An Italian software collective, Molleindustria, in collaboration with American culture jamming activists The Yes Men, produced Phone Story, a “radical game” for smart phones. The game exposes the human and environmental costs of the mobile phone industry. It made headlines when Apple banned it from its iPhone App Store, which only bolstered Molleindustria's campaign.
Using text messages and mobile phone photos, local people self-organised to find and share information that wasn’t available in the media during the Mumbai terrorist attacks. This spontaneous community reporting identified injuries and deaths and supported coordinated donations of blood and other relief efforts.
Citizens of Madagascar sent SMS messages to Foko about reports of violence by the military and police during demonstrations against a takeover of the government. These reports were published on an online map, and a team of local bloggers checked the messages for accuracy. As traditional media was compromised at the time, Foko’s website alerted citizens to trouble spots and gave a richer picture of the crisis than traditional reporting while ensuring an independent information source existed to report on events.
Young people in Nigeria face obstables in getting accurate sexual and reproductive health information, due to stigma and taboos. A collaboration between OneWorld UK and local NGO, Education as a Vaccine Against AIDS, produced 'MyQuestion/MyAnswer,' a mobile phone service that lets young people take control over their own sexual health education anonymously and securely.
Citizens from Kenya can get information on government funding for development projects by sending a text message to Infonet's budget tracking platform. The questions provide data to help build a picture of which government funds are most under scrutiny in different areas. People can also leave comments on each project to verify, contest, add information, or connect with a local social development group who can help them query the allocation and use of public funds.
Mobile phone security
Mobile phones are used by advocates all over the world, but they often store a great deal of information that should be kept private. In addition to contact lists, a mobile phone may contain call histories, calendars, text messages and emails.
ObscuraCam is an Android application that allows you to obscure faces or objects in photos or videos to keep certain information private. It allows you to black out or pixelate certain areas of an image. You can also reverse pixelate, so that only the person is visible and the background becomes blurred.
The application also allows you to remove telltale metadata such as GPS location, phone make and model, and author information.
It was developed in partnership between human rights video organisation Witness.org and the Guardian Project.
K9 is a stable and popular email client for Android mobile devices.
A free software project created by a strong community of volunteers, K9 makes it easy to add multiple accounts and to deal with large amounts of incoming emails. It has recently added support for GPG encryption, which is a common way of sending encrypted messages.
For more information about encryption, consult Tactical Tech's Security-in-a-box guide.
The proliferation of mobile computing devices in recent years has meant that websites can no longer remain static or stick to one screen resolution or aspect ratio. Your organisation's website should be optimised for a variety of devices and resolutions, to reach the widest number of users possible.
But how to test your website when you don't own every device?
Screenfly, a great tool from QuirkTools, allows you to virtually view any website in a variety of resolutions. There are presets for common devices, or you can set a custom resolution or rotation.