Difference between revisions of "February 10 2022 GM"

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Don't have an account to the IFF Mattermost? [[IFF_Mattermost|you can request one following the directions here.]]
 
Don't have an account to the IFF Mattermost? [[IFF_Mattermost|you can request one following the directions here.]]
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== Notes ==
 +
 +
You can find Fabby, Vlad and Martha in Mattermost as @fabby @vladmx-article19 @marthatudon_a19
 +
 +
[https://encirculo.org/es/?# Circulo App], a secure communication channel designed to create strong networks of support for individuals facing risky situations. A development based on feedback provided by female journalists in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. In this Glitter Meetup, our guests will share with the IFF community the results of a 3-year collaboration project between the Article 19 Office for Mexico and Central America and The Guardian Project developing the Circulo App, a digital tool built to strengthen safety protocols among individuals in need of psychological and physical support due to potential threats.
 +
 +
'''Please, introduce us to the Círculo app? And talk a bit about The Guardian Project?'''
 +
* The Guardian Project creates easy to use secure apps, open-source software libraries, and customized solutions that can be used around the world by any person looking to protect their communications and personal data from unjust intrusion, interception and monitoring.
 +
* ARTICLE 19 works in Mexico and Central America to monitor attacks on freedom of expression, including violence against journalists, protests and surveillance.
 +
* Círculo was developed to help you connect you to a reliable network of friends, colleagues, or family members when facing dangerous situations to strengthen established safety protocols. It is an application that offers a secure communication channel for people to send messages, alerts, and location information, offering a means for journalists, activists and HRD to find support from their networks.
 +
* This application was built by collecting the experience, needs and worries of women working in the press, social initiatives, and human rights defense projects. What interested ARTICLE 19 and The Guardian Project was having the sensitivity of the context of women journalists’ work and associated dangers, as well as the gender factors that affect said context. The participation of women journalists was fundamental in building this application.
 +
 +
* We conducted extensive user research during the whole development process and established partnerships with many feminist organizations, human rights defenders, journalists, and activists who gave us feedback throughout the whole process. ARTICLE 19 and The Guardian Project led several workshops and discussion groups that focused on mapping: (1) support networks – personal and professional – for women journalists in case they experience any kind of violence; (2) circumstances and reactions to violence faced by women journalists in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala – both on and offline; (3) technological tools available in the digital market for women to feel safer. In addition, (4) several test processes were developed – based on the user – to improve the application; (5) feedback was sought throughout its development about its use and efficiency; and (6) models of potential scenarios where women may use Círculo were created, alongside the inputs and materials that would aid comprehension and implementation of the app. The result is Círculo.
 +
 +
'''What about the UX work you did for Círculo? It looks very easy to use especially for the non-techies'''
 +
 +
* Our awesome design team OkThanks did a great job, and it is available in English and Spanish
 +
 +
'''Can you share with us hands-on experiences of people using Círculo IRL? What was most useful to them? What needs to be developed further?'''
 +
 +
* So the app has just been made available for Android and iOS in the super new and efficient format. Our Protection and Defense Program of ARTICLE 19 MX is gonna introduce Círculo in the workshops we give journalists on integral security
 +
 +
* Examples of potential scenarios are: You can use it if you’re a journalist and you’re interviewing a public servant. Since in Mexico and other countries in LATAM the authorities are often colluded with criminals and are the main perpetrators of violence against the press, you could use Círculo to activate prevention, monitoring, and response strategies in case of danger. Another example is that you can use it if you want to protest or participate in a public demonstration. Together with other security protocols, Círculo can be of use in case you need help from your community.
 +
 +
'''It's super important to understand that this isn't a panic button, it's not Círculo's intention'''
 +
* The authorities here in MX give panic buttons to journalists and HRD that are in severe vulnerability, but they don't work, also, authorities are the main perpetrators of violence.
 +
* When we started developing Circulo we tested many "Panic Button" apps available in Mexico and we realized that due to the poor infrastructure of the networks in Mexico, the high cost of data, most of the alerts fail to be sent and received on time. Which puts users at risk instead of assisting them.
 +
 +
* We did not want to promise something we could not deliver, instead we want Circulo users to create strong safety protocols and use Circulo as a tool in those protocols.
 +
 +
'''Could you give some details about how you encrypt conversations? And expand about the security features of the app?'''
 +
* Everything that is shared through Circulo is end-to-end encrypted using the Matrix protocol and securely stored within the application’s private storage.
 +
* We also included the camouflage (to change the icon image of the app) and pin-lock features on the Android version.
 +
* Also, alerts on Circulo are ephemeral, so old statuses are deleted automatically after a period of time so there  is no evidence left behind.
 +
* Most importantly, Circulo doesn't require a phone number, real name or email to register an account, so all the contacts in the app are completely anonymous and safe if someone else gets access to the device.
 +
 +
'''Does Círculo need the device to be connected to the Internet or  can it use the cellphone grid to send distress signals?'''
 +
 +
* So that's actually a key challenge for the application implementation. Círculo works only on a cellphone with internet access, and without the connection, information may not be shared. This represents the most relevant challenge in the use of the application, as many people in LATAM have limited data cell phones. Press coverage is often also carried out in zones without internet connection, mainly in the case of journalists’ community work. It is important, therefore, to design security alternatives and protocols that can be activated in offline situations. And also why it won't intend to be a panic button
 +
 +
'''Tell us more about the people working to provide support to the app users...can any emotional, legal, psychological or tech support be requested/provided through Círculo?'''
 +
 +
* Users depend on their “circle” of trust to activate prevention, monitoring, and response strategies. This application is calling upon citizens’ social responsibility, to proactively take care of those informing us in the press or fighting for our rights. The latter implies asking and knowing about dangerous situations, and ensuring that specific roles and responsibilities are adopted in cases of emergency.
 +
* At the end Círculo aims to become a secure communication channel between people and their contacts so that – when facing risky situations – the support network implements the appropriate security protocols.
 +
* And also the contention and the follow-up the person needs. It's to try to start relying on each other and speaking out loud about the challenges we face in this line of work
 +
* Círculo therefore, is an invitation for HRD and journalists to dialogue with the people that may support them in their work and its dangers. This will allow the violence to be put on the table and be known by its full magnitude. Thus, perhaps, a conversation about the individual security of each person can boost a conversation of the importance of journalists and HRD work.
 +
* We also created a [https://encirculo.org/en/assets/documents/Find_Me_On_Circulo_Game-ENGLISH_v1.pdf board game] to help new users understand better the role of the app in a safety protocol, in this game we used real case scenarios in which players need to analyze the risk and understand their role in the scenario and what is expected from them from the user at risk. You can download the game here:
 +
 +
'''The app is already available in the Apple Store and the Google Play Store, is it alright to just download it? How can we help the project to succeed?'''
 +
* Yes. You can help us by promoting the app and explaining its use and aim.
 +
* Círculo intends to become a secure communication channel between journalists, activists, HRD and their contacts so that – when facing risky situations – the support network implements the appropriate security protocols. People depend on their “circles” of trust to activate prevention, monitoring, and response strategies. This application is calling upon citizens’ social responsibility, to proactively take care of those informing us in the press. The latter implies asking and knowing about dangerous situations, and ensuring that specific roles and responsibilities are adopted in cases of emergency.

Latest revision as of 16:59, 10 February 2022

Glitter Meetups

Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IFF Square on the IFF Mattermost, at 9am EST / 2pm UTC. Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.

Circulo App

Circulo App, a secure communication channel designed to create strong networks of support for individuals facing risky situations. A development based on feedback provided by female journalists in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. In this Glitter Meetup, our guests will share with the IFF community the results of a 3-year collaboration project between the Article 19 Office for Mexico and Central America and The Guardian Project developing the Circulo App, a digital tool built to strengthen safety protocols among individuals in need of psychological and physical support due to potential threats.

Date: Thursday, February 10

Time: 9am EST / 2pm UTC

Who: Fabiola Maurice, Community Manager at The Guardian Project, Vladimir Cortés and Martha Tudón, Digital Rights Program Officer and Digital Rights Coordinator at Article 19 Office for Mexico and Central America

Where: IFF Mattermost Square Channel

Don't have an account to the IFF Mattermost? you can request one following the directions here.

Notes

You can find Fabby, Vlad and Martha in Mattermost as @fabby @vladmx-article19 @marthatudon_a19

Circulo App, a secure communication channel designed to create strong networks of support for individuals facing risky situations. A development based on feedback provided by female journalists in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. In this Glitter Meetup, our guests will share with the IFF community the results of a 3-year collaboration project between the Article 19 Office for Mexico and Central America and The Guardian Project developing the Circulo App, a digital tool built to strengthen safety protocols among individuals in need of psychological and physical support due to potential threats.

Please, introduce us to the Círculo app? And talk a bit about The Guardian Project?

  • The Guardian Project creates easy to use secure apps, open-source software libraries, and customized solutions that can be used around the world by any person looking to protect their communications and personal data from unjust intrusion, interception and monitoring.
  • ARTICLE 19 works in Mexico and Central America to monitor attacks on freedom of expression, including violence against journalists, protests and surveillance.
  • Círculo was developed to help you connect you to a reliable network of friends, colleagues, or family members when facing dangerous situations to strengthen established safety protocols. It is an application that offers a secure communication channel for people to send messages, alerts, and location information, offering a means for journalists, activists and HRD to find support from their networks.
  • This application was built by collecting the experience, needs and worries of women working in the press, social initiatives, and human rights defense projects. What interested ARTICLE 19 and The Guardian Project was having the sensitivity of the context of women journalists’ work and associated dangers, as well as the gender factors that affect said context. The participation of women journalists was fundamental in building this application.
  • We conducted extensive user research during the whole development process and established partnerships with many feminist organizations, human rights defenders, journalists, and activists who gave us feedback throughout the whole process. ARTICLE 19 and The Guardian Project led several workshops and discussion groups that focused on mapping: (1) support networks – personal and professional – for women journalists in case they experience any kind of violence; (2) circumstances and reactions to violence faced by women journalists in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala – both on and offline; (3) technological tools available in the digital market for women to feel safer. In addition, (4) several test processes were developed – based on the user – to improve the application; (5) feedback was sought throughout its development about its use and efficiency; and (6) models of potential scenarios where women may use Círculo were created, alongside the inputs and materials that would aid comprehension and implementation of the app. The result is Círculo.

What about the UX work you did for Círculo? It looks very easy to use especially for the non-techies

  • Our awesome design team OkThanks did a great job, and it is available in English and Spanish

Can you share with us hands-on experiences of people using Círculo IRL? What was most useful to them? What needs to be developed further?

  • So the app has just been made available for Android and iOS in the super new and efficient format. Our Protection and Defense Program of ARTICLE 19 MX is gonna introduce Círculo in the workshops we give journalists on integral security
  • Examples of potential scenarios are: You can use it if you’re a journalist and you’re interviewing a public servant. Since in Mexico and other countries in LATAM the authorities are often colluded with criminals and are the main perpetrators of violence against the press, you could use Círculo to activate prevention, monitoring, and response strategies in case of danger. Another example is that you can use it if you want to protest or participate in a public demonstration. Together with other security protocols, Círculo can be of use in case you need help from your community.

It's super important to understand that this isn't a panic button, it's not Círculo's intention

  • The authorities here in MX give panic buttons to journalists and HRD that are in severe vulnerability, but they don't work, also, authorities are the main perpetrators of violence.
  • When we started developing Circulo we tested many "Panic Button" apps available in Mexico and we realized that due to the poor infrastructure of the networks in Mexico, the high cost of data, most of the alerts fail to be sent and received on time. Which puts users at risk instead of assisting them.
  • We did not want to promise something we could not deliver, instead we want Circulo users to create strong safety protocols and use Circulo as a tool in those protocols.

Could you give some details about how you encrypt conversations? And expand about the security features of the app?

  • Everything that is shared through Circulo is end-to-end encrypted using the Matrix protocol and securely stored within the application’s private storage.
  • We also included the camouflage (to change the icon image of the app) and pin-lock features on the Android version.
  • Also, alerts on Circulo are ephemeral, so old statuses are deleted automatically after a period of time so there is no evidence left behind.
  • Most importantly, Circulo doesn't require a phone number, real name or email to register an account, so all the contacts in the app are completely anonymous and safe if someone else gets access to the device.

Does Círculo need the device to be connected to the Internet or can it use the cellphone grid to send distress signals?

  • So that's actually a key challenge for the application implementation. Círculo works only on a cellphone with internet access, and without the connection, information may not be shared. This represents the most relevant challenge in the use of the application, as many people in LATAM have limited data cell phones. Press coverage is often also carried out in zones without internet connection, mainly in the case of journalists’ community work. It is important, therefore, to design security alternatives and protocols that can be activated in offline situations. And also why it won't intend to be a panic button

Tell us more about the people working to provide support to the app users...can any emotional, legal, psychological or tech support be requested/provided through Círculo?

  • Users depend on their “circle” of trust to activate prevention, monitoring, and response strategies. This application is calling upon citizens’ social responsibility, to proactively take care of those informing us in the press or fighting for our rights. The latter implies asking and knowing about dangerous situations, and ensuring that specific roles and responsibilities are adopted in cases of emergency.
  • At the end Círculo aims to become a secure communication channel between people and their contacts so that – when facing risky situations – the support network implements the appropriate security protocols.
  • And also the contention and the follow-up the person needs. It's to try to start relying on each other and speaking out loud about the challenges we face in this line of work
  • Círculo therefore, is an invitation for HRD and journalists to dialogue with the people that may support them in their work and its dangers. This will allow the violence to be put on the table and be known by its full magnitude. Thus, perhaps, a conversation about the individual security of each person can boost a conversation of the importance of journalists and HRD work.
  • We also created a board game to help new users understand better the role of the app in a safety protocol, in this game we used real case scenarios in which players need to analyze the risk and understand their role in the scenario and what is expected from them from the user at risk. You can download the game here:

The app is already available in the Apple Store and the Google Play Store, is it alright to just download it? How can we help the project to succeed?

  • Yes. You can help us by promoting the app and explaining its use and aim.
  • Círculo intends to become a secure communication channel between journalists, activists, HRD and their contacts so that – when facing risky situations – the support network implements the appropriate security protocols. People depend on their “circles” of trust to activate prevention, monitoring, and response strategies. This application is calling upon citizens’ social responsibility, to proactively take care of those informing us in the press. The latter implies asking and knowing about dangerous situations, and ensuring that specific roles and responsibilities are adopted in cases of emergency.