Ensuring the Security and Privacy of Information in Mobile Health-Care Communication Systems

Posted by EKStallings on Oct 25, 2011
Ensuring the Security and Privacy of Information in Mobile Health-Care Communication Systems data sheet 1559 Views
Adesina, Ademola O., Kehinde K. Agbele, Ronald Februarie, Ademola P. Abidoye, Henry O. Nyongesa
Publication Date: 
Jan 2011
Publication Type: 
Journal article

The sensitivity of health-care information and its accessibility via the Internet and mobile technology systems is a cause for concern in these modern times. The privacy, integrity and confidentiality of a patient’s data are key factors to be considered in the transmission of medical information for use by authorised health-care personnel.

Mobile communication has enabled medical consultancy, treatment, drug administration and the provision of laboratory results to take place outside the hospital. With the implementation of electronic patient records and the Internet and Intranets, medical information sharing amongst relevant health-care providers was made possible. But the vital issue in this method of information sharing is security: the patient’s privacy, as well as the confidentiality and integrity of the health-care information system, should not be compromised.

We examine various ways of ensuring the security and privacy of a patient’s electronic medical information in order to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the information. The paper discusses modes of encryption, database security, the transformation from eHealth to mHealth, and the theoretical background for privacy and data protection. 



Posted by ccarlon on Oct 14, 2011
Gibberbot data sheet 1914 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Problem or Need: 

Gibberbot is designed for people who need to chat securely. If you and the person you are communicating with are both able to use it, secure chat can be used as a replacement for email and text messaging.

Gibberbot should work on any Android phone. It’s probably best for users who are reasonably comfortable chatting and handling their phone, and it’s only currently available in English.

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

Gibberbot is an instant messaging app for Android phones, developed by The Guardian Project. Gibberbot implements off-the-record messaging (OTR). Off-the-record messaging is a way to conduct an instant messaging conversation with the following attributes

  • Encryption. An eavesdropper cannot read your messages
  • Authentication. You can verify the identity of the person you’re chatting to - or at least of the account they are using.
  • Deniability. It is not possible for a third party to prove that a particular user sent or received a particular message.
  • Perfect forward secrecy. It is not possible for an attacker to decrypt a previous conversation, even if he/she obtains the encryption keys used to encrypt it.

Gibberbot can also use Orbot to route your chats over the Tor network. This prevents an observer from following the source and destination of your messages (effectively, from knowing you are chatting) and provides a way to circumvent web censorship that may involve chat servers being blocked.

Off-the-record messaging only works when both parties in the conversation are using it. This means both parties need to use Gibberbot, another mobile app, or chat software that supports it. Currently Gibberbot is the only option we know of for mobile phones. Off-the-record plugins are available for several PC chat programs, including Pidgin (Windows and Linux), Adium (Mac), Trillian (Windows) and Miranda (Windows).

Tool Category: 
App resides and runs on a mobile phone
App resides and runs on a server
Key Features : 
  • When used with Orbot, Gibberbot combines the security, privacy and anonymity provisions of off-the-record messaging with the additional anonymous browsing and circumvention protection of the Tor network.
  • Gibberbot is currently the only implementation of off-the-record messaging for mobile phones that we are aware of.
  • The code for Gibberbot is open source and freely available for download - there are no costs involved except your airtime while chatting.
  • The project encourages user feedback through a mailing list, feedback form on their website, twitter account and IRC channel.
Main Services: 
Tool Maturity: 
Currently deployed
Program/Code Language: 
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 
Global Regions: 

Mobile (In)Security Redux: Comparing the Tools

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Sep 20, 2010

We have been very keen on exposing the security issues related to mobile communications for activists in insecure environments. To that end we have, to date, produced a number of how-to guides that evaluate some of the tools available.

A little while ago, we added a matrix of available tools that compares existing applications for secure communications more systematically. So, here is the line-up of mobile security resources on MobileActive for easy reference:

We will continue to pay close attention to this space as there are not enough tools and resources yet for activists and journalists to communicate securely via mobile. If you are aware of other projects or resources, please add a comment!

Photo courtesy: rafeblandford via flickr

A Guide to Mobile Security for Citizen Journalists

Posted by MelissaLoudon on Mar 01, 2010
A Guide to Mobile Security for Citizen Journalists data sheet 16675 Views
Melissa Loudon

Citizen journalism, and with it the rise of alternative media voices, is one of the most exciting possibilities for mobile phones in activism.

Mobile phones are used to compose stories, capture multi-media evidence and disseminate content to local and international audiences. This can be accomplished extremely quickly, making mobile media tools attractive to citizens and journalists covering rapidly unfolding events such as protests or political or other crises. The rise of mobiles has also helped extend citizen journalism into transient, poor or otherwise disconnected communities.

However, for those working under repressive regimes, citizen journalism can be a double-edged sword. Anything you create and disseminate can be used against you, whether through the legal system or in other more sinister forms of suppression.

This guide for Mobile Security gives an overview and provides recommendations for secure browsing, secure content uploading, and using "throw-away phones" for organizing and communications. We note that secure solutions for mobile communications are currently lacking, however!


Citizen journalism, and with it the rise of alternative media voices, is one of the most exciting possibilities for mobile phones in activism.