Open Source Security for Activists: Changing the world and staying safe

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B202/203


Staying safe in dangerous times is no easy task, especially when you're speaking the truth to power. Despite giving a voice to millions, the internet is now also a place of danger for those who try to use it to amplify those voices and make them heard. I'll be talking about by my experiences as a Nonprofit Security Advisor using Open Source tools and knowledge to help keep activists safe at the coalface.


In this presentation I’ll be introducing participants to the security challenges facing activists in today’s rapidly changing world. Based on real life case studies and practical examples, I’ll show how changemakers can secure their online and IRL selves using Open Source tools and knowledge.

Topics covered include:
- The current Security landscape for activists both in the US and globally
- Risk Analysis and Threat Modelling
- Security Strategies for Direct Action
- Networks and Communities
- What to do if it all goes wrong
- Security is Self Care

A longtime environmental activist and humanitarian aid worker, I have been passionate about Open Source since I first installed Linux on my PowerMac in 1997. As a Security Consultant, I’ve been working with nonprofits and activist groups of all sizes and shapes around the world to improve their physical security using Open Source tools and knowledge.

Content Warning: Strong Language, Violence


security, Activism, Threat Modeling

Speaking experience

I have spoken at several tech conferences on open source software and nonprofit security in addition to dozens of training sessions and workshops for nonprofits and activist groups.


  • Biography

    I have been working in the field of Nonprofit Physical and Digital Security for over 18 years for groups such as Greenpeace and Doctors without Borders and as a private consultant. In this time I have developed and implemented Digital and Physical Security policies and procedures for nonprofit organizations around the globe. I have been passionate about Open Source since I first installed Linux on my PowerMac in 1997.
    I maintain several Open Source software packages at my github account and actively develop Open Source software solutions for my clients.
    Chris is based in Portland, Oregon, USA