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…is nonbinary, Jewish, & disabled. They're a technologist & activist based in Berkeley, CA, and they work on privacy, security, and trust & safety. Tom believes in the life-enhancing and capability-extending potential of technology, and wants to ensure that these tools are worthy of our trust and accessible to all — especially those who are most-often excluded. Read more.
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👁️ About Tom Lowenthal
Tom Lowenthal has spent their career working to make the tools so many of us use every day safe even for the most vulnerable among us. They believe passionately that technology has the potential to expand human thought, connection, and leisure — and just as much potential to surveil, control, and misdirect. Just like any powerful tool, tech has the potential to exacerbate the inequalities which already exist in society, and we have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the dividends of progress are shared equitably, just like our responsibility towards the other products of society.
With a BA from Princeton spanning the intersection of computer science and politics, Tom knows how computer systems work, and is trained to see the power structures and human dynamics which underpin every technical system. Tom has worked with journalists, activists, people who have experienced intimate partner violence, and the queer community; though they know that their experiences are far from comprehensive or universal.
Outside of work, Tom enjoys story RPGs & collaborative board games; immersive & site-specific theater; good tea & elaborate coffee; dumplings of all kinds; and looking at flowers. They no longer volunteer as an EMT, but they keep their wilderness first responder training current because they live in an earthquake zone.
Just a few things you might enjoy reading. More on Medium.
🌷 Tall Poppy / Product Lead
Helping people prevent, and stay safe & sane in the face of online harassment. (2020-2022)
Building a privacy-first open source Web browser which supports online creators. (2018-2020)
Making tech safe for journalism & developing safety guidance. (2014-2017)
🧅 Tor Project / Project Coordinator
Coordinating globally-distributed development, research, and advocacy. (2013-2014)
🦖 Mozilla / Privacy Strategist
Technical expert for Mozilla's privacy and public policy team. (2011-2013)
🎓 Princeton University / Bachelor of Arts
Major: Political Theory. Minors: Applications of Computing and Information Technology and Society. Graduated 2011.
⛵ Call of the Sea / Deckhand
Sailing and maintaining the Matthew Turner for on the water science & environmental educational. (2022…)
👁️🗨️ Cornell Clinic to End Tech Abuse / Clinic Volunteer
Supporting people who have experienced intimate partner violence. (2022…)
👟 Journey to the End of the Night / Executive Director
Operating a city-wide site-specific experience and adventure game. (2015-2017)
🧫 Stanford Center for Internet & Society / Fellow
Researching the effectiveness of technical safety interventions for journalists. (2014-2017)
🚑 Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad / EMT & Technical Rescuer
Providing primary EMS & rescue response for Princeton Borough & Township. (2008-2011)
⛑️ Health Education & Rescue Training / Wilderness Medicine & CPR Instructor; Curriculum Developer
Training hundreds of students in wilderness first aid, and a thousand more in CPR. (2008-2011)