WASHINGTON, September 9, 2010 – The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University has received a $1.5 million grant for its Herdict project. The grant was given by Omidyar Network, an investment firm targeting philanthropic projects established in 2004 by eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar.
The Herdict project “is a crowdsourcing platform that allows individuals to contribute real-time data about website accessibility and outages around the globe.” It can be used in five languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian and Russian.
The project plans to use the funds to find a CEO and separate from the Berkman Center.
“Government transparency requires accessible information, which depends on an open, free Internet. Herdict is a powerful tool that exposes regimes intent on preventing citizen access to certain sites,” said Stacy Donohue, Omidyar Network director of investments for government transparency. “Herdict fits strategically within Omidyar Network’s government transparency investment area; the platform enables monitoring of open information and communication, both essential ingredients for healthy democratic governments in the 21st Century.”