While many see the evolution of technology as a daunting, if not terrifying process, this cryptographer is using technology to give something back. In this video from Freethink, he explains how journalists in his native Ethiopia are intimidated and punished. In Ethiopia he was a journalist and an activist — and he has brought that activism to the world of technology in order to give back to his home country. There has been a single-party rule in Ethiopia for 20 years — it’s become a place where dissidents and journalists are tortured, captured, arrested, and even face possible death. So how do journalists protect themselves in a closed environment, where the government wants to control the narrative? Well, the answer lies in encryption. By helping journalists create a safe, private space, ideas and creativity can actually flourish.

Watch the video to see why the line between journalists and coders needs to blurred — for their own protection.


Despite some disappointing political developments in the UK and the US, we still have many basic freedoms that we should not take for granted. Seeing an activist utilize his key skills and find a way to help the greater good is inspiring. The fact that he is so dedicated and his efforts can make such a huge difference to journalists — and even save their lives — shows just how far some people are willing to go for the basic rights of privacy and a fair and unbiased media. It’s something that all people deserve — and all countries should cherish. But in some places, it’s an ongoing battle.