Briar is competing for funding on the Knight News Challenge
1. What do you propose to do?
To equip journalists, activists and civil society groups with easy-to-use, secure communication tools that work with or without internet access.
3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work.
We will work with the emerging global network of citizen journalists, bloggers and activists in authoritarian countries who rely on digital media to make their voices heard, and with the support networks such as Telecomix that help them deal with threats to their freedom and safety online.
5. Who is working on it?
This is an open source project with one full-time contributor and several part-time contributors. Michael Rogers is a P2P software developer with a PhD in the design of censorship-resistant networks. Eleanor Saitta is a security analyst with a decade of experience in threat modeling who’s working on tools for social resilience and direct democracy. Along with other developers and security experts, we also have a user experience designer with a security-specific background.
The project’s source code and design documents are available at http://briar.sf.net, but we will not release a prebuilt application until we’re sure the software is safe to use.
6. What part of the project have you already built?
We’re approximately half way to a beta release, with 35,000 lines of code written so far, comprising most of the underlying security and communication components. The next task is to develop the user interface for the integrated messaging, blogging and discussion software.
We’ll shortly be running a requirements gathering workshop and a series of usability studies with activists in the UK. When we reach the beta stage we’ll ask contacts in several countries for help with translations and beta testing under safe conditions.
The communication protocol will be submitted to a peer-reviewed information security conference to ensure it’s safe to use.
A message from Michael:
Viral marketing doesn’t work, tell everyone you know
"It seems that as well as picking 100 entries themselves, the Knight News Challenge judges will be sending through to the next round the five entries that get the most likes and reblogs on Tumblr and mentions on Twitter."
So dear Tumblr, any love you have to give it is much appreciated - just hit that reblog button or give it a tweet.
If you’re a coder / activist / UX or graphic designer / cryptographer / or otherwise think this might be something you’d like to hear more about or get involved in, the mailing list is at http://briar.sf.net or contact Michael at m—[at]gmx.us
The funding URL again: http://newschallenge.tumblr.com/post/19480700983/briar-a-secure-news-and-discussion-system
Following my post yesterday about Apple censoring a line drawing of a naked man in Ulysses-the-iPad-comic-edition…
So not only did Ulysses Seen get censored, so did a comic version of The Importance Of Being Earnest which featured, OMG, a gay kiss scene. Playboy can have an app, that’s fine, and so can Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, and the comic Kick Ass can show a man and a woman having sex, that’s cool too. But Apple must protect iPad users’ eyes from cartoon gays…
Back in February, Apple VP Phil Schiller tried to justify this double standard:
"The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format,”
But no, that’s not true: the established Brit fash mag Dazed & Confused is calling its iPad version “The Iran Edition” for the amount of oiled naked flesh it will have to cut out of not just editorial fashion shoots but also adverts.
Apparently wholesome American softcore is fine (Playboy, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition). European nakedness, on the other hand, is surely too perverse to be allowed (Dazed & Confused), and anything (a) gay or (b) based more on fandom than commercial visual tropes must be banninated (Ulysses Seen, Importance of Being Earnest).
The Steve Jobs position on all this? This isn’t censorship, it’s freedom - "Freedom From Porn”, quoth Mr Jobs. But wait, what about those of us who would like to make our own sexual decisions? “You Might Care More About Porn When You Have Kids.”
Oh wuh-te-fuh Mr Jobs, are you treating your entire customer base like they’re all “pre-pregnant”?