The messages from activists in Syria during the Access No_! session on the first day were deeply moving and really drove home why I work in digital rights. We listened to the experiences of activists who are unable to travel due to lack of status, documentation and active conflict. For these people “the internet is the only passport (they) carry.” Human rights defenders spoke of the importance of digital training to keep people protected when they are communicating with family inside of the country, as well as with family and friends who have left. They had created digital clinics to show people how to use services securely, for instance, how to use features like Signal’s disappearing messages so that those messages could not be used against them when devices are searched at security check points. Continuing to pursue education was also very important, the internet being relied on to access resources.
The following days we met with people who had both questions about I2P and suggestions for potential use cases. We also discussed overhauling the project documentation for threat models, improving guides for users with little technical background, and ensuring that these guides are easily translatable. I made a note that I should go through the proposals and connect then to human use cases and solutions. This will be part of the projects’ continued effort to improve its user guides and onboarding.
The opportunity to meet face to face with people who are using I2P and have successfully used it to circumvent internet blockages was inspiring. As the project has began working on its own browser and is examining outproxy packaging, it needs as much feedback and testing as possible to create secure and frictionless experiences for people. Also, the I2P network needs more hosted content and mirrored sites in order to expand resources for its users.