This member story was featured in the 2016 APC Annual Report, as part of our work on use and development.
In September 2016, Alternatives launched a new digital security school, l’École de sécurité numérique (ESN514): the first digital security initiative geared specifically to the social movement in the province of Québec.
Developed in association with the Canada Research Chair in Media Education and Human Rights and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, ENS514 aims to provide trainings on the use of encryption tools and online resources adapted to the realities and needs of community-based groups, civil society organisations, university researchers and independent media.
The launch of the school proved to be very timely when it was revealed in November 2016 that the private communications of investigative journalists were being surveilled by the Montreal police service. This sparked a great deal of interest in ESN514 from civil society members, leading to a wider range of activities than those originally planned.
In addition to providing training for activist groups, the school has conducted security audits at public events, organised a training session for adolescents at the National Library and Archives of Quebec, and established a partnership with a theatre troupe performing at the celebration of the 375th anniversary of the City of Montreal, all of which have garnered significant media coverage for ESN514.