Welcome to the Information Security Coalition
We provide technical support to civil society activists, independent journalists and media, and human rights defenders working in insecure situations, namely, environments where internet threats from criminals, corporations, or governments pose a serious risk to the normal functioning of healthy elements of a democratic society. This support primarily involves the mentoring of high-visibility organizations and individuals to ensure they are able to work without the hindrances of online surveillance, censorship, or attack. The ISC team is global, multilingual, and always available. Our efforts are funded by international donors. For more information, drop us an e-mail. As part of our support of technology development that addresses the needs of our project’s stakeholders overseas, the ISC provides periodic grant funding to organizations working to improve and/or customize existing tools and resources.
Congratulations to our Technology Grants Round 2 winners!
1- iilab – Open Integrity Index
The Open Integrity Index will enable users to make sophisticated decisions about the tools they use for privacy and communications without requiring a high-level security engineering background. The platform will serve as a repository for the results of independent audits which will be made accessible to a general audience. It will also serve as a resource for other platforms, such as application markets, to integrate digital security into the decision-making process of installing software. The project will work on improving access to material on digital security principles in languages other than English, promoting stronger awareness on fundamental precepts of privacy by design in the development of communications tools, and encouraging stronger relationships between developers and their communities of users. More information can be found at http://openintegrity.org and http://iilab.org
2- radicalDESIGNS – Ethersheet
Ethersheet is an open source spreadsheet which makes it easy for groups of people to work on a spreadsheet at the same time. Ethersheet supports anonymity of the end users by storing no personally identifiable information. It also frees people to not have to trust a third party by hosting the server themselves.
3- Intevation – Gpg4win
The project will improve the Free Software Gpg4win so that more users can benefit from its strong email and file crypto operations. It will also produce new Gpg4win installers that will fix some known issues and are more compatible with modern versions of Outlook and Windows.
4- Small World News – StoryMaker
Small World News will both add important privacy features and improve the design of StoryMaker. It will directly integrate the Guardian Project’s work on the redaction filter for ffmpeg, first seen in the ObscuraCam app, to protect anyone appearing in a story who wishes to remain anonymous. Finally, the project will explore the possibilities for expanding IOCipher integration to improve users’ opportunities to utilize encryption to protect archived projects on their devices.
5- HacDC – Project Byzantium
Initiated in early 2011, Project Byzantium is a research and development working group. HacDC is developing Byzantium Linux, a live distribution of Linux for rapidly and easily constructing ad-hoc wireless mesh networks during emergencies. Byzantium Linux aims to assist relief efforts by providing flexible networking infrastructure and services. Project Byzantium will research wireless emergency communication technologies and expand the supported hardware platforms.
6- Tor Project – Stegotorus
Stegotorus is a tool designed to disguise Tor traffic to resemble an uncensored protocol, such as HTTP. Stegotorus enables users to bypass internet censorship and communicate with the outside world anonymously. This is especially true where censors aggressively monitor and analyze traffic in order to ban circumvention technologies, such as Tor. The goal is to improve the tool and make it approachable for non-technical users as well as to confirm its reliability.
The winners of our first round of Technology Grants include:
1- CAP Solutions – Tor Browser Bundle
Based upon the previously stated research and interactions with Tor developers, Cap Solutions is implementing an enhanced design of a new Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) user interface. The group is conducting individual usability testing sessions with a variety of technical and nontechnical users following a simple set of instructions to install, configure, and utilize TBB with the revised interface.
2- WITNESS – InformaCam
InformaCam is a mobile app seeking to address issues of authentication for digital media. Citizen-shot media sent to newsrooms, human rights organizations, and courts of law is often missing vital information that would enable them to verify the story such as who shot it, surrounding context, and a reliable source of data that can answer, “Is this for real?” InformaCam turns on the user’s mobile device’s sensors to track GPS, directionality, as well nearby devices so that the user can enhance information about the context surrounding the capture of the image. The user can also insert additional data, such as consent of people filmed. The app allows to confirm that the image and its embedded meta data have come from a particular camera, at a particular time and place, before being shared in encrypted format with someone a trusted contact – for example, a human rights investigations team.
3- Brave New Software – Lantern
Lantern focuses on the ability to access the blocked internet through a highly usable tool that is both fast and resistant to blocking attempts. Lantern uses a peer-‐to-peer (p2p) trust network at its core, relying on trusted users being invited to the system both inside and outside of countries with internet filtering.
4- Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany – OONI
TUM’s Crossbear, a tool to automatically detect and locate man-in-the-middle attacks, is being extended by including more hosts in different countries to conduct the tracerouting from – this is being achieved by integrating Crossbear with the distributed measurement platform OONI, the Open Observatory for Network Interference (by the Tor Project). TUM is also creating a framework for automated processing and reporting of gathered data.
5- The Guardian Project – Bazaar
The Guardian Project is spearheading development of an open‐source repository and accompanying app (the “Bazaar”) for the promotion and dissemination of software promoting privacy, anonymity, circumvention, and steganography.