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[[!meta title="Intercept interviews"]]

We are collecting here summaries and insights from intercept interviews
with Tails users.
[Intercept Interviews](http://internetfreedom.secondmuse.com/framework-elements/intercept-interviews/)
are designed to increase understanding and dialogue through a series of
quick questions that take no more than 10 to 15 minutes of dialogue.

The email address of the interviewees are stored in the internal Git
repo: `contacts/intercept_interviews.mdwn`.

The names of the interviewees are changed but loosely related in terms
of gender, language, and age. For list of popular given names see:

  - [[!wikipedia List_of_most_popular_given_names desc="Wikipedia: List of most popular given names"]]
  - [[!wikipedia Category:English_male_given_names desc="Wikipedia: English male given names"]]
  - [[!wikipedia Category:English_female_given_names desc="Wikipedia: English female given names"]]

[[!toc levels=2]]

HOWTO
=====

Interview script
----------------

- Introduction
  - Who I am, what I am doing, and why I'm conducting the interview.

- Getting the interviewee's consent:
  - You can answer my questions to the extend that you feel comfortable
    and stop at any moment.
  - We want to keep this information publicly available for contributors
    of the project but in generic terms, removing personally
    identifiable information.

- The user
  - Who are you? What do you do?

- Tails & you:
  - How did you come to be interested in Tails and get started?
  - What is your level of expertise with Tails?
  - What do you use it for? How often?

- Pros & cons:
  - What are the three things that you like the most in Tails?
  - What are the three things that you dislike the most in Tails?

- Good bye:
  - Thank you!
  - Would you give us your email if you want to keep in touch for future
    questions or go deeper? Emails are stored encrypted and only
    accessible to the core contributors.
  - Do you know of anybody else using Tails and that would be worth
    interviewing?

Template email for validating the output
----------------------------------------

> Thank you so much for taking some time to answer my questions about
> Tails the other day!
>
> I'm sending you here what I plan to store in our public working
> documents on our website. Please correct me if I misunderstood
> something or if you want me to remove some bits.

Interviews
==========

<a id="Miguel"></a>

Miguel, May 2017
----------------

Miguel is a 20 years old statistics student in Brazil. He is part of
a collective that works on online privacy and security.

In 2014 he was trying all the privacy tools he and his friends could
found, and then he started using Tails. Sometimes he doesn't use Tails
very often, and only as a way to use other people's computers: he
keeps his passwords is a KeePassX database, along with some personal
files and his Thunderbird configuration on the Tails persistent
volume. And sometimes he uses Tails more intensively, for example
when dealing with sensitive material. Miguel identifies himself as an
intermediate level Tails user, although he helps others use Tails and
does not need other people's help himself.

What he likes:

- the new Installation Assistant
- the amnesic property, that allows him to use other people's
  computers
- the fact that Internet connections are routed through Tor
- he finds Tails easy to use, e.g. the persistence setup
- the set of bundled software

What he does not like:

- GNOME is heavy on older computers
- the website translation workflow is hard
- he misses the ability to install Tails on the command-line with dd
  (and was surprised when I told him it still worked)

<a id="Sophia"></a>

Sophia, May 2017
----------------

Sophia is 30 years old, lives in Brazil and has two jobs: she is
a teacher and a system administrator.

In 2015, she was looking for an operating system that would be safer
than macOS, and discovered Tails. She had been using Linux for 2 years
already, but found it vastly easier to use Tails than to configure
software to use Tor on a regular Linux distribution. Since then, Tails
is her only OS and she uses it every day; she feels very comfortable
using it, although she has not tried everything.

What she likes:

- Tails is plug'n'play and it "just works"
- Tor Browser
- MAT

What she dislikes:

- having to configure Tor Browser to match her security requirements
  (security slider set to "High", JavaScript disabled by default)
  every time she starts Tails; she would like a persistent setting
  for these settings
- Totem is buggy with some subtitles (buggy delay after pausing and
  resuming), so she misses VLC
- she misses a set of LibreOffice Impress templates/themes that could
  be installed by default

<a id="Isabella"></a>

Isabella, May 2017
------------------

Isabella is a 50 years old Debian user living in Brazil. She used to
be a journalist at a magazine that talked a lot about FOSS (among
other things), then got in touch with people working on privacy
enhancing technologies (PET) and switched jobs: she now works with
a collective that defends freedom and privacy online, learns about
privacy tools and does advocacy for them.

She has been demonstrating Tails to people since 2 years: she finds it
easier to advocate for than Debian since it's easy to try (without
replacing one's current OS) and is pre-configured for privacy.
She started using Tails herself 3 months ago. She found it easy, and
doesn't need to ask for help anymore. She uses Tails about twice
a month, mainly to upload sensitive material and for web browsing.

What she likes:

- "the bundle", i.e. everything pre-configured shipped in a box
- She found Tails very didactic and liked how she could understand how
  to use it.

What she dislikes:

- upgrades are painful when using Tails not so often

<a id="Bernardo"></a>

Bernardo, May 2017
------------------

Bernardo is a 37 years old public administration teacher and social
science researcher in Brazil. He studies the way social movements use
Internet communication tools. He discovered Tails after the Snowden
leaks, via a hackers collective and the homepage of the Tor website.

He uses Debian and GNOME (and has some basic knowledge of the command
line interface) so he felt comfortable using Tails, and found it easy
to get started with. He advocates using Tails and started using it
himself since the coup; he uses it about once a month, primarily to
release and distribute material against the government.

What he likes:

- everything is torified by default
- the amnesic property: everything goes away when turning off the
  computer
- Windows Camouflage (when it was there…)
- Pidgin

What he dislikes:

- he had some trouble with the Unsafe Browser

<a id="Pedro"></a>

Pedro, May 2017
---------------

Pedro is 23 years old and studies applied mathematics in college in
Brazil. He has been a Linux user since 11 years; Qubes OS is now his
main operating system.

He learned about Tails via the homepage of the Tor website before the
Snowden leaks, and got interested by the amnesic property of Tails.
He feels he knows his way around Tails and uses it once or twice
a week to browse hidden services websites and for encrypted chat
(that he finds easier to use on Tails than elsewhere).

What he likes:

- carrying a computer environment in his pocket
- OnionShare
- easy to use, practical
- how the project cares about people and security

What he dislikes:

- GNOME is heavy and slow on old hardware
- the end of 32-bit support
- no more Windows Camouflage

<a id="Margarita"></a>

Margarita, March 2017
---------------------

Margarita is a digital security consultant in Latin America. She used to
develop autonomous communication infrastructures and is now focusing on
training human-right defenders and organizations in digital security.
She has been presenting Tails mostly to two different public:

- Family members of missing people. For example working on building
  lists of missing people and DNA databases. People often disappear
  while traveling on roads and, as a consequence, people are sometimes
  refraining from moving. So it's a challenge to transmit information
  from one place to another or to be able to travel without carrying
  sensitive information. For example, someone wanted to train people on
  how to build a list of missing people in a community and decided to
  travel to the community without a computer and only use Tails there.
- Women sharing abortion techniques and resources. They are often women
  who cannot turn to their families to ask questions and look for
  solutions and otherwise go and ask Google.

Things she likes:

- In the case of documenting missing people, they find the learning
  curve worth it.
- It's portable: you keep it in your pocket and you don't have to
  install anything else.

Things she dislikes:

- Tails became harder to boot on newer computers.
- In the case of women sharing abortion techniques, the learning curve
  made it harder to adopt.

<a id="Helen"></a>

Helen, March 2017
-----------------

Helen is a digital security trainer working in an organization defending
the right for free speech in North America and working with both large
news organizations and freelance journalists.

She uses Tails for her work, especially since some of the news
organizations they work with use *SecureDrop* to exchange files and
communicate with sources. These news organizations have dedicate
machines running Tails as their primary OS. She also uses Tails for
personal use several times a week. For example she always has a Tails
USB stick when she travels and doesn't want to carry her own equipment.
It's lighter and for example she can use the computer in the lobby of
her hotel or plug her Tails on the big TV screen in her room.

Things she likes:

- She likes the feeling of security. Tails allows her to keep her
  regular computer (Ubuntu, Debian, or Mac depending on the day) — the
  one where she stores her most important data — clean from phishing.
  Tails is good for surfing around, gossiping, etc. It feels like the
  early experience she had on the Internet when she was younger which
  was free from worries. She actually prefers Tails to *Tor Browser* for
  that kind of browsing.
- She uses Tails a lot for note taking (*gedit*, *LibreOffice*).
- She like *KeePassX* and going on IRC over Tails.

Things she dislikes:

- She doesn't like *Icedove* so much and would prefer using *mutt*.
- She is frustrated not to be able to save a custom background in Tails.
  She feels like Tails is one of her computer and she likes to customize
  her things.
- She likes the automatic upgrades in general but she always have to go
  back to the documentation when the upgrade fails. As part of her work,
  she also sometimes sees infrequent users struggling with accumulated
  upgrades (for example upgrading from 2.6 to 2.10).
- <strike>She finds the Installation Assistant inferiorating for expert users
  like her when she only wants to download the ISO. But she recognizes
  that it otherwise works really well for new users.</strike>
- She wants a minesweeper game in Tails.
- Once she had troubles debugging a firewall from Tails because the
  router was not giving a DHCP lease and the *Unsafe Browser* wouldn't
  start without one.

<a id="Ernesto"></a>

Ernesto, March 2017
-------------------

Ernesto is working in the social science department of a University in
Latin America where he does communication, web development, and video.
He is also active in a local hacklab where he has a community TV and
does video editing with free software.

He uses Tails to be able to have a secure access to his personal data
from the work computer that he has at the University or when he wants to
travel light.

Things he likes:

- Have a full OS on a USB stick is cool!
- All the connections go through Tor.
- Keeping his email configuration and encryption keys in the persistent
  storage.
- Tails comes with everything you need already. It even has a video
  editor.
- He liked meeting the developers in person and seeing that we share
  similar ways of doing things. Now he wonders how he could help back.

Things he dislikes:

- The fact the upgrade mechanism is sometimes automatic and sometimes
  manual. You never know what to expect.
- The new installation instructions are good for new users but he feels
  a bit lost when looking for the command line instructions only.

<a id="Ray"></a>

Ray, March 2017
---------------

Ray is a security consultant and trainer in Africa.

From the 10 journalists that he trained in using Tails at the end of
2015, he knows of 2 who are still using it actively. They were the
people with higher risks. For example a blogger with high risks that
uses Tails as her regular operating system for her blogging activities,
for example while traveling, and be able to use shared computers.

Things he (and the people he trained) like:

- Tails has low hardware requirements and this is useful when traveling
  to be able to use it anyway on the computers that are available.
- The persistent storage.
- MAC spoofing. Using MAC spoofing in a news room, one of the journalist
  he trained realized how his activity on the network could be monitored
  because the IT person, not seeing his computer as being up on the
  network, came and checked if everything was ok.
- The Windows camouflage.
- Having a set of tools already installed in Tails makes it easy for
  less technical people to get started.

Things he (and the people he trained) dislike:

- Tails doesn't work well on Chromebooks but these are picking up in
  Africa because they are cheap.
- Tor often fails to connect on networks with low bandwidth.
- Looking for applications is hard for people who are use to their
  proprietary equivalents (*Excel* is *Calc*, *Thunderbird* is
  *Icedove*, etc.).
- After the training and the participants had to repeat the process of
  installing Tails again, some failed to carry out this process on their
  own and the one running on a Chromebook totally failed even during the
  training.
- Removing support for 32-bits computers will be problematic for them
  because they often rely on old machines.
- When working with a low bandwidth or connecting through a captive
  portal, after people started the Unsafe Browser, they tend to trust it
  more than they should because it's running from Tails.

<a id="Adam"></a>

Adam, March 2017
----------------

Adam is an investigative journalist working in an organization raising
awareness around State surveillance and digital freedom in Western
Europe. He has been using lots of Tor in different environments for
years.

As part of his work, he uses Tails both fully amnesiac and with
persistence. He has dedicated hardware for running Tails: a modified
ThinkPad X60 with many parts removed and only minimal input and output
interfaces.

He uses Tails to create, edit, and sanitize sensitive documents before
sharing them with other people or publishing them. He doesn't want to
open these documents on his regular operating system. Sometimes he
doesn't use Tails for 3 months and then use it everyday during 1-2 weeks
to work on a specific story.

He also shares his secure machine with other people by his side to
review or edit these sensitive documents instead of having to send these
documents online. All-in-all he uses little Tor from Tails and use it
more for data isolation.

Maybe Qubes OS does more than Tails against exploits but Tails is a
cheaper and more practical way for him to create a secure machine: it's
cheaper hardware and has an easier learning curve. He also feels better
having a hardware isolation instead of the virtual isolation provided by
Qubes OS. When he wants no network activity on his X60 he unplugs the
Ethernet cable and that's it.

Things he likes:

- He trusts Tails because he knows personally some of the developers;
  the same could apply to Debian.
- Tails has been around for a while and is widely uses. It is well
  connected to the rest of the Tor community and has received more
  exposure.
- He is used to Debian and feels comfortable hacking on the Debian base
  of Tails when needed. He doesn't really know RPM and that's another
  drawback of Qubes OS for him.
- He's happy to see *OnionShare* in Tails now.

Things he dislikes:

- His hardened X60 has a 32-bit processor and he won't be able to run
  Tails 3.0 on it anymore.
- He finds it painful not to have the keyboard for his language listed
  in the short list of keyboards in Tails Greeter.
- He had troubles trying to install additional packages in Tails and
  instead reinstalled them every time. He wanted to use `scantailor`, a
  post-processing tool for scanned pages, and `tesseract-ocr`, an
  optical character recognition tool.
- He had troubles displaying local files in Tor Browser and thinks that
  it's impossible to browser for anything under `file:///` in Tor
  Browser.
- <strike>He had a hard time finding a direct download with the new Installation
  Assistant: *"I want a nerd link!"*</strike>

<a id="Alex"></a>

Alex, March 2017
----------------

Alex is a journalist working for a big news room in Western Europe.

She got an authorization from her network administrator to have two
machines at work: the official Windows machine from where she can access
the company's back office and her own machine running Debian and
sometimes Tails.

They have a partnership with a whistleblowing platform and when working
on their documents they do everything from Tails.

Things she likes:

- The fact that Tails is all-in-one. For example, she sometimes sets up
  a Tails USB stick for a few colleagues in the "war room" while working
  a sensitive paper and they have all they need to review and edit
  documents or do some additional research.
- Qubes OS is a nice idea but Tails remains more straight-forward and
  you can use it immediately. You can clone a new key for someone and
  that's all they need.
- Tails Installer in Debian! For example it's super useful to manually
  upgrade a relatively old version or to install a new USB stick for
  someone without having to restart on Tails.
- The installation documentation is much better now.

Things she dislikes:

- She misses a screen locker. For example, to have a break during long
  working sessions while working on sensitive documents.
- GMail doesn't work with Icedove and TorBirdy. So you have to switch to
  the Unsafe Browser to connect to GMail.

<a id="Jeanne"></a>

Jeanne, February 2017
---------------------

Jeanne has been working as an independent journalist for 5-6 years in Western Europe. She
writes stories that she sells to many different newspapers. She is also
active in a not-for-profit resource center and coworking space for
independent journalists in her city where she advocates for privacy to
the local press. She runs Ubuntu on her PC and can handle it all-right
with some help from her geek friends.

She started using Tails about one year ago, helped out by a local
privacy and free software advocate from which she cloned a USB stick.
One of her colleague got his computer seized and she realized that
having at least her hard disk encrypted was a way of guaranteeing her
rights to privacy as a journalists in front of the police. Some of her
sources were also scared of being monitored and explicitly asked for
security protocols. She decided to get herself trained in privacy tools
to be able to "lead the dance" and propose reasonable protocols
to sources in the future herself.

She uses Tails occasionally when the story or the source requires it.
She is not using Tails outside of her work.

Things she likes:

- Tails comes as a package of privacy tools with no need to configure
  things manually. She had bad experiences and misconfigured some
  privacy tools on her computer in the past. Tails is like a "paranoid
  mode" by default.
- MAT
- She hopes that she could could do better at segmenting her time and
  use Tails to help her focus on a specific task.

Things she dislikes:

- The terminology around "persistence" was difficult to understand. She
  talks about "storage area" ("zone de stockage" in French).
- She had trouble learning how to start Tails from her PC.
- She finds it very hard to combine the use of Tails with the heavy
  multitasking implied by her work: during a single day she works in
  parallel on many different stories with many different clients and
  sources. She runs on a very short budget and cannot afford having a
  second computer dedicated to Tails.
- Once, she had troubles opening her persistence because the keyboard
  layout was different than when she configured it.
- Once, she lost the draft of a story because she had no persistence.
- Once, she tried to use Tails for communicating with a source but
  failed in doing so.
- When getting started she found the documentation on the desktop hard
  to apprehend because it was using too technical terms (like "ISO").
  She thinks that the documentation should be more accessible to less
  technical people as a pedagogical tool: since she is making the effort
  to getting into Tails, she is ready to read and learn.