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.
10X: ten times the impact. That’s what’s been on my mind lately. How can our existing successful programs reach ten times more people? How can we use technology in a new way to improve people’s lives that is an order of magnitude better? Can we help stimulate the creation of far more technology-for-good ventures? At Benetech, we want to help lead the charge into a future where the advantages of digital information touch the lives of all people, not just of the richest and most able five percent of humanity. As always, I’m delighted to share the latest Benetech highlights as we work on these ambitious 10X dreams!
At Benetech’s Human Rights Program, we are focused on helping activists and journalists uphold their commitments to protect and do no harm to the communities with which they work. We are therefore excited to announce the release of version 4.5 of Martus—our free, open source, secure information collection and management software—which includes major updates and usability improvements. Martus 4.5 takes a big step forward towards extending the reach and benefit of open source, strong crypto to the growing communities interested in secure data collection.
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.
How do you bridge the breakthroughs of Silicon Valley with unmet social needs? Financial magazine Barron’s highlights this question in a story about CEO Jim Fruchterman, his founding of Benetech, the organization’s social enterprise business model, and the impact of its work on the lives of marginalized communities.