A new open-source Android app is aiming to help human rights activist to operate securely.
Created by Security First, Umbrella is aimed at journalists and humanitarians and provides practical advice on everything from making a secure phone call to how to spot signs of surveillance and what to do if you’re arrested. The app, available free, offers step-by-step advice on actions to take, and suggests appropriate tools.
Security First was founded by Dubliners, Rory Byrne and Holly Kilroy. The duo have worked on human rights issues worldwide.
“We wanted to build a simple, easily-accessible tool that brought together digital and physical security, and helped human rights activists implement it in a really user-friendly way,” said Mr Byrne, chief executive of Security First. “We’re basically building the tool we wish we had ourselves.”
The app has already got the backing of activists and organisations such as Human Rights Watch. The latter’s director of security, Matt Timblin, described it as an innovative development in helping improve the security of activists, humanitarians and journalists.