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Jesse Walker has an interesting article in Reason today:

The Age of Easy Leaks

I’ll go straight to a point that Walker does not discuss. Most people cannot afford to lose their livelihood for leaking, let alone go to prison for thirty-five years (Bradley Manning), go into permanent exile (Edward Snowden and Julian Assange), or undergo four years of prosecution (Thomas Drake). In order for secret information to move into the sunlight as easily as Walker suggests it can in the digital age, leakers must have a way to protect themselves. They need more Internet security than they presently have. Moreover, they must have confidence their security measures work.

Does the Tor Project meet those requirements? Is it secure enough to give leakers confidence to release their information online? What about anyone who wants to engage in civil disobedience online, but does not want to go to prison or into exile? We already know the scope and power of the feds’ snooping tools. Right now, it seems that civil disobedience can succeed only if large numbers of people engage in it together. If you face even a small chance of solitary confinement for thirty-five years, you will say the possible cost exceeds the possible benefit.

Meantime, we should track the evolution of online security tools for individuals. We should track the evolution of all tools that empower citizens to engage in civil disobedience, to disrupt the operations of a state that has clearly committed itself to treating disobedient citizens as traitors.