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Digital Support

A practical guide for women journalists on how to respond to online harassment

Journalists frequently receive death threats, threats of sexual violence, and threats directed at their families and are targeted by disinformation campaigns. Research has shown that these attacks disproportionately affect women journalists.
This online guide from Thomson Reuters Foundation's pro bono legal programme TrustLaw has been written to support women journalists as they navigate the challenges of online violence. It includes information on:
  • How to prepare for online harassment
  • What to do during and after an attack
  • A list of resources to support women journalists with responding to online harassment
TRF+Practical+Guide+JUL+2021+V15.pdf
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Meta

Special Operations Center

Meta has established a Special Operations Center to respond to activity across the platform in real-time. It is staffed by experts from across the company, including native speakers, to allow them to closely monitor the situation so they can remove content that violates their Community Standards faster.
Read more about Meta’s ongoing efforts regarding the Israel-Hamas war under the Special Operations Center.

Journalist Safety Guide

Last week the Meta Media Partnerships Team launched a Journalist Safety Campaign which includes a new web destination for Journalist Safety and guides available in multiple languages that explain the content in the attachment (ex: setting up 2FA, reporting harassment, etc.). These guides will be updated as the content is updated moving forward.

Meta Journalism Project

The Meta Journalism Project offers Training and Support Resources: Equip yourself with resources to help mitigate digital safety risks and find organisations that can address other security concerns you may face — including legal issues, mental health and physical safety.

Pro-bono protection against DDOS attacks

If you are the victim of a DDOS attack, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) can refer your organisation to Cloudflare, an American web infrastructure and website security company that provides content delivery network and DDoS mitigation services. Cloudflare offers pro-bono protections against DDOS attacks for organisations referred by NED. For assistance, please fill out an application on Cloudflare’s website contact [email protected].

Free DW Resources to Avoid Disinformation and Circumvent Censorship

DW Freedom (Twitter), a project of Deutsche Welle highlights complex issues surrounding free speech, free expression and a free press around the world. In connection with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine they recommend a series of articles they have published on circumventing censorship and moving unrecognised on the internet.
DW Innovation also recommends accessing InfoMigrants, “a news and information site for migrants to counter misinformation at every point of their journey: in their country of origin, along the route, or in the places where they hope to start a new life.” The site is a joint-venture of DW, ANSA and France Médias Monde.

Digital safety advice from CPJ

"Journalists should protect themselves and their sources by keeping up to date on the latest digital security news and threats such as hacking, phishing, and surveillance. Journalists should think about the information they are responsible for and what could happen if it falls into the wrong hands, and take measures to defend their accounts, devices, communications, and online activity."
See more on CPJ's Digital Safety Kit. You can also read their article about how to prepare for internet shut-downs.

Satellite Communication Threats

Risks are inherent in using any form of communication tool when speaking truth to power. Satellite communication tools are often rolled out quickly during crises as they provide critical access and are difficult – but not impossible – to block. However, the risks of using these tools must be considered.
Internews has published a guide discussing threats which are widely applicable to 2-way satellite communications devices, such as satellite phones and pagers, Inmarsat BGANs, Starlinks, and VSAT terminals.
satcom-mitigations-en.pdf
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SATCOM threat-model UA_FINAL.pdf
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Internews Tech Support

Internews can support partners with anti-virus software, DDoS protection, hosting, VPNs and any ad hoc tech-related requests. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or if any of the tech services below are of interest:
  • Anti-virus software - ESET: This is anti-virus software that works to protect your device against cyber intrusions such as malware attacks and data breaches. One ESET license can be installed on five different devices. Valid for three years.
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Protection - Cloudflare: Cloudflare provides robust security to enterprises that are targets of DDoS and other cyber-attacks. Project Galileo has made that same security available for at-risk public interest websites at no cost. In an effort to keep participants safe from potential backlash, Cloudflare will not publicly announce sites involved in Project Galileo without explicit permission.
  • Hosting - Greenhost/eQualitie: Internews has limited available credits for web hosting, which may include services like migration or set up of tools, for example Nextcloud or Mattermost. Specific hosting requirements will be assessed.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) - TunnelBear: TunnelBear encrypts your internet connection and protects your privacy, which prevents hackers or other nefarious actors from viewing or accessing your browsing activity, hiding your real IP address, and helps you to bypass internet censorship. Valid for one year.
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Protection - Cloudflare: Cloudflare provides robust security to enterprises that are targets of DDoS and other cyber-attacks. Project Galileo has made that same security available for at-risk public interest websites at no cost. In an effort to keep participants safe from potential backlash, Cloudflare will not publicly announce sites involved in Project Galileo without explicit permission.
  • Hosting - Greenhost/eQualitie: Internews has limited available credits for web hosting, which may include services like migration or set up of tools, for example Nextcloud or Mattermost. Specific hosting requirements will be assessed.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) - TunnelBear: TunnelBear encrypts your internet connection and protects your privacy, which prevents hackers or other nefarious actors from viewing or accessing your browsing activity, hiding your real IP address, and helps you to bypass internet censorship. Valid for one year.

Five Ways to Stay Online During a Government Internet Shutdown

International nonprofit journalism organisation Rest of World has spoken to experts in privacy and security to get their advice on the tools and tactics for skirting shutdowns.
From the article, "Experts advise that if you live in a place where shutdowns are a risk — and that risk is spreading — be prepared. Download VPNs and other apps; be sure to have a contingency plan, including a phone number that doesn’t rely on the internet to connect; and have a phone tree of important people to call should something happen."

Open Technology Fund (OTF) Rapid Response Fund

To resolve digital emergencies, OTF's Rapid Response Fund works with partners who are highly sensitive to and well-aware of the specific needs and challenges of human rights activists, journalists, and the Internet freedom community.
Listed below are trusted service partners that offer technological services:

Tierra Común

Tierra Común is a Latin American network made up of a group of professionals and experts in free technologies, computer protection and training that promotes a comprehensive approach to privacy and digital security.
Their main objective is for the people they work with to manage their own protection without intermediaries, without expensive software licenses, and gradually strengthening their own capacities.
Tierra Común provides the following services:
  • Advice: Consulting on digital security diagnosis and risk analysis and design of protocols and regulations in computing
  • Information backup
  • Communications receipt
  • Trainings: Basic and advanced computer self-defense
  • Technical support
  • Web services: Website creation and security audit
Languages supported by Tierra Comun:
  • English
  • Spanish
Reach out to Terra Común here: [email protected].

Greenhost

Greenhost offers web hosting from small, simple websites to complex setups with multiple Virtual Private Servers (VPSes) using 100% Dutch wind energy.
Greenhosts' web hosting services includes:
  • Clustered web hosting
  • Cloud platform
  • Deflect anti-DDoS protection
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS)
  • Real-time Monitoring
Please reach out to this dedicated address for rapid response requests: [email protected].

Qurium Media Foundation (QMF)

Qurium Media Foundation (QMF) is a Swedish digital forensic group that offers Rapid Response support. The pro-bono service is dedicated to independent media, investigative journalists and human rights activists in Internet repressive regimes that have been targets of digital attacks, or are likely to become a target due to its scope of work, and are in need of immediate support.
The support that Qurium assists with is classified in thee categories:
Preventative measures:
  • Sanitation and audit of at-risk websites – cleaning and upgrading outdated and insecure websites to improve resilience against attacks
  • Secure Hosting of at-risk websites – 12 months hosting with Virtualroad.org, including DDoS mitigation and forensics investigations of targeted attacks
  • Mentorship – a 3-6 months remote mentorship program to strengthen and improve existing organizational procedures in digital security. Available in English, Spanish and Arabic.
  • Customized support during special events – secure hosting and close monitoring of websites of public interest under election periods, military coups, and situations of civil unrest.
During attack:
Mitigation of ongoing attacks against websites, including:
  • DDoS attacks
  • Scanning and probing
  • Brute-force attacks
  • Unauthorized access
Post attack:
  • Secure Hosting – 12 months hosting with Virtualroad.org, including DDoS mitigation and forensics investigations of targeted attacks.
  • Sanitation of compromised website – identification and removal of malware/backdoors as well as insecure code to prevent future attacks.
  • Circumvention of Internet blocking – deployment of block-resilient mirror of blocked WordPress website (Bifrost)
  • Digital forensics – forensics investigation with focus on modus-operandi and attribution of targeted attacks, including:
    • Website attacks (DDoS, unauthorized access, scanning, probing)
    • Targeted phishing
  • Internet blocking of websites and web applications – forensics investigation of Internet blocking with focus on how the blocking is taking place, by whom and by which means.
  • Compromised mobile phones – digital forensics investigation of compromised mobile phones
Apply for Rapid Response support here.
Qurium may offer services that are not listed above, depending on its scope and the human resources available. If your needs don’t fit within the list of services, feel free to send an encrypted email to [email protected].

Totem

Developed in collaboration by Greenhost and Free Press Unlimited, Totem is an online learning platform that offers educational courses about digital security and privacy, and related tools and tactics for journalists, activists and human rights defenders in a safe, online classroom environment.
The Totem platform is built using the open-source Open edX MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) software. The platform has been carefully designed to be safe and privacy-preserving by collecting minimal data about its users and also using secure, modern encryption to prevent any eavesdropping.
The following are featured courses from Totem:
  • Risk analysis
  • Human rights documentation
  • Device security
  • How to protect your identity online
  • How to be a journalist and manage your online privacy
  • Tools for journalists to help identify their online abusers and the tactics that they use
  • Why field research matters
  • Going undercover on Instagram
  • How to bypass internet censorship
  • Good password management
  • Secure messaging apps
  • Phishing attacks
  • How the internet works
View all 63 courses here.

Last modified 2mo ago