Hala Systems, a social enterprise developing advanced technologies to protect civilians from misinformation, is now utilizing Hedera Hashgraph, an enterprise-grade distributed ledger, to verify data provenance and remove centralized control over data. Leveraging the Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) as an immutable chain of custody for digital media, including photographs, videos, and audio files, Hala Systems’ primary product ‘Sentry’ delivers early warnings of conflict and natural disasters to 2.1 million people in Syria.
Sentry uses a multi-sensor network to generate credible, real-time situational awareness in order to provide early warning notifications and first responder coordination to people devastated by man-made and natural disasters. Remote sensing and artificial intelligence (AI) instantaneously identify information, including audio sirens, visual warnings, radio broadcasts, and social media alerts, allowing humanitarian organizations to effectively allocate scarce resources to protect and serve vulnerable civilian populations. Digital media sources are stored on Hedera’s platform, as a transparent and tamper-proof record, which allows stakeholders a single source of truth.
In an analysis of multiple offensives in northwest Syria since 2017, Sentry was correlated with a 10-30% mean reduction in net casualty rates due to airstrikes, with 250,000 people benefiting from reduced traumatic anxiety (data verified by Exigo). The system issues an average of 140 early warnings per day, offering citizens approximately 7-10 minutes of warning in advance of crises.
Hala Systems leverages the HCS to manage the metadata of digital media by Sentry. Hala Systems can provide real evidence and verification for exactly when and where media originated. Each event logged to the HCS is signed by the issuing camera’s keys and receives a consensus timestamp by the whole Hedera network. This ensures that the data can be better trusted by supporting third parties and, if needed, the broader public due to its tamper-proof nature. This provides external parties wanting to verify the information with credible details surrounding the who, what, where, and when of an event.
Initially, Hala Systems explored the Ethereum platform, but found its probabilistic (not definitive) consensus, smart contracts with highly variable fees, and slow confirmation times unsuitable for their use case. By contrast, the hashgraph consensus algorithm and data structure allow for the Hedera network to operate much more efficiently, with higher throughput and drastically lower costs.
Mance Harmon, CEO and Co-founder of Hedera Hashgraph, said, “Hala Systems is on a noble mission to protect civilians worldwide. Together with the company’s other partners, including the United Nations, U.K. Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the U.S. State Department, and other foreign ministries, we look forward to being part of this conflict management solution. We are humbled that Hala Systems is leveraging the HCS to provide an additional layer of trust and transparency for conflict management and prevention.”