Like everyone here, I was really blown away (and a little overwhelmed) by Brian’s work and the work of Oakland Privacy. It is really amazing how much they have been able to accomplish. In some ways, Brian’s lecture felt like a citizenship lesson. He showed that there are ways to be seriously involved in one’s community without running for public office. The shear number of hours that he has donated to his community must be incredible. (And I wanted to ask how time-consuming this work is but didn’t.)
Brian mentioned that in order to be on his coalition’s staff, volunteers had to meet certain requirements for background/knowledge base and I wish he could have spent some time talking about what those requirements are. In many ways, I still feel like such a novice in this privacy space, but felt really excited about the possibility of doing this kind of work for my community. I live in DC - the possibility of tech misuse between the DC government, federal government, Dept. of Homeland Security, multiple police forces, the military, DOT, etc is just incredible. I would love to know what a qualified candidate looks like for these privacy coalitions.
Like others have stated, I do think Oakland Privacy’s work can be way scaled down for the library or university in which I work. Committees can be built for the purpose of reviewing new tech or databases or current subscriptions to evaluate for potential harm. Of course, this would require choosing the right people and doing a lot of staff education. Because I am on a university campus, the possibility of getting students involved in something like this is very exciting - my favorite committees are usually those that have student representation on them.