Lives On The Line: Securing Crisis Maps in Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan

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George Chamales

Crisis maps are used to collect and present open source intelligence (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, news reports) and direct messages (SMS, email) during disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and ongoing civil unrest in Africa. While the deployment of crisis mapping technology is on its way to becoming a standard tool to collect and track ground truth from crisis zones, very little work has been done to evaluate and mitigate the security challenges involved in the technology's deployment. With active deployments taking place in countries such as Libya, Sudan, and Egypt, there is a growing possibility that the information on these platforms could be utilized for malicious purposes. It is imperative that the vulnerabilities in this technology and deployments be understood and mitigated through the development of standards and best practices.