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Media Diversity Institute – Armenia Joins Inaugural Cohort of the Spyware Accountability Initiative

Leading funders and companies announce over $4 million in support of efforts to address the harms of spyware on civil society across the globe.

March 6, 2024 – Media Diversity Institute – Armenia (MDI Armenia) announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Spyware Accountability Initiative, whose mission is to grow a global field of civil society organizations who are advancing threat research, advocacy and accountability to address the use and trade of spyware. 

The Ford Foundation’s Dignity and Justice Fund, fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund (NVF), launched the Spyware Accountability Initiative with a founding contribution by Apple and additional support from Open Society Foundations, Okta for Good, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Grantees of the Dignity and Justice Fund’s Spyware Accountability Initiative were recommended to the board of NVF by the Fund’s advisory board, which consists of members of the Ford Foundation leadership team. An independent, global technical advisory committee advised on the Fund’s grantmaking strategy. Over the next five years, the Spyware Accountability Initiative will support a growing community of researchers and advocacy organizations investigating, exposing, and bringing accountability to the global mercenary spyware trade. 

The MDI Armenia is proud to join the Spyware Accountability Initiative’s inaugural cohort of nearly two dozen grantees, half of which are based in the Global South, where the harms of spyware are most pronounced. The Initiative’s first wave of grants focuses on three key areas: international advocacy and litigation; investigations and research; and Global South regional field building and organizational strengthening.  

About MDI Armenia 

Media Diversity Institute – Armenia is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that seeks to leverage the power of the traditional media, social media and new technologies to safeguard human rights, help build a democratic, civil society, give voice to the voiceless and deepen the collective understanding of different types of social diversity. 

To learn more, visit the homepage of the Spyware Accountability Initiative. 

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Armenia Digital Threat Landscape: Civil Society & Media

This report was prepared by Internews’ Internet Freedom & Resilience team under a stream of work that strengthens civil society organizations, journalists, and other human rights defenders’ ability to detect, analyze, and build resilience to digital attacks through localized expertise in threat analysis and incident response.

It is intended to provide an overview of the digital threats faced by civil society and media organizations in Armenia and provide guidance for digital safety experts supporting this community.

This report was written in close collaboration with CyberHub-AM, a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for Armenian civil society, including NGOs, Human Rights Defenders, Activists, journalists, and independent media. They serve as a contact point and help desk for the above-mentioned groups in Armenia and collect, analyze, and anonymously and responsibly share incident data and indicators with the global threat intelligence community where appropriate.

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Digital Security Workshop Call


  • 25.11.202, Shirak region, Gyumri City – All for Equal Rights Foundation (address: Gyumri City, 7/33 Garegin Nzhdeh Street)
  • 26.11.2023, Lori region, Vanadzor City – «NGO Center» Civil Society Development NGO (address: Vanadzor City, 6/1 Khorenatsi Street)

About the project and the workshop:

The Media Diversity Institute is excited to announce a comprehensive, hands-on workshop on digital security management for civil society organizations, media organizations, and other relevant stakeholders based in Shirak and Lori regions. This event is a part of the “EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia” project and is aimed at equipping participants with the necessary tools and knowledge to identify and manage digital security risks, safeguard their organizations, and handle IT management effectively.

This one-day workshop, led by digital security and media experts, will provide insights into organizational and personal digital security, risk management, IT management, and much more.

“EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia:” Project is implemented by OxYGen Foundation, Socioscope NGO, “Asparez” Journalists’ Club NGO, Armenian Progressive Youth NGO, Media Diversity Institute – Armenia in cooperation with Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, and Eurasia Partnership Foundation. The Project is funded by the European Union.

Registration for the Digital Security Workshop is open until November 20th. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your digital security expertise. The event will be held:

  • 25.11.202, Shirak region, Gyumri City – All for Equal Rights Foundation (address: Gyumri City, 7/33 Garegin Nzhdeh Street)
  • 26.11.2023, Lori region, Vanadzor City – «NGO Center» Civil Society Development NGO (address: Vanadzor City, 6/1 Khorenatsi Street)

Workshop details:

  • Introduction to cyber security, the most common threats and attack vectors in Armenia
  • How to protect personal information on the Internet (theoretical and practical tasks)
  • How to protect passwords: password management systems, two-phase security
  • Secure communication: PGP, Protonmail, Tutanota, secure communication software (Signal, Wire)
  • Phishing attacks and protection methods and tools
  • Strategic issues of digital security for the organization (Practical work)

Why Attend?

  • To understand and apply risk management within your organization.
  • To learn about the roles in IT management and assess employee competencies.
  • To discover how to protect your organization’s online presence and personal digital information.
  • To use the most up-to-date digital security tools and best practices.

Registration and Questions:

To register for the Digital Security Training Workshop, please fill out the online registration form by the deadline of November 20th. For any questions regarding the workshop, you are encouraged to contact the MDI representative Alexander Martirosyan at [email protected].

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