Beyond these basic internet security issues, there are other issues that video activists have to consider in publishing videos.

Bandwidth constraints

There are bandwidth constraints in many parts of the globe. Here are some ways to address them:

  • Publish preview clips and provide an alternative means to distribute the entire video. For example, ICT Watch publishes short clips on YouTube and post CDs or DVDs on email request.

  • Shared directories on services such as Dropbox are a viable option so long as you can afford storage costs and rely on the service to keep your videos online.

  • Establish a trusted offline network to assist in distribution.

Facial Recognition

Over the last few years, facial recognition software and systems have become more sophisticated. There are now search engines that search only for faces, such as and Anyone can take a screenshot of your video and use that to identify the people in your video. Imagine how these tools can make it easier for governments to identify people that attend demonstrations and rallies, and track them.

To mitigate such risks, there are strategies and tools that you can use to blur faces.

  • Youtube has recently launched a face blurring tool (see: This can be used for videos published on Youtube.

  • For Android phones, ObscuraCam allows you to shoot footage that already blurs faces and / or locations.

  • You can also blur faces in the editing process.

Responsible Distribution

  • You have to make sure that you have consent to publish and distribute your videos from the people in it

  • To secure the safety of their members some NGOs urge their them to upload videos under the name of their organisations so that the liability falls to them, not individuals producers who may not have the resources to combat any likely repercussions.

  • You can publish your video in multiple sites. This means that you will have access to your videos even when sites are blocked in your country and when they temporarily unavailable. But this also means that you should maintain the same security practices in all sites (HTTPS and using TOR or VPN), and this will probably mean more work for you.

How secure is ‘the cloud’ for video publishing?

In September 2011 South Africa’s MyVideo lost thousands of of their uses videos due to poor server maintenance and back-ups. GoogleVideo closed its doors early 2011 and countless videos are no longer accessible. In both instances large numbers of people relied on these services to keep their videos accessible in perpetuity. If you don’t have reliable data storage of your own, relying on a third party provider can be perilous.



Thinking of Hosting Your Own Video Sharing Site?

Some of you might be considering creating your own video hosting system. Hosting video content is not a minor task. Unlike text based content backing up disks crammed with videos can take hours, if not days. If an independent video hosting site goes down what can be done to ensure its content is available else where and within an acceptable period of time?

Here are some issues to consider:

  • Websites are vulnerable to all manner of threats, from take-down-orders to DDOS attacks

  • You must regularly conduct monitoring of your whole website system as preventive measures.

  • Backing up server content is critical, but also time consuming if not done frequently.

  • Don’t rely on just one mirroring location. Meaning, make sure that you have a back-ups of your sites content that is ready to be online if your website is down.