Internet Freedom at IRI

Democratic activists across the globe face increasing censorship and surveillance intended to thwart their efforts to promote rights and freedom. Support for circumvention technologies is more important than ever to empower IRI partners to operate safely and securely. Too often, a disconnect exists between technologists and democracy, rights, and governance (DRG) actors, leading to a systematic lack of awareness of circumvention tools in the DRG community, as well as technology user interfaces that are nonintuitive and hard-to-use. 

IRI’s Technology & Democracy Practice works with technologists to keep democratic activists safe and secure against censorship and surveillance. We work to bridge these divides to ensure that digital tools are accessible and usable to our partners, and to mainstream internet freedom technologies into democracy assistance programming.

IRI has consistently supported the localization, usability and accessibility improvements, operations, and sustainability of a wide range of internet freedom tools, ranging from tools used for censorship circumvention and monitoring, secure communications, and website security. In addition, to provide additional context for the use of circumvention technologies, IRI released a report in 2023, Shutting Down the Shutdown: Mainstreaming Proactive Civil Society Responses to Internet Disruptions, in collaboration with stakeholders within the internet freedom and DRG community. Find below an inventory of applications that IRI’s Technology & Democracy Practice regards as trusted tools for the DRG community. This inventory is not intended to be comprehensive. It is a curated set of resources which may provide invaluable for democratic actors to operate and work in a practical, safe, and secure way. 

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