Knight Foundation awards $320,000 to Tor Project
The Knight Foundation has awarded the Tor Project a $320,000 grant to further work on its online privacy and security service. According to Karen Reilly, development director at Tor, some of the funds will be used to work on the project's upcoming "secure anonymous journalism toolkit", saying that "journalists are one of the most threatened groups online".
The toolkit will include the project's own software for connecting to its anonymising network, as well as open source audio and visual applications for creating new media content. Reilly says that this should help both citizen and professional journalists to get around blocks put in place by local governments as well as non-state actors such as drug cartels. The project also plans to use some of the grant to expand its support help desk.
The Tor Project is just one of six winners of the foundation's Knight News Challenge, which awarded a total of more than $1.37 million to various media innovation ventures. Other winners include the Peepol.tv mobile video stream aggregation service, the Recovers.org web service for coordinating disaster relief efforts, the Signalnoi.se tool for newsrooms to track social network reaction to stories and the Watchup news app for iPad.
Behavio's open source Funf Open Sensing Framework platform for turning mobile phones into smart sensors was also among the challenge winners and was awarded $355,000. The project aims to provide open access to, as well as analyse, data collected by built-in sensors on Android-based smartphones. Its organisers hope to use this information to better understand people's real world behaviour and their surroundings by analysing how they use their phones and how they communicate with others.
Over the last six years, the Knight Foundation's challenge has funded 80 projects to the tune of approximately $27 million. In addition to the financial awards, the winners will receive support from the non-profit foundation's "network of peers and advisers" to help them further their projects. The Knight Foundation is dedicated to promoting journalism by funding local news and media innovations in the digital age.
- Open source news publishing platform gets $975,000 grant, a report from The H.