On the 25th -26th of August 2021, the Iraqi Social Forum conducted a digital training via the “Jitsi” application about digital security and protection, in which 15 female and male activists from the Iraqi Social Forums and a number of the organizations of the forum participated for the purpose of developing their capacities at digital security while communicating and working within the spheres of their forums, furthermore, enhance the abilities of the trainees and exchange expertise with them.
The training was inaugurated by the secretary of the Iraqi Social Forum Mahmoud Al-Hiti, who welcomed the participants and presented the concept and the importance of the training for the forum and the rest of the Iraqi Social Forums in 12 Iraqi Cities; he pointed out that the purpose of this training is to develop the abilities of the participants in the mechanisms and methods of digital security and secured applications and communication in their workspace, furthermore, enlarging the safety net for the human rights defenders by means of digital security and expanding the knowledge on secure communication. He also introduced the trainer Haidar Hamzoz and elaborated on his expertise in this field and the necessity of comprehending and investing the ideas and the topics which will be tackled throughout this training over the period of two days.
On the first day, the trainer presented the concept of security in general and afterward digital security in detail. He clarified, that paying attention to the digital protection and security throughout work, is a necessity imposed by the general state of circumstances and specifically the circumstances here in Iraq, he sees fir that the challenges faced by Civil Society Organizations and also the activists require an understanding and a wide comprehension so that one would be able to enhance and reinforce one’s personal digital protection at work and correspondence, in addition to being a part of the skills and cultures required when doing any work via the internet. He also elaborated on the fact that this training is designed to suit the varying levels of the participants and that it is considered a foundational step to aid them in developing their skills in this aspect. Furthermore, he demonstrated the gaps and slips that most network users commit, especially those whose work demands a substantial level of privacy; he also presented a diverse set of methods to evade falling into such mistakes in the future.
On the second day, the trainer Haider Hamzoz presented a set of secured applications for correspondence, and a number of methods and safety mechanisms to maintain the privacy of users for the better protection of their data and the gadgets utilized in their communication and correspondence, in addition, to secure their connections and presence on social media platforms.
At the end of the training, the trainees explained, in several interventions, their benefits from this training and the clarity of many vague concepts that caused them a lot of obstacles and difficulties in the past; as this training will contribute to developing their skills and capacities and thus help them transfer their experience to the rest of the activists, especially female and male human rights defenders.
It is worth noting that this training is a part of a series of training and campaigns implemented by the Iraqi Social Forum for this year in cooperation with KARIBU Institute.