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.
I’m delighted to share here how we’re able to improve the lives of people, at home and in Sub-Saharan Africa, with support from the Android donation program—a fantastic social initiative from Google. To date, we’ve received several hundred used, fully functional Android phones and tablets from the program for deployment across our Human Rights and Global Literacy programs. Thanks to these phones, we’re able to put our software-for-good applications directly in the hands of individuals who face difficult challenges and for whom the availability of such devices makes a big difference.
Ever wonder how new features come into being within Benetech’s suite of products? Let’s take a short, virtual trip into the world of software product development at Benetech. I’m Ginny Grant, one of the Product Managers in Benetech’s Global Literacy Program. I’d like to focus here on some of the critical final steps in our product development process. These include passing tests that our professional Quality Assurance (QA) team performs as well as passing our “alpha testing sessions,” which we sometimes refer to as “Bugfests”!
My name is Anuruddha Hettiarachchi and I am a senior at the University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka majoring in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering. My Google Summer of Code 2013 project was to integrate Benetech’s Go Read tool and “Tecla Access.” Making Go Read Tecla-accessible will greatly improve its usability for people who cannot read standard eBooks due to mobility impairments. This was my first experience with open source development and I had the opportunity to learn how much collaboration and teamwork are central to real world open source software projects. It was a pleasure to work with such a flexible and supportive team as Benetech’s Google Summer of Code crew.
The ubiquity and penetration rate of mobile phones increasingly makes them the documentation tool of choice for those who research, witness and record human rights abuses. At Benetech, we see this as an opportunity to bring some of the strong encryption we offer in the desktop closer to the field. Last week, we released Mobile Martus 1.0—Benetech’s free, open source secure Android-based mobile documentation application, built on our Martus technology.