You are our first defence.

Salim Virani
2 min readJan 30, 2015

Here’s a story you might recognise, repeated throughout history.

An external threat brews afar, but only a few worry.

Most people don’t want to worry. “Those armies are big, but they’re far, and they don’t care about our village.” The Few get ostracised. They stay quiet and unaware of each other.

As the offending army grows, The Few leave to prepare a simple geurilla defence in the mountain passes, and to hide their families.

By the time the army is on the march, the villagers have changed from “it’ll never happen” to “there’s nothing we can do.”

It seems more futile now, but it’s still not too late. They join in the mountains. The villagers are now grateful to The Few. They’ve provided the conditions for defence.

Our era isn’t one of mountain passages, it’s one of encryption, privacy and information protection. Our Few are those who know about GPG, Linux and CyanogenMod. We’re the ones who can install tracking blockers for our moms, explain what Facebook actually does to our families, and help people encrypt their stuff.

History is full of people who did what was futile but necessary. Futility becomes nascence, becomes momentum.

We have a say in the world we want to live in. But we’re the only ones who can start. If we don’t do something, nobody will.



Salim Virani

If you could pick anyone in the world as your teacher, what would you learn? That’s the world we’re creating at Source Institute.