As a founding member of M3AAWG, J.D. Falk embodied the mission of the group in his quest to make messaging and the internet a better place. In his memory, the group offers the J.D. Falk Award annually. We think J.D. would have been pleased to learn of the 2021 recipients: Coalition Against StalkWare, represented by Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Tara Hairston, executive director of the Coalition Against Stalkerware.
The award (see the presentation video, here: https://www.m3aawg.org/for-the-industry/jd-falk-award-recipients) is given to those committed to those working to improve the online experience and protect end users. These efforts can include developing a service, creating an industry specification, mentoring or research – work that reduces online abuse – while fostering volunteerism and community building.
The Coalition represents these values in every sense…and it all started with a simple tweet: “…If you are a woman who has been sexually abused by a hacker who threatened to compromise your devices, contact me and I will make sure they are properly examined.”(https://twitter.com/evacide/status/957758149577986050). Kasperky was the first to flag domestic abuse spyware as malware (read the fascinating story here in Wired, https://www.wired.com/story/eva-galperin-stalkerware-kaspersky-antivirus/).
The group was founded just two years ago by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Kaspersky, Operation Safe Escape and seven other organizations. The list includes Avira, EFF, European Network for the Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, Data Cyber Defense, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, NNEDV, Norton Lifelock, Operation Safe Escape, and Weisser Ring to respond to the growing threat of stalkerware, which can be used to surveil partners and facilitates domestic violence, harassment and abuse. Members combine their expertise in domestic violence survivor support and perpetrator work, digital rights advocacy, and digital rights advocacy and work to increase public awareness of the issue.
In related work, M3AAWG published an updated version of “M3AAWG Disposition of Child Sexual Abuse Materials Best Common Practices” September 2021. This document provides recommendations and best practices, including intake mechanisms for such materials, identification of materials, disposition of materials and reporting based on jurisdiction and local laws.
M3AAWG commends the Coalition and its members for their work to make the online and digital experience and safer and better one. For more info on the Coalition, see https://stopstalkerware.org.