Hancel: a mobile tool for safety of journalists

11 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


Journalists face different risks. According the NGO Reporters without borders, 69 journalists were killed during 2014. Moreover, the precariousness of privacy online is a subject that increases the risk of journalists to be victims of restraints or physical attacks.

Based on these, FLIP, a free press NGO from Colombia, with the cooperation of Karisma, other colombian NGO, focused in digital rights, in order to enhance a first version of an app developed in México with previous support from FLIP.

Hancel was originally a mobile app that worked as a “panic button” that notifies selected contacts when a journalist feels in danger. New features improve and enhance this tool: trace the movements of the journalists when they perceive that they may need to keep a track of their displacements; encrypted calls and messages; and a survey to measure the journalist level of risk on digital environments to match with digital security recommendations.

Hancel was born in Colombia and México, but it can be used in the entire world, where journalists face continuous and changeable sorts of dangers. The Flash Session will address the needs of journalists and how the use of tools such as Hancel can improve their safety. 

Hancel is a project related to privacy, freedom of press, journalism and the chance that technology gives for the exercise of rights in digital environments. It is an example about taking internet as a tool for facing governance challenges more than theoretical debates about freedom of expression or privacy on internet.

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