CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Geoffrey King

San Francisco-based CPJ Internet Advocacy Coordinator Geoffrey King works to protect the digital rights of journalists worldwide. A constitutional lawyer by training, King also teaches courses on digital privacy law, as well as the intersection of media and social change, both at UC Berkeley. Follow him on Twitter at @CPJInternet. His public key fingerprint is 4749 357C E686 71B1 4C60 F149 9338 5A57 27FA 494C.

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, 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

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   |   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   |   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.

Blog   |   Internet, Security

Update: Journalists can still safely use TrueCrypt

Journalists who use the popular encryption tool TrueCrypt can relax. There is no evidence of any new or dangerous vulnerability in TrueCrypt, despite a recent scare over its integrity.

June 10, 2014 3:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Spain

EU 'right to be forgotten' ruling will corrupt history

Google has taken its first public steps to comply with a troubling ruling by the European Court of Justice establishing a so-called "right to be forgotten" throughout the European Union. The ruling, on May 13, requires that search companies consider individuals' demands to remove Internet links that reference them, and to give those requests priority over the public's broader information needs. The links may be required to be erased even if the content is truthful, lawfully published, and causes no prejudice to the individual. 

Blog   |   CPJ, Internet

Tom Lowenthal joins CPJ as first staff technologist

Journalism is increasingly mediated by the same digital tools to which we entrust the rest of our lives. In keeping with CPJ's mission to enable and protect journalists wherever they find themselves under threat, we are pleased to announce the hire of Tom Lowenthal, our first staff technologist.

May 7, 2014 10:22 AM ET

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