Top 10 Apps For Activists

A LOT of people have smart phones and tablets these days, so why not use them for activism? There are several things that they can do to make organizing and communication very easy, but they can also compromise your security. So here are ten great apps for activists to use their tech. responsibly.

 itunes-appsAll of these are general recommendations, feel free to mix around what app you use to cover any particular function, it may be something better. And if I forgot your favorite please leave a comment.

(These are in random order)


#10 Pixel Knot

Pixelknot is an Android application that allows users to hide short text-based messages in photographs and share them across trusted channels.


#9 Wheres my Droid or AndroidLost

Whatever exact app you choose here it needs to serve a couple of points. 1. Help find your phone should it be confiscated and 2. Wipe your phone if you are sure that it is in the hands of someone it shouldn’t be.


#8 Text Secure

Text secure help you send encrypted text messages. even if someone were to confiscate them, it will still take some time to decrypt that message. If you start to use it for everything it will increasingly frustrate anyone trying to read your texts.


#7 InformaCam or Bambuser

These applications no matter which you may use do basically the same thing. They allow you to record things, say police misconduct, and then upload it immediately to a cloud server. This prevents it from ever being confiscated.


#6 TorProject

(or any VPN App like Tor)

iPhone and iPad users can use the free app VPN Express for a quick and easy way get a secure connection to the net. While the app is free, there is a limit on your data transfer, but in-app purchases of extra data are relatively cheap.

Android users have the much more complex option of using Tor, one of the best options for encrypting Internet traffic and protecting your identity. To use Tor on an Android phone, however, your phone must be rooted.


#5 Red Phone

Red Phone is like Text Secure and it allows you to make encrypted phone calls. Again this can overwhelm and frustrate anyone trying to eavesdrop your group for any reason. At the very least it gives you peace of mind.


#4 Panic Button or I’m Getting Arrested

The first is by Amnesty International and the second by the Occupy folks. These apps allow you to use a series of buttons or on screen items to send out a series of texts and emails to inform others were you are and that you are in danger. I prefer the Panic Button as its trigger mechanism involves hitting the side power button a series of times. These apps also have other uses such as staying safe in your local neighborhood. If you were to feel unsafe for any reason, you could use the Panic button to summon help like a modern help whistle.


#3 Waze Social

Waze Social is an app that is for traffic, but also is useful for reporting police traps or “kettles”. You can report and get reports in real time. The Community reported alerts also include accidents, hazards, road closures, and more.
(Note: Supposedly some people have a problem with the new owners of this app. They claim that Google owning it compromises its safety.)


#2 Evernote (or your favorite organization app)

Again insert the app of your choice here, but you should have some app that allows you to schedule everything as well as you can and as tight or loose as you may like. Evernote can be used for free or you can get more collaborative features if you pay a subscription fee.


#1 LiveStream or Ustream

This is live journalism for any event that you attend. Get it all on cam and on the internet fast. But be sure that you have a ton of extra battery and connectivity the whole time.


Some of these apps for activists are only available on one OS or another, so if it doesn’t work for you do some research and find something that can do the same job on your OS.