The work that people who dare to document do brings a pyscho-social element that is not often discussed or understood. Feelings such as anger, frustration, depression… all as a result of what someone has heard, seen and experienced while engaged in documenting.
“As we are responding to people who are suffering, we not may not be aware of it, but we are suffering as well.”
Alice Nah, University of York
What are organizations and individuals doing to help address their own trauma? What are the practices, beliefs, and norms that have led to such a widespread crisis in the world of human rights documentation? Today on the podcast we hear from researchers and scholars in the field of psychology and human rights, Alice Nah and Adam Brown.
The story used to be: the tech industry develops a monitoring tool, governments would be slow to understand and adopt them. Two decades later, that script has been flipped; governments are not only actively using new tools as part of their surveillance capacity, they are also involved in the proliferation of those tools, so that any government in the world can and eventually will have access to them. Moreover, the practices and purposes of monitoring citizens’ use of technology have found their way into some very strange and disturbing aspects of our lives.
Vidushi Marda of Article 19 and Rory Byrne of Security First join us on the podcast today to discuss the growth of the surveillance state and the priorities of governments when it comes to tracking, monitoring, and suppressing those who document or report.
Today on the program we’re looking at the digital risks and threats that every organisation (and individual) faces at some level.
Data, especially the kind of data that is gathered in the field about the reality on the ground, can influence decision makers in various levels of power. If you are someone gathering data, there are those actors who may not want your data to ever see the light of day, as it may have impact on the outcome they want to see. As a result, powerful forces are working everday to destroy documentation tools, erase or intercept data, and above all – stop the documenters through both physical and technical means.
Our major question today is: What are these risks documenters face and and how can we detect them when so much of what goes on in technology is not visible when we use our devices?
For our first guest, as a digital security researcher in the field, the problem has two major parts: One is awareness. The need for documenters and documentation focused organisations to have deeper knowledge of not just what their technology does but how it works. What is part of the normal functioning of a phone or a computer, and what is a sign that something more is going on. The other side of the coin is related to those who build these tools, who are often far from the reality on the ground and don’t prioritize having security features on by default.
Our second guest, Mario Heidrich, as the founder of Pentration Testing Company Cure 53, speaks to us about the kinds of security threats his work involves emulating. The process of challenging your website or application security systematically before it comes from a truly malicious party. A process that costs time and money, but represents the type of mindset and preparation that could help organisations of any size be prepared for the threats that are out there.
When you put them together, today’s guests can help explain both what the risks are for documenters today, and what is needed to help protect them.
In episode 1 of The Cartara Podcast we looked at what being open source means and why it is important for the development of tools for documentation and digital security.
Today we get a step closer to the reality on the ground, with individuals who have been through the process of the development of open source tools that become useful to a broader audience, as well as tools that eventually become abandoned for myriad reasons. How does this process unfold over time, and what could be done to keep open source tools supported in a world where users, funders, and developers seem to regularly move on to the next thing?
Our guests today talk about their experience and where they see the problems when it comes to tool development and funding, as well as possible solutions to reduce the risks that communities-under-threat around the world face as a result of projects that get left behind.
In our everyday lives we trust the developers of applications to protect our sensitive data, usually without knowing how or why these tools work. When we consider the documentation process: communication, data management, media recording; experts will often talk about the importance that they be open source. But do we understand what makes tools open source and how that matters for different documentation projects? Today on the innaugeral episode of the podcast, we speak with Marie Gutbub and Raphael Mimoun regarding what role being open source plays for the users and developers of tools used in both specialized activities and everyday life.