Use Cases

CDR’s technology solutions are designed to address specific problems, but are flexible enough to be useful when applied to different contexts and challenges.

CDR Link is a privacy- and security-focused human rights helpdesk built on Zammad, an open source platform designed for customer support. Zammad offers many features to enable customer communication and issue tracking, and includes a variety of channels (e.g. email, SMS, Twitter) to receive and respond to customer inquiry.

Many of the default settings in Zammad have been changed in CDR Link in favor of enhanced privacy protections, like turning off third-party tracking and removing potentially sensitive content from email notifications. CDR Link also integrates Signal and WhatsApp communication channels to facilitate more secure communications.

Waterbear is an ecosystem built around CDR Link which allows your project to collect, organize, analyze and report more effectively on topics of disinformation. Waterbear is designed to allow for collaboration between organizations, team members or civil society. Ultimately the suite of technology will help civil society fight disinformation by providing a broader, more contextualized view of activity in their communities, enabling data-assisted strategies for early-intervention and response. It has the promise of utilizing open-source intelligence gathering to produce an aggregated global disinformation dataset, analyzed by professionals, made accessible to the public, and used by key stakeholders and communities affected.

Below are some examples of use cases where CDR’s technology solutions could be suitable. These tools have already been deployed for several of the case types listed below.

Customer support / Helpdesk

Because Zammad was originally designed for customer support, using CDR Link as a helpdesk is a natural application. CDR Link includes automated tagging and assignment features, enables same-channel responses, and provides robust reporting capabilities. The Signal and WhatsApp integration supports helpdesk applications for communities whose needs are sensitive and require additional privacy and security protections, such as human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and communities and individuals who are threatened with violence.

Features that support the Customer support / Helpdesk use case:

  • Automated ticket assignment
  • Notification options
  • Multiple channels
  • Templates for common requests
  • Reports and analysis

Customer support / Helpdesk examples might include:

  • Digital security helpdesk
  • Rapid response hotline
  • Intimate partner violence support line

Team-based incident reporting

Both Waterbear and CDR Link are well-suited to act as a central repository for teams collecting information about incidents and events. Various permissions-based channels may be set up to allow only approved team members to send information to the instance, fields can be customized to match the data you are collecting, and internal groups and roles can be assigned as a way to compartmentalize user access to various types of information (e.g. a user only sees the tickets she has created vs. a user can see all tickets about a given topic vs. a user can see all tickets in her instance).

Features that support the Team-based incident reporting use case:

  • Customizable data fields
  • Groups and Roles to manage user permissions
  • Private channels available only to authorized users

Team-based incident reporting examples might include:

  • Election monitors collecting information about irregularities
  • Researchers collaborating on documenting disinformation campaigns on social media
  • Human rights investigators interviewing survivors

Crowdsourcing information

The channels available in CDR Link and the Webform tool that is part of the Waterbear ecosystem can be used to collect information from public reporters. A web form could be customized or a Signal or WhatsApp number published to solicit information from the general public. Built-in features would afford additional privacy and security protections to those submitting information, and would not collect any personally-identifying information about the submitters aside from that which they voluntarily share, like an email address or phone number.

Features that support the Crowdsourcing use case:

  • Publicly available channels (like a web form or published Signal number)
  • Manual and automated ticket assignment
  • Customizable data fields
  • Customizable Overviews

Crowdsourcing information examples might include:

  • A web form soliciting information about threats of violence against a community
  • A WhatsApp number for reporting potential misinformation seen on the app
  • Rights advocates collecting stories of discrimination in housing or health care