VALA2022 Keynote 3 Macrina

Pandemic privacy: preserving and protecting our digital rights when we’re all trapped on the internet

Wednesday 15 June 2022, 11:00 – 12:00

Alison Macrina
  • Librarian, internet activist
  • Founder and director of Library Freedom Project

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2022 #k3

View the presentation recording and presentation slides here:



Thanks to the ongoing global public health crisis, we are way more online than many of us ever wanted to be. In addition to the Zoom fatigue, the technology woes, and the connectivity issues, our digital privacy has been sacrificed to the online platform gods in order to make sure we are all being productive enough at work and school as we try to survive a deadly pandemic. Unsurprisingly, many people are fed up with this new normal, but lack the knowledge and skills to protect themselves and fight back against these incursions on their rights.

That’s where libraries come in.

As trusted spaces for information and technology help, we are well-positioned to assist our communities in understanding and responding to threats to their privacy. In this keynote, Alison Macrina, director of Library Freedom Project, will talk about how librarians can respond to the privacy crisis through education and advocacy, building trust and practical skills among our patrons to fight for a better future.


Alison Macrina is passionate about fighting surveillance and connecting privacy issues to other struggles for justice and an analysis of power.

Alison founded the Library Freedom Project in 2015, an initiative to help non-techie people learn to protect their privacy online, and to teach librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms.

She is vocal in her opposition to digital surveillance, and was a core contributor and Community Team Lead on the Tor Project (The Onion Router) a free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication.

Alison was the recipient of the 2020 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.