Welcome to Privacy Guides


We are excited to announce the launch of Privacy Guides and r/PrivacyGuides, and welcome the privacy community to participate in our crowdsourced software recommendations and share tips and tricks for keeping your data safe online. Our goal is to be a central resource for privacy and security-related tips that are usable by anybody, and to carry on the trusted legacy of PrivacyTools.

As we announced on the PrivacyTools blog in July, we made the decision to migrate off our former privacytools.io domain for various reasons, including an inability to contact the current domain holder for over a year and growing issues with the .IO top-level domain. As attempts to regain ownership of the domain have proven fruitless, we found it necessary to make this switch sooner rather than later to ensure people would find out about this transition as soon as possible. This gives us adequate time to transition the domain name, which is currently redirecting to www.privacyguides.org, and it hopefully gives everyone enough time to notice the change, update bookmarks and websites, etc.

We chose the name Privacy Guides because it represents two things for us as an organization: An expansion beyond simple recommendation lists, and a goal of acting as the trusted guides to anyone newly learning about protecting their personal data.

As a name, it moves us past recommendations of various tools and focuses us more on the bigger picture. We want to provide more education — rather than direction — surrounding privacy-related topics. You can see the very beginnings of this work in our new page on threat modeling, or our VPN and Email Provider recommendations, but this is just the start of what we eventually hope to accomplish.

Website Development

Our project has always been community-oriented and open-sourced. The source code for PrivacyTools is currently archived at https://github.com/privacytools/privacytools.io. This repository will remain online as an archive of everything on PrivacyTools up to this transition.

The source code for our new website is available at https://github.com/privacyguides/privacyguides.org. All updates from PrivacyTools have been merged into this new repository, and this is where all future work will take place.

Services

PrivacyTools also runs a number of online services in use by many users. Some of these services are federated, namely Mastodon, Matrix, and PeerTube. Due to the technical nature of federation, it is impossible for us to change the domain name on these services, and because we cannot guarantee the future of the privacytools.io domain name we will be shutting down these services in the coming months.

We strongly urge users of these services to migrate to alternative providers in the near future. We hope that we will be able to provide enough time to make this as seamless of a transition as possible for our users.

At this time we do not plan on launching public Matrix, Mastodon, or PeerTube instances under the Privacy Guides domain. Any users affected by this transition can get in touch with @jonah:aragon.sh on Matrix if any assistance is needed.

Other services being operated by PrivacyTools currently will be discontinued. This includes Searx, WriteFreely, and GhostBin.

Our future direction for online services is uncertain, but will be a longer-term discussion within our community after our work is complete on this initial transition. We are very aware that whatever direction we move from here will have to be done in a way that is sustainable in the very long term.

r/PrivacyGuides

PrivacyTools has a sizable community on Reddit, but to ensure a unified image we have created a new Subreddit at r/PrivacyGuides that we encourage all Reddit users to join.

In the coming weeks our current plan is to wind down discussions on r/privacytoolsIO. We will be opening r/PrivacyGuides to lots of the discussions most people are used to shortly, but encouraging general “privacy news” or headline-type posts to be posted on r/Privacy instead. In our eyes, r/Privacy is the “who/what/when/where” of the privacy community on Reddit, the best place to find the latest news and information; while r/PrivacyGuides is the “how”: a place to share and discuss tools, tips, tricks, and other advice. We think focusing on these strong points will serve to strengthen both communities, and we hope the good moderators of r/Privacy agree 🙂

Final Thoughts

The former active team at PrivacyTools universally agrees on this direction towards Privacy Guides, and will be working exclusively on Privacy Guides rather than any “PrivacyTools” related projects. We intend to redirect PriavcyTools to new Privacy Guides properties for as long as possible, and archive existing PrivacyTools work as a pre-transition snapshot.

Privacy Guides additionally welcomes back PrivacyTools’ former sysadmin Jonah, who will be joining the project’s leadership team.

We are not accepting sponsorships or donations at this time, while we work out our financial plan. We will be in touch with existing sponsors on PrivacyTools’ OpenCollective to determine what the best way forward is soon.

We are all very excited about this new brand and direction, and hope to have your continued support through all of this. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please reach out to us. We are always happy to receive guidance and input from our community! ❤


Privacy Guides is a socially motivated website that provides information for protecting your data security and privacy.