Silicon Valley startups are proving their ability to subvert internet censorship plans of governments half a world away, but by doing so might wade into dicey diplomatic waters. In a story that examines the promises and perils of this new, unregulated power, TechCrunch journalist Gregory Ferenstein quotes our VP of Human Rights, Enrique Piracés, who explains why non-commercial, open source technology ought to be the baseline for trusted anti-censorship applications.
As news broke on Monday that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will donate $1 million to help solve global issues through technology, an article penned by TechCrunch journalist Gregory Ferenstein cited Benetech among select companies that are already using technology to empower individuals and address challenges like oppressive censorship.
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.