In times of crisis, people need access to information more than ever to protect their health, safety, and freedom. Never has this been more true than over the last several months as the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded worldwide. Not only is information essential to preventing the spread of the pandemic, lives depend on it.
OTF knows how important it is for people to have reliable access to uncensored information during times of crisis, which is why we created the OTF Rapid Response Fund four years ago to quickly and effectively respond to digital emergencies. Since the Rapid Response Fund was created, OTF has supported rapid response interventions in over 40 countries around the world.
OTF’s Rapid Response Fund is always open, and we’re continually accepting and reviewing applications. However, given the magnitude of the global COVID-19 crisis, we’re making more funding accessible to those who need it most. We’ve increased the total pool of funding available through the Rapid Response Fund for interventions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are prioritizing all rapid response applications related to the pandemic.
Examples of COVID-19-related rapid response projects could include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
- Circumvention solutions to access blocked health and safety information and to respond to increased COVID-19-related censorship
- Secure hosting for health and safety websites
- Guidance / assistance on digital security best practices while working from home, including updating existing resources
- Research and documentation on censorship of COVID-19 health and safety information and/or the increasing use of surveillance technology
As the pandemic's impact on internet freedom continues to evolve, we also welcome any ideas that are not on the list above which respond to urgent COVID-19 and internet freedom needs worldwide.
For more information about the Rapid Response Fund and how to apply, please visit: https://www.opentech.fund/funds/rapid-response-fund/.
- Program Update