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In the loop

In the Loop is our monthly newsletter, sharing our own news as well as some of the stories we've tweeted in the last month.

Tactical Tech news and events

Tactical Tech releases, events, and press

Releases (5)

  • Xyz - a new platform for gender and technology

    We’re very happy to announce the launch of our new website, XYZ - a space for practical tools to navigate digital security and privacy from a gender perspective.

    Whether in meeting rooms or in demonstrations, holding online debates or organising campaigns, women use technology to re-imagine and co-create just, inclusive and equal societies. However, the very same technologies put women under risks and threats while trying to achieve their goals, spread their word and leave their mark. This website provides a critical debate around maintaining our safety and wellbeing in a world where technology companies capitalize on our attention and data, and the government institutions are short of providing adequate protection and remedies.

  • Xyz - online harassment of politically-active women: an overview

    As part of this website, we're also releasing an Online Harassment Overview. This overview is built upon interviews Tactical Tech conducted throughout 2017 with politically-active women from 25 different countries, to understand how their activism was affected by ongoing harassment in the form of threats, intimidation, blackmailing, slander, doxing and others.


  • How your data is acquired, analysed and used to influence you in political campaigns

    Our research over the last 18 months has identified more than forty distinct methods, of which micro-targeting is only one part of, being used by political actors and private companies to influence your votes, based on data collected on you. This article, relased by the Data and Elections team, gives an overview of the kinds of techniques used by the political influence industry, how they are being deployed, by whom and to what ends.


  • The glass room experience - internet of things edition

    Image: Monika Kryszczynska

    In June we’ll be getting our first consignment of the brand new Glass Room Experience edition, exploring data, privacy and smart devices in your home. And we want you to get involved.

    Alongside the Alphabet Empire dot-to-dot puzzle, the new edition has a giant poster on facial recognition, The Real Life of your Selfie. There is also a new Fake or Real game on tablets, examining the strange world of connected devices, and The “Internet you don’t see”, a series of videos raising questions we should all be asking about the technology around us.

    We’ll be sending the new Glass Room Experience set out to events, organisations, schools, colleges and libraries around the world throughout 2018, so if you want to host your own Glass Room Experience we’d love to hear from you, please visit the website here.


  • The data detox kit is now available in spanish! // el kit para desintoxicación de datos está ahora disponible en castellano!

    [EN] Since we launched the online version of the kit at the end of last year, it’s been used by over 125,000 people. Over the next year, you can expect content updates, new features, and a range of translations.

    [ES] Desde que lanzamos la versión en linea de el kit a finales del año pasado, ha sido usado por más de 125,000 personas. En el correr del siguiente año, podrás ver actualización de contenidos, nuevas funcionalidades, y nuevas traducciones. https://datadetox.myshadow.org/es/detox

Events (1)

  • Where we've been

    Image: ECPMF

    Rights Con, Toronto 2018 In May, Tactical Tech took part in RightsCon Toronto 2018, the seventh event in the RightsCon Summit Series. This is the world’s leading conference on human rights in the digital age and we contributed to sessions on How Data Politics Impacts Democracy in the Global South and The Future of Digital Security Education for Human Rights Defenders.

    Workshop on How to Keep Your Data Safe When Travelling Abroad, ECPMF, Germany At the end of May, we delivered a hands-on workshop for journalists and media freedom activists. It explored ways to defend our sources, contacts and journalistic material when technology impacts on our civil liberties, our rights, and our autonomy.

    The Glass Room Experience Plus, Poland Around 3000 people visited our exhibition at Łódź Design Festival in May, a smaller, mobile version of The Glass Room. The exhibition came complete with a neon sign, curated selection of objects such as Aram Bartholl's books listing 4.5 million stolen passwords and Critical Engineers’ Unintended Emissions, a real-time visualisation of data emission from devices. We also ran a series of tours, as well as a talk by artist Manuel Beltrán, the artist behind Data Production Labour. We’ll Be hosting our next Glass Room Experience Plus at the Copernicus Centre in Warsaw from 27 July to 16 September and are planning more events in Europe. If you’re interested in hosting The Glass Room Experience Plus at your event, please get in touch with us at events@tacticaltech.org

Press and media (2)

  • Three reasons to be optimistic about the future of online privacy

    It's always refreshing to read an article about optimism in the tech world, and it's great to see Tactical Tech mentioned as being a part of that: 'Since 2017, their Tactical Tech Strategy has given a renewed focus to privacy and security concerns. Each year they provide training to over 2,000 activists around the world while engaging with the general public through workshops and interactive events.' (Make Use Of)


  • Bad news about pretty good privacy

    Cade Diehm spoke with Columbia Journalism Review about PGP security flaws alongside Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation. What are the risks? And what can we do to prepare? (Columbia Journalism Review)

Stuff we're reading

Stories we've found interesting in the past month

Activism (6)

  • Tech thursdays: kcrw radio berlin

    Cade Diehm, Tactical Tech's Data Detox Kit Project Lead, talked to KCRW radio about the kit, and how it's never too late to start doing a digital clean up. (KCRW)


  • Phone detox

    The School of Life, an organisation who publish materials and hold events around the world in the pursuit of a more fulfilled life, have created a palm-sized book filled with insights, ideas and meditations about the complex relationship we have with our phones. (School of Life)


  • Reporting in a machine reality: deepfakes, misinformation, and what journalists can do about them

    BuzzFeed published a video of former President Barack Obama making some decidedly out-of-character quips. What’s most noteworthy about the video, however, isn’t that Obama made the remarks, but rather, that he didn’t. (Colombia Journalism Review)


  • Can we stop technology from amplifying society's inequalities? perhaps, if we act now

    Nani Jansen Reventlow, director of Digital Freedom Fund, writes about how society's existing power structures are reproduced through the technology we create. (Medium)


  • A significant two part feature about personal data online

    Baratune Thurston, author of How to Be Black, has written a significant two-part feature about personal data online - how it is collected, used and valued - and why we should care more than we do. The first is a personal journey through the big platforms and services, and the second is a rallying cry for 'Big Tech', and ourselves, to make a better future. (Medium)

  • How highly engaged young citizens use the internet for civic knowledge and integration

    This study, by Dr. Younei Soe, explores how young people who self-identify as highly interested in politics and public affairs use diverse online resources to more thoroughly understand those topics, a process referred to as civic knowledge integration. (Journals)

Provocation (6)

  • Amsterdam violeted privacy rules in collecting data on loitering youth

    The city of Amsterdam collected the Facebook data of thousands of loitering young people in 2015, NRC reports based on its own research. (NL Times)


  • What we know about facebook's latest data scandal

    A new report raises questions about just how much Facebook data phone manufacturers could access. (The Atlantic)


  • Mh17 - russian gru commander 'orion' identified as oleg ivannikov

    A joint investigation has conclusively identified another key person of interest in the ongoing investigation of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). The person known as ’Andrey Ivanovich’, a.k.a. ‘Orion’, is a high-ranking Russian GRU officer. (Bellingcat)


  • Indian government plans to monitor individual social media users to gauge opinion about official policies

    I&B ministry tender for tool to create ‘a 360 degree view’ of users so it can target them with personalised responses. (Scroll.in)


  • European news sites are among the worst offenders when it comes to third party cookies and content

    Major news sites in seven countries averaged 81 third-party cookies per page, compared to 12 for other popular websites. (NiemanLab)

  • Amazon teams up with law enforcement to deploy dangerous new face recognition technology

    Amazon, which got its start selling books and still bills itself as “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” has officially entered the surveillance business. (ACLU)

Illumination (6)

  • Creating new worlds by re-imagining hacking

    This special issue of Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology brings together work on feminism, technology, speculative storytelling and some, but not all, of its contradictions. (Ada)


  • The surprising history (and future) of fingerprints

    Chantel Tattoli leads us on a journey through our unique fingerprint, commonly associated with suited up forensic teams and murder mystery programmes, and more recently spreading into mainstream technology. (The Paris Review)


  • Algorithms and artificial intelligence: cnil's report on the ethical issues

    The French data protection authority has published the English version of its report on the ethical matters of algorithms and artificial intelligence, the result of a public debate launched in 2017 with the help of 60 partners all over France. (CNIL)


  • Video: what is data exploitation?

    Digital rights charity Privacy International have created a video to explain what is meant when we say data has been exploited. (Privacy International)


  • What does weaponised design look like?

    A participant at a talk we gave on the ethics of design made a visualisation of what they learned. You can read our piece on Weaponised Design here.

  • Fighting for data privacy - berlin's unique history

    In light of the Germany's turbulent history, Berliners are perhaps more wary, more skeptical and more cautious about issues relating to online privacy and data collection than anyone else. (Exberliner)