Privacy And Security While Protesting

June 05, 2020 2 min read

privacy and security while protesting

In the Interest of Free Speech and using your Right to Protest, it is important to understand that participating in these events can lead to active tracking, and data pulling by government organizations.

These are supposed to be upholding the constitution but are in fact working against you. Local law enforcement has been known to use technology to locate specific cell phones as well as pulling call and text data from your phone. Recently, they have been cleared to "conduct covert surveillance" at protests, if that doesn't sound fishy to you, then I am not sure what will.

If you are still unsure about this. In a recent protest at the end of April, over 400 individuals were located and tracked. Their movements were closely followed after the event to see how they dispersed in the following days. This data was pulled unknowingly to the protesters, but when prompted, the trackers states that everyone involved had previously opted into an application location service. This means that services are using past instances to clear current policies.

The following will help protect your Privacy, Security, and Health in the event of a protest. Use these methods to uphold your rights to free speech and assembly, as well as your own right to privacy.

  • If you are going to carry your phone with you, turn off your GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth. All three of these can be used against you to locate your phone because they emit a signal while on. Turning off should be a daily practice already, but if it's not, start now.
  • Store your phone in a Faraday Sleeve, allows your phone to be completely untraceable. Blocking all signals going in or out, and allows you to access your device when you feel safe to again. Know that your location and data are going to be safe and secure while you are out there practicing your rights
  • Many outlets recommend airplane mode, but your phone can still be traced in this mode. This may turn off cellular, but that does not mean GPS or Bluetooth is turned off.
  • Turn Off Face ID or Touch ID. Legally, an officer cannot force you to enter your phone. However, in more extreme cases it is not unheard of to have them try and place the phone to your face or finger to access your personal data.
  • Use secure messaging services. Applications such as Signal can ensure that your messages are only seen for a short period of time by the other party. This will allow you to go that extra step when you are unsure of how the other party is approaching their security.

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