Helping the helpers – how end-to-end encryption protects non-profits
We launched our NGO initiative more than two years ago with the aim of helping non-profits work securely by using end-to-end encryption. Since then, the demand for privacy and security has grown. News on large-scale data breaches, data misuses and extensive government hacking all demonstrate the need for services that guarantee protection for people’s online data.
Security and privacy are essential for everyone. It’s important to note here that privacy isn’t about hiding information; on the contrary, it’s about protecting it. That’s why we believe that activists and non-profits, representing vulnerable people, need to have easy access to secure data sharing. They need tools at their disposal that help them store and share sensible information to carry out their day-to-day work.
More than 500 teams from all over the world joined Tresorit’s NGO program and now use end-to-end encryption in cloud storage and file sharing. We are proud and honoured to have improved the digital security of human rights defenders, environmental activists, teams working on education and research, and many others who want to make a change.
While most of our non-profit customers prefer anonymity which we respect, some of them were eager to explain why end-to-end encryption is essential for their efforts and how it helps to preserve their privacy online. On the occasion of privacy day, we would like to celebrate their mission by sharing their story and highlighting the importance of their work.
The Black Movement-Law Project provides legal support to individuals who have been arrested as a result of their participation in mass demonstrations and protests. Offering trainings and urgent legal services, they help black communities by building the legal infrastructure necessary to protect emerging movements. “With encrypted storage and file share links we are able to quickly increase the ease with which many are able to confidently and securely share information. Otherwise it would increase the risk of sensitive information falling into the hands of malicious actors”, Nash Sheard, legal activist at Black Movement-Law Project told us.
Transparency International Portugal fights to combat global corruption and to prevent criminal activities arising from it. “While providing assistance to corruption whistle-blowers, it is absolutely mandatory for us to have a secure environment to store our data. Tresorit provides that and helps to ensure that we and the people who come to us for help stay safe”, explained Marco Dinis Santos, Communications Manager at Transparency International Portugal.
What’s Your Impact raises awareness about climate change and educates people about simple, practical things they can do to protect the environment. We asked Rajat Banerjee. “After an election, your NGO’s work may not match with the views of the new leadership coming in. Even worse, it might be in direct conflict. Working collaboratively with people around the world allows non-profits to have access to help that they might never be able to find locally. For this collaboration, end-to-end encryption keeps your data from prying eyes”, he told us.
Wings of Hope changes and saves lives through the power of aviation. In the U.S., the nonprofit provides medical air transport services – free of charge – to individuals who need access to specialized medical care. The organization also works in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Central and South America, partnering with communities to improve their health, education, food security and economic opportunity. “We have to review the medical information for each potential patient coming into our system. We have to ascertain that we can serve them safely and effectively. But it is quite a challenge to keep sensitive information truly secure using a paper and fax-based system. The solution we have put together with Tresorit — and a secure online fax service — has significantly improved our handling of sensitive medical information. We can be comfortable that the information is stored securely and is also secure during its transit to Tresorit”, commented Mark Cutler, IT Support Volunteer at Wings of Hope.
The Public International Law & Policy Group is a global pro bono law firm providing free legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations and prosecuting war criminals. “Encryption is critical to the work we do with human rights defenders in conflict zones related to transitional justice. It allows us to securely share and store sensitive information in a way that protects the people we work with and the information itself”, Elinor Stevenson, Senior Counsel at PILPG wrote to us.
These stories inspire us to come to work every day and to carry out our mission of empowering people to take control of their data online. These stories make us understand that, to some, data security can be a life-or-death question. These stories signal that the lack of privacy can create significant harm. And ultimately, these stories demonstrate that end-to-end encryption is a must for data security.