[Event announcement] India Localization Sprint 2020

While working with various communities in India we have identified a number of unmet needs when it comes to basic security tools and practices. The language barrier is key access issue for users across India, particularly those who are parts of marginalized groups.

Often the assumption is that localization into Hindi and/or English will suffice for users across India. Most users do in fact access tech in Hindi or English, however neither language is the first language of the majority of the population. While users are able to generally navigate mobile phones and desktops in a second language, they do not necessarily understand how these technologies work, the privacy and security risks associated with them, and tactics for accessing the open internet.

In order to ensure broader adoption of basic security tools and practices – and as importantly, to ensure individuals fully understand the “why” and “how” of these tools and practices – The Bachchao Project has chosen to localize:

  • one basic digital hygiene guide : We are localizing Safe Sisters, developed in Uganda by Internews and Defend Defenders for female internet users. This guide provide a simple necessary steps that can be taken by women human rights defenders, journalists and activists to safeguard themselves.
  • two tools for secure messaging and uninhibited internet access: Signal is an highly recommended secure messaging application used by people across the globe and Psiphon is a reputed virtual private network software that works towards uninhibited internet access.
  • one tool for secure documentation : (Tella) is a secure documentation software for human rights workers, journalists and activists.

While India and the rest of the world continue to struggle through a global health crisis, there is a need to collaborate, convene and build networks in safe ways. In order to achieve the lofty goals of localizing tools and/or resources The Bachchao Project and Localization Lab propose a virtual localization sprint to take place over the course of 2 weekends (28th and 29th November, 5th and 6th December). Hosting 4-5 hour blocks of training, localization discussion and collaboration as well as feedback sessions on both Saturday and Sunday, with offline or chat localization collaboration before and after sessions.

This sprint will be held by The Bachchao Project and Localization Lab and is supported by Random Hacks of Kindness India and DataMeet.

If you are a translator or are simply interested to contribute to the localization of these tools and practices in your language. Please sign up for this event here
https://forms.gle/RM7CisegsJWMveNSA

Here is the wikipage for the event with more details : https://wiki.localizationlab.org/index.php/India_Localization_Sprint_2020

 

About The Bachchao Project

The Bachchao Project is a techno-feminist collective that undertakes community-centric efforts to develop and support open source technologies and technical frameworks with the goals of mitigating gender-based violence and working towards equal rights for women, LGBTQIA people, and gender non-conforming groups. We conduct research and advocacy in all the above areas and guide communities in determining appropriate technological interventions for themselves.
Website: http://thebachchaoproject.org
Twitter:  @bachchaoproject

About Localization Lab

Localization Lab builds bridges between developers, organizations, end users, and communities in need. Our crowdsourced localization results in more accurate and timely translations, and unlocks access to the internet for users all over the world

Website: https://www.localizationlab.org/
Twitter: @L10nLab

Contact

For inquiries about this event please write to  Chinmayi S K: chinmayi@thebachchaoproject.org

Tweetchat: Love in the time of lockdown

Love, intimacy and sexual experiences may be hard to navigate even in times when there are no constraints. They are especially difficult when there is a pandemic and one is confined to one’s place of living. Fortunately, for some of us there are digital platforms to help us navigate these experiences.

Hidden Pockets and The Bachchao Project hosted a tweetchat on April 17, 2020, where we attempted to answer some questions asked around these interactions online. Here is a collection of our tweets in conversation:

@Hidden_Pockets

Do you feel safe knowing your dating life might not be secure after all?

Yes

19%

No

81%

21 votes · Final results

@imacat_tw

Feeling safe by not feeling secure?

See new Tweets

@aldebaran14

Something I wrote about it a few years ago:

Sex, Lies and the Perils of Facebook Dating – EroTICs India Short of digital abstinence, is there a way to use the Internet’s liberating power to circumvent sexual and social taboos and still stay safe?

“The most difficult aspect to control, however, is the kind and volume of information shared. Would someone in the throes of passion, love or infatuation pause to think that the headers in her emails and the EXIF data from her selfies contain enough data that could be mined to get her location and personal details? The online medium often takes away inhibitions

“Finding love and sex on the Internet has always meant walking the razor’s edge between the joy of intimacy and running into harm. Short of digital abstinence, is there a way to use the Internet’s liberating power to circumvent sexual and social taboos and still stay safe?”

 

How important is consent when it comes to conversations on online dating and what does consent look like in online dating ?

@Hidden_Pockets

Digital Consent as a subject is something we are still struggling with. We still get confused about what exactly amounts to a Yes.

@aagrabakijasmin

Consent is still understood in black and white manner in the legal sense, but digital spaces makes it grey 🙂

@bachchaoproject

Consent is a basic right. Everyone needs to feel safe regardless of the nature and age of the relationship.

https://profeminist.tumblr.com/post/109808695357/lingerie-is-sexy-consent-is-a-basic-human-right

Resources : 

@bachchaoproject

Here is a short video by the Thames Valley Police on understanding consent:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwvrxVavnQ

@aldebaran14

A friend and I wrote this bit about sexual consent as part of a learning module: 

https://training.wikiinclusivity.in/articles/making-events-safe-and-welcoming/romantic-or%20sexual-advances/

@Aadhi_02

Online platforms, be it dating app or a photo editing app, they #demand consent. If they ask consent to access my gallery, SMS, email ,etc and if I am not okay with just one of that, I will still be unable to use their service. So how is that even consent?

@nalin_goyal

Temporary app permissions can be granted in Android 10. Otherwise the bouncer can be used on earlier versions to grant temporary permissions. It is paid.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.samruston.permission

 

How does one choose a platform to have a conversation ? What are the checks one can make while shifting platforms? 

@bachchaoproject

Choosing a platform for secure messaing, video calls etc can be tough, especially during the lockdowns. Not all of us have have equal access: internet speeds, bandwidth, devices with hardware capabilities and necessary software.

However, some basic rules:

  1. The user interface of the app/ platform should be usable for you and the person(s) you’re texting/ calling.
  2. It should have adjustable privacy settings & preferably support the option to not leave a trail, set a timer on the messages etc.

This may be a bit daunting for the layperson: but try to read the privacy policy before downloading an app. If there is no privacy policy or no info about the app storing, retaining or deleting your data, or the definitions are overbroad, run away from it.

If you cannot make sense of the privacy policy or determine if it’s good for you, try to find out what trusted digital security and privacy experts have written or said about the app/ platform/ software.

Avoid using private messages on social media websites for the purpose of intimate conversations and sexting. Have a conversation about choosing a platform that you and your partner(s) find usable & are comfortable with.

If you are starting to sext someone new, it is better to choose a messaging app that allows the use of handles/ nicknames instead of being tied to phone numbers or other personally identifiable information.

@Hidden_Pockets

Why not choose sexy nicknames? #digitaltimes #Coronaindia #lockdown #privacy

@bachchaoproject

Telegram, Signal & Threema support timed messages. Some apps alert you if the recipient screencaps your messages. Signal allows for setting a “one-time viewing” option on images. (If you are old-school, go for Jabber.) Have a conversation with your partner(s) about not backing up or saving your messages, photos, nudes etc and deleting them.

@Hidden_Pockets

I guess one chooses for convenience. but can we think about security while thinking about love or lust. tough one! @digitaldutta what say?

Also I wish privacy was a given right, so that we could just focus on pleasure part! @thepleasureproj @iambesharm

@aagrabakijasmin

I always chose platforms for the fun aspect. I wanted more emojis, more interaction, but I am super scared of the fact that these conversations are getting recorded.

 

Do people find it easy to shift from one platform to another?  How can we negotiate the process of shifting platforms ? 

@bachchaoproject

Shifting away from an app or platform that one has got comfortable with can be a pain. It is yet another app to manage on the phone. It takes up memory, screen space etc. Sometimes, we need to swallow a bitter pill to make sweet memories.

Ask these important questions to yourself & your partner while considering a shift:

  • Would you choose to keep the texts & images or take them off the record?
  • What would you want to share? The Internet is forever, and it is hard to get permanently deleted from it.

Do you think data accessibility is an issue, especially in a country like India, where not all cities and towns are well connected? 

@bachchaoproject

It is. And it affects the choices people make while navigating digital communication. Mobile Internet tariffs in India are among the lowest in the world. And affordable smartphones (USD 150 or less) have been available in India for nearly a decade.

However, affordable smartphones come with their own privacy issues.

https://privacyinternational.org/long-read/3226/buying-smart-phone-cheap-privacy-might-be-price-you-have-pay

Messaging apps such as WhatsApp are significantly faster on slower Internet connections than the privacy-centric apps, making people with connectivity issues and unreliable mobile networks gravitate towards the former.

@digitaldutta

with no one measuring access to internet across India, access to networks is a privilege

@praymurray

Also incredibly uneven when it comes to gender: we lag behind Pakistan and Bangladesh when it comes to women’s access to mobile phones.

https://lirneasia.net/2019/02/ict-access-and-use-by-women-in-the-global-south-presentation/

What are the best practices while sharing photos or videos ?  What are the tools one can use to share ? 

@bachchaoproject

“Sextortion” (blackmail over sexually explicit images typically obtained by stealing or shooting them without consent) & non-consensual pornography (commonly known by the misnomer revenge porn) are two of the biggest concerns when sharing intimate photos & videos.

While taking nudes, it is highly advisable to not photograph the face or identifying marks such as tattoos and scars. Even if one applies a filter to blur or pixellate these parts of the image, is it possible to reverse these filters.

Many of the phone camera apps also pick up metadata such as a timestamp & GPS coordinates and embed them the photos. Remove this metadata (EXIF data) before sending photos. Recommended Android app: ScrambledEXIF.

@sandraaceng

Also i-cloud when using iPhone because when you take a picture, it gets automatically uploaded on I cloud and maybe when someone hacked it when your nude pictures are in can access it

When using icloud, choose to only upload selected photos or videos to icloud Using external hard drive that can’t be hacked works too because it’s not connected to the #internet

@aagrabakijasmin

I guess not to show the face? #DigitalPrivacy

@bachchaoproject

One can obscure photos will applications like obscure cam

*ObscuraCam app by The Guardian Project. It allows for pixellating, redacting and cropping images easily. However, this app majorly affects image quality.

@sandraaceng

Also use email addresses created on proton mail to set up a messaging account because in case your nudes escape, they can’t be traced back to your name

@bachchaoproject

You could also create temporary mail id from platforms like http://mailinator.com

List of secure messaging apps to play around with:

Signal

Threema

Telegram (Secret chat feature)

Wire

Silence

Delta

Chat

Riot

@sandraaceng

Turn off location services when you take the photos and turn off automatic uploads. You photo vault app to help store nudes and removes automatically from your photos feed on your phone Use end to end encryption apps too

Add passcode to your phone and encourage your sexting friend to do the same

Don’t use Facebook messenger, use timed message services such as Snapchat, private messaging like Telegram, wire or signal because image isn’t sent as download and also notifies if someone takes a screenshot of your conversation or image/s

Don’t have your face in the picture and hide tattoos or any natural mark on your body that identifies you

Additional Resources : 

What video conferencing tools to use :

https://freedom.press/training/blog/videoconferencing-tools/

How to take private photos on signal :

https://freedom.press/training/taking-private-photos-signal/

When it comes to #digital privacy what are some of the resources that are helpful ?

Resources : 

@bachchaoproject

The Motherboard Guide to Sexting Securely

 https://vice.com/en_us/article/mb3nd4/how-to-sext-securely-safely-what-apps-to-use-sexting Hack Blossom

 https://hackblossom.org/domestic-violence/threats/sexual-content.html https://hackblossom.org/domestic-violence/defense/secret-accounts.html

Take back the tech

 https://takebackthetech.net/know-more/heyfriend

Safer Nudes

 https://codingrights.org/4

Safer Sisters Online Security Tips in GIFs

https://medium.com/codingrights/safersisters-online-security-tips-in-gifs-222589166ed8 For teens (by Planned Parenthood) https://plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/bullying-safety-privacy/all-about-sexting https://plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/bullying-safety-privacy/online-privacy-and-staying-safe

Dirty Code

 https://dirtycode.io

A personal story: Love in the time of cryptography

https://wired.com/2017/04/love-in-the-time-of-cryptography

@bachchaoproject

Safer nudes is available a printable zine: https://codingrights.org/send-nudes

From its official description: “…discussing post-porn aesthetics and strategies for combating gender inequalities in the web, it was thought to be more appealing to women and sexual minorities since they are more easily exposed to online haressment, by practices such as revenge “porn”, doxxing, cyberbulling, etc.”

Dirty Code is an interesting approach to sexting. Instead of sending or receiving an actual nude photo, it enables sexters to send/ receive a drawing of it: https://dirtycode.io

(While we are at it, here is a friendly reminder to never send an unsolicited dick pic even if it is a drawing of a dick pic.) #consent

Instead of being literal or graphic all the time, you could use GIFs and NSFW sticker packs (Signal & Telegram) to convey your mood. You can also make your own sticker packs easily using freely available vector illustrations of whatever floats your & your partner’s boat.

@sandraaceng

Encryption, use of TOR, use secure connection like VPN, use personal cloud storage because they are less likely to be targeted by hackers

@bachchaoproject

VPNs are a double-edged sword, especially when sexting. Free VPNs are free of monetary cost for a reason. That’s not good for the users’ #privacy and digital #security.

@aagrabakijasmin

I wrote this article for @Hidden_Pockets

during the #Aadhaar crisis. It is still relevant during #lockdown and #corona crisis. Is your dating life safe with all these dating apps?

https://hidden-pockets.com/tinder-messages/

@aldebaran14

Sticker packs as promised  pastebin.com/yNnyAqsL

 

 

What are some of the laws that we should keep in mind that are helpful? 

@Hidden_Pockets

Do remember India has a legislation specific to Information Technology Act 2000, and we can reach various cyber cells across cities in times of crisis.

@apar1984

Any non-consensual sexual imagery is not porn. It is a crime. An awful one which results in lasting and damaging consequences.

@Hidden_Pockets

Some sections in IT Act, specifically deal with violating the modesty of women in online spaces, and it can be used for instances like revenge porn. 

@apar1984

Provisions exist both under the IT Act and the IPC to deal with them. However both substantively and procedurally more must be done to address it

@aldebaran14

There are provisions under the IT Act and the IPC as Apar mentioned. However, my work on online non-consensual imagery from many years ago largely indicates that is redressal and justice for victims are difficult, circuitous and protracted.

Social stigma, a lack of support from family and social circles, patriarchal attitudes towards sexual propriety and conduct, and the fear of harassment by the police prevent victims from doing so much as filing a basic police report:

https://t.co/6HSvFHzI5K?amp=1

http://www.eroticsindia.org/pornography/amateur-porn-privacy-censorship-consent/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322661093_Amateur_Pornography_and_Consent

Victims are often driven to suicide: (Unfortunate use of the term “revenge porn” here)

https://www.edexlive.com/live-story/2017/apr/13/the-dark-net-and-its-crimes-329.html

 

@trishapande

How can parents in India educate their children on online privacy given that 

 

  • Parents are not always the most aware about online privacy 
  • Children find it difficult to share their online experiences with parents ?

 

@Hidden_Pockets

exactly! more resource by @PPact:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/bullying-safety-privacy/all-about-sexting

 

[Event Report] The Glass Room Exhibition (Community Edition), Bengaluru 2019

The first-ever edition of the global pop-up exhibition “The Glass Room” to be held in India was hosted by The Bachchao Project in Bengaluru from 22 to 24 November, 2019. The exhibition was a part of the art gallery event Art Bengaluru 2019.

The three-day exhibition attracted more than 300 visitors, and was supported by 15 trained volunteers. Visitors were also offered the Data Detox.

The Glass Room is a public intervention that provides an interactive, fun, and challenging experience, bringing to life the most pressing challenges facing people and the tech industry today. As technology reaches a global scale and becomes embedded in every part of our lives and our environments, The Glass Room examines its impacts and helps visitors explore practical solutions to mitigate them. The consequences of a “move fast and break things” industry are catching up with us and now we must examine what has been lost and gained along the way. The Glass Room is curated by Tactical Tech, an international NGO based in Berlin.

Exhibits titled “Zuckerberg’s House”, “Alphabet’s Empire” and “The Life of a Selfie” were especially popular amongst the visitors, one of whom wrote, “I know some of the information before (e.g., Zuckerberg’s buy out) but this is way comprehensive [sic] and concise”. Feedback received from the visitors shows that they appreciated the exhibition “for showcasing the need to privacy and bringing digital awareness to the mass audience” and for “creating awareness of the digital footprints we leave”. Some visitors said that they wished to see some exhibits contextualised for the Indian data privacy scenario and audience in the future, while some others wished for a larger exhibition and more exhibits.

Visitors who received the Data Detox kits found them “very interesting and informative” and that “it was scary to realise how much [data] is up for sale like [mentioned in] the [Data Detox] booklet”. Most visitors also stated that they looked forward to taking the 8-day Detox Challenge. Around 150 Data Detox kits were distributed at the event.

The Data Detox Bar at The Glass Room Exhibition
The Data Detox Bar at The Glass Room Exhibition

The response of the visitors to The Glass Room, Community Edition indicates that it was an interesting and valuable experience for them, and the Complete Edition would be well-received,  “[We need] many more such installations at many more art exhibitions.” 

At The Bachchao Project we believe that conversations on digital privacy and security must move beyond policy-making and civil society spaces to reach and include the general public. The Glass Room Exhibition is a brilliant medium to have these conversations. Our strongest motivation for hosting The Glass Room was to bring this medium of having conversations about the interplay between technology and privacy to India. In the years to come we hope to continue to host these kinds of events in different parts of the country, with more India-specific content.

Call for volunteers: The Glass Room Exhibition, Bengaluru, 22 to 24 November 2019

The Bachchao Project invites volunteers for The Glass Room exhibition scheduled to be held in Bengaluru from November 22 to 24, 2019 at UB City. The Glass Room is a global pop-up exhibition that is generating a conversation about data and privacy. This will be the first-ever edition of the exhibition to be held in India.

Tasks for volunteers

  • Interact with visitors
  • Talk about the exhibits assigned to them, and answer questions that visitors may have
  • Distribute handouts to visitors who are interested
  • Collect feedback from visitors

Who can volunteer?

Individuals who:

  • Speak English.
  • Live in Bengaluru.
  • Are available for at least four hours at a stretch during the three-day exhibition.
  • Are available to attend a briefing session on the evening of November 21.
  • Have at least a basic knowledge and understanding of common Internet technology and its interplay with privacy (preferable).

All volunteers will receive a daily allowance for covering expenses towards meals and conveyance to and from the exhibition venue.

How do I sign up?

Email theteam@thebachchaoproject.org with this information:

  • Your name
  • Dates when you’re available to volunteer
  • Approximate number of hours you wish to dedicate
  • Why are you interested in volunteering for this event?
  • Do you have previous experience of working on the topic of digital privacy and security, in a professional or volunteer capacity?

(For media inquiries, contact Rohini Lakshané: rohini@thebachchaoproject.org)

More about The Glass Room

The Glass Room is a public intervention that provides an interactive, fun, and challenging experience, bringing to life the most pressing challenges facing people and the tech industry today. As technology reaches a global scale and becomes embedded in every part of our lives and our environments, The Glass Room examines its impacts and helps visitors explore practical solutions to mitigate them. The consequences of a “move fast and break things” industry are catching up with us and now we must examine what has been lost and gained along the way. (Text from: https://theglassroom.org/about-us)

The Glass Room is curated by Tactical Tech, an international NGO based in Berlin.

About The Bachchao Project

The Bachchao Project is a techno-feminist collective that undertakes community-centric efforts to develop and support open source technologies and technical frameworks with the goals of mitigating gender-based violence and working towards equal rights for women, LGBTQIA people, and gender non-conforming groups. We conduct research and advocacy in all the above areas and guide communities in determining appropriate technological interventions for themselves. http://thebachchaoproject.org

Twitter: @bachchaoproject

Venue

UB City mall, Vittal Mallya Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru 560001. The exhibition is a part of the art gallery event Art Bengaluru 2019.

[Event announcement] The Glass Room Exhibition, Bengaluru, 22 to 24 November 2019

First-ever edition of The Glass Room Exhibition in India to be held in Bengaluru

3 November 2019, Bengaluru, India

The first-ever edition of the global pop-up exhibition “The Glass Room” to be held in India has been organised by The Bachchao Project in Bengaluru from 22 to 24 November, 2019. The exhibition is a part of the art gallery event Art Bengaluru 2019. Entry is free and open to the public.

The Glass Room is a public intervention that provides an interactive, fun, and challenging experience, bringing to life the most pressing challenges facing people and the tech industry today. As technology reaches a global scale and becomes embedded in every part of our lives and our environments, The Glass Room examines its impacts and helps visitors explore practical solutions to mitigate them. The consequences of a “move fast and break things” industry are catching up with us and now we must examine what has been lost and gained along the way.

The Glass Room is curated by Tactical Tech, an international NGO based in Berlin. More at: https://theglassroom.org

The three-day exhibition invites volunteers: http://thebachchaoproject.org/call-for-volunteers-the-glass-room-exhibition-bengaluru-22-to-24-november-2019

About The Bachchao Project

The Bachchao Project is a techno-feminist collective that undertakes community-centric efforts to develop and support open source technologies and technical frameworks with the goals of mitigating gender-based violence and working towards equal rights for women, LGBTQIA people, and gender non-conforming groups. We conduct research and advocacy in all the above areas and guide communities in determining appropriate technological interventions for themselves.
Website: http://thebachchaoproject.org
Twitter:  @bachchaoproject

Contact

For media inquiries, Rohini Lakshané: rohini@thebachchaoproject.org. For everything else, email Chinmayi S K: chinmayi@thebachchaoproject.org

Venue

UB City mall, Vittal Mallya Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru 560001
2nd floor, Near lift lobby

Hours

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on all days. Last entry: 8.30 p.m. on all days