With new revelations surrounding the hacking of Amazon founder, and Washington Post owner, Jeff Bezos’ phone, the growing pervasiveness of mobile hacking and surveillance tools has won national attention. This high profile case spotlights a threat that has been a major concern in the human rights realm for years.
The Benetech Human Rights team is happy to announce the release of version 5.1 of Martus , our secure, free, open source information management and data collection tool for human rights defenders, activists, journalists, researchers, and civil society practitioners. In this version of the Martus desktop app, we have implemented significant user interface and user experience improvements, along with highly requested features. With these updates, Martus users can now more easily organize, find, and report on the information they collect to advance their goals.
Benetech is one of select U.S. nonprofit organizations to receive seed funding under Google.org’s Global Impact Awards program. Google.org has awarded Benetech the seed grant for the development of secure, open technology tools to advance human rights abuse research and action. Benetech will lead a human rights technology and data consortium and advisory committee to devise technical requirements for a comprehensive human rights information platform. It will also develop open source prototypes for testing in the field. This project will serve social justice groups, civil society organizations, journalists, activists, and researchers.
Nominet Trust, a United Kingdom leading social tech funder, selected the Martus Project, an initiative of Benetech’s Human Rights program, among this year’s top 100 innovations using technology to drive social change around the world. The curated listed of these leading innovations, known as the Nominet Trust 100 (NT100), appears in the Nominet Trust’s 2014 Social Tech Guide.
Today, International Human Rights Day, the Benetech Human Rights Program is delighted to announce the release of version 5 of the Martus app and the debut of the updated Martus Project website. With these updates, Benetech is taking a leap towards improving the usability of end-to-end, open source encryption and extending its benefits to rights defenders, activists, journalists, citizen reporters, and other organizations and individuals who rely on secure data collection.