Blog

Martus 4.5: Strong Security, Easy Configuration, Enhanced Usability

At Benetech’s Human Rights Program, we are focused on helping activists and journalists uphold their commitments to protect and do no harm to the communities with which they work. We are therefore excited to announce the release of version 4.5 of Martus—our free, open source, secure information collection and management software—which includes major updates and usability improvements. Martus 4.5 takes a big step forward towards extending the reach and benefit of open source, strong crypto to the growing communities interested in secure data collection.

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Heartbleed—How Has it Affected Martus?

On April 7, 2014, The Heartbleed Bug—a serious vulnerability in encryption technology used by most Web servers to secure communications over the Internet was announced. The good news is that the Martus servers (where all data is stored and backed up) are not affected by Heartbleed. The Martus Desktop client, too, was not affected by the Heartbleed bug. However, Android 4.1.1 is vulnerable. If you use Mobile Martus, we recommend you update Android, then delete and recreate your Martus Mobile account, so that a new private key is generated. If you are unable to update Android 4.1.1 we strongly suggest that you do not use Mobile Martus.

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Benetech and ThoughtWorks Co-Host a Workshop on Secure Information Management and Data Collection

As we start to grasp the scope and scale of unchecked surveillance, it is clear that having the know-how to protect personal information and privacy is no longer something that only human rights activists need. That’s why our Human Rights Program is working to increase use of end-to-end, open source encryption among journalists, citizen reporters, and activists, as well as broad awareness of the self-empowerment that open technology can generate. Team members of the Benetech Human Rights Program have just hosted a two-day workshop in New York City, where they introduced Martus, Benetech’s open technology for secure information management.

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Benetech Signs Joint Letter from Civil Society Organizations to Foreign Ministers of Freedom Online Coalition Member States

Benetech has signed a joint letter from a coalition of civil society and human rights organizations seeking clarification as to the allegations that the NSA and GCHQ monitored or are monitoring the communications of their organizations, or of other civil society organizations, media organizations, and human rights groups.

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Benetech Human Rights Program and Access Examine Digital Security for LGBTI Activists in the African Region

The African region has seen rising levels of homophobia over the last several months. Amidst the changing climate of restrictive, “anti-gay” laws that have swept the region, local LGBTI activists are facing new types of risks and threats, yet digital security literacy among LGBTI activists in the region remains quite low. That’s why a joint team from our Human Rights Program and from Access organized a workshop and a digital security health clinic focused on improving digital security for LGBTI activists in the African region. In a joint blog post published on the Access blog, they report from the field.

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