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January update

| By: Dan Blah

Through January, RFA’s Open Technology Fund continued funding its diverse portfolio of Internet freedom projects. Of special note in January, OTF reviewed and responded to more than 50 concept notes responding to our recent open call for ideas. In total, responders requested more than $13 million for exciting anti-censorship and circumvention technology solutions.

Notable accomplishments

  • OpenITP hosted a hackathon in January that included 3 OTF projects: Cupcake, Cryptocat and Commotion;

  • Whisper Systems significantly progressed numerous mobile apps functionality following a highly successful winter hackathon;

  • Cupcake Bridge improved integration with the Chrome Browser;

  • SecondMuse held a research session at the RFA offices and did a limited release of their forthcoming framework and plan;

  • Tor Browser Bundle released version 3.5.1 which enabled screen readers for the blind and Arabic language bundles to the 3.x series;

  • Cryptocat publicly published their Project Plan for community input and peer review: https://github.com/cryptocat/cryptocat/wiki/mpOTR-Project-Plan

  • The Tactical Tech Collective’s effort to update the security-in-a-box toolkit has developed a new open collaboration process for multiple authors;

  • A newly re-engineered version of OpenPGP.js was released significantly increasing safety and performance of browser security apps including Mailvelope in Firefox and Chrome;

  • The LEAP Encryption Access Project completed their OTF supported project to bring integrated VPN and encrypted email services to small and medium Human Rights organizations;

  • The University of California Berkeley Counter-Censorship Incubator conducted a definitive assessment of the recent Internet outage in China;

  • OTF’s Red Team of security auditors completed multiple security reviews, including Cryptocat’s recently completed iOS mobile app;

  • OTF launched a legal resource for OTF projects to receive in-kind legal advice from numerous law clinic partners;

  • OTF’s community translation platform on Transifex now has surpassed one thousand translators and continues to bring in new Internet freedom projects.

Highlighted news

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

With Olympics, Russia Ramps Up Online Surveillance | Mashable

Bluetooth Banned from North Korea Mobiles | Daily NK

“We’re Not Like China!” Turkey Bleats, About Censorship Law That Makes Them More Like China | TechPresident

Vietnam’s ‘cyber troops’ step up campaign against dissent, target activist, foreign reporter | Associated Press

Iran:Tehran Welcomes China’s Help to Launch the National Internet | Global Voices

Massive Internet mishap sparks Great Firewall scrutiny in China | Reuters

BYO Mesh Network: Commotion 1.0 Toolkit Released For New Year | Tech President

Cuba’s Etecsa to launch mobile internet service in H2 | Telecompaper

Whistleblowing Rippling into New Corners | Wired

Easy email encryption | Columbia Journalism Review

Somalia: Al Shabaab Shuts Out Central and Southern Somalia From Internet | allAfrica

The CCP’s New Year’s Resolution: Strengthen Internet Censorship | NTD TV

On Internet freedom, India’s perilous trajectory | Committee to Protect Journalists

Projects Mentioned