Digital Security for Civil Society
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Digital Security for Civil Society
eQualit.ie has been protecting democratic voices online since 2012 through our flagship mitigation infrastructure Deflect. We offer website protection from distributed denial of service and other forms of digital attacks, as well as secure web hosting and round the clock human focused support. Deflect Labs creates analytics for improving mitigation technologies and strengthening advocacy efforts of our clients. Caislean is our initiative to help organizations provision secure communications platforms for increased privacy and independence.
With over 20 years experience in digital security training and capacity building across 40+ countries, eQualit.ie works closely with organizations to improve their policies and technology for information processing and exchange. We help identify and reduce vulnerabilities in technical systems and information management processes, producing recommendations and detailed policies. eQualit.ie has coordinated networks of trainers, created learning curricula and provided leadership for permanent digital security schools in Ukraine, Lithuania and Tunisia.
eQualit.ie develops free software to protect human rights online. Our portfolio includes the first cryptographic protocol for synchronous multi-party chat encryption, censorship circumvention and content accessibility systems, machine learning toolkit for detecting, classifying and mitigating malicious online behaviour and database solutions for managing and analyzing human rights documentation. All work is released to the community at large, under open source licences and can be easily adapted to suit your particular requirements.
We are software developers and system engineers, cryptographers, security auditors, penetration testers, project managers, trainers, anthropologists, communicators and more! Most importantly, we’re all driven to promote and defend principles enshrined within the eQualit.ie Manifesto contact any of us using name @ equalit.ie
Dmitri is the founder and director of eQualit.ie with over a decade of experience working on digital security and privacy technology within the human rights and independent media sector. He has led and participated in missions to over 40 countries, and is a recognised expert on technology training and organisational security. He is the author of the Digital Security and Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual and was a founding member and coordinator of the NGO-in-a-Box Security Edition project. He has helped to create worldwide networks of trainers, developed curricula for various security programs and is also a regular contributor to technology publications. But his real job is bringing up two kids and trying to be more at home.
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Tom is a senior level UNIX system engineer specialising in performance and high availability at scale. He has previously worked on BBC News International, Warner Music and other large web environments. Tom has collaborated with eQualit.ie since its inception and is currently working on the Deflect project. He tries not to let his obsession with doing things The Right Way affect his personal life.
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Peter is a C++ developer with a masters degree in a combination of math and computer science from Komenius University, Slovakia. He started his career in the field of computer graphics working on project ranging from graphical tools, computer games to navigation systems. After more than a decade in that industry, he shifted his interests to networking and distributed systems which have kept him busy since. He is currently helping to bring the (n+1)sec project to life by writing a plugin for Pidgin messenger, and he will be working on a new version of the CENO project.
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In 2011, KheOps participated in uncovering mass electronic surveillance equipment in Syria and helped Syrians evade governmental censorship with an informal team on the Telecomix IRC. He has since been taking the fight for fundamental rights to a European level, notably helping La Quadrature du Net in their campaigns against ACTA, in favor of network neutrality and against recent French mass surveillance laws. KheOps believes in local, transparently-managed and community-run Internet access providers as a means to run respectful networks, and as such actively participates in FAImaison, a local non-profit access provider. He advocates cryptography, free and open source software and self-hosting through trainings and cryptoparties. He notably is a main developer of eQualit.ie’s self-hosting solution Caisleán. But his real job is cooking Breton galettes for his colleagues. KheOps is based in Nantes, France.
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As a strong believer in culture, communication and social change, Maja brings a humanist approach to her role as eQualit.ie’s Operations Manager. For the past ten years she has developed her project management and editorial skills working within the domain of independent media, being a dedicated advocate against mainstream media disinformation. With full knowledge of 360-degree NGO administration, she is an organizer at heart who is happiest when she is juggling, collaborating, problem-solving, and connecting people and resources. Maja holds a Masters degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology and is the author of Working in the New South Africa: An Ethnographic Approach to Affirmative Action. When not travelling, reading voraciously or learning new languages, she can be found supporting frontline activist movements across various communities.
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Igor is an OTF Senior Fellow in Information Controls at eQualit.ie. He holds a doctoral degree in Political Science (University of Toronto) and his background is in comparative politics. In 2017/2018, he will conduct a comparative research on the progress of information controls in the former Soviet Union countries. He will investigate instances of blocking and DDoS attacks against the online platforms of civil society projects in the region to identify common trends and isolate recurring triggers of Internet censorship. When not studying socio-political phenomena, Igor is stargazing or spending time with his kids, teaching them to fly RC planes, play tennis or hike in the wilderness.
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Vladimir is working on Deflect network operations and client support. He is a system administrator focused on nginx web-server configuration, overall website performance optimization and security for small and medium-sized organizations. He has many years experience helping human-rights defenders with digital threat modelling as well as working with them on achievable counter-measures.
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Protocol design and implementation
Ruud holds a masters in Computer Science and Engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology. He has worked on formal analysis of software security systems and published several publications in this area. A contributor to several core-infrastructural free software projects, he does what he can to ensure technology in general and software in particular serves the interests of its users, rather than its proprietors. He is currently leading the design and implementation of the (n+1)sec project.
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Conscious of the impact that the work of technical people like him has on shaping the future of society, Ivan advocates knowledge freedom and distributed organizations as enablers for social progress that is ethical, fair and accessible to everyone. He has devoted his time to distributed, commons-based social organizations, economies and infrastructures like peer production and community networks (esp. guifi.net via the CONFINE Project). His main fields of work are libre software development, computer networks, and administration of GNU/Linux systems, always with a focus on security, privacy, and promoting the autonomy of users.
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[Don-a-ka] is a software developer with over ten years experience in web development and security pentesting. He is driven to help social movements communicate and organize better, with security and privacy in mind. He also contributes to the Tor project as a developer of onion services and in detecting malicious relays. Donncha has a BA in medicinal chemistry from Trinity College Dublin and is currently living in Berlin. At eQualit.ie Donncha works on the Deflect project and lends his expertise to other areas.
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Rodney has been working in system administration since 1991, implementing TCP/IP networks on frame relay. He became interested in open source solutions and soon after opened his own company focusing on deploying networking, software and systems. Rodney brings a wealth of experience, a steady hand and a thorough process to the maintenance of eQualit.ie’s infrastructure and system administration tasks.
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Technical Project Coordinator
Lai Yi Ohlsen is a project manager and artist with a background in computer science and movement. As an Asian-American WiT, she is passionate about creating equal opportunities on and offline through dialogue and transparency. Her current creative practice is largely inspired by the topography of peer to peer networks and cloud infrastructure. When she is not working as eQualit.ie’s Technical Project Coordinator she can be found dancing or walking her dog, Molly.
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Alvar is the business development manager at eQualit.ie and a true supporter of open access to information. In the past ten years he has worked as a software developer, technology project manager and crowdsourcing/crowdfunding startup founder. Additionally, he holds a Masters degree in Business Administration as well as one in Biomedical Engineering. He loves travelling, reading and swimming.
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For the past 15 years, Deborah has worked as a workshop producer, project coordinator, operations manager, product marketing engineer and scrum master. She has worked in the arts for more than 12 years, and then left ‘the scene’ to work as an operations manager at the ISP Greenhost in Amsterdam.
Greenhost, just like eQualit.ie, works closely with human rights organizations to help them fight and circumvent digital censorship, and are part of the open source community, something she personally supports. At eQualit.ie, she currently works as an independent consultant on a broad range of executive operational tasks, outreach & communications, and maintains (tech) documentation.
In her free time, she’s an aspiring ceramist, focusing on hand-building, and she loves the Japanese firing technique, Raku. Music is very important to her too, she has a huge library full of weird and eclectic stuff; from avant-garde, experimental and electronic stuff, to hip-hop,(noisy)-punk, new-wave, doom metal, jazz, (contemporary) classical music and Japanese noise ~
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Carol has worked at the intersection of digital and human rights over the past decade, with a passion for making open source privacy and security tools relevant, accessible, and useful to activists.
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Alex is a multidisciplinary professional with over 15 years of experience working across five continents. His passion is problem-solving and he delights in the company of good people who want to build interesting things in the world. In addition to his work in innovation, Alex is a licensed attorney and practised international competition law, a university professor in Buenos Aires, a public relations analyst in Amsterdam. Alex founded two sustainable agriculture-technology businesses focused on food and water scarcity in the urban environment, served on the board of the largest greenspace program in the San Francisco Bay Area and was a human rights fellow in law school, representing Guantanamo detainees while working with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the United States Federal Public Defenders office.
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Carolyn has over 20 years of experience in software development, network administration, and localizing technology for different cultures. Notably, in the past she served as Translation Community Manager for Tor, a well-known anonymity and circumvention tool, and most recently as Chief Technology Officer for Informsec. Currently she is a Senior Technology Adviser for Internews and one of our good friends!
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Gabriella (Biella) Coleman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she researches, writes, and teaches on computer hackers and digital activism. She is the author of Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking and Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous published by Verso is out in November 2014. Gabriella has given numerous talks on hackers, digital activism,open source production and intellectual property law. Her publications are available here and a partial list of talks, podcasts, interviews and other media appearances are available here. You can follow her on Twitter
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Mallory integrates a human rights, people-centred approach to communications and technology for social movements around the world. Since 2012, Mallory has been the communications and network development manager for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). And since 2008 has been a member of May First/People Link and on MFPL’s executive board. Originally from the US but living in Montreal, she has worked on communications, technology, resource mobilisation and governance for grassroots organisations around the world in Bolivia, Brazil, France, Mexico, Palestine, Senegal, UK. She’s used free software professionally for over 12 years and considers herself a “radical technologist,” specializing in cybersecurity. Her background in community organizing with social justice groups also extends beyond a decade.
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B'tselem, Hagai El Ad, Executive Director
As an organization dedicated to safeguarding human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, we have faced many attempts to silence our voice. During the latest fighting in the Gaza Strip, attempts by opponents of free speech escalated, including stepped-up DDoS attacks which our previous hosting providers failed to repel. Deflect proved itself extremely helpful in protecting our website, and has allowed us to carry on with getting our information out to the public here in Israel, Palestine, and abroad.
Carole Samdup, Senior Adviser: Economic and Social Rights, Rights & Democracy
When Rights & Democracy decided to create a user-friendly digital tool for both training and documentation, we turned to eQualit.ie. With its experience in creating digital solutions for civil society, eQualit.ie was able to guide development of this unique and innovative tool that has since been widely used by communities around the world.
Ali Reza, http://ipos.me/
IPOS directly benefited from eQualit.ie's expertise and professionalism when our main website was subject to an unprecedented attack. At the time the services of similar companies including CloudFlare and Google PageSpeed failed to protect IPOS' election tracking poll against a major DDOS attack during the 2013 presidential elections in Iran. However, the Deflect team were able to quickly setup a CDN front and accept traffic from IPOS' main domain and fight back against the attack.
Mahmoud Jisri, http://cyberiahosting.ca/
Deflect team were the pioneers in creating a unique and brilliant idea to protect oppressed sites against ddos and other types of attacks. They managed to protect one of our client's sites on multiple occasions very effectively, allowing journalists the freedom of speech which is one of the major internet essences. What I also noticed and admired about deflect team is their fast support response, friendly manner and dealing with clients as members of their team which creates a bond of likeness and respect.
Kasper Souren, http://kasper.re/
Deflect.ca did an excellent job at helping protect the website of a renowned human rights NGO from an extended ddos attack. The website had been down for almost a week. We first tried Cloudflare, but it looked as if the ddos still came through. To be clear: that was with all settings maxed out on a paid 200$/month business plan. Once we switched to Deflect things looked like normal traffic and the active chat support provided by Deflect really helped keeping things safe and under control.
Pen International, Ann Harrison, Programme Director
Working with eQualit.ie in a consultative manner meant that a staff team with limited experience of IT were able to avail themselves of a service which has contributed to improving the security of our information and communications, as well as contributing to increased productivity of the entire staff team. Shortly after the migration, we experienced a break-in at our office. The burglars targeted IT equipment, and would previously have been able to access our server, had we still had one on site. However, thanks to the work of eQualit.ie, our information was secure and our back-up drive was in a safe location.