A privacy initiative to address the surveillance menace and help build a stronger bridge between the technical and the policy worlds will begin in January.
Named Code Red, the think tank will work to accelerate reform of secret institutions and will provide support for whistle blowers in those domains, according to Privacy Surgeon.
It said: “Code Red will be a strategic think tank and campaign clearinghouse to provide new resources and tactical advice to human rights groups across the world. It will also seek to establish a protection network for rights defenders who are increasingly exposed to aggressive personal retribution by state authorities.”
Its intention is to mentor the development of new and innovative projects that directly engage surveillance, including the protection of human rights defenders and campaigners as well as help to build a stronger bridge between the technical and the policy worlds. “In this domain, Code Red will provide logistics, strategic and resource support for technical initiatives that create direct countermeasures against surveillance,” it said.
Among those supporting its steering group are former members of MI5 and Congress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s international rights director Katitza Rodriguez, the Tor Project’s Jacob Appelbaum and cryptographers Whitfield Diffie and Bruce Schneier.
Security analyst and technical director of Mandalorian, Steve Lord, told IT Security Guru that he felt that the concept sounded like a talking shop and he was not entirely sure what they hoped to achieve, but it could be interesting.
He said: “Yes they are looking at Government intrusion, but isn’t there an element of how did they deal with stuff that has come up like this that has very clearly generated a demand?
“People will fill the demand whether or not they are capable of creating and designing a product that meets it. If they are worried about Government intrusion, shouldn’t they be worried about the type of potential things that come down the line in a few months that may exploit on people’s insecurities.”
A representative of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told IT Security Guru that Katitza was acting in a personal capacity, and not representing the EFF.
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