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Martus Project

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Journalists and human rights defenders face grave threats to themselves and to their sources that trust them with their stories.

As more journalists use technology to store and manage their data, more perpetrators try to attack that technology. Benetech’s Martus is a tool aimed at providing journalists with a means of transmitting information, while protecting their sources and themselves. This project focuses create an open source Secure App Generator that will allow users and partners to create custom “Powered by Martus” write-only applications (where the user can only submit data, but not read it post-submission, so as to reduce risk for untrained data collectors), making it easier for organizations to distribute secure, easy-to-use data collection tools and for users to collect and secure information in the field. Previous support focused on the creation of a mobile version of Martus for the Android mobile OS to allow for secure information transmission in the field.

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Current project status

Just an idea (Pre-alpha)
It exists! (Alpha/Beta)
It's basically done (Release)
People use it (Production)

Funding to date

2012 $320,000 12 months
2014 $235,000 12 months

Total Funding: $555,000

Addressed problems

  • Restrictive Internet filtering by technical methods (IP blocking, DNS filtering, TCP RST, DPI, etc.)
  • Blocking, filtering, or modification of political, social, and/or religious content (including apps)
  • Physical intimidation, arrest, violence (including device seizure or destruction), and death for political or social reasons
  • Repressive surveillance or monitoring of communication

Objective(s)

  • Technology development

Beneficiaries

  • Women
  • Youth
  • Sexual minorities
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Activists
  • Journalists
  • Advocacy groups/NGOs

Region(s)

  • Global

Technology attributes

  • Desktop client
  • Mobile application (clientside)
  • Sensitive data
  • User interface/experience

We wrote about it