Hands On How the internet works

From Gender and Tech Resources

Revision as of 13:08, 13 May 2015 by Alex (Talk | contribs) (Alex moved page Hands On how the internet works to Hands On How the internet works)

Title of the tutorial How does the internet work?
Kind of learning session Hands-on Tools
Tutorial category Icebreaking
Duration (hours) 1
Learning objectives To understand what happens online when we send and receive an email, how many parties are involved, and how this changes with encrypted messages.
Prerequisites Open space to move around.

Facilitators should have a good understanding of how the internet works, and a reasonably high level of technical understanding.

Methodology Give participants different characters, such as:
  • Users
  • ISPs
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo etc / other companies
The aim of the exercise is to “send” and “receive” messages through the chain of participants. 

A simplified version of this chain is:

  1. The sender sending a message on gmail 
  2. ISP 
  3. Google 
  4. ISP 
  5. Yahoo 
  6. ISP 
  7. Receiver getting the message on Yahoo. 

Get participants to stand in this order, and pass an unencrypted 'message' between them – and make it clear to them that every single one of them is able to read the message that is sent by the user without any trouble at all.

Next, get participants to send an encrypted message between them – this time, only the sender and the receiver are able to see the message. 

Emphasise that the internet is a communication platform and nothing else. There are certain elements you cannot do without; and two basic components that could expose an identity are 'to' and 'from'.

Stuck with this model, there are two things that can be done – we can do it be aware of the model that we're using, and we can rely on tools.

Also, think about the following aspects:

1)Identity (you can change this) 2)Location (there are tools that can be used) 3)Channel (cannot control this one, very difficult to control). Either they are owned by governments or can be controlled by governments. Which is the lesser evil of the channels that you can choose. Encryption is passing through a channel but it is wrapped in a protocol. 4)The message (metadata is important here, as it might put you at risk)/ Metadata is the information about information. A digital photo has metadata, for example, the date it was taken, the name, the camera that took the photo.

Number of facilitators involved 1
Technical needs Facilitators need to have a reasonably high level of technical knowledge to run the session and be able to answer any questions that might come up.
Theoretical and on line resources