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.
Human rights groups face increasingly sophisticated attackers with the ability to exploit their growing digital surface. When a group documenting human rights abuses against the Tibetan community came to us last year with interest in Martus, they brought with them a deep mistrust of their own hard drives. Together we decided to use an implementation method that emphasized security at all stages and selected Tails to be the default environment for their use of Martus. The Martus-on-Tails model is an exciting new venture into human rights defenders’ protection. We look forward to exploring other models and developing this one into a more mature standard.
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.