Ramy Raoof declared “Hero” for work investigating phishing attacks on civil society

Tunis, Tunisia  — Today, Access Now recognizes Ramy Raoof among the annual Heroes and Villains award recipients. Ramy Raoof is recognized for his work on an investigation that revealed a large-scale phishing operation being leveraged against leading Egyptian NGOs’ staff and activists.

“Thanks to Ramy Raoof, countless members of civil society have been protected from threats to their basic human rights. His work is impressive on several layers: besides grasping political contexts, Ramy bases his work on thorough analysis and foundation. We’re proud to support Ramy and his work,” said Wafa Ben-Hassine, Access Now’s Policy Counsel for the MENA region.

“I am very grateful by the nomination from the community and for the selection by Access Now to 2017 Heroes & Villains of Human Rights and Communications Surveillance. There are many amazing fellows doing crucial work that I am always learning from,” said Ramy. “I realize the importance of this award and the responsibility that comes from it towards my work and towards communities I am connected to. This recognition would not be possible without the collective teamwork with all fellows and group I work with. I am glad to accept the award.”

Human rights are universal — including on the internet. To defend our privacy, in 2013 experts identified 13 principles governments must follow to ensure any electronic surveillance program fully respects human rights. They are known as the Necessary and Proportionate Principles. In celebration of those principles and the work of people around the world to protect digital rights, every year Access Now names “heroes” and “villains” who have either protected the principles of freedom online or worked to undermine them.

Previous heroes named by Access Now include U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, and Edward Snowden. Read more about this year’s heroes and villains here.

In addition to recognition, Ramy Raoof’s work will be highlighted during this year’s RightsCon.

About Ramy Raoof:

Ramy interacts with a wide spectrum ranging from NGOs, journalists, lawyers, politicians, and artists on the intersection of tech and social causes, mainly on privacy and security, by devoting his skills as a techie and passion for free/open culture. Ramy develops privacy protocols, and in his research he focuses on surveillance patterns and holistic privacy. In the course of his work, he has provided and developed digital security plans and strategies for NGOs and members of the media, emergency response in cases of physical threats, support on publishing sensitive materials, secure systems for managing sensitive information, and operational plans for human rights emergency response teams, in Egypt and the MENA region. Most recently, Ramy has been volunteering with different NGOs and civil liberty groups in Central & South America, to enhance their privacy and security through means of behavioral change based on understanding surveillance and threat models in their own contexts and environments.

Among different hats, he is Senior Research Technologist at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), Research Fellow with Citizen Lab, and currently a volunteer visitor with Fundación Acceso assisting collectives and networks in Central America around infosec and activism. He is also Internet Freedom Festival Fellow on security and privacy best practices.