Alarmed by the ever-growing cyber-attacks targeting Syrian activists, the Institution for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), along with its Syrian partners, launched the “Digital Security Awareness Week” campaign, on June 1, 2014. The six-day campaign was organized by Cyber Arabs, Salama Tech, Revolution Office for Security Consulting and Tech4Freedom. Together, these digital security specialists worked to inform Syrian activists of the digital security challenges they face on a daily-basis, and to introduce them to ways of addressing and avoiding cyber-security risks.
The campaign’s operators published articles and tips on their Facebook page and on Twitter, demonstrating the real risks facing Syrian internet users. Also, the group gave activists a chance to put questions to digital security experts, during the awareness campaign. The Digital Security campaign came after numerous activists associated with the group were detained, due to their negligence or ignorance of cyber-security risks. “These risks not only put the user’s life in danger, but also threaten the safety of their relatives and colleagues,” as one of the campaign’s organizers says to SyriaUntold.
One of the key challenges encountered by the organizers was Syrian activists’ carelessness towards the issue. “We believe this is because most people lack the basic tools of protection. We try our best to give away information in the simplest way possible, to bridge the gap between the insufficient technical knowledge of the user and the complexities of protection programs.”