Umbrella App: simple digital and physical security lessons and advice

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by SecurityFirst, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. SecurityFirst

    SecurityFirst Registered Member

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    Hey all,

    As you all know, digital and physical security topics can be complex, especially for a lot of the less tech/security minded folks we work with. We've just launched a free, open source Android app which hopefully will make it a bit easier for people on the go.

    Find out more: https://secfirst.org
    Source Code: https://github.com/securityfirst/Umbrella_android
    Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.secfirst.umbrella
    F-Droid: (hopefully within the next week or two)
    Direct: https://secfirst.org/uploads/Umbrella-nightly.apk
    (SHA1: 21e8a88b81f60a855a6d4288203fbbc014b7ea71)

    We would warmly welcome your feedback,
    Thanks,
    SF
     
  2. driekus

    driekus Registered Member

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    Very neat concept and a lot of really good information.

    The only thing that I am struggling with is the organization. It is hard to determine how to approach this without getting overwhelmed (and I am comfortable with most of the concepts here).
    Interested to see what others think but I can see this working better if it was set up like a lesson plan (chapters) and quite a long one at that. The concepts here took me about a year to digest and enact and I still havent got them all.

    I would also consider decreasing the amount of text on each section as in places it is difficult to read on a 4.8 inch smartphone screen.

    As I go through more I will give more feedback. A great resource for me to refer people to when I get questions of things like VPNs.
     
  3. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Did you consider alternatives to incorporation in the UK? While I'd guess there's nothing specific in what you do that would be affected by the IPB, the security climate in the UK is dreadful and it might taint people's perception of the trustworthiness of what you say.

    I think your proposition is a good one and needed.

    How do you intend to expand your revenue stream, or do you have sufficient backing? Is it through training? - again, sorely needed! I think it helps to be clear about these things, again because people can then understand and trust you better.
     
  4. SecurityFirst

    SecurityFirst Registered Member

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    Thank you for your kind feedback, I hope it's useful for you! :)

    Most of us have worked in the field on NGO and digital security issues for years and we regularly train people on the subject matter but yes, it is tricky to make sure we stay on top of subjects like changing tools etc. Also, we are increasingly being asked to add in subject matter, especially as people start to use it in the field. I think we probably also agree that in the next version we are going to try and cut down on the use of text. It's always a tricky balance between our techie desire to cover as many issues as possible and our real world knowledge of how people in the field use tools.

    If you have any more feedback for us or suggestions then please drop us a mail at info at secfirst dot .org!
     
  5. SecurityFirst

    SecurityFirst Registered Member

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    Thanks, yes these are very good questions and we've detailed them in a few places on our website. In summary:
    -Our team is mostly Irish and Eastern European who happened to be living in the UK when we setup the organisation. When we setup we all agreed that we would move overseas if there was a possibility of unsuitable UK legal pressure - which for the record, there has not been. However, as it happens within the next few weeks we will be moving to Ireland so likely to shift the structure of the company there. This is for a mix of operational, personal and legal reasons - so IPB won't apply. As people concerned with privacy and human rights it's obvious that we are deeply concerned by what has been happening in the past few years and months. Without getting into operational details, where possible our digital infrastructure is also based outside the UK.

    -Umbrella was was both self funded by our team and also a grant from the great guys at the Open Technology Fund (https://www.opentech.fund/project/umbrella). We intend to continue our work using non-profit grant funding for Umbrella (which means it can be free and open-source forever and our security philosophy not tainted by commercial considerations) along with the other work we do to create revenue - which is mostly digital and physical security training and consultancy for NGOs, activists and media.

    We recognise the huge importance of transparency in the post-Snowden world, so I hope these questions gives an insight into us. Feel free to drop us a mail if there is anything else you want to know! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  6. SecurityFirst

    SecurityFirst Registered Member

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