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OTF Monthly Report for April 2015

| By: Dan McDevitt

In April, OTF continued to sign numerous contracts bolstering its active portfolio of more than 40 projects and initiatives that increase global Internet freedom. So far, OTF has received nearly 75 concept notes and 11 full proposals in 2015.

Notable accomplishments

  • The Tor team released Tor Browser 4.5 featuring reorganized and easier to use onion menu, and now includes a diagram showing the locations and IP addresses of the relays that make up the Tor circuit used to access a website.

  • Satori, a software that provides access to verifiable bundles of privacy-enhancing software to users living behind national firewalls, is now in alpha stage for desktop and android, and going into user testing.

  • Griffin Boyce, who leads work on OTF-supported tools Cupcake Bridge and Satori, co-wrote a paper with Paul Syverson on Tor hidden services, exploring ways that Tor’s .onion system can be used for website authentication in a relatively simple and secure way when compared to alternatives such as the standard use of TLS with certificates.

  • OTF hosted a Techno Activist 3rd Monday hangout to discuss Chinese censorship mechanisms and developments with some of the researchers who have analyzed China’s “Great Cannon” attacks.

  • OTF supported the compilation of a cryptography terminology glossary, which can be viewed here.

  • The Red Team Labs launched 4 new project audits.

  • CubaLeaks is now live and being served on the OTF secure cloud. GlobaLeaks 2.60.65 was released with major technological upgrades and now supports Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Kurdish, Persian, Russian, Slovenian, and Welsh.

  • Virtual Road produced a report to compare and analyze existing technologies to obtain forensic data during Internet disruptions entitled “A comparison and analysis of existing Internet censorship tools.” Through this report, they identified shortcomings and limitations among existing tools and technologies to better inform their design and development of Proxy Looking Glass, a project focused on data collection inside repressive countries.

  • The Engineering Lab continues to bring new projects to the Secure Cloud infrastructure. Most notably it is now hosting the CubaLeaks project.

  • The Localization Lab now has 40 projects with more than 3,600 participating individuals contributing to the submission and verification of over 454,000 translated words into over 200 languages and dialects.

  • Information Controls Fellowship closed its second round of applications. The fellowship received more than 75 applications from promising ICT developers and researchers.

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

Egypt’s cybercrime bill poses threat to freedom of expression | Christian Science Monitor

Facebook’s login system is being hijacked by China’s Great Firewall | The Verge

Google says Chinese Great Cannon shows need to encrypt web | ZDNet

Vietnamese Blogger Attacked by Brick-Wielding ‘Security Personnel’ | Radio Free Asia

Vietnamese Netizens Are Getting Bolder Online, Despite Tough Laws | Global Voices

‘Great Cannon of China’ turns internet users into weapon of cyberwar | The Guardian

Thailand’s New Security Law ‘Annihilates Freedom of Expression’ | Global Voices

News and Search Websites Blocked in Yemen as Conflict Escalates | Global Voices

Russian internet trolls are trained to spread propaganda in three-person teams | Business Insider

Massive denial-of-service attack on Github tied to Chinese government | Ars Technica

Projects Mentioned