Drawing the line: Cartoonists under threat

While the danger faced by cartoonists is brought into focus by the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the threats far exceed Islamic extremism. A CPJ special report finds that as their work transcends borders and languages and simplifies complex political situations, cartoonists around the world are being imprisoned, forced into hiding, threatened with legal action or killed. In Malaysia, political cartoonist Zunar, pictured, could face decades in prison for his work.

Slideshow: Cartoonists share their work
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(AP/Joshua Paul)

Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

Save Crypto: CPJ joins call for Obama to back strong encryption

The Committee to Protect Journalists has signed a petition organized by digital rights groups Access and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, urging President Barack Obama to publicly commit the U.S. to a policy of supporting strong encryption. Since the Save Crypto petition's launch on September 29, it has gathered nearly 18,000 signatures, including about 30 from press freedom and digital rights groups.

October 2, 2015 5:12 PM ET


Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

Has White House finally got the message about strong encryption? Welcome shift seen in speeches and policy memo

The west wing of the White House in July. The Obama administration is debating whether to support stronger encryption. (Geoffrey King/CPJ)

Yesterday, during a panel on encryption policy hosted by Just Security, an online forum covering national security law and policy, top U.S. intelligence lawyer Robert S. Litt pressed the case for engineering backdoors in encryption without undermining computer security as a whole. As CPJ has documented, leading security and policy experts consider this impossible.

Statements   |   USA

Two U.S. journalists killed during live broadcast in Virginia

New York, August 26, 2015--Two journalists affiliated with the Virginia TV station WDBJ7 were killed early today during a live broadcast, according to news reports. Alison Parker, a reporter for the station, and Adam Ward, a photographer, were interviewing a woman about a shopping plaza in Moneta, a small community near Roanoke city, when they were shot by an unidentified gunman, news reports said. Police are still seeking the perpetrator.

August 26, 2015 10:14 AM ET


Blog   |   Syria, USA

Audio: James Foley on being a freelance war correspondent

In April 2012, Nicole Schilit, research associate in CPJ's Journalist Assistance program, interviewed James Foley about his experience working as a freelance journalist in conflict zones. The interview took place in New York between reporting trips to Libya and Syria. Foley was murdered in Syria in August 2014.

August 18, 2015 10:40 AM ET


Statements   |   USA

Two U.S. journalists charged months after being arrested in Ferguson

New York, August 11, 2015--Two U.S. journalists have been charged in Missouri with trespassing and interfering with a police officer nearly a year after they were detained by police in the city of Ferguson, according to news reports. Wesley Lowery, a reporter for The Washington Post, and Ryan J. Reilly, a reporter for the Huffington Post, were briefly detained in August 2014 while working out of a McDonald's restaurant in Ferguson to cover protests following the fatal shooting by police of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, according to news reports. If convicted, the two face a possible fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail, according to the county's municipal code.

Blog   |   Security, USA

In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies

A press briefing at the Pentagon in April. Worrying guidelines on how the military can categorize the press during conflict are contained in the Defense Department's Law of War Manual. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

The Pentagon has produced its first Department of Defense-wide Law of War Manual and the results are not encouraging for journalists who, the documents state, may be treated as "unprivileged belligerents." But the manual's justification for categorizing journalists this way is not based on any specific case, law or treaty. Instead, the relevant passages have footnotes referring to either other parts of the document or matters not germane to this legal assertion. And the language used to attempt to justify this categorization is weak at best.

Blog   |   Indonesia, Internet, Security, USA

Increased risks for filmmakers and sources in documentaries' Golden Age

A scene from Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary 'The Look of Silence.' (Courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media)

Joshua Oppenheimer travelled to New York for today's premiere of his documentary "The Look of Silence," but one place he won't travel is Indonesia, where he says his work on this and an earlier film puts him at risk. Earlier this week, Laura Poitras, the Academy Award-winning director of the documentary CITIZENFOUR, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government seeking information related to border interrogations to which she was subjected between 2006 and 2012. These two cases represent the increased and varied risks facing filmmakers and their sources in what many critics have dubbed the Golden Age of documentary film.

July 17, 2015 1:27 PM ET

Statements   |   USA

CPJ welcomes U.S. government's new hostage policy

New York, June 24, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the new U.S. policy announced today which states that families of American hostages seeking to negotiate with or pay ransom to the abductors will not be threatened with criminal prosecution. The White House will also create an office to work with the families of the hostages, according to news reports. U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a review of the policy following the murders in 2014 of kidnapped U.S. freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, news reports said.

Statements   |   USA

CPJ welcomes Facebook move to add PGP encryption features

San Francisco, June 1, 2015--Facebook today announced that it would offer users a field to post PGP encryption keys on their profiles, and that it will use the encryption standard to protect the contents of notification emails. The improvements were announced on the social network's security blog and will gradually be rolled out to all the site's users over the coming hours.

June 1, 2015 6:08 AM ET


Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

CPJ joins call urging White House to protect encryption for journalists

A wheel cipher invented by Thomas Jefferson and used to securely encode messages in the late 1700s. CPJ is calling on President Obama to ensure modern versions of encryption remain protected. (Jefferson Cipher Wheel by ideonexus is licensed under CC BY 3.0 US)

Journalists are safest when their devices are secure by default. That is why the Committee to Protect Journalists today joined a coalition of nearly 150 civil society organizations, companies, trade associations, security experts, and policy specialists in sending a joint letter to U.S. President Barack Obama. The letter urges the president to support the broad adoption of strong encryption and to reject any proposal that intentionally weakens the security of products made by U.S. companies.

May 19, 2015 12:31 PM ET


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