Best Apps for Safer Protest

We talked about the settings you need to know in order to protect your phone, your data and yourself during the protest. If you do decide to use your device during a protest, there are several security and messaging apps you’ll want to install on your phone before you hit the road.

To register and report violations: Mobile Justice

The American Civil Liberties Union has launched state-specific versions of its Mobile Justice application, which you can use to quickly and easily capture video footage of your surroundings and submit it to the ACLU as an official “report” of your wrongdoing. exposed.

What’s even cooler is that you can enable a “witness” mode in the app, which will alert you if someone nearby is also using Mobile Justice to record / report. You will be directed to their location on the map so you can witness everything that happens.

For all your messages: Signal

It’s simple. You should use an application that secures your communications with end-to-end encryption (so that whatever you say cannot be intercepted in any meaningful way), offers a disappearing message feature for the organization, and allows you to set up a separate authentication mechanism. even to access the app to begin with – so if someone picks up your phone and can log in like you, they still wo n’t be able to access your messages.

Yes, and having a service that doesn’t log messages – and can’t decrypt encrypted versions of them anyway – means subpoenas to access whatever you, your friends, or fellow organizers have sent to each other are essentially useless .

To assess the situation: Scanner Radio (Android) or Broadcastify (Android / iOS)

You probably have more important things to do than listening to a police scanner all day, and chances are good that you will get the same amount of information about a situation that occurs through Twitter, Signal, or whatever other communication applications you use. That said, if you want to hear official information about what’s happening in the area, it never hurts to tune in. If you are staying at home and not protesting, perhaps you can “participate” from afar, observing what is happening and passing on key messages. to your friends and family. One of these apps can help with this.

For discreet recording: Private Video Recorder (Android)

Unfortunately, there is no app that can be used to record screen-off video on iOS – a useful technique for secretly recording your surroundings without provoking violent reactions. However, on Android, commentator Gizmodo Babylon System recommends ” Private Video Recorder ” which allows you to do this. Turn it on, tuck your phone into your shirt pocket (or glue it to your backpack, or whatever) and start writing.

To follow your community: Citizen or Nextdoor

Yes, your typical Nextdoor poster is trash. And the Citizen app, formerly called Vigilante, had all sorts of issues that conflicted with various app store rules (it’s not on the Google Play store at the time of this writing). I’m not a big fan of “tell my neighbors” apps – and I don’t really owe anyone – but they are potentially useful if you need crowdsourced information about what’s happening in your area right now. Yes, your Neighborhood Posts are likely to be full of misinformed, quasi-racist people and make you think twice about where you are going this year (assuming you can go at all). But at least you can get early warning of what is happening in unfamiliar areas when you protest.

To remove metadata from photos: The Photo Investigator (iOS) or Photo Exif Editor (Android)

Various social media sites strip EXIF ​​data from photos you post, but if you want to be sure, use an app like The Photo Investigator or Photo Exif Editor to do it yourself. Removing all the identifying characteristics of your photos before posting them elsewhere gives you much more privacy (and anonymity) when you protest.

(I’m also a fan of ViewExif for iOS, which can remove metadata as an app extension rather than a standalone app. When posting photos, just click on your iOS share sheet in that app and you’ll be able to send your image to a friend with or without metadata included – your choice!)

For encrypting your internet: a good VPN (especially on Android)

So here’s the thing. If you’re on iOS, you won’t be able to set up an “always on” mode for your VPN, which will keep you protected all the time while you’re using Wi-Fi, cellular data, or bouncing between the two. However, this feature is present on Android and I recommend enabling it as soon as you have selected the perfect VPN for your needs. Spoiler alert: This is not a “free VPN app” that you downloaded from any app store. Please don’t use one of them . Please .

In the event of a health emergency: first aid ( iOS , Android )

Obviously, calling 911 is your best option if you’ve been hurt or witnessed serious injury during a protest. However, the middle of a protest is probably the last place where you can probably solve the problem quickly and efficiently. Red Cross Applications for first aid ( iOS , All Android ) is not impressive, but they at least give you a basic know-how for a wide range of scenarios, and provide a quick way to find nearby hospitals – although I would recommend you to read this information to be ready for any situation, you will encounter while you are away.

To protect your accounts: Authy and 1Password.

While password managers and two-factor authentication apps are more useful for hacking attempts than anything else, they are still an important part of your personal security setup and are always worth talking about. A dedicated password management app like 1Password gives you the added incentive to use unique passwords for all of your accounts and services, and lets you hide sensitive information behind another different login mechanism – apart from, for example, the face ID you use. to get into your phone. In other words, someone who gets your device will still need to rip out the secondary password from you to gain access to your master password list.

As for Authy – or another two-factor authentication app if you don’t like Authy’s cloud-based approach – it’s much better to use alternate numbers tied to your device as a secondary authentication method when you log into accounts. and services. If you choose to receive authentication codes via text messages, anyone with access to your device (or SIM card) will be able to see them. Authy, like 1Password, lets you hide your 2FA tokens behind a secondary login method, so even someone with your phone will have to jump over another hoop to see the special codes they’ll need to access your other services.

(Of course, you use many apps – Facebook, for example – that allow you to stay signed in every time you download the app for the first time, so all a person has to do to see your digital life is authenticate. your phone.A great password manager and 2FA app won’t help much if you’re still signed in to an app or service, but they’re better than nothing.)

Looking for ways to protect black lives? Check out this list of resources .


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