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Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

CPJ joins call for meaningful reform of US surveillance

Mass surveillance and the bulk collection of metadata by the U.S. government pose serious threats to journalists in the U.S. and around the world, which is why the Committee to Protect Journalists today joined a wide coalition of privacy, human rights, technology, and trade groups calling on Congress and the Obama Administration to include certain elements in U.S. surveillance reform.

Blog   |   Security, USA

US 'no-negotiation' hostage policy should be changed

Thirty years ago, when I was snatched off the street in Beirut by radical Shiites calling themselves "Islamic Jihad," the world took my plight and that of other Westerners kidnapped in Lebanon's long war to heart. During the nearly seven years I was held, countless demonstrations were staged on our behalf by churches, journalists, hometowns in America, France, Britain, Ireland and many other countries. Miles of yellow ribbon were tied to oak trees, and newspaper editorials ceaselessly demanded our release. When I finally emerged from the Lebanese gulag, the longest-held Western hostage, there were dozens of boxes of letters waiting for me, from school children and ordinary people across America, along with grand welcome home parties in New York and Washington.

March 13, 2015 11:01 AM ET

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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   |   Iraq, Security, USA

Video: Bob Simon recounts 1991 capture in Iraq

When I heard the news last week that Bob Simon had died, I immediately thought back to an interview I had done with him in 2010. It was at an event called the "Courage Forum.," an ideas festival which took place the Museum of Modern Art hosted in New York City. It featured speakers who had demonstrated courage in various walks of life, among them tight rope artist Philippe Petit.

February 20, 2015 1:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Security, 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   |   Security, USA

Uneasy alliance: State Department and journalists discuss rise in violence

Doug Frantz spent more than three decades in the journalistic trenches covering wars, overseeing investigative reporting, and directing national security coverage. He did stints at The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. Today Frantz works for the State Department, serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Alarmed by the rising tide of violence against journalists around the world, Frantz convened a conference of journalists and press freedom advocates in Washington yesterday to discuss the challenges faced, particularly by freelance and local reporters.

Blog   |   USA

Eight days in Hong Kong: Laura Poitras on documenting Snowden for 'Citizenfour'

Laura Poitras's highly anticipated documentary Citizenfour was shown last week in New York. (AP/Charles Sykes/Invision)

The world premiere of Laura Poitras's highly anticipated documentary "CITIZENFOUR" at the New York Film Festival occurred with the appropriate amount of intrigue for a film about last year's dramatic revelations of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. The press and premiere screenings were clocked to begin simultaneously on Friday so no breaking news could be leaked. The movie was a last-minute addition to the festival and the first complete screening even for film industry professionals, who had previously seen it only with crucial redactions. In a surreal touch, a 9-foot tall statue of the film's protagonist, Edward Snowden, mysteriously appeared in a park in New York earlier that day at the very moment--and apparently coincidentally--in which another principal character, journalist Glenn Greenwald, was there having breakfast.

Blog   |   USA

One year after CPJ's US report, little has changed between Obama and press

President Barack Obama speaks to journalists in Edgartown, Mass. in August. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

After a summer plagued by war and disease abroad and partisan fighting at home, it was not hard to fathom why President Barack Obama would yearn for a retreat. But from which of the mounting crises did the president hope to escape: Ukraine? Islamic State? Ebola? The Tea Party? None of the above, according to an interview with Obama on the Sunday television news program "Meet the Press," in early September. "What I'd love," he said, "is a vacation from the press."

Blog   |   USA

Holder resignation presents U.S. with opportunity for reform

Last week's announcement by Eric Holder that he will resign as Attorney General marks what will hopefully be the beginning of the end of a perplexingly dark period for press freedom in the U.S. As Holder seeks to solidify his legacy, in part based on important civil rights reforms that he helped realize, the aggression with which his Justice Department has gone after journalists and their sources bears considerable reflection. With the nomination of a new attorney general looming, now is the time for a national conversation about just what values the chief law enforcement officer of the United States should seek to uphold.

October 1, 2014 5:24 PM ET

Blog   |   USA

We must fight to preserve journalists' right to report in digital age

With journalists around the world being killed, kidnapped, and murdered in record numbers why is the Committee to Protect Journalists launching a campaign targeting U.S. government policies?

September 8, 2014 11:54 AM ET

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