Collect, safeguard, organize, and share information about human rights abuses
Martus enables grassroots NGOs to securely catalogue and store their records on off-site servers with easy-to-use software, preserving crucial evidence for research, investigation and prosecutions.
Martus is currently used to support initiatives that monitor human rights, political rights and acts of violence. Applications of Martus include collecting information about political prisoners and the reporting of human rights abuses based on ethnicity or religious faith. The Martus software is sufficiently flexible to accommodate a broad range of information and can be customized for specific purposes.
Latest News & Updates
Benetech will no longer be updating the Martus platform. Please read our announcement here.
We have put together some responses to anticipated questions that we hope will be helpful to Martus users that our decision will impact.
Why is Benetech no longer updating Martus?
It was a difficult decision for us to make. Martus has already surpassed reasonable expectations for software longevity despite existing in a resource-constrained environment. Ultimately, it is not feasible for a 15-year old product to keep up with growing technical demands, and we do not believe it is responsible or practical to move forward on this platform. Please read more about our decision in our blog post about the announcement.
What about my data?
Your data is still safe and will continue to be available to you. Any data that is stored locally on your computer will not be affected by this decision. While the Martus server will remain online and available for some time, we recommend downloading any last data stored there, as eventually that server will no longer be available.
If you have specific questions about your data, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to work directly with you to ensure that your data is safe and accessible to you, and that you feel comfortable and confident.
I run my own Martus server. Will it stop working?
No. If you are running a Martus server of your own, it will continue to work as it has in the past. Benetech will no longer be updating the code used to run the server or the client.
Can I still use Martus? Should I?
We expect that the Martus client will continue to work on your computer as it has in the past, though we recommend re-evaluating your threat model and considering whether continued use of an unsupported Martus best serves your needs.
Some things to consider:
- Benetech will not be patching any newly-discovered security risks, such as attacks on SSL or Java, that might affect Martus.
- New versions of Java have often been incompatible with previous versions of Martus, and have required updates to Martus in order for the two to work correctly together. Benetech will not be making these updates to Martus anymore, so updating to new versions of Java (which is recommended) may mean that Martus will no longer work on your computer.
- It may be worth reconsidering the risks and threats that your information faces, and determining whether moving to a new service or tool is the best way forward for your documentation needs.
What should I use instead?
There are many tools and services you might consider using after phasing out Martus, and the correct one (or combination thereof) will depend on your needs, threats, and capabilities. If you would like to discuss your needs one-on-one, please email us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns you have.
Is this the end of the Benetech Human Rights Program?
No! The Benetech Human Rights Program is working on several projects and partnerships at the moment and will continue to support human rights defenders and the pursuit of justice. We look forward to continuing to apply our experience and expertise in ways that best support the human rights movement.