Blog

Martus for Journalists at TechCamp New York City

How can journalists better protect their information, themselves and the sources, victims and witnesses who trust them with their stories? How can mobile technologies help journalists working in conflict areas to quickly alert national and international support organizations when they or colleagues are injured, arrested, kidnapped or killed? These are some of the questions our Human Rights team is considering these days, as we’re moving forward with building the next generation of Martus technology. These were also some of the questions addressed by a team of technologists and journalists at the July 2013 TechCamp workshop in New York City, which I attended as a representative of Benetech.

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Unchecked Surveillance Is a Threat to Human Rights

In the context of the growing availability of information on state surveillance, our commitment to provide the human rights movement with secure tools and capacity building for the documentation of human rights abuses has only increased. We are also convinced that partnerships for the advancement of social justice are key to produce long-lasting change. Today we are proud to join a global coalition in calling upon the international community to assess surveillance laws and activities in light of international human rights obligations.

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The Many Faces of the Martus User Community

Years of working closely with our Martus users have taught us that the projects our users pursue and the outcomes they are working towards can vary widely. In addition to large nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), our users include independent activists, local coalitions, members of small NGOs and many others. There is an incredible diversity within the Martus user community and wide spectrum of ways in which it uses Martus.

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Benetech Names Enrique Piracés as Vice President of Human Rights Program

Benetech has announced the appointment of Enrique Piracés as the Vice President of its Human Rights Program. For more than 10 years, Piracés has worked at the intersection of technology and international human rights. He has applied his technical expertise and leadership to projects requiring a broad understanding of surveillance, circumvention, security and privacy, while also pursuing innovative applications of open-source technology for the human rights movement.

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Big News in Human Rights: New Funding and Enhanced Tools!

In recent years, the possibilities of what can be achieved with human rights fieldwork and advocacy has expanded as the worldwide use of mobile phones has increased and significant advances have been made in Internet and mobile technology. We’re excited to share that our Human Rights Program has been awarded a two-year, $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) to realize some of those possibilities.

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