintaining a blacklist so you won’t be able to get on the internet anywhere: public wifi will be restricted to government approved sites, and home users will be required by law to prevent public access to their wifi [4]. Happily, the French state is in for a showdown with the EU Parliament over its attempts to build an internet police state [5].

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Send surveillance sightings to