By Nico Sell, Co-Founder
As a longtime privacy advocate, I have worked relentlessly towards creating a world in which encryption is available to everyone. As a human rights activist, I live everyday with the belief that secure communication should be universally attainable.
With these goals in mind, I’m excited to share that Wickr has been named the first-‐ever official secure messaging app of the Oslo Freedom Forum. Based in Oslo, Norway, this unique event brings together human rights defenders, world leaders, tech visionaries, journalists, policy makers, entrepreneurs and scholars working to raise the topic of human rights to the top of the world agenda. This year’s event will bring together representatives from 47 different countries striving to raise awareness for universal human rights.
The overarching theme for this year’s event is “Defeating Dictators,” and attending speakers will discuss a variety of topics ranging from strategies of nonviolent resistance to the beneficial and harmful impacts of technology on human rights. As human rights activists and whistleblowers across the world have consistently depended upon Wickr’s technology to unite and collaborate amidst the most hostile of conditions, our app is a logical fit for the event.
"Human rights defenders and activists living in authoritarian regimes across the globe are under constant surveillance and many of them are targets of persecution and harassment," says Thor Halvorssen, President of the Human Rights Foundation and a Wickr advisor. “Wickr has become an essential tool for our at-‐risk allies. It is my considered judgment that the Wickr team is tirelessly committed to providing a platform safeguarding the right to privacy and freedom of expression."
While Wickr has been available to users in almost every country in the world, I’m also thrilled to announce that we are adding 22 new languages to our app. As the number of Wickr users based outside of the U.S. continues to grow, this new offering will enable millions of people around the world to communicate securely, using their native language.
In addition to English, Wickr is now available in the following languages:
- Mandarin (Simple Chinese)
- Traditional Chinese
Wickr has been utilized globally by human rights activists throughout the world, especially in areas of governmental unrest. Demonstrating the increasing demand for encrypted communication particularly within hostile environments, we’ve recently seen an 800% increase in downloads in South Korea as an alternative to avoid the crackdown on country wide messaging. Wickr has also seen a 300% spike in downloads within Hong Kong surrounding the recent pro-‐democracy protests. Unlike all othermessaging apps, Wickr does not own your conversations and pictures you share through the app.
The Wickr team is made up of security and privacy experts who strongly believe online communications should be untraceable by default. Wickr brings common spy tools like self-‐destructing messages to the mainstream with a free and easy-‐to-‐useapp enabling anyone to Leave No Trace and Escape the Internet. Wickr has completed four public security audits to date, receiving perfect scores from Veracode, Stroz Friedberg, iSEC Partners and Aspect Security. Wickr’s secret headquarters are in San Francisco, CA. Moreinformationis availableat www.wickr.com.
Wickr empowers people to freely communicate with confidence and trust. Join us if you haven’t already. It’s free!
About Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF)
The Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) is a thriving global community of rights defenders, dissidents, Nobel Laureates, tech visionaries, heads of state, journalists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, authors, artists, philanthropists, photographers, filmmakers, cartoonists, musicians, scholars, and students. Each spring, they come together in Norway to tell their stories, brainstorm ideas, launch initiatives, and share an unforgettable experience of solidarity in challenging arbitrary power around the world.
Since the inaugural conference in 2009, OFF has expanded beyond the annual flagship event to include satellite forums, including the College Freedom Forum—a series of one-‐day events at colleges and universities designed to educate and enlighten students about individual rights and democracy around the world.