The Guardian Project
Submitted by mberlinguer on Fri, 04/04/2014 - 19:10
The Guardian Project is a global collective of software developers, designers, advocates, activists and trainers who develop open source mobile security software and operating system enhancements. They also create customized mobile devices to help individuals communicate more freely and protect themselves from intrusion and monitoring. The effort specifically focuses on users who live or work in high-risk situations, and who often face constant surveillance and intrusion attempts into their mobile devices and communication streams. The Guardian Project creates easy-to-use open source apps, mobile OS security enhancements, and customized mobile devices for people around the world to help them communicate more freely, and protect themselves from intrusion and monitoring. The Guardian Project was founded by Nathan Freitas in 2009 in Brooklyn, NY. Since it was founded, the Guardian Project has developed more than a dozen mobile apps for Android and iOS with over two million downloads and hundreds of thousands of active users. In the last five years the Guardian Project has partnered with prominent open source software projects, activists groups, NGOs, commercial partners and news organizations to support their mobile security software capabilities. Their work has been made possible with funding from Google, UC Berkeley with the MacArthur Foundation, Avaaz, Internews, Open Technology Fund, WITNESS, the Knight Foundation, Benetech, and Free Press Unlimited. Through work on partner projects like The Tor Project, Commotion mesh and StoryMaker, they have received indirect funding from both the US State Department through the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Internet Freedom program, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through HIVOS. One application, still currently in its Beta testing phase, is InformaCam: it allows users to attach metadata like GPS coordinates, timestamps, compass bearing, altitude, and light meter readings, among other attributes, to digital pictures and video. These features are designed to provide journalists, human rights activists, and the legal community with the tools to secure and verify images and footage from areas of conflict and political unrest, where access to consistent, reliable information can be scarce. The application also has the ability to encrypt a user’s data, permits them to share media only with specified users, and connects to social media platforms like Facebook and Flickr for easy, secure posting. InformaCam also supports delivery of media to a server through the Tor network, hosted as a Tor Hidden Service. InformaCam uses the built in sensors in modern smartphones as well wi-fi, bluetooth, and cell tower information to create a snapshot of the environment in which an image or video was captured. This validates the date, time and location of capture. Digital signatures and encryption ensure that your media hasn't been tampered with and can only be opened by the intended recipient.
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