Open Technology Fund

Proposal Information

Requested Funding

$115000

Project Duration

7 months

Please describe your idea and problem statement in a few sentences.

To expand the online hosting and communication infrastructure offered to indigenous and traditional peoples from Brazilian Northeast by Amnesia Network of Free Radios and Servers. It also intends to provide both face-to-face and distance learning courses for native people leaders, focusing on awareness and practices for privacy and security communication.

Today, the physical integrity of Brazil’s indigenous communities and traditional people and their rights over ancestral lands and natural resources are in constant threat. Murders and ethnic intolerance conflicts happen all over the territory. Besides, the communication infrastructure used today by those communities belongs to large media corporations such as Facebook and Google, portraiting severe risks to the privacy, preservation and security of native communities’ information. It is essential to notice that these communities are in constant conflict with land invaders, mining companies, large tourism groups, governments and law enforcement agencies.

What are hoped for goals or longer term effects of the project?

The aim is to build a secure and private communication network for the thousands of indigenous communities and traditional people inside Brazilian territory, providing these communities with tools and training for private and secure communication. Furthermore, hosting platforms that can help to propagate local cultures, strongly characterized in their oral form since the pre-Columbian period in the Americas and during the later African diaspora miscegenation. 

So, it expects to actively contribute to the preservation of Brazilian indigenous practices and inheritances and to foster the safe dissemination of traditional knowledge and wisdom, ensuring South America’s native populations their right to freedom and expression.

Focus

  • Awareness of privacy and security threats
  • Privacy enhancement

Status

  • People Use It. (Production)

Briefly and clearly list key milestones, objectives, and/or activities. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-relatable. Bulleted lists are ideal.

  • Schedule activities with local leaders in the 3 (three) selected indigenous communities of Northeast Brazil: Tupinambá (Bahia state), Xukuru (Pernambuco state) and Potiguara (ParaĂ­ba state);
  • Amnesia hosting service upgrade:
    • Setup a WordPress MU mirror on Onion network;
    • Implement CGIProxy service on Amnesia WordPressMU server;
    • Evaluate the feasibility of CDN Newnode service implementation;
    • Implement IceCast service.
  • Call for registration from indigenous people and representatives of traditional communities to participate in the training courses (announcement in established Indigenous Communication Networks);
  • A selection of 7 indigenous leaders for each training course (21 in total) of communities up to 500km radius from training courses locations;
  • Transport logistics (buses tickets);
  • Catering logistics (supermarket + community cook);
  • Lodging logistics (local leaders’ houses);
  • Local production;
  • Recordings and editings of the Training Courses to make them available as a podcast on radioamnesia.org platform using open and free licence to be discussed with each community.
  • Moment 1 – Training Courses at Tupinambá (Bahia) (5 days);
  • Moment 2 – Training Courses at Xukuru (Pernambuco) (5 days);
  • Moment 3 – Training Courses at Potiguara (ParaĂ­ba) (5 days);
  • Training Course Content:
    • Web Page construction and maintenance in Amnesia WordPressMU network;
    • Assembly and maintenance of web radios and podcasts;
    • Privacy and surveillance – tools and practices for secure communication:
      • Tools: Tor, Signal, Briar, Riseup, VPN among others;
      • Practices: private browsing, 2-step authentication, secure file exchange, peer-to-peer communication.
      • Video screenings

Objective(s)

  • Deploying technology
  • Training

How long have you been thinking of working on this idea? What made you first think about it? (max 500 words)

The Amnesia Network of Free Radios has been acting in indigenous and traditional communities in northeastern Brazil for 8 years. Since 2015, Amnesia Network has also made its web servers available to host pages of different initiatives. The Network actions aim to promote communication and free information right as a guiding line for the initiatives it hosts. All content produced and hosted is under free licenses. There are several hosted projects. They range from pages to broadcast the audio material produced on Network’s radios and training workshops, to community band music pages; from web games platforms on Afro-Brazilian religions to audiovisual cartography of traditional midwives from the coastal zone.

Nowadays, given the Brazilian political scenario of repression against indigenous people and traditional communities, it is necessary to expand both our education and communication actions to achieve privacy and security. More than an idea, our project is a necessity.

Describe the beneficiaries of this project. In other words, who are the people benefiting or affected most by this effort and how do you know them? (max 500 words)

The project benefits Indigenous communities of northeastern Brazil, especially Tupinambá, XukurĂş and Potiguara communities. Together, the population of these ethnic groups represents 39,234 indigenous people out of the 164,819 individuals present in northeastern Brazil (Source: IBGE / 2012).  It also benefits other ethnicities representatives selected to take part in the courses, and their home communities as a consequence. Currently, more than 200 indigenous societies still resist in the region.

Two of the mentioned communities (Tupinambá and Xukuru) have already been an Amnesia Network partner in other initiatives, either by hosting FM radio workshops or engaging in some of the classes in other villages. Conviviality also goes beyond physical meetings, since email lists and instant messaging chat groups keep the active exchange about content produced, problems faced project updates and the daily life of friends. Indigenous from Tupinambá village and Kiriri village also co-participates in Amnesia Radio Network, which broadens communication ​​with other villages about its mission and values.

Potiguara village has never participated in any Radio Amnesia activity, although the relationship occurs through other indigenous communication networks, such as the Indios Online and Rádio Yandê channels.

What community currently exists around this project?

Amnesia Network of Free Radios has been producing workshops in traditional communities since 2012. It has contributed to FM Radio and Webradio installation process in indigenous areas, among with training courses for radio communicators and radio content production. It indeed provided the setting up of several free FM radios and 23 radio content production workshops for indigenous and traditional communities. Amnesia Network of Free Radios and Servers gather native communities focused on communication and local demands and reflects each place’s expression. In the Northeastern region, the Network comprises Kiriri Indigenous Radio, Tupinambá Indigenous Radio, Tumbalalá Indigenous Radio, Indaca Obá Radio, Aliança Educadora Radio (Campesino Movement), and the Amnesia FM Radio. In the Amazon region, there is Radio Casa Preta in BelĂ©m, Pará state.

In total, 270 people have participated in training workshops in different villages of northeastern Brazil; Amnesia Network’s WordPressMU server hosts 7 initiatives; about 1500 people access these sites monthly. Online donations maintain web services operating. Volunteer work of up to 12 people does the plans and procedures and runs the FM radios in each community. Training workshops have different forms of financing, as well as the purchase of equipment such as sound recorders, external hard drives, projectors and FM transmitters.

Beneficiaries

  • Youth
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Activists
  • Advocacy groups/NGOs

Region

  • Southern America

Country

  • Brazil

Describe one or more of the following: the specific needs of the group(s) being met, how it uniquely solves a known issue or improves upon existing solutions, and/or what knowledge, research, technology, or community gap the proposed effort is intending to fill. If the effort targets a specific group of people, note any research or analysis to ensure the effort serves the target population. (max 800-1000 words)

Indigenous communities have been decimated in the Brazilian territory, less and more frequently, during the last 500 years. More than the death of their physical bodies, this genocide is also cultural, erasing languages ​​and traditions from ancient human expressions. Current Brazilian government exerts enormous pressure on indigenous people and their territories. This year alone, there were reports of 163 cases of invasion, illegal exploitation of natural resources or miscellaneous damage to the heritage land of indigenous people. It exceeds the cases registered throughout the year 2018 when there were 111 cases. Also, the number of indigenous lands affected has more than doubled during this period compared to last year, from 76 in 2018 to 153 by September this year. This year’s data are preliminary and released during the launch of the 2018 Report on Violence Against Indigenous People in Brazil. It is a publication of the Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi), linked to the National Confederation of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) [1]. Environmental disasters such as the Amazonian rainforest burning in the north of the country and the oil spill on the northeastern coast direct affect indigenous people’s food sovereignty, further deepening the ongoing process of annihilation of indigenous populations.

The three indigenous communities proposed to host the training courses also have their territories currently invaded by economic investments supported by the Brazilian state. In Tupinambá community, one of the first ethnic groups to have contact with European settlers in the 15th century, there is growing pressure from the Brazilian Tourism Company – EMBRATUR to relinquish indigenous territory to establish a luxury hotel complex [2]. Since the 16th century, conflicts between the Xukuru community and local politicians have been constant and intensified, especially with the beginning of the demarcation process of the Xukuru’s land in 1989. The killing of a Xukuru leader, two other Indians, and a prosecutor during late 1990s were attempts to inhibit the progress of the Xukuru Land regularization process. The Indigenous Land Boundary law got finally approved in 2001 [3]. The suspect of murdering Xukuru leader is the current mayor of the nearest town to the village. The struggle for possession of traditional Potiguara territory also dates back to the 16th century. Currently, industrial activities in the coastal strip of their land threaten the ecosystem and local population life.

For indigenous communities, communication, in addition to a right enshrined in Article 16 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [4], represents yet another instrument of struggle and resistance. Historically segregated, indigenous people have in communication the space for expression and dialogue about their culture and origins, and the place to echo their cry of resistance against prejudice, in favour of the truthfulness of their history, habits, knowledge and ways of life. However, the communication infrastructure used by these communities, mostly owned by Facebook and Google, exposes their freedoms.

By having access to secure and private communication tools, indigenous people in the above territories can better organize themselves in a network, also defending themselves from state surveillance. Besides, by building their web platforms to spread their culture, and feeding those platforms with podcast content, they broaden the reach of their voices to the world.

In addition to expanding the number of indigenous content platforms hosted on a community co-hosted server, the project also contributes to the physical and legal safety and integrity of indigenous populations in these communities, by teaching tools, uses and procedures for secure and private communication. By making available the record of these learning processes, it also contributes to the future development of other indigenous leaders on the subject. Finally, by expanding its partners’ web platforms, Amnesia Network also expands its chain of potential contributors and tends to increase the number of donations received to maintain our systems.

This project is necessary to ensure the possibility of a safe and private space for indigenous communication in northeastern Brazil.

[1] https://www.dw.com/en/invas%C3%A3o-de-terras-ind%C3%ADgenas-dispara-sob-governo-bolsonaro/a-50585803

[2] https://theintercept.com/2019/10/27/document-revela-press-of-embratur-about-a-funai-fora-transformar-terra-indigena-em-hotel-de-luxo-na- bahia /

[3] https://pib.socioambiental.org/en/Folk:Xukuru

[4] https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf

Addressed problems

  • Blocking, filtering, or modification of political, social, and/or religious content (including apps)
  • Technical attacks against government critics, journalists, and/or human rights organizations (Cyberattacks)
  • Physical intimidation, arrest, violence (including device seizure or destruction), and death for political or social reasons
  • Repressive surveillance or monitoring of communication

Similar/Complementary efforts

Riseup.net (https://riseup.net/)

American collective to support the creation of a free society. It offers a variety of online communication services such as email, mailing lists, VPN, chat, wiki, collaborative pads and secure file sharing environments, with a strong inclination for organization and internal communication. Our resemblance to riseup.net is in the policy of co-managing services and making them available to a community that seeks private and secure communication.

AnarchaServer (https://anarchaserver.org/)

Feminist collective aiming to develop an internet infrastructure for feminist projects providing blogging and image storage environments. Our similarity is in providing blogging services to minorities or activists on specific demand.

CodigoSur (https://codigosur.org/)

A Collective aiming to develop and socialize communication, culture and free technologies in Latin America. They offer different services including hosting, email, mailing lists, streaming, pads, file sharing and source code repositories. It resembles the community relationship with communication and the collective that is similar to our initiative.

Wayuri Indigenous Communication Network (https://soundcloud.com/wayuri-audio)

Through communication workshops, Wayuri creates radio shows where indigenous correspondents from the Uaupés, Içana and Jurubaxi river gutters record audio news and send via WhatsApp to the newsletter editors living in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in the Amazon Rainforest. Similar to our radio workshop initiative.

Activism School (https://escoladeativismo.org.br/)

Collective with the mission of strengthening activist groups through learning processes in strategies and techniques of nonviolent and creative actions, campaigns, communication, mobilization, and information security, aimed at defending democracy, human rights and sustainability. The teaching process can be similar to our one.

Other information

Amnesia Network of Free Radios and Servers currently hosts a WordPress MU installation rich in text, audio and video content and the websites of the following initiatives:

  • Kiriri Indigenous Radio
https://radioamnesia.org/kiriri/

Portuguese radio content and village news platform;

  • Tupinambá Indigenous Radio

Portuguese radio content and village news platform;

  • Tumbalalá Indigenous Radio
https://radioamnesia.org/tumbalala

Portuguese radio content and village news platform;

  • Coco de Umbigada

Traditional musical band of an specific Afro-Indigenous-Brazilian religion;

  • Traditional Camaçari Midwives
http://traditionalparticles.info/

AudioVisual Cartography of Traditional Midwives;

  • Ifá Tales (Contos de Ifá)
http://contosdeifa.com/

Training courses for youth in game development based on scripts of Afro-Brazilian religions;

  • Whole Literature (Literatura Inteira)

Afro-Brazilian literary debates.