Digital Safety Helpdesk

SMEX is excited to launch our Digital Safety Helpdesk, an expansion of our existing helpline initiative that will elevate the digital safety capabilities of users in Lebanon and other Arabic-speaking countries through digital safety tips, rapid response to digital attacks, and threat mitigation.

SMEX has been providing digital safety support to human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, civil society organizations, alternative media, and activists since our inception. However,  due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic and recent uprisings in Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, and other Arabic-speaking countries, the threats faced by users in the region have grown in both number and complexity. We’ve established our Digital Safety Helpdesk to formalize our incident-handling processes and to ensure our responses to these digital threats are both efficient and thoughtful.

The Helpdesk’s internal incident-handling system is designed to filter cases by urgency and capacity. Our incident handlers are available between 9:00 AM and 12:00 AM everyday, including weekends.

The duration and nature of the incident-handling process depends on the complexity and severity of the reported incident. For example, the involvement of a third party, such as a tech company or ISP, will increase the time taken to resolve the incident. Incidents which result in “real-world harm” — that is, when digital content poses an immediate, physical threat to the user — will be assigned the highest priority. Such incidents include doxxing, death threats, hate speech with incitement of violence towards vulnerable groups, and physical arrest or detention.

The Digital Safety Helpdesk follows a strict privacy policy to ensure personal information is processed safely and securely during incident handling. This privacy policy will be published on our website in the coming weeks. 

The Digital Safety Helpdesk can be reached on:

Please note that the Digital Safety Helpdesk’s WhatsApp and Signal channels can currently only receive text messages. We are unable to receive attachments, such as voice notes, images, and documents, and we are also unable to receive voice calls at this time.

This page is available in a different language العربية (Arabic) هذه الصفحة متوفرة بلغة مختلفة