15 days of Activism for Journalists’ Digital Security

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From #WorldPressFreedom (May 3rd) to #WTISD (May 17th).

In a context of increasing political violence, digital attacks against journalists have become a frequent way to silence and control them. Although there is widespread awareness about digital threats, journalists and media outlets, especially local and community media, don’t know how to identify the kind of attack they are facing.

The 15 Days of Activism for Journalists’ Digital Security, from May 3rd (World Press Freedom Day) to May 17th (World Telecommunications and Information Society Day), is an opportunity to draw attention to the digital threats to which journalists are subjected.

The Digital First Aid Kit is a free resource that allows journalists, and their IT colleagues, to make the first diagnosis of a digital attack and reach out to a Computer Emergency Response Team more efficiently.


  • Digital attacks against journalists have become a frequent way to silence and control them. We are joining the 15 days of activism for #JournalistsDigiSec, from #WorldPressFreedomDay to #WTISD
  • “The growing sophistication malware and spyware, and its increasing use against journalists and human rights defenders endanger free and independent journalism” @UNESCO. Join the 15 days of activism for #JournalistsDigiSec, from #WorldPressFreedomDay to #WTISD
  • “Surveillance can expose information gathered by journalists including from whistle-blowers, and violates the principle of source protection” @UNESCO. Join the 15 days of activism for #JournalistsDigiSec, from #WorldPressFreedomDay to #WTISD
  • “Surveillance may harm the safety of journalists by disclosing sensitive private information which could be used for arbitrary judicial harassment or attack” @UNESCO. Join the 15 days of activism for #JournalistsDigiSec, from #WorldPressFreedomDay to #WTISD
  • “AI-powered surveillance of journalists’ movements, and trolling of journalists powered by data-mining and automated attacks, threaten the free exercise of journalism” @UNESCO. Join the 15 days of activism for #JournalistsDigiSec, from #WorldPressFreedomDay to #WTISD
  • “Privacy is a pre-requisite for journalists to do their work and ensuring our access to fact-based and reliable information” @UNESCO. Join the 15 days of activism for #JournalistsDigiSec, from #WorldPressFreedomDay to #WTISD
  • The #DigitalFirstAidKit helps journalists and activists respond to common #DigitalSecurity attacks and problems. It is available in Albanian, Arabic, Burmese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. #JournalistsDigiSec #WorldPressFreedomDay
  • The #DigitalFirstAidKit diagnoses issues and suggests solutions to key #DigitalSecurity issues faced by journalists who seek help from #DigitalRights organisations. #JournalistsDigiSec #WorldPressFreedomDay
  • The #DigitalFirstAidKit explores 9 key #DigitalSecurity issues faced journalists and activists. It is available in Albanian, Arabic, Burmese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish #JournalistsDigiSec #WorldPressFreedomDay
  • “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” For the digital emergencies that this doesn’t fix, check out the #DigitalFirstAidKit, which can diagnose, suggest solutions, and refer you to support providers for common #DigitalSecurity issues faced by journalists.


Open vacancy: Project Officer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA)

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Are you committed to defending human rights? Do you have working experience
in the EECA region and do you speak Russian? Join our Grants team!

  • Title: Project Officer Digital Defenders Partnership
  • Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA)
  • Location: Remote; starting a.s.a.p. as a consultant for a few months. Preferably based in the region. Depending on funding security, the possibility for a longer term contract; also remote as a consultant or in the Hivos Global Office (The Hague)
  • Deadline: 14 April 2022

Are you committed to defending human rights offline as well as online? Do you have working experience in the EECA region and do you speak Russian? Do you have experience in the digital security or organizational security field, have you been managing (small) grants and are you capable of doing grants assessment? Are you flexible, and able to contribute to a whole range of tasks within the Digital Defenders Partnership international program?

Download terms of reference (PDF) >

Want to apply?

Please apply before April 14, 2022. We will consider closing the procedure before this date in case we receive a lot of applications and/or have found the matching candidate before this date.

Both a letter of motivation and resume need to be submitted in English to the DDP Project Manager Operations Sophie Schellens at sschellens@hivos.org via e-mail with subject: PO DDP EECA.

Interviews will take place in the week of April 18-22, 2022 and can take place over secure online communication means

Building feminist infrastructure: Feminist helplines for people facing gender-based violence in digital spaces

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With these visions that emerge from the design of processes developed from different territories and experiences, whose theoretical bases are the learnings from feminist solidarity, a critical review of the current panorama is established, and we give visibility to the different strategies and practices that have been developing, in a collective way, processes to support victims of gender violence. In this action of moving through the problem, of reviewing with our colleagues what is being done, how it is being done and why it is being done, we seek to share perspectives, to observe the multiple layers of the problem, the possible responses, and to learn from the multiple strategies and knowledge that exist to confront and overcome the gender-based violence that occurs in digital spaces. We also recognise that the gender-based violence that these projects address and mitigate is a problem that infiltrates our personal and emotional territories, and that it is difficult to ignore the transformations that are happening in terms of our relationships and environments. Working on these issues, it is necessary to recognise that the expectation of self-care is high, but is not always attained. Therefore, we suggest that these webinars are also a way of thinking and realising how we are inhabiting the territories where we work to mitigate the violence created by the patriarchal system.

The construction of safe, respectful and trustworthy spaces is a task that requires a lot of dedication, it is certainly a labour of love and solidarity. Exposing and mobilizing these different perspectives and experiences embodied in the voices of our feminist comrades from different parts of the world is a first step. Under the Rapid Response Networks area of the Digital Defenders programme, we will continue to work in 2021 and 2022 to support feminist helplines aimed at facing gender-based violence in digital spaces, and will facilitate activities that enable the exchange of knowledge and experiences within this international community.

We will soon be sharing more resources derived from this project. If you are interested in this project, please do not hesitate to contact team@digitaldefenders who will put you in touch with the people in charge of its coordination.

Thanks to all the projects that have presented during the webinars for their time and dedication.   Thanks to Zenobia Translators who were in charge of the simultaneous translation of the webinars.
Thanks to Constanza Figueroa, designer and consultant on gender-based violence on the internet and part of the collective acoso.online, and to Anaís Córdova-Páez, Digital Protection Facilitator for DDP and part of Navegando Libres, who supported the development and public documentation of these three webinars. 

Digital First Aid Kit

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What is the Digital First Aid Kit and what does it cover?

The Digital First Aid Kit (DFAK) is a free resource to help rapid responders, digital security trainers, and tech-savvy activists to better protect themselves and the communities they support against the most common types of digital emergencies, such as: devices or data loss, devices and accounts acting suspiciously, websites not working, online impersonation, and online harassment. The DFAK can also be used by anyone who wants to learn more about how they can protect themselves and support others.  The DFAK is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, and French

What is the context?

The Digital First Aid Kit is developed in 2015 as a free and open resource informed by the experience of rapid responders and digital security experts focused on supporting groups and organisations striving towards social justice and the defence of human and digital rights. This second version of the DFAK aimed to update the digital emergency and issues addressed in its contents as we know that online threats are evolving at a fast pace, and it also wanted to shift its focus in order to become a resource supporting readers in diagnosing what is happening to them or to people they are supporting. This is why, in each section, readers answer questions to help establish what the cause of the problem is, and are then directed to tips, resources or organizations that can offer them more support. You can find the full list of organizations offering support in this page.

What is the method and framework?

The methodological framework for the Digital First Aid Kit is based on two events that took place in September 2018 and April 2019 for which 25 different individual members of RaReNet (Rapid Response Network) and/or CiviCERT have worked together in designing the selection of topics that should be addressed, identification of the technical platform, how to develop workflows enabling this resource to guide readers in a diagnosis of the digital emergencies they are facing and documentation of the different services that support organisations can provide in case readers cannot solve the digital emergency they are facing themselves.

Who created the content listed in the Digital First Aid Kit?

The Digital First Aid Kit is a collaborative effort of RaReNet and CiviCERT. RaReNet is an international network of rapid responders and digital security champions, which includes Access Now,  CIRCL, EFF, Front Line Defenders, Freedom House,  Global Voices, Greenhost , Hivos & the Digital Defenders Partnership, Internews, Open Technology Fund, Virtual Road, as well as individual security experts. Some of these organisations and individuals are also part of CiviCERT, a professional framing for the rapid response community’s distributed CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) efforts. CiviCERT is accredited by Trusted Introducer, the European network of trusted computer emergency response teams. The DFAK is also an open-source project that accepts outside contributions. Finally, the translations to Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian and French have been achieved by professional translators that are also part of rapid response networks and understand the specifics of digital emergencies and online threats. 

What is the licensing for the Digital First Aid Kit?

The content of the DFAK are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY). Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works and remixes based on it, only if they give the author or licencor the credits (attribution) in the manner specified by those.


For any comment, suggestion, or question about the DFAK you can write to: dfak@digitaldefenders.org – GPG fingerprint: 1759 8496 25C1 56EC 1EB4 1F06 6CC1 888F 5D75 706B


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Mati holds a Master’s degree in accounting and control from The Netherlands and a BSc degree from the US. She is a Certified Public Accountant and has over 10 years of experience in accounting and finance. In her free time, she loves doing yoga and enjoys spending time with her family.


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Daniel has worked for 10 years on issues related to protection of human rights defenders and movements, including through protective accompaniment, research, training, and advocacy. He has contributed to a number of resources, academic writings and training curricula on holistic approaches to protection. He is a certified mediator and holds a degree in International Relations from Dublin City University.


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Björk is a Berlin-based producer and organiser drawing from a long experience in transfeminist, anti-globalisation and environmental movements, with a strong footing in subcultural contexts and autonomous spaces and infrastructures at the community level. She has worked with various leading organisations and is currently co-curating the annual Radical Networks conference.


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Alexandra holds a master degree in sociology and a PhD in economics. She has undertaken a postdoctoral position for the Institute for Prospective Technologies Studies (European commission). She is a cyberfeminist working in the area of gender and tech, and the editor of two volumes about the panorama of technological sovereignty initiatives. She enjoys doing holistic security and speculative fiction workshops.


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Afra has several years of experience working in a number of International non-profit organisations and research projects. She holds a Master in New Media and Digital Culture from the University of Amsterdam and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Indonesia. She involves in several projects and advocacy groups on digital rights and gender based violence.  She spends most of her weekends for reading, playing music, and binge watching TV series.


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Frerieke has over 10 years of experience in coordinating international projects and teams within the NGO sector, focused mostly on ICT, media, and training. After finishing her MSc Architecture and Urbanism in Delft, she lived in South Africa for four years, studied Human Rights and Development, and got certified in professional coaching. She enjoys going out with her (wind)surfboard or playing around with her three children.