On 3 February, Mr Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, human rights advocate and journalist, was arrested at his home in Kermanshah, Western Iran. Seven security guards allegedly searched his home, confiscated his computer and documents and then took him with them. His family have not been told where he is and the reason and issuing authority of the arrest are unknown.
Instances like these are common. Rights advocates get detained for no verifiable reason, and some get killed for the work they are doing or their convictions. According to a report released by Front Line, an organisation who strive to protect human rights advocates across the world, last year saw a spike in jeopardized rights advocates, with at least 24 killed.
Tactical Tech has received the prestigious Manthan award for Mobiles in-a-box, a resource designed to help rights advocates use mobile telephony in their work. Allan Stanley, Head of Productions at Tactical Tech, attended the ceremony at the end of last year to receive the award.
According to the initiative's website, the Manthan awards, were launched in 2004 with the mission to: "To create an information rich society where everyone, irrespective of caste, religion, race, region, gender etc., is empowered to create, receive, share and utilize information and knowledge through digital content
10 tactics for turning information into action shows how rights advocates around the world have used the internet and digital technologies to create positive change. The 50 minute film will be launched at the Front Line Club in London, in December 2009 with a series of screenings worldwide. It is accompanied with a deck of cards featuring tools, tips and advice to help you plan your Info-activism action. The 10 Tactics project website will be launched in November.
Find out more
Tactical Tech and the Centre for Internet and Society in India will deliver a series of workshops on geographical mapping in India.
Maps for Making Change is a two-month project specifically designed for activists and supporters of social movements and campaigns in India. It provides participants with an exciting opportunity to explore how a range of digital mapping techniques can be used to support struggles for social justice. It will also support participants to develop and implement a mapping project relevant to their campaign or movement, with full technical support.
A new second edition of Tactical Tech's Message-in-a-box has been released this week. It includes updated software alongside new information and case studies. 2,000 copies of the toolkit have been printed and are ready for distribution. The website has also been updated with this content.
Take a look at the 2008 Annual Report which shows two examples of how our toolkits and guides have been used.
To download the 2008 annual report in pdf, click here
350.org and Tactical Tech have pioneered 'Project MOBiLIZE', a multi-country text message system that will allow the public to participate in the global debate on climate change. Individuals and groups across 20 countries will mobilise on this issue for the second annual International Day of Climate Action, organised by 350.org, on 24th October.
Tactical Tech are very sorry to hear about the death of online journalist and human rights advocate, Alecks Pabico. We first met Alecks as a participant at Asia Source I in India in January 2005. When I visited the Philippines later in 2005, I spent some time with Alecks as he showed me around PCIJ, told me how he had been able to use what he learned at Asia Source to create a blog for the 'Hello Garci' scandal, and we bonded over our mutual position as minority vegetarians in Manila. Later we worked with Alecks as a trainer at a workshop in Thailand in late 2007. Alecks was focused on the power of investigative journalism and was able to bring this together with the use of technology. Our thoughts are with his family and his two children that I know he was extremely proud of.
Tactical Tech is putting together a guide on the basics of using digital tools in an activist/advocacy context. We'd like to know what questions you have in your day to day use of computers, the internet and your mobile phone, such as:
- How private is my IM chat?
- Why should I care if the software I use is pirated?
- How do I know if my computer is infected with a virus?