As the SDGs kick off and multiple discourse take place, it’s important for civil society to have impact in their work and engage government stakeholders effectively. This is where information security plays a huge role in ensuring that civil society work reach the right audience and have the right impact.
For example, an environmental activist is creating awareness of diminishing plateau resources. Some of the local culprits contributing to climate change might be local authorities. It’s very important for the activist to conduct a risk assessment and get to know how the devices being used for mobilization will help in conducting a successful awareness campaign without jeopardizing the security of the local community members who want to save the environment.
In this time of global collaboration, secure communication is very important be it with donor partners and allies. Human rights and the right to information is also another key player to digital security.
How then can we ensure that the SDGs are realized and promote awareness in both developing countries and the developed ones?
A few tools discussed at the digital security session during the #action4change forum 2015 with focus on adopting “free” and open source software for the protection and promotion of civil society work were; Chat secure, owncloud and Avira antivirus they stood out as the basic form of internet protection to help civil society enhance their work without worrying much about mobile data security.
The most important discussion that fascinated everyone was how easy it is to intercept whatsapp messages by copying your phone’s MAC address then downloading the bush box app to paste it and then accessing all your current and future whatsapp messages.
Remember, everyone has a right to privacy whether you are an activist (whether high risk or low risk activist you decide) or just an enthusiastic citizen. It is important to have best information security practices to promote our work and have impactful social transformation in line with the SDGs.
Submitted by Yvonne Oluoch,
Global Changemate Fellow 2015