Latest stories of our network
Safe Sisters fight harassment and 'revenge porn' with education
Online abuse and cyber-harassment mean a disproportionate number of women remove themselves from crucial discussions. One not-for-profit is making a change for women in East Africa.
Can women protect themselves from online harassment?<p>In the digital age, not only do we send videos to friends and sing online karaoke with those we've never met, many are using social media to fight for equality. But online harassment, image-based sexual abuse (also called 'revenge porn') and cyberattacks can stop women especially from being part of the conversation that leads to real change. These cowardly acts also leave victims feeling embarrassed, ashamed and alone.</p><a href="https://safesisters.net/" target="_blank">Safe Sisters</a> is a fellowship program empowering girls and women, especially human rights activists, journalists and those in the media, to fight online abuse. In Defenders of Digital season two episode five, Safe Sisters' Immaculate Nabwire explains a landmark Ugandan image-based sexual abuse case that inspires her, the digital threats women in East Africa face and how her team are fighting for change.
Gamers are using their voice to overcome accessibility problems
By 2023, there could be over three billion gamers worldwide. But for some people with disabilities, taking part in this wildly popular passion can be frustrating to impossible. Now, one piece of tech is out to make slaying dragons and building civilizations accessible to all. Will it change the future of gaming?
The AI-powered voice of a generation’s gamers<p>Since the world's first video game 'Pong' appeared in 1958, gaming has evolved in ways never imagined. But game accessibility is still a problem for as many as 30 million people in the US, because they have an impairment that means they come up against accessibility barriers when gaming. </p><p><a href="https://hellofridai.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Fridai</a> is changing all that. The voice-activated, AI-powered assistant gives advice on anything gamers with disabilities may need, from hands-free options to being reminded of the game's objective. In Defenders of Digital series two, episode four, Mark Engelhardt, Fridai's Co-founder and CEO, talks about how the technology uses AI to create a new interface between humans and machines.</p>
Chicago's tiny not-for-profit taking on powerful institutions.
The history of surveillance is one of control. As monitoring technologies accelerate, one not-for-profit noticed a concerning rise in unethical police cell phone observation. Their objections led to new, stronger digital rights legislation.
Stingrays and cell phones: Is your pocket private?<p>Smartphones have improved our lives more than we could have imagined. We work on them, use them to take and store private photos and they know where we are at any moment. But with advanced surveillance techniques, phones have become a powerful way for law enforcement to observe and identify us, ethically or not.</p><p>One Chicago not-for-profit, <a href="https://lucyparsonslabs.com/" target="_blank">Lucy Parsons Labs</a>, is demanding government agencies like the police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) be more transparent about how and why they track people through their phones. Defenders of Digital episode three speaks with Lucy Parsons Labs' Executive Director Freddy Martinez about how law enforcement use technologies to covertly observe people, what it means for digital rights and how his team made US legal history.</p>
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