IT expertise network to help defend human rightsTuesday 14 May 2013 20.34
A human rights organisation has launched a new network of technology experts to help human rights defenders protect themselves during their digital activities.
Tech Defenders Network, which is part of the Front Line Defenders organisation, has put together a set of open source tools and tactics in different languages to help human rights activists.
According to FLD, many of the activists it works with face attempts to monitor, control or disrupt their digital communications.
Some have had phones and computers seized and transcripts used against them during interrogation, FLD says.
The Tech Defenders Network's “Security in a Box” provides a suite of tools to help them secure a computer, protect information or maintain privacy during Internet use. The network is also involved in training activists all over the world.
Tech Defenders’ Irish branch aims to bring together companies and individuals willing to help with funding, facilities, promotion and feedback.
Tonight's launch in Dublin was addressed by Ahmad Gharbeia, an Egyptian IT security expert who spoke about his experience of using technology during the Tahrir Square protests in 2012.
He described how Twitter was used during the protests for command and control activities. He also explained the difficulties the activists experienced while trying to get pictures, video and information out of the square when Internet and mobile phone coverage was shut down.