Ushahidi-Linda: “Testimony” + “Protection”


Ushahidi-linda (“Testimony” + “Protection” – disclaimer: we don’t speak Swahili so this was a shot in the dark!)

This is a fork of the Ushahidi on Android app, done as a way to prototype the implementation of increased security, anonymity and privacy for users viewing and submitting reports through Ushahidi.

Ushahidi is a platform that crowdsources crisis information, allowing anyone to submit crisis information through text messaging using a mobile phone, email or web form.

The network code for the Ushahidi app has been tied into Orbot (Tor on Android) using a SOCKS5 client. This does NOT require a rooted device to work – both it and Orbot can be run on stock, off the shelf Android devices on any mobile operator that offers at least a GPRS connection. This version of the app will ONLY work if Orbot is activated and connected to the Tor Network. Otherwise, network connections will fail.

We plan/hope to work with the Ushahidi team to integrate this functionality into the main branch of code, and offer a clear, easy way for users to activate/deactivate use of the anonymity/anti-surveillence features.

You can access the complete source code for Ushahidi-Linda on Android via our Git repository and also download test builds as they are available. PLEASE NOTE: Until further notice and formal announcements, these builds should be considered ALPHA and are for testing, proof of concept use only.

Specifically you can see how we have provided a new SocksHTTPClient package that proxies all GET and POST connections through SOCKS.

From here, the plan is to implement a security pin on startup, local data encryption for storage of data both in the database and on the sdcard, as well as quick “delete all” features.

Learn more about the Tor Project and how network anonymity works at http://torproject.org