Paging all douchebags (ie, update on Middle Eastern atheism)

wingless_sephiroth
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Paging all douchebags (ie, update on Middle Eastern atheism)

As many of you recall, I only registered on this forum to get some help for one of my projects, and ended up going down a rabbit hole with our older members who espouse both radical freethinking and the family values of the 1950s. Similarly, I contacted a Pakistani atheists and agnostics group that has been growing fast. As of this week, we are now officially a recognized organization within the atheist alliance:

 

http://www.atheistalliance.org/activities/alliance/affiliates-and-associates

 

I'll be developing their website and branding (I am American by birth and raising, after all), after we decide upon the specific focus of our group as well as a name. We don't really know what's going to happen with the name yet, but we mostly were exploring English-based ones until I suggested that we should go with one that would make sense in most of the languages spoken in Pakistan. Which, actually, no one agreed to but they agreed we should probably pick a name that'll make sense in the Urdu language.

 

So, exciting things happening people. The tough questions will come; whether we will just be atheistic, or also espouse secular humanism; be independent, or seek strong ties with other Middle Eastern atheist organizations. Tough, tough questions! But above all, we have a moral obligation to create a safe space for people questioning Islam in Pakistan or countries sharing her culture, as well protect the identities of all those involved since being outed as an atheist in Pakistan can often mean death.


wingless_sephiroth
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And, I've posted this in

And, I've posted this in "Irrationalities" because I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we can counter the various irrational dangers we are facing (death, rape in particular for female apostates, threats, hacking), along with any wise post-1950s advice you could give in regards to running such a group, that I can relay to the rest of the people organising this.


cj
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wingless_sephiroth

wingless_sephiroth wrote:

And, I've posted this in "Irrationalities" because I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we can counter the various irrational dangers we are facing (death, rape in particular for female apostates, threats, hacking), along with any wise post-1950s advice you could give in regards to running such a group, that I can relay to the rest of the people organising this.

 

It sounds exciting.  I wish I could contribute a name suggestion, but I don't speak Urdu and I am totally blank on an English one as well.  Must be something about two finals down, one to go and a computer program to finish this week.  My brain is threatening to explode.

Did you see the article about how the bomb recipes were replaced with cupcake recipes on one of the militant websites?  I believe getting some laughter in there might be helpful in combating the irrationalities - particularly if you can pull it off so that lots and lots of people get in on the joke.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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This sounds a really commendable

 

 

initiative, Wingless. Good for you. I'm not sure what sort of advice I can give you on the issue of apostacy. Immigration seems the most complete solution. Is there a way to ensure authorities can't see the web sites you're visiting? Not sure.

As for espousing an empirical or secular humanist position - why not do both? I think those qualities exist in most atheists even, though to a lessor extent, those of a more conservative mindset. Even conservative atheists would not support death for apostacy, eternal torment, beatings, stonings or any of the usual religious crap.  

 

P.S. That link is broke, Wingless/mods. Not sure what the issue is...

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Kapkao
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Atheistextremist wrote:Is

Atheistextremist wrote:

Is there a way to ensure authorities can't see the web sites you're visiting? Not sure.

Not in America. You might be able to prevent them from linking web traffic to you, specifically, at best.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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 Kapkao wrote:  

 

Kapkao wrote:

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Is there a way to ensure authorities can't see the web sites you're visiting? Not sure.

 

Not in America. You might be able to prevent them from linking web traffic to you, specifically, at best.

 

 

Actually, that is not true. There are a couple of things that you can do to hide on the internet.

 

The most secure way would be to build a darknet, which is a sort of private web just for you and invited guests. There are a couple of problems with that though. Real privacy would require that each computer be set up individually and that would require some amount of direct contact, which would limit your ability to spread the message as you need to develop trusted connections before someone can get in.

 

For a fairly simple set up, you can set up an opennet, which uses the same general ideas as a darknet but the connections really are not private. They can only be seen by people with access to the opennet and pretty much everyone who does that is engaging in questionable activity by definition.

 

There is a third way to maintain a reasonable level of security and still keep the site accessible to any and all who might have sufficient interest in the matter. Follow me out on this:

 

You can put the site right out in the open, preferably hosted in a safe country. The authorities can shut down the specific connection but they probably can't get directly to the server with any legal authority to demand logs and whatnot.

 

I would also put some type of widget on the front page that echoes the viewer's local ip address. If you do that and provide a link to https://www.torproject.org/ then your potential viewers will be well protected should they use the tools thus provided.

 

If your viewers are willing to have a regular copy of firefox installed on their computer, then the tor browser on a thumb drive, they can use that to go anywhere on the internet anonymously and even if server logs are obtained, it hides the ip address of the viewer behind some rather strong encryption.

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 Congratulations.  I hope

 Congratulations.  I hope it goes well.  I don't have any advice for you, sorry.  


wingless_sephiroth
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Just so you know, I'm

Just so you know, I'm monitoring this thread and not ignoring you cool peeps. Cj (on humour), Atheistextremist (on secular humanism), and Answers (on security), thanks so much for the suggestions thus far.


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 Good, good.   Do ouy have

 

Good, good.

 

Do ouy have any questions for any of us? While I can't speak for others, I put some information out there but it only really goes anywhere if we actually talk about stuff.

 

So I recommend the onion router for most public communications (all that the powers that be will see is encrypted traffic coming from/going to many different places around the world) so that anyone can get in from a simple search, I could see where other levels of security might have their uses for the leaders (as I said earlier, a real darknet would only work as a sort of cell network where people can only get in by invitation).

 

I can work with you to set stuff up however you like it.

 

Shoot me a PM if you are interested in more ideas.

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I have some Javascript code

I have some Javascript code and matching PHP server scripts that allow fairly easy-to-implement but effective encryption both ways, including Public/Private Key stuff.

Apart from that I can do Web-App stuff in general, but specializing in stuff for iOS (iPad and iPhone).

I can offer advice and/or specific coding assistance in Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP.

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 I would be interested in

 

I would be interested in what you have for encryption Bob.

 

It seems to me that privacy in general benefits from having more stuff that uses good encryption. If for no better reason than the fact that more encrypted message traffic would blow out the signal to noise ratio.

 

Consider this case: If I were to plan my next cook out over email and use PHP, well for me and mine, that would be signal. For the powers that be, that would be noise. All that TPTB can see on the first level is that there is encrypted traffic happening. The more of that that there is, the less it is worth devoting computer power to trying to break out the actual message traffic.

 

Compare that to the encryption on DVD/BluRay. That only works with the understanding that all “legitimate” machines have the required code to make the media playable. For the extent that the content industry become TPTB, they can buy a law that prevents breaking encryption and thus keeps us linux people from playing movies at home. Still, the fact is that there must be a single key.

 

By definition, that is really weak cryptography.

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BobSpence
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I originally found a

I originally found a web-site which published and described a purely Javascript library for both symmetric and assymetric encryption, as well as various levels of hashing. I checked it out, got it working, then realized that for it to more useful, at least one side of it needed to be invisible to the outside world. In the context I work in, this would be best/easiest if the server-side was in PHP.

So I sweated over implementing it in PHP, and learnt a lot in the process about the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the architecture of Javascript and PHP. But it now seems to work, and I currently generate the public/private keys for both directions of transmission on the server, and send the appropriate set down to the client with just some basic hashcode verification. This is adequate for my current work, but there is plenty of scope for tightening it up.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology