Phones allow coordination and convenience. But as politicians in many countries learned several years ago, they allow surveillance.
Security isn’t just a concern in Middle East autocracies, or for would-be revolutionaries. Mobile phone surveillance, for example, is tough to escape for cellphone users anywhere, said Ethan Zuckerman, senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and a founder of Global Voices, a worldwide group of bloggers and interpreters that has produced similarly themed guides.
Mr. Zuckerman regularly advises Access, as do Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s founders; the rock musician Peter Gabriel, and the MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser.
“In general, most users aren’t aware of the extent to which mobile phones can be monitored by telcos in cooperation with governments,” Mr. Zuckerman said, referring to telecommunications companies.
“If the guide reminds people that mobile phones are inherently insecure and that we’re trading off privacy and convenience in using the devices, it would be a useful outcome from the work,” he said.