Digital Security Trainers Assessment

In this last part of our interviews with the digital security trainers, we will share the impressions that people provided about the I2P website and of the Java desktop software. We will also discuss next steps for how we are working with the community to implement guides and outreach, as well as insights around community feedback.

Impressions of I2P

I have just learnt about 12P and depending on what I’m reading, it seems to be one of the privacy tools I have been looking for.

I have not used l2P before and do not have a detailed knowledge of this network. I was faced with the problem of access to the site and was able to enter only through a VPN. According to the description it is very good tool. However, for untrained users it is still very difficult to understand what it is and how it works. It is necessary to make the most simple, clear explanation of what the project is and how it works, what it can give the user and when it should be used.

(I2P) Will give you this space where you take privacy into your own hands. Forget everything you know. This tool takes your communications to another level. Especially if people are looking for a place to work completely off the grid.

it’s a very rooted solution to privacy which I think is amazing and gives me perhaps more confidence in encryption that happens outside of my client side control system. I would say that it comes off maybe a bit too technical for someone who is searching and wants to implement network privacy solutions (specifically in the website copy). So I’m not too sure if the con would be I2P’s customer implementation framework. Basically: if it’s possible to communicate its simplicity, then that would be great!

I would be interested in knowing how my traffic flows. Sometimes why people give up on tools is if you have several bridges for it, traffic flows through, it can still be a little bit slower. Main interest is wanted to see how I2P routes my traffic, delays not too much. I see it relies a lot on peers.

The most important thing is to make easy installation and setup for the user. I would be happy to participate in a live demonstration of l2p in the form of a webinar, for example.

Didn’t fully understand how I2P works. Downloaded it and got an app on my computer. Got to the part “sharing bandwidth” and was completely confused. Don’t know how that works. I was trying my best to understand. How is this different from Tor? Not a browser like how Tor works but apart from that how is it different. Not super easy to understand.

Considerations and next steps

There were some legacy issues with the comparison of I2P and Tor Browser, that has resulted in misinformation and confusion for people over the years about what the I2P software does.

In 2020, the new user onboarding was rewritten to address the fact that the I2P network and the software are two different things. It was also specified that in cases where a person is looking for a browser that provides what Tor Browser does, that they should use Tor browser. The benefits of the I2P protocol and network are present when using the network.

It is clear however that there is still further refinement needed, and we are happy to have the feedback and opportunity to make improvements.

The Java I2P software offers visibility into the full scope of how a person can interact with the network. This is on one hand perfect for system administrators, or people who want to take a more hands-on approach to configuration or hidden service management. However, as an introduction to what I2P is, there has been a disconnect for users. It is a big ask to present high level networking capabilities and things like bandwidth sharing along with language and interactions that have little familiarity to people outside of a the internet freedom community, which more often than not has familiarity with creating privacy tools.

This year we are building improved capacity into feedback and testing loops. This will address better trust-modelling in I2P growth and its adoption process as well. As more people become involved to support the many facets of I2P, it can better match its capabilities to real world activities. We have also started work that will improve resources for future maintainers of key network functions and future protocol builders.

In May we began work on an I2P service and application hub that will highlight I2P specific services, provide highlights and insights into the development process, and give new users and the community the opportunity to better interact with the capabilities of the network. I also had the pleasure of presenting a workshop for Usable with Plaintext Design where we opened up a discussion about community project development hubs. We were able to talk about ideal pipelines compared to real pipelines when designers are introduced to open source tools and projects.

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch to get the project started! If anyone reading this would like to get involved in the project, please reach out to Sadie or Idk.

We have been working on guides that can be used by digital security trainers, and with the Localization Lab in order to provide the information that people need most. We will also be creating a resource that does its best to track policy and safety for I2P operators.

Sadie Mascis

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