User Needs Discovery: Kenya
Region: East Africa Country: Kenya
Kenya is a developing country in EastArica which has an ethnic diversity that is sometimes a source of conflict. Social media is a widespread platform and many people use mobile devices to make social connections and financial transactions. The price of data is high but affordable for the middle to upper class citizens. Other challenges include high unemployment, crime and poverty.
Introduction/objective We conducted the needs discovery activity in September with different groups of users from Mombasa and Nairobi. We did this to get a better comparison about how people were feeling across the country. The aim of the activity was:
- see what needs/goals people had
- explore how Tor can help fulfill them ** Participants** We tested people aged 20-50 years from human rights backgrounds and civil society organizations. In total, we received feedback from 21 participants of whom most were women. Most of the participants had not used Tor before. They had knowledge about digital security and were using the internet for email and social media accounts. Generally, for this group the tech-level is medium.
Methodology The trainer gave an explanation of the activity and asked them to write down responses to the following on post it notes:
- Who is your adversary?
- What is the attack from your adversary?
- How would you protect yourself from these attacks?
Results (What they said)
What is happening with Tor users? Most people consider the government and government agencies; cyber criminals; big telecoms and individuals they already know as adversaries. That is, factors that may deter them from doing their jobs.
We saw that typically in all the groups, censorship, confiscation of devices and arrests are attributed to government and government agencies. Surveillance and tracking were also linked to the government but there was a sense that other adversaries were at play. For example, big telecoms and OR individuals.
Theft of devices;targeted malware attacks like finisher/pegasus;Identify theft and online financial fraud were mostly attributed to Individuals. 'Hacker' type people or persons with malicious intent.
what are the users trying to do? As mentioned, most of the participants were women. The needs discovery shows that women want to communicate securely and fight cyber crime. They want to be active on social media without the threat of gender-based violence.
Most people had heard about encryption and want to take profit of this technology even though it's historically non user-friendly software. They want to use software that encrypts content.
Most participants were concerned about the safety of their personal files. They want to store and share data more safely.
Finally, this group is trying to browse securely and anonymously so they can freely work on human rights issues in the region.