On Wednesday 9 July, a collaborative effort from different digital security organizations will launch world’s very first Digital First Aid Kit: a self-assessment tool for journalists, bloggers and online activists who face digital threats. The Kit helps you determine whether you can mitigate the issue on your own or whether you should seek professional help.

Everyone knows the feeling of losing a phone, or having an email-account hijacked, and the overwhelming powerlessness that consequently ambushes. Remember this feeling, and put it in an environment where it’s actually dangerous for your personal information to be out in the open, captured by your adversary, and you can’t get hold of it. The Digital First Aid Kit is established to provide preliminary support for anyone facing the most common types of digital threats, such as malware, account hijacking and DDoS mitigation. The Kit offers guidelines and a set of self-diagnostic tools for journalists, bloggers, activists and human rights defenders facing digital attacks. First Aid, because the Kit gives you quick tools that guide you to make a first assessment to take preventive measures when being digitally targeted.

A turbulent period in history

The last months have been a turbulent period in the history of internet freedom and digital security. The battle over and on the internet has intensified, individuals and groups who are the watchdogs of society: activists, journalists, human rights defenders and bloggers, are increasingly under digital attack. At this moment, 351 journalists and netizens are imprisoned, writes Reporters Without Borders, and according to Reuters, ‘21 of the world 25 top news-organizations have been the target of likely state-sponsored hacking attacks’, not to mention the countless critical internet users facing digital threats every day. Usually, he or she does not know what to do when in danger. This led to the idea that everyone should be able to take preventive measures and take responsive steps when they are in danger, to avoid emergencies.

A collective action

With global partners in the field of internet security, EFF, Global Voices, Front Line Defenders, Internews, Freedom House, Access, Virtual Road, CIRCL, IWPR, Open Technology Fund and independent security experts, Hivos & the Digital Defenders Partnership put their heads together and came up with the Digital First Aid Kit. As an open source in Github, the Digital First Aid Kit is a work in progress and will be continuously updated by experts on the digital frontline, and anyone who wants to contribute.

The Digital First Aid Kit is the first open source for journalists and activists launched by the DDP. The Partnership aims at keeping the internet open and free from emerging threats, and wants to increase and better coordinate digital emergency support for the internet’s critical users. The DDP will reach these objectives through a competitive grantmaking mechanism , increasing coordination and learning in the sector, and by advising stakeholders on which secure communication tools, information and risk mitigation strategies will work in a specific situation. For more information regarding the programme or the Digital First Aid Kit, please visit our website: https://www.digitaldefenders.org