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Blog   |   Internet, USA

In fight against extremism, press freedom must not be compromised

President Obama speaks at the summit to counter violent extremism in Washington, D.C. on February 19. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

In an effort to counter extremists and militant groups who use a mix of violence and social media to spread their message, a summit was held in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss how to counter violent extremism. While there is little denying that these groups must be tackled, an approach must be found that will not justify restricting the press.

Blog   |   Internet

CPJ calls on U.N. to protect use of encryption for journalists

For journalists to work safely they must be able to protect themselves and their sources, which is why encryption is such a vital tool. On February 10, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press submitted a joint letter to the U.N. urging it to ensure that long-standing freedom of expression and privacy principles also protect reporters' use of encryption and anonymity-protecting technologies.

February 18, 2015 5:47 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, USA

TrollBusters app takes on those seeking to silence women writers

Eight years ago Michelle Ferrier was forced to quit her job as a newspaper columnist and move to a different state after being targeted by racist hate mail. But Ferrier has managed to turn a traumatic experience into an empowering one by inspiring a team of tech-savvy media professionals and entrepreneurs to create TrollBusters, a digital tool to combat online harassment, known as "trolling," of women.

Blog   |   China, Internet

China doubles down on counterproductive censorship

In a move unlikely to surprise those who access the Internet from mainland China, the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently blocked several popular tools used to bypass the "Great Firewall" national Internet censorship system. Citing the need to protect "cyberspace sovereignty" and to "maintain cyber security and steady operation," the Ministry changed firewall rules to block three increasingly popular commercial virtual private network (VPN) services.

January 28, 2015 5:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, UK

Classifying media and encryption as a threat is danger to press freedom

The U.K. prides itself on its commitment to free expression, but the latest revelations of surveillance of journalists and calls by Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, to ban secure messaging belie the country's drift toward a more restrictive environment for the press. The revelations further underscore the threat surveillance by Western democracies poses to journalism, a threat that prompted the Committee to Protect Journalists' Right to Report in the Digital Age campaign.

Blog   |   Internet

'Spear phishing' attacks underscore necessity of digital vigilance

The revelation that the FBI sent a fake Associated Press story containing malware to a teenager suspected of making bomb threats has brought "spear phishing" back into the public consciousness. The technique, which combines malicious software with social cues tailored to the target, has been used by state and non-state actors to attack journalists and rights advocates, including the Committee to Protect Journalists. Spear phishing can be devastatingly effective, but there are simple steps journalists can take to protect their work, themselves, and their sources.

Blog   |   Internet

How Facebook's Tor hidden service improves safety for journalists

Facebook announced on October 31 that it has made it easier and safer for users to gain access to its social network by using a dedicated Tor hidden service at https://facebookcorewwwi.onion. A dedicated hidden service access point is a powerful move to protect journalists and anyone else who uses Tor to protect privacy or circumvent censorship.

November 5, 2014 5:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet

For journalists coming into US, policies border on the absurd

CPJ's internet advocacy coordinator Geoffrey King documented his experiences of being stopped at the U.S. border in a notebook. (Geoffrey King)

I was only supposed to be in Miami for the briefest of layovers. I was en route to San Francisco from São Paulo in Brazil, where I had participated in the NETMundial Conference on Internet governance along with hundreds of members of civil society, technology executives, journalists, and government officials. It was going to be a tight connection even if things had gone smoothly, but I was not free to leave. Someone wanted to ask me some questions, noted the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer holding my well-worn passport. Go stand against that wall, he told me, dropping my passport into a box attached to his booth: someone will be by to collect you.

October 28, 2014 6:01 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet

How resistance to encryption jeopardizes journalism

FBI Director James B. Comey, pictured right with outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder in June, says FBI efforts to fight crime are being thwarted by moves to protect user privacy. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

Earlier today, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion with FBI Director James B. Comey, who made the case that steps taken by Apple and Google to protect user privacy were damaging the FBI's efforts to fight crime and safeguard U.S. national security. The discussion was due to take place hours before Apple launched its latest iPads, which benefit from the updated security features of the new iOS 8 operating system.

October 16, 2014 5:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet

Simple steps to protect journalists and sources from eavesdroppers

Journalists are among those most likely to face technical attempts at attack and interception. Reporting is based on discussions with sources who may want to remain out of the limelight, and news sites attract extensive readership, making them a desirable target for potential attackers. But there are simple steps to protect against the most common form of eavesdropping, and journalists should be aware of the types of technical adversaries they may face.

October 16, 2014 10:23 AM ET

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