Have you ever thought of raising your voice to support a cause or oppose government policies? Sure you have but you were surely worried of getting arrested by the authorities. A peaceful march is a strategic way to address and bring awareness to a cause. Successful public demonstration isn’t just random chaos. It is a planned organized mobilization designed to effect change.
We will tell you how to organize a successful peaceful protest campaign using your phone, some basic stuff, water and a lot of lemons. But how would lemons and water get your voice heard? Watch this video till the end to know how.
Follow these steps before, during, and after a public demonstration to maximize your effectiveness and prevent yourself from getting detained by the police.
BEFORE THE DAY
This process will help you organize the public demonstration with thousands of people together.
- Search for support on the Internet
According to data protection experts, the first step is to get together people who believe in the cause. You can gain followers for the social movement or cause by using online petitioning and crowdfunding platforms like change.org, peticiones.org, mifirma.com etc where users can post their requests in order to achieve high media impact and support. Also, you can use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, etc. to spread your message to millions.
- Form groups
With all this in mind, you can form groups in different social media platforms like WhatsApp, or Facebook and discuss the issues that are really important. You also need to reach out to social media influencers who can help spread your voice. You don’t need to worry about government surveillance as of now, since the main aim is to reach the maximum people possible.
- Planning the exact details
For planning the exact details, routes and date, your group should not be using social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp as they can leave evidence.
From this step onwards we will focus on protecting privacy so that no evidence is left behind. The most effective strategy is to do a flash mob style movement. Where people come together and disappear. The first step here is toprotect your communication channels.
PROTECTING YOUR COMMUNICATION
Data protection experts mention that you can use the following apps to communicate with fellow trusted members before and during the public demonstration, just make sure your trusted fellow members are not police informers.
Telegram is a messaging app like WhatsApp but with no government surveillance. You can use a virtual number to register an account.
- Wickr Me
- Signal Private Messenger
Signal is the most secure app. Your messages are not stored on the company’s server, so it cannot be intercepted, plus the information also self-destructs itself after a while. It even alerts you when someone takes a screenshot in the app. In 2016 the US government asked details of some accounts from signal,as it limits the user metadata stored on the company’s servers, the only data they were able to provide was “the date and time a user registered with Signal and the last date of a user’s connectivity to the Signal service.”
This app works without the Internet and helps you connect devices via Bluetooth and WiFi, directly through peer-to-peer connections.
Bridgefy is a messaging app similar to Firechat and works without an Internet connection. Using Bluetooth, use rs of this app can send messages to other people, as long as they are within a radius of up to 100 meters.
Briar app also works without the Internet. It can sync via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, keeping the information flowing in a crisis. If the internet’s up, Briar can use a Tor network thus protecting from surveillance.
Data protection experts also recommend other apps like Wire Secure Messenger & Threema.
The next step is to protect your phone.
PROTECTING YOUR PHONES
You will need a burner phone or a temporary phone with a prepaid sim card. Normal phone calls and text messages are vulnerable to interception. Watch our video that appears at the top corner of the screen that explains how authorities intercept calls and messages during public demonstrations.
These will help you protect your identity; just make sure you never connect a burner phone to your home WiFi or to the cell phone network from your home. Also, enable Full-disk encryption of your device with a strong 10 character password. It is important to note that encrypting your device will likely not encrypt external storage media such as SD or memory cards. Also Turn off fingerprint unlock and FaceID. A police officer may try to physically force you to unlock your device using biometrics that is why a strong password is advisable. And If your phone is confiscated by authorities, full-disk encryption and a password will protect the data stored in it.
The cybersecurity community and data protection specialists also advise you turn off location services before you travel to the actual location, and leave it off until you return. Make sure that none of the members uses Google Maps to plan the route. Download offline maps like OpenstreetMaps so that they don’t leave any evidence within Google and use public transportation to reach and leave the location.
The next step is to take care of you.
- Anti-facial recognition mechanisms
You will have to consider how to deal with law enforcement surveillance, like facial recognition analysis cameras, drones and body cams. A pair of conventional sunglasses can’t protect you against facial recognition systems, as they become clear with infrared light. So for this You can use
Lasers can actually obstruct the vision of a facial recognition camera. Almost any laser, from the most sophisticated to the most basic.
- Bright lenses
These include infrared LED lights that are invisible to the human eye. The light is strategically designed to illuminate the area around the user’s eyes and nose, making it impossible for cameras to detect the user’s face.
‘Reflectacles’, are anti-facial recognition glasses. They reflect the invisible and infrared lights projected against the face, thus protecting your identity.
- IRpair glasses
IRpair’s technology prevents practices such as iris scanning, three-dimensional mapping of facial features and infrared lights, making the cameras perceive your face just as an empty space.
- Phantom glasses
Phantom goggles prevent facial recognition by reflecting infrared lights, hence preventing infrared cameras from performing biometric analysis of your face.
- Hyperface Clothing
These prints of clothes with “fake faces”, make the detection faces more difficult and complex or you can dress in dark, monochrome colors. If you have visible tattoos or bright unconventional hair colors, cover them up. Tattoos can be used to identify you later, and may be added to databases for tattoo recognition.
DURING THE PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION
Don’t forget to carry a backpack.
Your backpack should have a gas mask or normal mask, umbrella, bandana, helmet, snacks, cash and another set of clothes in case you get wet by water cannons. And don’t forget lemons and water bottles. A bandana soaked in lemon water can save you from tear gas. An Umbrella can save you from pepper spray and if you get sprayed upon, you can wash your eyes with water. Look out for trouble makers and have an escape route planned. And make sure to remain peaceful.
AFTER THE PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION
If you’re planning on uploading photos from the demonstration to social networks make sure you are not doing it from your personal account. And if you want to share it in your group do it through the Signal app, which automatically strips metadata when sending images. According to data protection experts, Metadata on photos can leak information such as the model of camera the photo was taken on, the exact time and location where the photo was taken, and even your name. You can use FaceShield Tool. This software works as a filter that you apply to your photos. This filter modifies minimal elements in the photo so the faces of the users are way more difficult to detect for sites like Facebook. Or you can use the ObscuraCam app. This app can help you to automatically blur faces before posting them on social media, so you won’t be affecting the anonymity of any other participants. There is also a useful tool called Image Scrubber that can be used on any mobile device, including iOS or your PC.
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION IS WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GET ARRESTED
If you are detained and questioned by police, you have a right to remain silent, and to speak with an attorney before and during any questioning. If you answer questions, be sure to tell the truth. It is a crime to lie to the authorities.
If the authorities ask to see your phone, you can tell them that you do not consent to a search of your device. If they ask for the password to unlock your electronic device, you can refuse. If your device has been confiscated, you may have legal resources to get it back.
Meanwhile you should revoke access for some services like Facebook, Twitter, etc or change their passwords.
This way, in case you used these apps and tools mentioned before to do a peaceful demonstration they will not have any evidence against you.
You will be free again, looking forward to a new cause to change the world.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.