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Home / News

Wearable Cryptography for Human Rights Groups

2003-09-16 06:46:20

Help for Human Rights Groups

Originally published in NetAction Notes
Click here to see original

There's no question that the Internet is helping activists call attention to human rights violations, but barriers still exist. One significant barrier is encryption software, which even the experts acknowledge is far from user-friendly. But unencrypted email is easily intercepted, and many human rights groups can't risk sending information if there's a chance it will fall into the wrong hands.

The San Francisco-based CryptoRights Foundation () wants to make it easier for human rights groups to get the word out about violations of human rights by developing and distributing hardware to simplify the use of encryption. The organization eventually wants to develop "wearable" hardware that human rights workers can use to record and report abuses. At present, they are beta-testing a combined hardware and software technology called HighFire, which was designed to improve the security of sensitive information collected by human rights workers around the world.

As part of their continuing research, they are asking human rights groups to complete a survey that will help them determine what technologies would be most helpful to the human rights community. The survey is at /survey. (You'll need to be patient as the page loads slowly even with a broadband connection.)

Foundation chairman Dave Del Torto said the results of the survey and feedback from the HighFire beta testing will enable them to improve the technologies they make available to human rights groups.

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