November 26, 2019 • by Josh

The many uses of CDR Link

As we close in on the end of the year, it feels like a good time to reflect on CDR Link, its progress thus far, and where we see our work heading in 2020 and beyond.

This September members of the CDR team attended FIFAfrica in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. While there, we officially launched the CDR Link platform and were able to demo the platform for a room full of potential users. The feedback was very positive and we’re looking forward to helping a number of potential users get set up with their own CDR Link instances.

As interest has grown, so too has the number of potential use cases. While CDR uses Link as a system to triage requests for digital security assistance, the platform is flexible enough to accommodate any number of adaptations. So we’re currently exploring possibilities that lead us beyond the standard “digital security helpdesk” model (though we’re solidly using Link for that as well!).

Link is open and flexible enough to meet the needs of responders, researchers, documentarians, and analysts working across the worlds of human rights, network analysis, humanitarian relief, press freedom, and election security. It can be applied to a number of use cases requiring the submission of data – requests for help, documentation of human rights abuses, evidence of disinformation campaigns – over mobile and secure channels, enabling responders to quickly follow up on requests or to further analyze submitted data.

The need for a modern, mobile-friendly, secure “switchboard”-like platform is nearly universal, and is particularly acute in human rights and humanitarian spaces. For this reason, we think Link can be used to go far beyond the digital security helpdesk model, while retaining its core strengths and identity.

Thinking of Link in this way, as a platform for collecting and processing human-generated data, opens up a world of possibilities.

For example, data flows from multiple channels to the Link platform:

Link flow diagram

This data is agnostic of course: It doesn’t need to be tickets related to digital security incidents or assistance.

Our current ideas for expanding beyond the strict digital security-mindset include:

If you are interested in chatting more about these ideas, get in touch with us at [email protected]