March 21 2024 GM

From TCU Wiki
Glitter Meetups

"Localizing Security in a Box" in Indonesian

Join us to talk about the process and key lessons of localizing Front Line Defenders' Security in a Box Toolkit to Indonesian. The toolkit is a guide to digital security for human rights defenders and activists.

Featured guests bios:

  • Icaldua is a guerilla audio-visual composer, a human and digital  rights advocate, a digital security trainer/consultant based in Bali, Indonesia with 9+ years of experience working with civil society organizations. He spent most of his time and computing power making privacy-enhancing tools and guides accessible for his mother language speakers, Indonesian or Bahasa Indonesia.
  • Flo has developed and edited several digital self-defense resources for human rights, including the Digital First Aid Kit, the Cypher Sex guides for sex workers, DDP's Tech Care and Access Now Helpline's community documentation. They have also done technical documentation on specific tools and digital security policies for human rights defenders, activists, journalists, domestic violence shelters, queer folks and sex workers. As Front Line Defenders' Digital Protection Editor, Flo curates and maintains Security in a Box and other resources for human rights defenders.

What is Glitter Meetup?

Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IF Square on the TCU Mattermost, at 9am EST / 2pm UTC. It is a text-based chat where digital rights defenders can share regional and projects updates, expertise, ask questions, and connect with others from all over the world! Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.


Can you give us some background on what security in a box is and why it was designed?
  • Security in a Box - or SiaB - is a digital security toolkit that aims to help a global community of human rights defenders whose work puts them at risk. You can find it at
  • Published for the first time online in 2012, SiaB has been recognized worldwide as a foundational resource for helping people at risk protect their digital security and privacy.
  • Security in a Box is a free and open source tool and welcomes feedback and contributions, including localization.
  • The reason why it is called Security "in a Box" is that originally it also had a physical version and it was actually a box with a booklet inside it.
  • It was designed with the purpose of spreading information on digital security to human rights defenders, activists and other people at risk all around the world.
Flo, what does an editor of the tool do? And maybe you can also tell us what inspired the decision to localize it to other languages, in this case Indonesian?
  • First let me say that in this moment there's only one editor, but SiaB used to have a full editorial committee. I have worked as an editor for several digital protection resources, and SiaB is only the latest.
  • An editor curates the content of a resource - be it technical or not. Editors decide which contents fit in and which don't, what should be updated, how to write, what style guidelines a resource needs, which is the target audience and how to address the target audience, and in my case I also coordinate the localization of SiaB into other languages.
  • To answer the question on what inspired the decision to localize it to other languages, we need to consider that from the beginning the main goal of SiaB was to become a resource for human rights defenders and people at risk worldwide, so the editors of SiaB felt from the very beginning the need to translate this resource into many languages and make it accessible beyond the English-speaking global North.
  • SiaB went first online in September 2012, when it was already localized into 9 languages, you can see its first online version here
  • And after few months, in January 2013, it had been localized into 11 languages, including Indonesian. You can see the first Indonesian localization here
Icaldua, for people interested in localizing public interest tech tools and resources, what are they 3 key lessons that you could share with them, in terms of expertise needed and processes that you take?
  • First: your technical knowledge is not the first thing you have to worried about if you want to do this work, many people might think that to do this work you need to have advanced knowledge of technology. However, it can always be learned through discussions.
  • Second: one thing that is really important is you need to be as creative as possible to localize and contextualize the terms of the tech and resources that mostly created by and with global north logic.
  • And the last one is work and have a constant discussion with journalists because they are the group of people who know the 'official' new localized technological term, and they also will use and popularize the ones that you 'made'.
A participant asks: I am sure that there are things that change and you must update it, but apart from that, how do you evaluate the current content?
  • Apart from updating the actual content (like links, or instructions that don't work any longer), the main goal is to refer to people's needs. The digital world is moving constantly, so it's a matter of staying up-to-date on what people actually do with digital tools and what tools they use and trying to do harm reduction around the new tools and techniques that are being used.
Another participant adds: What was the most challenging aspect of localizing digital security?
  • We never get any feedback from the end user, and still thinking of how to get that feedback. Another thing is some English terms that used by some devices, if translated into Indonesian, can have several meanings, for example: settings is translated into ‘setelan’ which can also means ‘pair of clothes’.
  • We are giving visibility to the possibility of providing feedback to SiaB. Here's all the instructions on how to give feedback in case you want to share with readers who might be interested in giving feedback
Icaldua, how did you navigate the challenge of English terms not translating to Indonesian? What did you do in that case?
  • Most of the time I keep it as is, but some times, especially when we're doing a localization sprint, we will discuss it for hours until we found the nearest thing from the source term.
For the localization community, what needs to change or be improved to make some of this work, and processes more seamless and easier for local communities?
  • Unified glossary will helps the work easier. also, for Indonesian language group context: please continue doing this work even though it's not a paid work.
  • And for people who develop the tools and guides: please put the context of the term in the localization platform to make us understand the use of the term or sentence.
What's the most difficult topic to understand of the whole guide? Or perhaps, from the experience of working with front line defenders, what is the most difficult to adopt and change their behavior or practice?
  • Answers Flo by saying: I have been working with people at risk for a long time, but with FLD only from January, so I'll answer this starting from my experience as a digital self-defense trainer more than as a FLD person. I think the point is not to change someone's behavior, but to make it sustainable and less risky. I tend to think about digital protection as harm reduction. we need to think about what people do, not about our idea of what they should be doing.
  • As digital protection experts we can say, for instance, that telegram or WhatsApp are not a good choice, but if people tend to use them much more than signal, the point is not convincing them to use signal. The point is explaining how to reduce the risks they face when using WhatsApp and Telegram.
  • Also design can be participative. you can find something on this in the cypher sex guide I just linked
  • Regarding your other question, "what's the most difficult topic to understand of the whole guide?" I think the point is that the content could be re-organized to make it more accessible, which is my next goal as the editor of SiaB.
What is your preferred space for communication, in case people here want to connect further?
  • Mattermost is comfy space for me and you can find me as @flo_fld or email me at