The Right to Whisper
LEAP fights for the right to whisper.
Like free speech, the right to whisper is an necessary precondition for a free society. Without it, civil society and political freedom become impossible. As the importance of digital communication for civic participation increases, so does the importance of the ability to digitally whisper.
Unfortunately, advances in surveillance technology are rapidly eroding the ability to whisper. This is a worldwide problem, not simply an issue for people in repressive contexts. Acceptance of poor security in the West creates a global standard of insecure practice, even among civil society actors who urgently need the ability to communicate safely.
The stakes could not be higher. Activists are dying because their communication technologies betray their identity, location, and conversations. When activists attempt to secure their communications, they face confusing software, a dearth of secure providers, and a greater risk of being flagged as potential troublemakers. In other words, problems of usability, availability, and adoption.
The LEAP vision is to attack these problems of usability, availability, and adoption head on.
To address usability, we are creating a complete system where the user-facing client software is tightly coupled with the cloud-base components of the system. All our software will be auto-configuring, prevent users from practicing insecure behavior, and primarily limit the configuration options to those moments when the user is placing their trust in another entity.
To address availability, LEAP will work closely with service providers to adopt our open source, automated platform for running high-availability communication services. By lowering the barriers of entry to become a reliable provider, we can increase the supply and decrease the cost of secure communications.
To address adoption, the LEAP platform layers higher security on top of existing protocols to allow users a gradual transition path and backward compatibility. Our goal is to create services that are attractive in terms of features, usability, and price for users in both democratic and repressive contexts.