RapeIsNoJoke.org moved rape-help-line to Signal. Facebook is not trustworthy they say.
Facebook assumed it was OK to sell users’ WhatsApp messenger data to third parties. The RINJ Women moved their global Rape HelpLine to Signal immediately. Then Signal crashed but quickly bounced back.
The order of events does not say that Signal went down because of the RINJ HelpLine. According to a statement from Signal, millions of people leaving WhatsApp installed Signal as Facebook warned it would sell WhatsApp data to third parties.
“Women and children in need can communicate privately to ‘Helpline’ with Signal” according to RINJ, which also uses Viber for its Rape HelpLine, with ‘very good experiences’, but only for as long as “it encrypts communications as a default and does not sell user data”.
by Melissa Hemingway
FPMag asked Karinna Angeles, a worker with the RINJ Foundation, to explain, and was told that there are a smattering of rumours of a sale of Viber which has them worried.
“But otherwise Japanese multinational company Rakuten owns Viber since 2014 and provides it as excellent freeware for the Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux platforms. It is a very good application that is used extensively in regions important to our members in distant reaches of the world.”
“To cover the whole world,” explains Angeles, “we use Signal now in place of WhatsApp and continue to use Viber. Often we handoff continuing counselling conversations or STD testing follow-up to operators using Viber.
“We have both applications on big workstations and workers VPN to remote desktop on the workstation running the app to do their shift,” Angeles explains.
“We have a worldwide system that causes a response in the correct language. The system is extremely secure.
“To understand, you need to consider that the rape survivors we are talking to may be stalked by a perpetrator of the crime who seeks to murder the witness. We are telling people to get WhatsApp off their phones as well as the Facebook Application for trust and security reasons. The balance of use so far is the same for Signal and Viber, to answer your question about that. But this could change. People have still been texting us on WhatsApp and we warn them off immediately to Signal,” she continued communicatively.
“We are promoting Viber in Africa to women and teens because it has a good following in many African countries hence there would be many other benefits to each user. It takes only seconds to install and each communication is encrypted end-to-end,” she suggested.
Facebook is a simple technology platform that provides web space for users to post their personal information, ideas, pictures, family and friends’ data, their life’s event photographs and their communications about personal likes and dislikes. It then sells this information to third parties. Facebook is a miner of populations’ information to sell to advertisers.
“The more of your data I steal, the more I understand what it means to be human,” says graffiti in Bethlehem.
“Women should not trust Facebook which is a detestable ‘meat market’ selling women and children. Do not provide Facebook with your information,” says Melanie Wagner, a California woman who led a protest in 2009 against Facebook’s misogyny.
Facebook claims de facto ownership of user data and sells this user information. That has many hidden dangers for users, especially women and girls, say numerous women’s groups.
The RINJ Women with hundreds of volunteers doing heavy lobbying spent years trying to get Facebook to remove videos of gang-raped teens (2010 with the cooperation of the Canadian RCMP national Canadian police) and rape pages (2004-2011) and rape drug promotion pages. (Flunitrazepam, also known as Rohypnol, a rape drug.)
Facebook continues to stream rape videos.
“In February 2014, Facebook bought the messaging service, WhatsApp for $19 billion US dollars. The RINJ Foundation hesitated but with assurances from Facebook, continued to use the messaging system globally for its ‘HelpLine’,” says Katie Alsop, a founder of the RINJ women’s rights organization.
“The information people share is extremely personal and confidential. RINJ arranges for tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and maybe providing consultative services for some of the survivor’s well being, planning next best steps. Every case is different,” adds the RINJ director.
“Last week Facebook wrote to all of its users, something like 2 billion accounts, and notified them that the WhatsApp user data would be sold to third parties and could be published on Facebook,” she said.
The shared data could allow third parties to exchange payment requests, confirmations and credit card transaction data over WhatsApp according to some technical journals.
For internal purposes, RINJ has its own application, explains Alsop. For clients around the world, WhatsApp is no longer used and both Signal and Viber are currently used.
“We were an early adopter of VOIP (voice over internet protocol) for global communications. We had a good run with WhatsApp but always had privacy worries since Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014. This fears have now been realized, note Katie.
“We have used Signal in the past to arrange virtual meet-ups and also Viber in parts of Europe,” we know Telegram very well because it is full of ISIS (Daesh) channels and we have tracked rapists on there. We picked Signal.
On its web site, RINJ Women warn, “The RINJ Foundation (The RINJ Women) strongly urge all women and children not to use Whatsapp and not to use Telegram because of extremely dangerous security issues. If you wish to know more you can contact RINJ on either Signal (and for now, until further notice), on Viber and always via internal email here.”
“Telegram is heavily populated by American revolutionaries in the Trump insurrection militias plus Islamic State terrorists planning out their next attacks on Telegram. ISIS has many religious channels, plus videos of their latest beheading. But npt that this is insignificant but what bothers us most about Telegram is that it does not default to an encrypted conversation whereas both Signal and Viber do this for all communications,” says the RINJ leader.
“We chose Signal and Viber because they automatically default to an end-to-end secured (encrypted) communication and they are easy to use.
“When a $5 billion dollar fine to a corporation has the impact-weight of a skin from a peanut on a locomotive engine, you know the company is making too much profit.
“And when a huge American corporation fights back against fines by encouraging or just allowing users to belittle, berate, abuse and harass four congressmen, The Squad, because they are women, and because it can, you know it is a pariah and not a friend. Walk away. Delete your account.”