FIDH works with human right defenders (HRD), field activists, lawyers, NGO staff and many other people across the world. In order to support them and to protect them, FIDH’s ICT Team works on a daily basis to improve the level of control and security of people especially when it comes to internet and connected devices.
The training of both HRD and NGO staff is - from our point of view - absolutely necessary. The training material must be updated regularly to keep in pace with the different threats. Thus, we rely essentially on updated course material and books that can be distributed during trainings.
However, we were unable to find a small brief, that would contain simple advices and cover a wide perimeter of concepts in the realm of computer security. Therefore, using our experiences and in collaboration with the people we work with, we created a first version of this guide in 2010 which covered anything from passwords to disk encryption and online communication.
With the context evolving since 2010 - with among other things: Snowden’s revelations, the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war - we felt that a new version of this brief should be published. However please bear in mind that all of the advice and recommandations are intended to provide minimal security and, depending on your context, they might not be sufficient.
This brief is really just a brief. It does not go into details, but recommends which tools to use and which ones not to. It also provides good practices. It is not intended to be exhaustive. For more resources please see Tactical Tech.
We also strongly insist that free - as in freedom - software is a necessary requirement to achieve a better comprehension, control and security of your communication. In this perspective we appreciate any feedback, corrections or other comments in order to improve this brief.