USA

2014


Statements   |   Syria, USA

CPJ condemns murder of US journalist Steven Sotloff

New York, September 2, 2014--The Islamic State militant group released a video Tuesday purporting to show the beheading of American freelance journalist Steven Sotloff, according to news reports. Sotloff, who was abducted in Syria in August 2013, would be the second American journalist murdered by Islamic State. In a video posted online on August 19, the group murdered American freelance journalist James Foley and threatened to do the same to Sotloff in retribution for U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

September 2, 2014 2:32 PM ET

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Impact   |   Iran, Oman, Syria, USA

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, August 2014

US-Africa Leaders Summit

President Barack Obama hosted the first US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. this month. The discussion focused on trade and investment, but CPJ helped put press freedom on the agenda. At a time of unprecedented growth and change in Africa, journalists are under increasing pressure, with spikes in repression from Ethiopia to Nigeria.

August 28, 2014 5:30 PM ET

Alerts   |   Iraq, Syria, USA

James Foley's killers pose many threats to local, international journalists

An Islamic State militant stands with the Islamist flag in Iraq. (AFP/Welayat Salahuddin)

New York, August 20, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is extremely concerned for all journalists, most of them Syrians, still held captive by the Al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State, which has repeatedly kidnapped, killed, and threatened journalists in the territories over which it holds sway. President Barack Obama confirmed today that the group is responsible for the barbaric murder of U.S. freelance journalist James Foley.

Statements   |   Syria, USA

CPJ condemns killing of American journalist James Foley

New York, August 19, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of James Foley, a U.S. freelance journalist, who was abducted in Syria in November 2012. In a video posted online, the Al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State claimed to have executed Foley, saying the act was retribution for U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

August 19, 2014 8:59 PM ET

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Statements   |   USA

CPJ condemns ongoing harassment, arrests of reporters in Ferguson

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, arrest Scott Olson, a photographer for Getty Images. (Reuters/Joshua Lott)

New York, August 19, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the continued harassment and detentions of journalists covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked by the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. At least nine journalists have been detained and released without charge since Saturday, according to CNN. Two others were briefly detained on August 13. Some journalists reported being threatened by the police and hit with rubber bullets and tear gas, while other reporters have said they were intimidated by local residents, according to news reports.

August 19, 2014 2:35 PM ET

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Statements   |   USA

CPJ concerned by arrests, harassment of reporters covering unrest in Ferguson, Missouri

New York, August 14, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the attacks on and brief detentions of journalists covering protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the past week in reaction to the killing of teenager Michael Brown by the police. Two journalists were briefly detained on Wednesday and released without charge. Journalists have reported being attacked by police with tear gas and rubber bullets, and at least one journalist said he was intimidated and attacked by local residents, according to news reports.

August 14, 2014 1:17 PM ET

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Blog   |   Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Republic of Congo, Swaziland, USA, Uganda

First US-Africa summit short on press freedom, other human rights

CPJ board member Clarence Page, right, speaks  at a panel Wednesday organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in partnership with CPJ in Washington, D.C. (CPJ/Rachael Levy)

Top African and U.S. leaders are meeting next week in Washington in a first-of-its-kind summit focused on African development. But critics argue the summit is flawed in design, overlooking human rights such as freedom of expression and barring civil society actors from bilateral discussions.

Blog   |   CPJ, Ethiopia, Internet, Russia, Security, Thailand, Turkey, USA

No press freedom without Internet freedom

Four years ago, when CPJ launched its Internet Advocacy program, we were met with lots of encouragement, but also some skepticism.

"Why do you need a program to defend the Internet?" one supporter asked. "You don't have a special program to defend television, or radio, or newspapers."

But the Internet is different. Increasingly, when it comes to global news and information the Internet is not a platform. It is the platform.

Blog   |   Internet, USA

TSA policy change could compound security concerns for journalists in transit

On Sunday, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced a new policy requiring that travelers to the United States turn on their devices at the request of airport security personnel. Devices that cannot be powered on will be barred from the aircraft, and passengers in possession of such devices may also be subjected to additional screening. While a number of commenters have lamented the policy change on the grounds that it is likely to cause confusion and otherwise inconvenience passengers, the move could also aggravate the risks journalists already face when traveling with sensitive materials such as notes, unpublished photographs, or information about sources.

Statements   |   USA

CPJ commends U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring warrant for cellphone searches

San Francisco, June 25, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that held that law enforcement officials need search warrants to search the mobile phones of individuals they arrest. The court found that the data found in cellphones should be protected from routine inspection, news reports said.

June 25, 2014 1:50 PM ET

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Statements   |   Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA

G-7 acknowledges post-2015 agenda should include governance, human rights

New York, June 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the declaration today by leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations that democratic governance and human rights should be integral to the post-2015 development agenda.  The United Nations is seeking agreement on a broad set of sustainable development objectives to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015 and which made no mention of political or civil rights. The new goals will provide a framework for donor aid and thus influence priorities for years to come.

Alerts   |   USA

US government should withdraw Risen subpoena

New York, June 2, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the United States Department of Justice to withdraw a subpoena seeking to force journalist James Risen to give testimony that would reveal a confidential source. The Supreme Court said today it would not consider Risen's appeal of a lower court ruling that he must testify, meaning the journalist has exhausted his legal avenues to challenge the subpoena, according to news reports

June 2, 2014 6:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, USA

In the wake of US pullout, Afghan journalists need protection

In the aftermath of this week's foreign policy speech by President Barack Obama and discussions on the imminent pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, we need to think once again of the implications this retreat will have for the thousands of Afghans who for more than a decade have worked not only with the military, but also with U.S.-based non-governmental and media organizations.

Blog   |   USA

Obama transparency record remains unimpressive

President Obama speaks during the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington on May 3. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Nearly seven months ago, CPJ published its first in-depth report on press freedom in the United States, concluding that the Obama administration's aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information, broad surveillance programs, and moves to stem the routine disclosure of information to the press meant that the president had fallen far short of his campaign promise to have the most open government in U.S. history. What's changed since? A quick survey of recent events suggests not much. 

Case   |   USA

Alabama blogger released after five months in jail

Roger Shuler, whose blog, Legal Schnauzer, specializes in allegations of corruption and scandal in Republican circles in Alabama, was released from jail on March 26, 2014, after spending more than five months in prison on contempt of court charges. Shuler was arrested on October 1, 2013, for failing to comply with a preliminary injunction prohibiting him from publishing certain stories on his blog. A Shelby County judge ordered Shuler's release after his wife, Carol Shuler, removed most of the allegedly defamatory content, according to local news reports

Statements   |   USA

CPJ welcomes dismissal of charges against Barrett Brown

San Francisco, March 8, 2014--Following requests from both prosecutors and defense attorneys, yesterday the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed 11 felony counts against journalist Barrett Brown. The charges related to the reposting of a publicly-available hyperlink containing thousands of documents stolen from intelligence contractor Stratfor Forecasting. Brown was never accused of having a role in illegally obtaining the information from Stratfor.

March 8, 2014 9:53 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Cambodia, USA

Without Stronger Transparency, More Financial Crises Loom

The recent financial meltdown should be treated as a lesson on the importance of information transparency and the crucial role of a free press. By Michael J. Casey

Sharp swings in the stock market have led to questions about who stands to benefit from high-frequency trading. (AP/Richard Drew)

Attacks on the Press   |   USA

Attacks on the Press in 2013: United States

Press freedom in the United States dramatically deteriorated in 2013, a special report by CPJ found. The Obama administration's policy of prosecuting officials who leak classified information to the press intensified with the sentencing of Chelsea Manning (then known as Pvt. Bradley Manning) to 35 years in prison and the indictment of NSA consultant Edward Snowden. As part of its investigations into earlier leaks, the Justice Department revealed it had secretly subpoenaed the phone records of nearly two dozen Associated Press telephone lines and the emails and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. The two cases, and language in the Rosen subpoena that suggested the journalist could be criminally charged for receiving the information, provoked widespread criticism. The backlash resulted in the drafting of revised Justice Department guidelines on press subpoenas and a renewed debate in the Senate of a federal shield law that would allow journalists greater protection for their sources. As the debate moved forward in the Senate, a federal appeals court rejected an appeal by New York Times reporter James Risen in his long-term effort to protect a confidential source, setting up a likely Supreme Court showdown. Snowden's leak of a still unknown quantity of classified information on secret surveillance programs spurred both a national and international outcry and, after a report that Al-Jazeera's communications had allegedly been spied on, caused journalists to fear even more for their sources. The secrecy surrounding the surveillance programs echoed a pervasive lack of transparency and openness across government agencies where, despite President Barack Obama's promise to head the most open government in history, officials routinely refused to talk to the press or approve Freedom of Information Act requests. Journalists faced limitations covering national security-related trials, in cases of alleged terrorism at Guantánamo Bay and in the court-martial of Manning in Virginia.

February 12, 2014 1:45 AM ET

Blog   |   Internet, UK, USA

Media surveillance and 'the day we fight back'

Today, a broad coalition of technology companies, human rights organizations, political groups, and others will take to the Web and to the streets to protest mass surveillance. The mobilization, known as "The Day We Fight Back," honors activist and technologist Aaron Swartz, who passed away just over a year ago. Throughout the day, the campaign will encourage individuals to contact their representatives, pressure their employers, and march for an end to government surveillance practices that sweep up huge amounts of data, often indiscriminately.

Statements   |   UK, USA

CPJ troubled by report GCHQ targeted journalists

San Francisco, February 7, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply troubled by a report that a potential operation by the British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) involved covert surveillance of reporters' communications. GCHQ sought to use journalists to pass both information and disinformation to intelligence targets, according to documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and obtained by NBC News.

Blog   |   Internet, USA

Obama must chart clearer course on surveillance policy

President Barack Obama talks about National Security Agency surveillance on January 17. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Tonight President Obama has another opportunity to redirect the country's out-of-control surveillance programs during his annual State of the Union address. He should seize it. The president's much-anticipated January 17 speech about U.S. surveillance policy, which came in response to outrage over National Security Agency spying, left much unsaid--and many of the commitments he did make were lacking the clarity needed to lift the chill on journalism and other forms of free expression that such programs create.

January 28, 2014 5:19 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, USA

Obama's legacy on the line with surveillance policy

Demonstrators march against government surveillance at a 'Restore the Fourth' rally on August 4, 2013, in San Francisco. (Geoffrey King)

When President Obama takes the lectern to discuss U.S. surveillance policy, as he is expected to do Friday, those hoping for sweeping reform are likely to be disappointed. As reported in The New York Times, the president appears poised to reject many of the recommendations of his Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, a brain trust of five experts he handpicked to study U.S. intelligence practices in the wake of disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. 

« 2013