We are businesses, organizations, communities, and individuals who depend on tools like Slack to connect online. We are activists organizing for change; journalists who communicate with sources and about sensitive stories; nonprofits providing care and support for our communities; companies that need to streamline our processes and share ideas; students, creators, gamers, alumni, artists, athletes, and other communities that use the Internet to connect with people all over the world.
Slack has put the security of our communities in danger by not taking steps to ensure user safety. Safety should be a built-in feature of all technology, so we are calling on you to protect your users by providing the option to enable end-to-end encryption for messages to protect our privacy, and to add blocking, muting and reporting features to help protect users from harassment.
In the US and around the world, governments are using data and digital communications to target human rights defenders and people exposing human rights violations, including political nonprofits, activist networks, journalists. For many of these groups and individuals, Slack is an absolutely vital communication tool, but it could also become the basis of government targeting, repression, censorship.
For years, law enforcement has monitored marginalized groups—including BIPOC, immigrants, social justice activists, and sex workers—through their online communications and through other forms of surveillance. Personal communications immediately became a target for criminalizing abortion seekers and providers after the reversal of Roe v Wade. Security experts and human rights organizations have sounded the alarm about this abuse and point to default end-to-end encrypted messaging as a first and best step companies can take to protect targeted communities. End-to-end encryption is crucial for protecting people from anti-human rights attacks on their bodily autonomy and personhood.
Despite critiques from journalists and privacy experts, Slack has not publicized any plans to offer end-to-end encryption. Instead you’re choosing to prioritize profit over users’ privacy and safety.
In addition to unencrypted Slack messages, the absence of functionality to address harassment over Slack puts users at risk. Whether for work, volunteering, or other social communities, many cannot opt out of using Slack. With workplace and online bullying and harassment on the rise, disproportionately impacting marginalized people who might not have other resources or feel comfortable reporting harassment to HR departments or other moderators, Slack must take responsibility to ensure everyone is equipped with resources to defend themselves.
The vast majority of communication tools give users the ability to mute, block, and report people. Adding these features is a simple, commonsense way to offer more protection from harassment on Slack.
Right now, Slack is falling short in terms of the most basic guardrails for platform safety and privacy. At this political moment, this can mean life or death for some people online. We call on Slack to go beyond statements and put into action its commitment to human rights by implementing basic safety and privacy design features immediately.
Abortion Access Front
Ain’t Dead Communications LLC
Associação Portuguesa para a Promoção da Segurança da Informação
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Catholics for Choice
Center for Digital Resilience
Climate Mobilization Project
Convocation Research + Design
Dangerous Speech Project
Den Frie Vilje ApS
Digital Defense Fund
DNS Africa Media and Communications
Electronic Frontier Finland – Effi ry
European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)
Fight for the Future
Forward Together & Forward Together Action
Gotham City Drupal
I Need An A.com
If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
Jane’s Due Process
Medical Students for Choice
National Abortion Federation
National Institute for Reproductive Health
National Network of Abortion Funds
New Eden welfare promotion foundation
Open Data Charter
Pixels for Humans
Point of VIew
Privacy & Access Council of Canada
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
ProgressNow New Mexico
Ranking Digital Rights
Reproductive Health Access Project
RootsAction Education Fund
Salmonberry Tribal Associates
Sex Workers Project @ The Urban Justice Center
Slackers For Freedom
State Innovation Exchange (SiX)
Superbloom Design (previously Simply Secure)
Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
The Restart Project
The Tor Project
The Womxn Project
United We Dream
Utah Abortion Fund
Win Without War
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
World Wide Web Foundation