November

Thanks, Folks!

We are at the end of our core services fundraising drive, and we want to thank everyone who opened up your hearts and pocket books to us. We feel really supported by all of you and will return the favor by being there for you over the coming year. Here are our final numbers: 837 people donated $44,462. Stupendous! Magnificent! We are grateful, happy, and pleased. While it wasn’t quite as much as we needed to raise, it goes most of the distance in covering our core costs for the coming year. Without you all we wouldn’t exist, so thanks to you, and you, and you.

While this is the end of our fundraising efforts to keep our current services going, we are heading over to Kickstarter to raise some funds for some new services that we want to launch in 2012. We’re using the crowdsourcing model to try and reach a larger audience than just the faithful Riseup users, as the tools we’re developing can be freely used by all. More information soon!

Love,
The Riseup Birds

Quota Increase

You may have noticed your email quota (the amount of email you’re allowed to store on our servers) has jumped from 23mbs to 96mbs. Huzzah! Our goal isn’t to compete with the storage provided by corporate email providers (we would need to have corporate funding models to do so), but to ensure secure communication. We’ve been wanting to raise quota for a while, and because of user support, we were able to quadruple quotas.

Now that you can store more email with us, it is important to highlight something about email storage. We’ll do our best to keep the mail you have stored with us safe, but it would be even better if you store your email somewhere you have confidence is safe. With ever-shifting legal structures and laws, you should take control of your own data. Don’t depend on us to keep it safe. Here’s some more information how to store email on your computer: help.riseup.net/en/downloading-email

If you need more space, you can increase it even more by following the directions detailed on help.riseup.net/en/quota#how-do-i-increase-my-quota

Occupy the Internet

For the last couple of months we’ve had daily list and email requests for occupations popping up at first in the United States and then from all over the world. It’s been amazing to see how an idea inspired from Tahrir square can take hold and draw tens of thousand of activists to action.

It has also been interesting, from a technology perspective, to talk with folks, think, and strategize about what communication needs occupiers have. One obvious need with an occupation is quick and easy coordination and organization tools, both for communicating with the world and internally. Unfortunately, its all too common to see people turning to Google Groups. That is why it was refreshing to see Occupy Boston recognizing that, while useful, Google represents many things at odds with the goals of the movement and as a result was leaving Google’s infrastructure. One of the biggest reasons cited was the troublesome reliance on servers controlled by corporate interests that would willingly give information over to government requests. They decided that using trusted, politically aware, and encrypted movement infrastructure was an important step for the movement as it grows and encounters greater government resistance. We hope other Occupods out there consider carefully the security of information, and the overall political mission when making technology choices, and choose to take similar steps to move toward technology which is controlled by the movement, for the movement.