Open Letter in Support of Eclips.is
PrivacyLx, a small not for profit association in Lisbon, Portugal, would like to express it’s unwavering support for Eclips.is, which is in danger of losing funding because of recent changes at the Open Technology Fund at the hands of the Trump Administration.
Eclips.is has been vital for our mission as an organization. We’ve been relying on Eclips.is for our infrastructure. Before COVID, this meant hosting our email servers, our website, and our forums on Eclip.is. These services allowed us to publish our events and reach a much wider audience, and participate more meaningfully in democratic discussions about security and privacy in the modern world. During COVID, however, the services provided by Eclips.is took on an even more important meaning for us.
Our association relies entirely on the events that we hold. Without events we are not upholding our mission to educate and help the people in matters relating to privacy and personal cybersecurity. However, a global pandemic complicates things. In order to protect our members and our associates from COVID-19 spread, we could no longer hold in-person events to the public. However, because of Eclips.is, we were able to continue functioning. We were able to create a new server to host a video conferencing software called BigBlueButton. Using BBB, we were able to host our events virtually, and continued to educate people on security and privacy. Indeed, on the day this was written we held a virtual event using this server, teaching people the basics of cryptography, one of the most fundamental and impactful security mechanisms in the digital world.
The benefit didn’t remain with just us, though. When given a gift, it is best to pay it forward. In this spirit, PrivacyLx opened up its BigBlueButton server to other small not for profit associations and organizations, including civil and environmental rights organizations, helping them to continue meeting and operating in the time of the pandemic. Without Eclips.is, these organizations too would have suffered.
Below are screenshots of all of our services that will disappear if Eclips.is is no longer funded. If this were to happen, many social goods will disappear from the Internet.
We implore the American government, please reconsider the damage you are doing to the world by sabotaging the Open Technology Fund.
Video conferencing server