VPN Community Initiative Village 2022

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The VPN Village is a two-week virtual series of events focused on VPN user education and solidarity. The events held over the last week of November and first week of December will address gaps in user education around VPNs, the challenge of analyzing and selecting a VPN, and will show attendees how to set up their own VPN servers and proxies to support their communities and users combatting censorship globally.

The Village is part of TCU’s VPN Community Initiative which was formed in 2022 to bring together a diverse group of individuals working within and around the VPN ecosystem - including providers, researchers, digital security specialists and technologists - to collaborate and share knowledge.

Workshops & Events

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Becoming Your Community’s VPN Provider with WEPN with Amir Gharabaghi and Reza Nasab, WEPN

Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 9am - 10am EST / 2pm - 3pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

Join us to learn how WEPN works and what user needs it was created to address; discuss the current censorship and access situation in Iran and how WEPN is currently being deployed to support users in Iran; and learn how you can use WEPN to support individuals in Iran and other heavily censored regions. Read Notes Here

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Run Snowflake Proxies and Strengthen Internet Freedom with Gustavo Gus, Community Team Lead, Tor Project

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at 9am - 10:30am EST / 2pm - 3:30pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

Have you considered helping users from censored regions to access the free and open internet? Snowflake is a new pluggable transport that allows people from all over the world to access the open internet. In this workshop, you will learn what Snowflake is, and how to set up a proxy and help censored users bypass internet censorship. RSVP here

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Threat Modeling 101: Understanding When to Use or Not Use a VPN with Trinh Nguyen, Director of Safety and Technology, Team CommUNITY

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 8:30am - 10am EST / 1:30pm - 3pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

In this session, attendees will learn about basic risk assessment and threat modeling, VPN use cases, and how to determine when using a VPN may be helpful, or may not be. RSVP here

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“All of them claim to be the best”: A multi-perspective study of VPN users and VPN providers with Reethika Ramesh, CS PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan, and lead researcher at VPNalyzer

Tuesday, December 1, 2022 at 11am - 12pm EST / 4pm - 5pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

Join Reethika Ramesh, lead VPNalyzer researcher and co-author of the aforementioned paper, to hear about the key takeaways from the VPN user survey and VPN provider interviews and find out about new developments with the VPNalyzer Tool, a desktop tool that helps test and identify security and privacy issues with your VPN. RSVP here

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Getting Started with Outline: Helping your friends and family access the Open Internet with Vinicius Fortuna, Staff Software Engineer & Daniel LaCosse, Senior Software Engineer, Google

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 9:30am - 11am EST / 2:30pm - 4pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

In this 1.5 hour workshop, participants will learn about what Outline is and how it works, and will then set up their own Outline VPN server. RSVP here

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How to Critically Choose a VPN with Viktor Vecsei, COO at IVPN

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 10am - 11am EST / 3pm - 4pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

In this session, you will learn how to recognize signals of trustworthiness in VPN providers and more effectively analyze VPN recommendation resources in your search for a VPN service that respects your privacy, safety and security as a user. RSVP here

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NewNode VPN: Internet Access In Shutdowns And Disruptions with Arina Shalunova & Marina Feygelman, NewNode

Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 10am - 11am EST / 3pm - 4pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)

There is a lot of talk about VPNs to fight censorship and using VPNs for security, but there’s a missing piece: what do you do when the internet isn’t there? Internet shutdowns generally happen at the times when up-to-date information is most important. RSVP here