Main Page/Crash Courses/Systems and Policies/Week two

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Week 3: Threat modeling and privacy basics


This week we'll cover one of the building blocks of privacy advocacy and a major theme for this course: threat modeling. Threat modeling is a method for figuring out a privacy strategy that works for someone based on their unique needs, their material conditions, and their community network. Alison will teach us how to threat model, and how we can use this methodology in thinking about privacy in the current moment and beyond. We'll also talk about free and open source software (FOSS), what it means for privacy, and how it offers one vision of a rhizomatic, grassroots, internationalist movement for better technology. Depending on time, we may cover some of the 101 level privacy tools for anyone with any threat model.


Guest lecturer

No guest this week; Alison will lead the lecture


  • How might someone's threat model have changed already given the current pandemic and uprisings for Black lives?
  • How can threat modeling help us when thinking about privacy practices?
  • What adversaries are you thinking like when you think in a security mindset?
  • Discussion of Data Detox Kit and Surveillance Self-Defense modules
  • How can free software challenge the hegemony of Big Tech? What lessons can we take from the Brazilian free software movement? What are the limitations to this approach?


  • Lecture, readings, and discussion forum
  • Complete one module of the Data Detox Kit or one module on Surveillance Self-Defense

communicating about privacy