يستخدم المدافعون عن حقوق الإنسان الحاسوب و شبكة الإنترنت بشكل متزايد في عملهم. و على الرغم من أن امكانية الوصول إلى التكنولوجيا لا يزال مسألة ذات شأن حول العالم، إلا أن الوسائل الإلكترونية في تخزين و تبادل المعلومات تصبح أكثر شيوعاً في منظمات حقوق الإنسان. و مع ذلك، فإن الحكومات تقوم هي الأخرى بتطوير القدرة على التلاعب بالمعلومات الإلكترونية، و مراقبتها و تخريبها. إن كلاً من المراقبة و الرقابة في ازدياد، و عدم الأمن المتعلق بالمعلومات المخزنة أو المتبادلة إلكترونياً يغدو مشكلة أساسية للمدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان في بعض البلدان.
Digital Security workshops are designed to help HRDs better understand the technology they use and the significant risks associated with it as they document, store and share information about human rights abuses. Front Line Defenders Digital Security Training is based on a package of peer reviewed tools and tactics called Security-in-a-Box which was developed by Front Line Defenders and partner organisation Tactical Technology Collective expressly for human rights defenders working in hostile digital security environments.
Security-in-a-Box includes explanations of a range of digital security challenges as well as a collection of freeware or open source software tools with instructions on how one can use that tool to secure a computer, protect information or maintain the privacy of Internet communication, is now available in 16 languages including English, Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French, German, Dari, Italian, Tibetan, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, Vietnamese.
In 2013 Front Line Defenders established a new initiative to provide digital security support and protection to HRDs through the provision of technical support and tools. This initiative is intended to enable HRDs to circumvent cyber-censorship and improve their digital security in countries where Internet and digital communications are the object of surveillance, tracking, filtering, blocking or where digital communications are purportedly impaired. Field-based technical support is provided via Digital Security Consultants (DSCs) who provide direct one-to-one technical support to HRDs working in these difficult environments. DSCs travel and meet with HRD organisations and individuals in order to undertake risk assessments, propose and help implement tailored solutions. Specific geographic focus includes the Sub-Sahara African region, the Middle East / North Africa, Former Soviet Union/Central Asia, Latin America and South-east Asia. Support includes assistance with assessment of their existing IT set-up and practices and an analysis of the risks (including specific digital security risks) that they face in their particular context. Human rights defenders are being provided with tailored digital security options, practical support and ongoing assistance in implementing their chosen security measures. This helps to create a long-lasting impact through more direct engagement with needs analysis, implementation, follow-up and evaluation in the specific real life contexts of some of those human rights defenders working in the most dangerous environments.