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The $100,000 Access Innovation Prize

Last week, we were honored to see Brett Solomon, the Executive Director of Access, on the SF New Tech stage.

Brett didn’t demo anything, per se, but he did share news of how the internet is under constant threat, as well as some of the things Access is doing to help protect it.

One of the major initiatives Access recently launched is the Access Tech Innovation Awards which will provide $100,000 in prizes to individuals, organizations or networks that have the best actionable ideas of how to use information technology to promote and enable human rights or deliver a social good outcome.

Access Innovation Prize

Awarding $100,000 to the best innovations to help protect human rights online.

Prizes are divided into five categories:

Blackout Resilience: $20,000 will go to the best actionable idea to help build an open-sourced, blackout resilient technology for use by activists and human rights workers in conditions where there is a need for alternate communications infrastructure to the one put in place and/or controlled by the authorities. For example, where there has been a communication network shutdown.                           

Making Crypto Easy: $20,000 will go to the best actionable idea to properly integrate encryption into an existing product/system, educate users as to how to use encryption and/or build a community who use encryption by default.                        

The Bounty: A $20,000 bounty will be granted for the best patch for a disclosed or as yet undisclosed vulnerability in a program/platform or software used by human rights defenders and activists.

Golden Jellybean: This is an unthemed category. $20,000 will go to the best actionable idea of how communication technologies can be used to promote and enable human rights. This could include funding a researcher for $20,000; the development of a training guide for activists; a new censorship circumvention program; or an initiative to detect surveillance equipment on the network

Access Facebook Award: $20,000 will go to the best actionable idea of how to use the Facebook platform to deliver a human rights, human development or social good outcome. We’re looking for initiatives across the spectrum – from enhancing freedom of speech and expression to improving the economic well-being of a disadvantaged group. If you are applying for the Access Facebook Award – please read this.

Applications will be evaluated based on the impact, likelihood, innovation, and sustainability of the project or idea. For more information about the awards or to apply, please visit the prize website: are due August 15th.

Feel free to share the award information with anyone you think may be interested.

.@Accessnow Tech Prize: $100K to give away across 5 groups for ICT ideas 2 promote human rights. #netfreedom

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Exclusive, Discounted Tickets to the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference

Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference

I am proud to be co-producing the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference, perhaps one of THE most important and timely conferences you’re going to be invited to all year.  It’s a outcome-based event designed to help the tech industry better plan for and manage the human rights implications of their technologies in our increasingly plugged-in world.  It’s taking place on October 25 & 26 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in SF and is sponsored by Google, Facebook, Skype, Mozilla, Yahoo!, The Ford Foundation, among others.  As I’ve been telling people — this conference is turning into a really big deal.   Details & speaker list @

I have two bones to throw at this point in time …

1)  Although the program is pretty much wrapped up, we left a few open spaces to consider …. YOU.  We’re inviting tech company leaders in the SF New Tech community to tell us why they should have a speaking slot at this amazing conference.  If you have a unique story to tell about how your code affected human rights, helped spark (or quell) a revolution, or made life on earth better for a lot of disenfranchised people, please tell us more by visiting here:  You may find yourself on stage and in the spotlight with some really important and powerful folks!

2)  As a member of SF New Tech we can offer you a bunch of exclusive early bird, discounted tickets to this world-changing event.

* We will give away 5 tickets to the 5 most intriguing comments @
* 10 tickets are 50% off with the code: SFNT-50
* 20 tickets are 25% off with the code: SFNT-25
* And … *everyone* else can score 10% off tickets with the code: SFNT-10

Register @

We may release more discount and/or comp codes in the future.  Please stay tuned!  (Follow @rightscon // #rightscon).

We’re also looking for media partners for this event as well as those who can volunteer a helping hand to connect us with tech business leaders who *need* to be invited to this event.  Interested? Get in touch!

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