The SalamaTech Project builds the capacity of Syrian civil society to communicate safely online
The SalamaTech project supports Syrian civil society and human rights defenders to operate safely and effectively online. Since the project launch in 2012, the SalamaTech team has helped tens of thousands of Syrians learn how to stay safe online in Syria and the region, through trainings, emergency response, awareness campaigns, and expert support.
The internet has drastically changed the way that everyone interacts with the world. For groups and individuals that range from civil society organizations, to students, to women’s unions and human rights workers, the internet has opened up incredible benefits, from access to knowledge, education and resources through to new economic opportunities and the ability to connect with others.
But new digital tools also channel new risks. Stolen or lost phones carry personal information that can compromise the safety and wellbeing of users. Cybercriminals hack online accounts and steal personal information or engage in extortion and blackmail. Online harassment and bullying have impacted many, including well-known activists as well as everyday internet users.
For Syrians who face political and security challenges in the country and throughout the wider region, the stakes are particularly high. The internet is both a lifeline and a risk. Over the past several years, the SalamaTech project has worked closely to understand and respond to the needs of Syrian civil society, with respect to internet access and safety.
Our project responses have focused on supports to women and youth, who tend to have less access to digital safety training and support, in addition to small Syrian civil society organizations that face higher risks because they both rely on digital technologies and devices for their operations, as well as face a shortage of resources to ensure institutional security.
SalamaTech has three main lines of support:
On-the-ground training, assistance and digital clinics. SalamaTech delivers on the ground training and technical assistance through our network of in-field trainers, and our partnerships with local training centres and groups;
Online resources. SalamaTech online digital safety resources — our simple self-help guides, awareness videos and teacher training packages — attract some 100,000 user engagements per month. SalamaTech Facebook page issues special guidance and digital alerts on new risks as they arise, like phishing scams or malware alerts.
SalamaTech Help Desk. The SalamaTech Help Desk provides online assistance for digital safety problems – everything from helping with locked accounts and suspected malware, through to restoration of online social media accounts.