Email is a postcard: how to make it more secure with free software and encryption

Graphic email as a postcard imageThis webinar, and series, is being re-scheduled

Privacy tools are a hot topic in libraries, as librarians all over the country have begun using and teaching privacy-enhancing technologies, and considering the privacy and security implications of library websites, databases, and services. But where does email fit into this? Email is neither secure nor private, and the process of fixing its problems can be mystifying, even for technical folks. In this one hour webinar, Nima and Alison from Library Freedom Project will help shine some light on email issues and the tools you can use to make this communication more confidential. We'll cover the issues with email, and teach about how to use GPG to encrypt emails and keep them safe.

This webinar is offered as one of a series of two webinars by the presenters on privacy. The other offer is: Tor-ify Your Library: How to use this privacy-enhancing technology to keep your patrons' data safe.

Register for both webinars at a discounted rate.

Alison’s and Nima's work for the Library Freedom Project and classes for patrons including tips on teaching patron privacy classes can be found at:

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn issues with email privacy and security
  • Learn about safer email service providers
  • Learn about software to encrypt email: Thunderbird, GPG, and Enigmail
  • Learn, if time allows, about routing email traffic through Tor for greater security

Who Should Attend

All librarians, especially those who teach information literacy and computer classes


Alison Macrina
Alison Macrina
Alison Macrina is a librarian, privacy rights activist, and the founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, an initiative which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries by teaching librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms. Alison is passionate about connecting surveillance issues to larger global struggles for justice, demystifying privacy and security technologies for ordinary users, and resisting an internet controlled by a handful of intelligence agencies and giant multinational corporations. When she’s not doing any of that, she’s reading.
Nima Fatemi
Nima Fatemi
Nima Fatemi is an Iranian independent security researcher, focused on encryption, anonymity, privacy and censorship circumvention technologies. He is a core member of The Tor Project and the Chief Technologist of Library Freedom Project. Nima is a passionate advocate for the education and empowerment of everyday people to use encryption and protect their privacy online.



The costs for this single webinar are

  • LITA Member: $45
  • Non-Member: $105
  • Group: $196

This webinar is also being offered as one of a series of two webinars on privacy.  The other to be offered is: Tor-ify Your Library: How to use this privacy-enhancing technology to keep your patrons' data safe.

Register for both at these discounted rates.  Use the "Webinar Series: Email Is a Postcard & Tor-ify Your Library" register link.
  • LITA Member: $68
  • Non-Member: $155
  • Group: $300

Adobe Connect login info will be sent to registrants the just prior to the start date.

How to Register

Register Online  page arranged by session date (login required)


Mail or fax form to ALA Registration

OR call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5

OR email

Tech Requirements

Live, synchronous lectures will require attendee participation via internet audio. Attendees will need a wired, high-speed internet connection, and a headset or speakers.  It is recommended that attendees use headsets connected to their computers (VOIP) during an Adobe Connect session. All attendees are muted and should use the built in chat function to communicate with presenters.  The use of computer speakers with a mic is not recommended, as it may cause echo. The recommended browser is Mozilla Foxfire although other browsers should work adequately for attending.


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration:  call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty,