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This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license by Jason Beaird.

For teams traveling to complex and hostile environments

If you are traveling to hostile or complex environments the phrase “use a Chromebook” has become the “use Signal, use Tor” of border crossing device security. Nearly all of the individuals who work in these environments knows that, as with everything, it’s more complex than that.

I recently decided to look take a look at the configurations that needed to be done to make Chromebooks travel ready for complex and hostile environments. There are more than a few narrative summaries of Chromebook security available. …


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This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license by Aaron Williamson.

Training Materials for a Three Session Training on Information Security Focused Risk Management for advocacy communities

I have benefited greatly from access to open-source training curricula in the international information security for human rights defender community. In an attempt to give back I will be open-sourcing some of my own training materials. I hope these resources prove useful to the network information security trainers, facilitators, and technologists supporting communities in complex and hostile environments worldwide.

I did not want to fall into the trap of never releasing this content because I wanted to wait until the “content was ready.” As such, these materials are being released as is.

Brief

I believe that security for your most sensitive…


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Eleanor holding Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish at Lake Success, New York. November 1949 — Copyright: FDR Presidential Library & Museum — (CC BY 2.0)

Finding the seeds of actionability in human rights documentation

Local Human Rights implementers who face threats to their fundamental freedoms and human dignity have two challenges; addressing these problems and surviving them. Traditional Human Rights reporting and analysis works to address the problems that allow the threats. Yet, while digital technology has led to a democratization of Human Rights data collection their outputs have been inadvertently estranged from key constituencies: local actors trying to respond to their changing threat landscape and those who are trying to protect them.

Threat information is practical and actionable information that is used to inform one’s decisions in preparation for a threat and guide…


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Providing Digital Security Guidance to Vulnerable Groups in Changing Environments

There is a great deal of uncertainty and fear right now in the US. With the recent election there are many vulnerable civil society organizations and advocacy groups who are looking to protect themselves from a range of unknown threats. These groups are ready to take action but have no concrete threats they can directly respond to. For digital security trainers and advisers like myself this current context can be both good and bad.

There are many individuals in the digital security space who are providing general digital security guidance right now to take advantage of this new-found agency. This…


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Exploring the security side of organizational, digital, and data transformation.

There are a surprising number of companies and individuals who make a living off of à la carte security interventions. Some organizations hire them for compliance reasons, other because they are unwilling to invest the resources in a more in-depth process. These interventions are, for the most part, completely ineffective.

I have had the opportunity to watch the ineffective and sometimes harmful effects when security support is provided à la carte to an organization. Digital-security trainings; audits, assessments, and penetration tests; threat intelligence feeds; and the range of shiny-new hardware and software solutions for digital security monitoring and defense are…


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This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

A Case for Human Rights Threat Intelligence

There is a growing exchange of legal language, political techniques, and censorship and surveillance technology between the governments of closed and closing societies around the world. This exchange has led to more restrictive political and legal environments and an overall growing sophistication of threats leveraged against civil society. Collective action by the citizenry is being met by collective action between these oppressive states. In these closed and closing spaces civil society needs actionable intelligence that will allow them to rapidly identify new threats and respond to their changing threat landscape.

Activists and human rights defenders already spend a great deal…

Seamus Tuohy

I’m Seamus Tuohy, a technologist and researcher focused on bringing my expertise to bear on solutions at the intersection of the public interest and technology.

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