USA

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   |   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 states, 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

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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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Reports   |   Bangladesh, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Iran, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, USA, Venezuela

Drawing the line: Cartoonists under threat

On January 7, two gunmen burst into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing eight journalists and bringing into focus the risks cartoonists face. But with the ability of their work to transcend borders and languages, and to simplify complex political situations, the threats faced by cartoonists around the world—who are being imprisoned, forced into hiding, threatened with legal action or killed—far exceed Islamic extremism. A Committee to Protect Journalists special report by Shawn W. Crispin

Statements   |   Internet, Pakistan, Security, USA

CPJ troubled by report US spied on Al-Jazeera journalist in Pakistan

New York, May 8, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply troubled by a report that the U.S. National Security Agency carried out intensive surveillance of Al Jazeera's Islamabad bureau chief, Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, based on suspicion that he was a member of Al-Qaeda. The Intercept reported today that the NSA's information supporting its claim appears to reflect the normal behavior of a journalist maintaining contact with sources.

Attacks on the Press   |   Canada, UK, USA

Surveillance forces journalists to think and act like spies

Graffiti attributed to the street artist Banksy is seen near the offices of Britain's eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, in Cheltenham, England, on April 16, 2014. (Reuters/Eddie Keogh)

Once upon a time, a journalist never gave up a confidential source. When someone comes forward, anonymously, to inform the public, it's better to risk time incarcerated than give them up. This ethical responsibility was also a practical and professional necessity. If you promise anonymity, you're obliged to deliver. If you can't keep your word, who will trust you in the future? Sources go elsewhere and stories pass you by.

Attacks on the Press   |   Spain, USA

Two continents, two courts, two approaches to privacy

Mario Costeja Gonzalez speaks on his mobile phone outside a court in Barakaldo, Spain, on June 25, 2013. As a result of a lawsuit he filed against Google, Internet companies can be made to remove irrelevant or excessive personal information from search engine results, Europe's top court ruled.  (Reuters/Vincent West)

At 3:20 a.m. on August 24, 2014, the strongest earthquake in a quarter-century rocked the San Francisco Bay Area, causing damage widely estimated at between $300 million and $1 billion.

Statements   |   China, Internet, Security, USA

UPDATE: Google, Mozilla revoke authority of CNNIC after breach of trust

San Francisco, April 2, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Google's plan to revoke the authority of root certificates belonging to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) following CNNIC's major breach of the trust placed in them to underpin global Internet security. Mozilla also said it will not trust any CNNIC certificates dated after April 1, and is considering further action.

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