NetAidKit offers first-line support for online safety

Oppressive regimes have been wiretapping local journalists for years. Increasingly, this surveillance is also extended to their online activities. In response, Free Press Unlimited has developed the NetAidKit, a small device that provides the user with a secure internet connection. We launched the NetAidKit in the spring of 2016. By the end of the year, some 700 kits had already been taken into use.

Authoritarian governments have an irrepressible need to obstruct independent journalists in their work and nip critical perspectives in the bud. And this game of cat and mouse – between journalists and their sources on the one hand, and those in power on the other – can also be observed online. With the development of the NetAidKit, Free Press Unlimited has made it easier for journalists all over the world to make secure use of the internet while working to inform the public. The NetAidKit cocks a snook at the ‘total control’ pursued by authoritarians worldwide.

Unhindered by online censorship

Journalists need to be able to investigate a story, talk with their sources and colleagues and publish their findings without the fear of being tapped or endangering themselves and those around them.

The NetAidKit is a portable router that connects your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone to the internet. But this is no ordinary router: the kit sends all your data in a single transmission via a VPN connection or the Tor network. This allows you to surf safely and anonymously – wherever you are. When you use a NetAidKit, the provider can neither determine your location nor establish which websites you are visiting. And third parties are unable to access your data. This allows journalists to circumvent censorship and protect themselves – and their sources – against unwanted eavesdropping.

Award-winning tool

Security trainer Sergio Araiza from Mexico has been using the NetAidKit for almost a year now. During his trainings, he presents the device as a shining example of effective digital security. “The NetAidKit is a wonderful tool. It’s easy to use and ‘works as advertised’: data and navigation details remain completely secure.”

The NetAidKit is a user-friendly solution for a virtually untapped market. Indeed, in March 2016, the tool won first prize in two categories at the very well-attended Internet Freedom Festival in Valencia. Free Press Unlimited sells the NetAidKit and uses the revenues to provide free devices to endangered journalists.

NetAidKit is based on proven open-source technology. Free Press Unlimited calls on experienced tool developers to contribute to the further elaboration of this sophisticated security device. So that in the years ahead, journalists can continue to provide their readers, listeners and viewers with reliable information – without putting themselves in danger.

Developed in: 2016
Donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Contribution: € 150,000
Donor: SIDN fund
Contribution: € 25,000

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