December update

Wed, 2014-01-15 15:58

Through December, RFA’s Open Technology Fund continued funding a variety of Internet freedom projects. A significant accomplishment was RFA-OTF received more than 50 concept notes requesting more than $13 million in total for its most recent round solicitation. This represents the most successful OTF concept note solicitation to date with three more remaining in FY 2014.

Notable accomplishments

  • Cryptocat released first versions for both Android and iOS mobile devices;
  • Commotion 1.0 wireless mesh toolkit, a.k.a. “Internet in a Suitcase”, is now public;
  • SecondMuse’s Human-Centric Design project completed a large number of interviews in preparation for an on-the-ground engagement in Dharamsala, India;
  • Mailvelope is spearheading a modernization of OpenPGP.js, a dependency of all encrypted email browser extensions;
  • The Guardian Project made significant progress creating a method to safely share apps between mobile devices without reliance on censored app markets;
  • Security Research Labs publicly released multiple tools to measure if safeguards to protect users from interception, impersonation, and tracking are enabled on global GSM networks. Included is an Android app and other tools for automated testing, support for 3G networks, and a revamped online measurement sharing platform at;
  • Whisper Systems released the source code for the TextSecure Android app server, used by more than 10 million users globally, to assist other platforms in adopting encrypted text messaging;
  • Coinciding with the public release of OTF’ Transifex hub, Transifex highlighted Internet freedom projects in its monthly newsletter, read by hundreds of thousands of translators worldwide. This resulted in hundreds of new translators signing up to translate OTF projects, numerous completed translations, and new translations for languages that were not previously supported;
  • OTF encouraged multilingual RFA journalists to assist with the localization of Internet freedom tools;
  • The UC Berkeley Evaluation Testbed completed evaluations for 5 circumvention tools crucial to free expression in China and immediately begun mitigation of discovered issues;
  • Numerous former and current OTF supported projects attended and presented at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, including SecondMuse, GSMMap, Tor, LEAP, GlobaLeaks, Benetech and Cryptocat;
  • OTF, with State’s DRL, USAID, and BBG’s IAC, attended the quarterly Internet freedom funders meeting and the Open House for the DARPA’s SAFER program.

Select news collected by OTF from the month of December. Get the full feed live @OpenTechFund on Twitter.

Projects Mentioned