Feb 23, 2021

When we in democracies want positive political change, our laws let us protest, expose injustice and vote for new leaders. But more than four billion people around the world don’t enjoy these same luxuries. In this episode, GREAT.com spoke with Alex Gladstein from the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) about challenging tyranny by reaching those who live under authoritarian regimes.


Encryption Poses a New Challenge to Regulators

The internet has ushered in a new era for dissidents and the disaffected, changing the political landscape forever. As information spreads more rapidly, it becomes harder for dictators to oppress their people. Alex explains that authoritarian governments have traditionally frozen bank accounts and spied on private communications to defund and thwart protest movements. That’s why the HRF promotes open-source software that governments can’t tamper with. This includes Signal, an encrypted messaging app, and Bitcoin, a decentralized crypto-currency. The goal is to help activists outmanoeuvre slow, unadaptable regimes with censorship-resistant technology.

Listen to the whole interview to find out how your donation can help oppressed groups forge new democracies on their own terms. You can also read about Flash Drives For Freedom, HRF’s campaign to smuggle outside information into North Korea. Through clever tactics and transparency we can make the world a more tolerant place.

Watch the conversation here.