Last updated
Riseup Networks
Type Private
Seattle, Washington
Area served
ProductsRiseupVPN, Riseup Red
Website Official website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Riseup is a volunteer-run collective providing secure email, email lists, a VPN service, online chat, and other online services. This organization was launched by activists in Seattle with borrowed equipment and a few users in 1999 or 2000, and quickly grew to millions of accounts. [1] [2]


As of 2013, Riseup features 6 million subscribers spread across 14,000 lists. [1] Their projects have included the Stop Watching Us campaign against global surveillance disclosures revealed by Edward Snowden. [1]


Riseup provides products to facilitate secure communications, including use of strong encryption, anonymizing services, and minimal data retention, which aimed at individuals and non-profit and activist groups. [3] Riseup's two most popular features are secure, privacy-focused email [4] [5] [6] [7] and mailing list management services. [8] [9] [10]

The email service is available through IMAP, POP3, and a web interface. [11] The web interface is a variant of Roundcube or SquirrelMail. [12]

Riseup VPN does not log the user's IP address, unlike most other VPNs. [13] In 2012, discussing an attack against a Microsoft-developed authentication scheme that makes it trivial to break the encryption used by hundreds of anonymity and security services, Moxie Marlinspike, who unveiled the attack, said VPN services offered by riseup.net, for example, selected a 21-character password on behalf of the user that used a combination of 96 different numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters to withstand such attacks. [14]


In 2011 Riseup was said to be the only one of several subpoenaed groups to resist subpoenas related to 2008 Bash Back protests. [15]

In 2014 the Google I/O conference was disrupted by protests. The protest outside was led by Fletes and Erin McElroy from Riseup.net and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. [16]

In 2014, Riseup Network was one of several claimants against GCHQ in international court. Devin Theriot-Orr of Riseup.net said, "People have a fundamental right to communicate with each other free from pervasive government surveillance. The right to communicate, and the ability to choose to do so secretly, is essential to the open exchange of ideas which is a cornerstone of a free society." [17]

In December 2014, a judge in Spain partially justified prolonging the detention of seven alleged anarchist activists by citing their use of "extreme security measures" such as Riseup email, the judge's act has been criticized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). [18] [19]

In mid-November 2016, an unexplained stealth error appeared in Riseup's warrant canary page, and they did not respond to requests to update the canary, leading some to believe the collective was the target of a gag order. [20] On February 16, 2017, the Riseup collective revealed their failure to update the canary was due to two sealed warrants from the FBI, which made it impossible to legally update their canary. The two sealed warrants concerned a public contact of an International distributed denial-of-service attack extortion ring and an account using ransomware to extort people financially. The decision to release user information has been criticized in the hacker community. [21] The canary has since been updated, but no longer states the absence of gag orders. [22]

Related Research Articles

A virtual private network (VPN) provides privacy, anonymity and security to users by creating a private network connection across a public network connection. VPNs can be used in combination with proxy servers, and overlay networks.

Mass surveillance Intricate surveillance of an entire or a substantial fraction of a population

Mass surveillance is the intricate surveillance of an entire or a substantial fraction of a population in order to monitor that group of citizens. The surveillance is often carried out by local and federal governments or governmental organisations, such as organizations like the NSA and the FBI, but it may also be carried out by corporations. Depending on each nation's laws and judicial systems, the legality of and the permission required to engage in mass surveillance varies. It is the single most indicative distinguishing trait of totalitarian regimes. It is also often distinguished from targeted surveillance.

Gmail Email service developed by Google

Gmail is a free email service developed by Google. Users can access Gmail on the web and using third-party programs that synchronize email content through POP or IMAP protocols. Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004 and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009. By October 2019, Gmail had 1.5 billion active users worldwide.

Internet privacy

Internet privacy involves the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the storing, repurposing, provision to third parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via the Internet. Internet privacy is a subset of data privacy. Privacy concerns have been articulated from the beginnings of large-scale computer sharing.

Anonymous web browsing refers to the utilization of the World Wide Web that hides a user's personally identifiable information from websites visited.

Email encryption is encryption of email messages to protect the content from being read by entities other than the intended recipients. Email encryption may also include authentication.

Anonymizer, Inc. is an Internet privacy company, founded in 1995 by Lance Cottrell, author of the Mixmaster anonymous remailer. Anonymizer was originally named Infonex Internet. The name was changed to Anonymizer in 1997 when the company acquired a web based privacy proxy of the same name developed by Justin Boyan at Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science. Boyan licensed the software to C2Net for public beta testing before selling it to Infonex. One of the first web privacy companies founded, Anonymizer creates a VPN link between its servers and its users computer, creating a random IP address, rather than the one actually being used. This can be used to anonymously report a crime, avoid spam, avoid Internet censorship, keep the users identity safe and track competitors, among other uses.

An anonymizer or an anonymous proxy is a tool that attempts to make activity on the Internet untraceable. It is a proxy server computer that acts as an intermediary and privacy shield between a client computer and the rest of the Internet. It accesses the Internet on the user's behalf, protecting personal information of the user by hiding the client computer's identifying information.

Warrant canary Method of indirect notification of a subpoena

A warrant canary is a method by which a communications service provider aims to inform its users that the provider has been served with a government subpoena despite legal prohibitions on revealing the existence of the subpoena. The warrant canary typically informs users that there has not been a court-issued subpoena as of a particular date. If the canary is not updated for the period specified by the host or if the warning is removed, users are to assume that the host has been served with such a subpoena. The intention is for a provider to warn users of the existence of a subpoena passively while possibly "technically" not violating a court order not to do so.

Tor (anonymity network) Free and open-source anonymity network based on onion routing

Tor is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication by directing Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays in order to conceal a user's location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace the Internet activity to the user: this includes "visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms". Tor's intended use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities unmonitored.

The WikiLeaks-related Twitter court orders were United States Department of Justice 2703(d) orders accompanied by gag orders issued to Twitter in relation to ongoing investigations of WikiLeaks issued on 14 December 2010. While only five people were individually named within the subpoena, according to lawyer Mark Stephens the order effectively entailed the collection in relation to criminal prosecution of the personal identifying information of over six hundred thousand Twitter users, principally those who were followers of WikiLeaks. The U.S. government also sent Twitter a subpoena for information about Julian Assange and several other WikiLeaks-related persons, including Chelsea Manning. Twitter appealed against the accompanying gag order in order to be able to disclose its existence to its users, and was ultimately successful in its appeal. Subsequent reactions included the discussion of secret subpoenas in the U.S., criticism of the particular subpoena issued, an immediate, temporary 0.5 percent reduction in the number of Twitter followers of WikiLeaks, and calls for the recognition and emulation of Twitter's stance.

Digital privacy

Digital privacy is often used in contexts that promote advocacy on behalf of individual and consumer privacy rights in e-services and is typically used in opposition to the business practices of many e-marketers, businesses, and companies to collect and use such information and data. Digital privacy can be defined under three sub-related categories: information privacy, communication privacy, and individual privacy.

Lavabit is an open-source encrypted webmail service, founded in 2004. The service suspended its operations on August 8, 2013 after the U.S. Federal Government ordered it to turn over its Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) private keys, in order to allow the government to spy on Edward Snowden's email.

Signal (software) Encrypted communications app

Signal is a cross-platform centralized encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Technology Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. It uses the Internet to send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images and videos. It can also be used to make one-to-one and group voice and video calls, and the Android version can optionally function as an SMS app.

Google's changes to its privacy policy on March 1, 2012 enabled the company to share data across a wide variety of services. These embedded services include millions of third-party websites that use Adsense and Analytics. The policy was widely criticized for creating an environment that discourages Internet-innovation by making Internet users more fearful and wary of what they put online.

Mass surveillance is the pervasive surveillance of an entire or a substantial fraction of a population. Mass surveillance in Russia includes surveillance, open-source intelligence and data mining, lawful interception as well as telecommunications data retention.

This article is a comparison of virtual private network services.

Search engine privacy is a subset of internet privacy that deals with user data being collected by search engines. Both types of privacy fall under the umbrella of information privacy. Privacy concerns regarding search engines can take many forms, such as the ability for search engines to log individual search queries, browsing history, IP addresses, and cookies of users, and conducting user profiling in general. The collection of personally identifiable information of users by search engines is referred to as "tracking".

Soft privacy technology falls under the category of PET, Privacy-enhancing technology, as methods of protecting data. PET has another sub-category, called hard privacy. Soft privacy technology has the goal to keep information safe and process data while having full control of how the data are being used. Soft privacy technology emphasis the usage of third-party programs to protect privacy, emphasizing audit, certification, consent, access control, encryption, and differential privacy. With the advent of new technology, there is a need to process billions of data every day in many areas such as health care, autonomous cars, smart cards, social media data, and more. 


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