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RightsCon Silicon Valley Conference Roundup

Last week, Benetech participated in the third annual RightsCon conference in San Francisco—which brought together tech executives, policy advocates, and security experts to examine ways in which the digital sector can be used to protect and expand the rights of people worldwide. The program included multiple sessions with members of Benetech’s Human Rights team.

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Benetech Leaders’ Op-Ed on Human Rights and the Duty to Protect Sensitive Data

As hundreds of technologists, businesses, governments, and human rights defenders assemble in San Francisco for the RightsCon technology and human rights conference, our CEO, Jim Fruchterman, and VP of Human Rights, Enrique Piracés, have co-authored a Huffington Post op-ed on human rights and the duty to protect sensitive data. They argue that the “Do No Harm” principle requires social justice advocates to use encryption and other strong security practices.

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PBS MediaShift Highlights Benetech’s Mobile Martus App

Amnesty International’s Christoph Koettl discusses the unique opportunities and pitfalls presented by the decentralized, real-time exposure of human rights violations on YouTube. On PBS’ MediaShift blog, Koettl cites Benetech’s Mobile Martus app among the top human rights tools that collect relevant data and securely store that information.

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Our Human Rights Program’s First-Ever Martus Training in Burma

In the light of the recent political reforms in Burma, for the first time, our partners at the Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma) felt comfortable planning a comprehensive Martus training in Rangoon. In late November 2013, jointly with ND-Burma, our team co-led a training for seven human rights groups issues such as digital security tools and methods, approaches to documentation, and, of course, a deep training on using Martus. We are honored to have been able to support ND-Burma member organizations at this memorable training and are deeply grateful for their continued partnership.

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Foreign Affairs Magazine Cites Benetech’s Human Rights Work

Leading foreign policy magazine Foreign Affairs posted a story about the Syrian civil war citing Benetech’s United Nations report of conflict-related killings in Syria. The story’s author, David Kaye, notes that while well-respected human rights groups have shown the regime of Bashar al-Assad “to be responsible for attacks directed against civilians, torture of prisoners, summary executions, and the use of chemical weapons, among other crimes,” it is Benetech’s “detailed report last January for the UN that identified nearly 60,000 individual killings, a number that now likely exceeds 100,000.”

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