Today South Africa is celebrating Human Rights Day. The country is celebrating the long road to democracy covered with sticks and stones leaving apartheid’s oppression behind us. The path South Africans have tread has been a long one, but 18 years into democracy the people of the country enjoy rights many others around the world are still denied. Freedom of speech and media freedom are some of the most important rights South Africans have attained since the advent of democracy in 1994.
However, a cursory look at Reporters Without Borders’ annual freedom index released earlier this month shows that many African governments still stifle the press and journalists are not allowed to report openly on what is happening in their countries.
Technology could play a crucial role in helping journalists get the message out.
Here’s a list of 5 ways to make sure our voices are heard:
This email service allows you to send emails without the government monitoring your actions as the connection is encrypted. Journalists need safe and secure access to correspondents abroad if they want international media coverage of possible local atrocities.
Government official knocking on your door as you’re working on a confidential file? Eraser allows journalists to securely delete files and invisible recoverable files from their computer should their laptops be seized.
This Mozilla Firefox-based browser allows users a secure tunnel to the internet, hiding your digital online identity in case you’re being monitored. There’s a portable edition available which users can run from a flash drive.
This program works on the same basis as file-sharing program Dropbox. Running in the background, users can quickly and effectively back up their data. Journalists can encrypt and decrypt files with this program if ever confidential files were to get ‘lost’.
Free open-source instant messenger allows users to connect to several instant messaging accounts and services. However, with the Off-the-Record (OTR) plugin, journalists can chat online with others truly ‘off-the-record’ as you enjoy a secure connection.