After a long term of teaching and research, it’s been great to get a bit of space to do some reading and writing. The past few months have been very busy, though I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in a lot of different types of work. Teaching has been great fun, and I’ve been enjoying both my general tutoring work (which has been a useful opportunity to brush up on my criminological theory) and planning and leading a seminar on cybercrime for our Global Crime course.
Research continues to go well – I’m now up to over 20 interviews, roughly half with core Tor Project contributors and half with members of the broader community. I’m hoping now to get a bit of a break before attending the Chaos Communiations Congress (34C3) in December. I submitted a talk for the programme, intending to feed some of my initial findings back to the Tor community, however this wasn’t accepted. That said, I’m still very much looking forward to attending, and am considering putting together a self-organised session to do this. My plans for the rest of the research are to make some final approaches before CCC and aim to talk to some more Tor Project contributors and members of the Tor community there if possible. After CCC, I hope to conduct any final interviews I’m able to arrange with the Tor community, then move on to a few more interviews with other groups to round things off – namely, ISPs and law enforcement personnel. I’m also hoping to use this time to carry out analysis of design documents and any other online materials that I’m able to use (having hopefully had a chance to discuss how to do this appropriately and ethically with members of the Tor Project at or after CCC).
Although the data I am gathering in my research is all being presented anonymously, and with care to make sure that any quotes or analysis does not identify participants, one of my participants asked me recently if he could post the transcript of our email interview on his blog. These questions are generally reflective of what I’ve been asking people in the interviews, and although I won’t be referring to any participants by name in the research outputs, if you want to see what the interviews have been looking like, then the interview can be found on Damian’s blog here.