[guardian-dev] Eric Schmidt Awards Guardian Project a "New Digital Age" Grant

Dominik Schürmann dominik at dominikschuermann.de
Mon Mar 10 12:30:56 EDT 2014

Congratulations, indeed a great turn of events!


On Mon, 2014-03-10 at 12:14 -0400, Nathan of Guardian wrote:
> An interesting turn of events (which we are very grateful for!)
> ******
> Diana Del Olmo, diana at guardianproject.info
> Nathan Freitas (in Austin / SXSW) +1.718.569.7272
> nathan at guardianproject.info
> Get press kit and more at: https://guardianproject.info/press
> Permalink:
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kI6dV6nPSd1z3MkxSTMRT8P9DcFQ9uOiNFcUlGTjjXA/edit?usp=sharing
> The Guardian Project is amongst the 10 chosen grantee organizations to
> be awarded a $100,000 digital age grant due to its extensive work
> creating open source software to help citizens overcome
> government-sponsored censorship.
> NEW YORK, NY (March 10, 2014)—Ten non-profits in the U.S. and abroad
> have been named recipients of New Digital Age Grants, funded through a
> $1 million donation by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. The
> Guardian Project is one of two New York City-based groups receiving an
> award.
> The New Digital Age Grants were established to highlight organizations
> that use technology to counter the global challenges Schmidt and
> Google Ideas Director Jared Cohen write about in their book THE NEW
> DIGITAL AGE, including government-sponsored censorship, disaster
> relief and crime fighting. The book was released in paperback on March 4.
> “The recipients chosen for the New Digital Age Grants are doing some
> very innovative and unique work, and I’m proud to offer them this
> encouragement,” said Schmidt. “Five billion people will encounter the
> Internet for the first time in the next decade. With this surge in the
> use of technology around the world—much of which we in the West take
> for granted—I felt it was important to encourage organizations that
> are using it to solve some of our most pressing problems.”
> Guardian Project founder, Nathan Freitas, created the project based on
> his first-hand experience working with Tibetan human rights and
> independence activists for over ten years. Today, March 10th, is the
> 55th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day against Chinese
> occupation. “I have seen first hand the toll that online censorship,
> mobile surveillance and digital persecution can take on a culture,
> people and movement,” said Freitas. “I am elated to know Mr. Schmidt
> supports our effort to fight back against these unjust global trends
> through the development of free, open-source mobile security
> capabilities.”
> Many of the NDA grantees, such as Aspiration, Citizen Lab and OTI,
> already work with the Guardian Project on defending digital rights,
> training high-risk user groups and doing core research and development
> of anti-censorship and surveillance defense tools and training.
> The New Digital Age Grants are being funded through a private donation
> by Eric and Wendy Schmidt.
> About the Guardian Project
> The Guardian Project is a global collective of software developers
> (hackers!), designers, advocates, activists and trainers who develop
> open source mobile security software and operating system
> enhancements. They also create customized mobile devices to help
> individuals communicate more freely and protect themselves from
> intrusion and monitoring. The effort specifically focuses on users who
> live or work in high-risk situations, and who often face constant
> surveillance and intrusion attempts into their mobile devices and
> communication streams.
> Since it was founded in 2009, the Guardian Project has developed more
> than a dozen mobile apps for Android and iOS with over two million
> downloads and hundreds of thousands of active users. In the last five
> years the Guardian Project has partnered with prominent open source
> software projects, activists groups, NGOs, commercial partners and
> news organizations to support their mobile security software
> capabilities. This work has been made possible with funding from
> Google, UC Berkeley with the MacArthur Foundation, Avaaz, Internews,
> Open Technology Fund, WITNESS, the Knight Foundation, Benetech, and
> Free Press Unlimited. Through work on partner projects like The Tor
> Project, Commotion mesh and StoryMaker, we have received indirect
> funding from both the US State Department through the Bureau of
> Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Internet Freedom program, and the
> Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through HIVOS.
> The Guardian Project is very grateful for this personal donation and
> is happy to have its work recognized by Mr Schmidt. This grant will
> allow us to continue our work on ensuring users around the world have
> access to secure, open and trustworthy mobile messaging services. We
> will continue to improve reliability and security of ChatSecure for
> Android and iOS and integrate the OStel voice and video calling
> services into the app for a complete secure communications solution.
> We will support the work of the new I.M.AWESOME (Instant Messaging
> Always Secure Messaging) Coalition focused on open-standards,
> decentralized secure mobile messaging, and voice and video
> communications. Last, but not least, we will improve device testing,
> support and outreach to global human rights defenders, activists and
> journalists, bringing the technology that the Guardian Project has
> developed to the people that need it most.
> About the NDA Recipients
> Aspiration in San Francisco, CA, provides deep mentorship to build
> tech capacity supporting Africa, Asia and beyond. Their NDA grant will
> grow their capacity-building programs for the Global South, increasing
> technical capacity to meet local challenges.
> C4ADS, a nonprofit research team in Washington, DC, is at the cutting
> edge of unmasking Somali pirate networks, Russian arms-smuggling
> rings, and other illicit actors entirely through public records. Their
> data-driven approach and reliance on public documents has enormous
> potential impact, and the grant will help with their next big project.
> The Citizen Integration Center in Monterrey, Mexico has developed an
> innovative public safety broadcast and tipline system on social media.
> Users help their neighbors—and the city—by posting incidents and
> receiving alerts when violence is occurring in their communities. The
> grant will help them broaden their reach.
> The Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University
> of Toronto, Canada, is a leading interdisciplinary laboratory
> researching and exposing censorship and surveillance. The grant will
> support their technical reconnaissance and analysis, which uniquely
> combines experts and techniques from computer science and the social
> sciences.
> The Guardian Project, based in New York City, develops open-source
> secure communication tools for mobile devices. ChatSecure and OSTel,
> their open standards-based encrypted messaging, voice and video
> communication services, which are both built on open standards, have
> earned the trust of tens of thousands of users in
> repressively-censored environments, and the grant will advance their
> technical development.
> The Igarapé Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, focuses on violence
> prevention and reduction through technology. Their nonprofit work on
> anti-crime projects combines the thoughtfulness of a think tank with
> the innovative experimentation of a technology design shop. The grant
> will support their research and development work.
> KoBo Toolbox in Cambridge, MA, allows fieldworkers in far-flung
> conflict and disaster zones to easily gather information without
> active Internet connections. The grant will help them revamp their
> platform to make it easier and faster to deploy.
> The New Media Advocacy Project in New York, NY, is nonprofit
> organization developing mobile tools to map violence and
> disappearances in challenging environments. The grant will allow them
> to refine their novel, interactive, video-based interfaces.
> The Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation in
> Washington, DC, advances open architectures and open-source
> innovations for a free and open Internet. The grant will assist their
> work with the Measurement Lab project to objectively measure and
> report Internet interference from repressive governments.
> Portland State University in Portland, OR, is leading ground-breaking
> research on network traffic obfuscation techniques, which improve
> Internet accessibility for residents of repressively-censored
> environments. The grant will support the research of Professor Tom
> Shrimpton and his lab, who—with partners at the University of
> Wisconsin and beyond—continue to push the boundaries with new
> techniques like Format Transforming Encryption.
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