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Encrypt To Speak Out

Encrypted communication is vital for activists and journalists who need to speak out against their governments.

Photo of DeletedUser
9 3

Written by DeletedUser

Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

This represents encrypted communication between journalists and activists in different countries. Activists who speak out against their own governments may not be tolerated and an encrypted, secure means of communication is necessary. The tape over the activists mouth represents that they are not free to communicate openly and that encrypted messaging is necessary to sending documents to the press in a different country, where that message can get broadcast out, which represents the megaphone. The globe represents the worldwide reach of encrypted communication where messages can cross borders securely from prying eyes.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

This represents communication between a journalist and an activist, while the random keys represent encryption and are placed between the individuals as the message is passed along. They are enclosed in a box, which represents outside entities such as governments cannot have access to their encrypted communication. The noise outside the box represents all the chaotic attempts to break into the encrypted space, but cannot, which is why the inside of the box is calm.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

Visual representation does not have to look intimidating or scary looking for the cyber security domain.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I am a web developer in Des Moines, IA and am interested in the cyber security field with stronger interests in privacy rights, journalistic integrity, and cyber warfare.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

The stereotypical hacker image used in nearly every news segment needs an update.


What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a cybersecurity professional with an interest in visuals.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

Location: City

Des Moines

Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • United States of America


Join the conversation:

Photo of Viviane

I see this submission as a combination of encryption with the concept of the ‘fourth estate’ in journalism ( It’ll take skill to craft this message. You might also wish to research visual representation of journalism and/or protest art. I agree with others that sketch 2 works better so build on that, but don’t be afraid to explore fresh ways to say what you want to say.

Photo of Jen Zariat

This is a very important message; i'm glad you chose it. I like the gradient for color pop in the second sketch. I think it could work well as a box inset into the first sketch, as a sort of 'zoom' on what's happening in the dialogue.

Photo of DeletedUser


I agree with Estela that combining the two sketches might focuse the effort more clearly. I did not get the sense of encryption from Sketch 1 alone without reading the title. Perhaps an idea to consider if you are invited to participate in the next round.

As a fellow entrant, I invite you to visit my submission and let me know how you think it could be improved..

Best of luck.

John Messing

Photo of Estela Kennen

Taylor, I really liked the concept behind Sketch #1, but the meaning wasn't clear to me from the illustration. I didn't get that an activist was transmitting information to a journalist and I didn't notice the taped-over mouth until after I read your explanation. The background image is perhaps a missed opportunity to add meaning -- instead of a picture of trees which doesn't help provide context, maybe imagery of a war-torn country and/or protests and of journalists/newspapers/news websites. Hope that helps.

Sketch 2 hold a lot of promise as well. I wonder if you could combine some of the elements from the two sketches... maybe instead of a person loudly speaking have them quietly/covertly talking, overlay the encryption key between the two people (instead of having it look like dialog) and then have the other person be the more overt loudspeaker. Hope that makes sense.

I like the direction this is heading! Good luck with your submissions!

Photo of Dima Boulad

Hello @DeletedUser ! Welcome to the challenge. Dima here, I will be supporting you in the process. The platform allows you to upload images only locally (from hard disks, flash drives, etc...). You won't be able to add images using links, so you need to download images to your MAC/PC and then attach them to the contribution. Kindly note that as per the terms and conditions, all images uploaded have the must be original to the entrant, and not copied, in whole or in part, from any work of another person or entity.
During the ideas phase, you are welcome to submit sketches quickly so you can benefit from the community and our experts giving you feedback on it, you can then iterate and finalize your submission for your final visual.
In your submission, think about how the visual can relay the concept clearly, and how the images can tell a story on cybersecurity? For more inspiration, this resource might help:
Good luck and can't wait to see how this progresses!

Photo of DeletedUser


Dima Boulad the image uploader is not working & that is why multiple people on here do not have the art attached. Once you click upload and you select the file, nothing is getting attached.

Photo of Ben Banks

Taylor. I think they have fixed this issue now (I had the same thing). Might be worth retrying it again as it helps to see the pictures and text together. I think there is something deeply intriguing about the idea of making important messages standout by adding noise (stocastic resonance) and contrasting that, somehow, with encoded messages that passes through filters where it can be impactfuly decoded in a different context. What do you think?

Photo of DeletedUser


Ben Banks thanks for the heads up, it is working for me now. I agree and that is an interesting concept!

Photo of Koldun Victor

Please insert pictures directly into the text. It is very inconvenient to view pictures in another browser window.