Posts Tagged ‘mobile phones’

Today official launch of AI’s Panic Button – a new App to fight attack, kidnap and torture

June 23, 2014

Amnesty International launches new open source ‘Panic Button’ app to help activists facing imminent danger.

Today, 23 June 2014, Amnesty International launches its open source ‘Panic Button’ app to help human rights defenders facing imminent danger. The aim is to increase protection for those who face the threat of arrest, attack, kidnap and torture. In short:

Read the rest of this entry »

Mobile phone security for human rights defenders

May 7, 2014

mobilesecheader.png

Having posted on the Natalia bracelet and the Panic Button recently as alarm systems for human rights defenders in danger, it is good to also draw attention to the dangers that are inherent in the ‘normal’ use of mobile phones. Tactical Tech has quite a bit to say about  mobile phone security: Human Rights Defenders are exposed to many potential threats – from governments, private companies, organised groups – in the course of their work. Therefore, they should be aware of dangers and necessary security measures to be taken if  deciding to communicate by mobile phone, which remains an easy-to-spy-on device. Tactical Tech has produced a number of resources about phone security.

Security in a Box has a chapter entitled “How to Use Smartphones as Securely as Possible” and one on using mobile phonesas securely as possible.

Me and My Shadow has a chapter on geolocation services for smartphones and the risks they carry, as well as tips for those using SMS and MMS.

Finally, have a look at the Guardian Project’s website, created by a group of activists dedicated to creating open source apps to increase security and privacy on smartphones.

via Mobile phone security | Exposing the Invisible.

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/natalia-project/

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/amnesty-releases-today-long-awaited-panic-button-for-human-rights-defenders/

Amnesty releases today long-awaited ‘Panic Button’ for human rights defenders

May 2, 2014

Amnesty International is working with activists in 16 countries on how to use "Panic Button".

(AI is now working with HRDs in 16 countries on how to use “Panic Button”. © Amnesty International)

As this blog testifies, across the globe, individuals suspected of posing a threat to state authority are routinely kidnapped, arrested and forcibly disappeared, often without any warning.Amnesty international launches today the easy-to-use app launched by Amnesty International. “Panic Button”, a mobile app for Android, transforms a user’s smart phone into a secret alarm which can be activated rapidly in the event of an emergency, alerting fellow activists and enabling them to respond faster.

Defending human rights is an incredibly dangerous job in large parts of the world, with activists facing anything from threats to imprisonment and even torture as punishment for their legitimate work,” said Tanya O’Carroll, Technology and Human Rights Officer for Amnesty International. “By introducing technology to the fight for human rights ‘Panic Button’ is bringing them a new tool to alert others about the danger they may be facing with a simple click.”

AI is are currently working with HRDs in 16 countries on how to use the tool and on the growing and omnipresent threat of surveillance so they are clear on the risks they take when using a mobile phone in their work,but the official website for the “Panic Button” app is up and running.

[Amnesty International hopes that activists and members of the public will help to improve the tool by downloading and testing Panic Button in their country as part of the beta – or testing – phase. Authorities know that campaigners coordinate meetings, protests and other activities using mobile phones and have ramped up their surveillance capabilities to monitor and track activists, journalists and campaigners. In a bid to mitigate some of these dangers, the “Panic Button” tool uses a screen disguise feature and requires users to enter a pin number before accessing the application. The alarm itself is triggered by rapidly pressing the phone’s power button, after which an SMS message is sent to three pre-entered contacts chosen by the user, alerting them of the distress call. When a GPS function is enabled, this message includes a map link showing the user’s coordinates and the user can pre-set regular location updates so their network is updated every few minutes when active.]

via New ‘Panic Button’ app provides safety net to human rights activists | Amnesty International.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/technology-to-protect-human-rights-defenders-great-but-should-there-not-be-more-cooperation/

Witness makes available beta version of the InformaCam App

January 10, 2014

The reliability of images captured and transmitted by HRDs is crucial to keep the value of their hard-won evidence high . The InformaCam application proposed by Witness uses the built-in sensors in modern smartphones as well as wi-fi, bluetooth, and cell-tower information to create a snapshot of the environment in which an image or video was captured. This validates the date, time and location of capture. Digital signatures and encryption ensure that the images haven’t been tampered with and can only be opened by the intended recipient.

I have always tried to keep you up to date on technological developments that can benefit human rights defenders. On 5 September 2013 I listed several new ideas (Natalia bracelet;  Panic Button; Silent Circle; Security in a Box)  and added the question who among the hard-pressed human rights defenders on the ground have the time and energy to sort through all this and pick what is most meaningful for them?.

 InformaCam – Secure & Verified Mobile Media.

The double face of technology for Human Rights Defenders

November 13, 2013

Technology is becoming increasingly important in documenting and preventing human rights abuses. But emerging technologies can also pose a threat to human rights defenders. Two pieces on AI’s blog demonstrate that:

On 11 November Tanya O’Carroll, Technology & Human Rights Project Officer, and Danna Ingleton, Individuals & Communities at Risk Research & Policy Advisor, blogged under the title: “An Invisible Threat: How Technology Can Hurt Human Rights Defenders“while Sami Goswami used the headline: “How Technology Is Helping Us Better Protect Human Rights”. 

The piece focusing on the negative aspects says inter alia Read the rest of this entry »

Development of Amnesty’s Panic Button App

September 11, 2013

Having last week referred to 3 different (and competing?) techno initiatives to increase the security of HRDs, i would be amiss not to note the post of 11 september  2013 by Tanya O’Caroll on the AI blog concerning  the development of the Panic button. Over the next couple of months, she will be keeping you posted about the Panic Button. If you want to join the community of people working on Panic Button, please leave a comment on the site mentioned below or email panicbutton@amnesty.org.

via Inside the development of Amnesty’s new Panic Button App | Amnestys global human rights blog.

 

How to turn a mobile phone into an alert system for human rights defenders: AI’s Panic Button

April 17, 2013

image of mobile phone

Last week I reported on the Natalia bracelet and yesterday my eye fell on a lengthy piece posted on Amnesty International‘s Livewire by Technology and Human Rights Project Officer Tanya O’Carroll. It describes how emerging digital tools will help activists and human rights defenders. http://livewire.amnesty.org/2013/04/15/how-to-turn-a-mobile-phone-into-an-alert-system-for-activists/.

As a student activist speaking out against the government, Hassan is at constant threat of being arrested. The Sudanese government tracks and harasses members of the student movement he belongs to. Reports of his friends and contacts being detained, tortured and even killed by the authorities are frighteningly regular. But Hassan’s network is also well organized. His phone is always on him and he uses it to help organize demonstrations, to record and disseminate video of violent crackdowns against the students and to keep his network updated every minute – a network that stretches from Khartoum to the rest of the globe in the time it takes to send a tweet. If he is able to get word out that he’s been arrested, Hassan knows that his network’s response will be swift and structured. The problem is that he knows the first thing the authorities will seize is his mobile phone. And here’s the double danger of not getting word out: the authorities will use the phone book, call log, messages and any open apps – such as G-Mail or Facebook – to identify and track others. Without knowledge of the arrest, the whole network will be easily compromised. Read the rest of this entry »