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[liberationtech] DRL Applicant Transparency International Seeks Tech Partner

Mitch Belkin mitch at transparency.ge
Sun Jul 22 04:35:24 PDT 2012


*Hello Libtech!

Thanks for adding me to the listserve!  Please read below for a partnership
opportunity with Transparency International Georgia, an NGO in the
Democratic Republic of Georgia.  If you have any questions, feel free to
contact me at mitch at transparency.ge.

-Mitch


Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) was shortlisted for
theU.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
(DRL)<https://www.grantsolutions.gov/gs/preaward/previewPublicAnnouncement.do?id=14367&timeZone=EST&cancelMapping=cancelToAnnouncements)>internet
freedom grant. As advocates for government transparency and
accountability, we have received over fifty grants since our founding in
2000. Our recent technological successes include an implementation of the
FixMyStreet <http://fixmystreet.ge/> concept, an SMS alert system for
notifying the public about bills progressing through the Georgian
Parliament, and
scraping<http://transparency.ge/en/blog/income-declarations-scrape>various
types of data made available by the Georgian government.
To view our other ongoing projects, please see our
website<http://transparency.ge/en/activities>
.

Problem Statement:
Activists in countries where digital security knowledge is most needed
often have great difficulty accessing high quality digital security
information because of (1) local internet restrictions and (2) difficulty
traveling to locations where such training is possible. Activists will
include (but not be limited to), bloggers, researchers, journalists,
photojournalists, students, and others whose freedom-advancing activities
put them at risk in their home countries due to internet and media
suppression and monitoring.

Why Tbilisi?
The city of Tbilisi is centrally located for activists operating in
countries with restrictions on internet freedom, making it the perfect
place to reach out from.  Not only is it central, Tbilisi is also readily
accessible for them: Iranians, Turkmens, Azeris, and Uzbeks do not need a
visa to enter.  Iranians may stay for up to 45 days, Turkmens for up to 360
days, Uzbeks and Azeris for an unlimited period.  (Security experts
likewise from places like the US, Canada, and the EU do not need a visa  to
stay in Georgia for up to 360 days.) Since Tbilisi is a popular and
inexpensive tourist destination for countries in the region, people
traveling here will not arouse the suspicion of authorities. Tbilisi
is theideal location for an activist training space because in
addition to all
these factor internet freedom exists here.

A training space for activists
Our goal is to train activists so they can use the internet effectively in
their home countries’ internet restricted and monitored environments.  We
will achieve this by (1) gathering as many activists as we can to our
training space along with (2) experienced security experts and (3) any
necessary hardware (as applicable). We will not waste funds on powerpoint
presentations in hotels, nor administrative costs since we are an
independent NGO based in Georgia, not a branch of a Washington, D.C.-based
organization.

We are seeking a tech partner
We are searching for a tech partner who was also shortlisted for the DRL
internet freedom grant to collaborate with us to design a successful
activist training space by combining our logistics, recruitment framework
and regional expertise, with your organization’s knowledge, tactical
delivery and ability to architect technology. By working together, we can
create a co-working environment where censorship circumvention technologies
can be developed in tandem with activist training. In this environment,
your organization will benefit by having direct access to previously
unreachable groups that participate in the training program, lowered
overhead from cost-sharing, and increased organizational capacity. Through
our partnership, we will provide essential security tools to the activists
who need them the most.

If your organization is interested in partnering with TI Georgia, please
don’t respond to the listserve. Instead, email me directly at
mitch at transparency.ge.*
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