Features & Analysis

  

David Kaye on the Pegasus Project and why surveillance reform should reach beyond NSO Group and Israel

In 2020, then-United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye pressed Israeli firm NSO Group in a public letter for details about its human rights due diligence and assertions that Saudi Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi had not been targeted with its Pegasus spyware before his brutal 2018 murder. The group…

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Pegasus Project revelations show added layer of risk for corruption reporters

Exposing those who abuse power for personal gain is a dangerous activity. Nearly 300 journalists killed for their work since CPJ started keeping records in 1992 covered corruption, either as their primary beat, or one of several. The risk was reaffirmed this month with the release of the Pegasus Project, collaborative reporting by 17 global…

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Two Nigerian journalists respond to the government’s ongoing Twitter ban

More than a month after Nigeria’s federal government suspended access to Twitter, CPJ’s review of local accounts found at least some run by media outlets have gone silent. Twitter was inaccessible when CPJ tried to visit it from Nigeria in mid-July. However, after the ban, Nigerian outlet The Guardian reported a huge spike in searches…

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CPJ joins call for moratorium on surveillance technology targeting journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists this week joined more than 150 human rights groups and independent experts in calling on states to implement an immediate moratorium on the sale, transfer, and use of surveillance technology following revelations that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used to spy on journalists around the world. The Pegasus Project,…

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WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart: The spyware industry is undermining freedom

Will Cathcart is the chief executive of WhatsApp, the downloadable messaging app used by millions around the world as a primary means of communication. WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, meaning messages shared via the platform are, under normal circumstances, highly secure—a feature that has made it attractive for journalists, human rights defenders, and other vulnerable users,…

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Camila Acosta speaks from house arrest about covering Cuba’s historic protests

“I am not free, but at least I am out of the dungeons,” Camila Acosta told CPJ via messaging app after her release to house arrest on July 16 following a four-day detention for covering the recent protests in Cuba. Acosta, who is based in Havana, covered protests on July 11 for the Cuban independent…

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Journalist Azimjon Askarov is seen at a court in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on October 11, 2016. On Tuesday, the country’s Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of Askarov’s final appeal until April 7. (AP/Vladimir Voronin)

CPJ joins statement calling on Kyrgyz authorities to investigate death of journalist Azimjon Askarov

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined four other human rights and free expression organizations in a joint statement calling on Kyrgyzstan authorities to conduct an independent investigation into the death in prison of journalist Azimjon Askarov. The statement notes that authorities have failed to thoroughly and credibly investigate the circumstances of Askarov’s July 25,…

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Azerbaijani journalist Sevinj Vagifgizi was ‘astonished’ to learn of Pegasus spyware on phone

Azerbaijani authorities have long had a firm grip on the media by imprisoning, harassing, and persecuting journalists both at home and abroad as well as blocking their websites. Now authorities are alleged to have used a new tool in their quest to muzzle independent reporting: spyware. Several Azerbaijani journalists have been named in the collaborative…

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Investigative reporter Bradley Hope: Pegasus spyware revelations a ‘wake-up call for journalists’

Bradley Hope was in Abu Dhabi in 2009, the year the BlackBerry devices overheated. “If you put it next to your face it would almost burn,” he told CPJ in a phone interview. The BBC that year reported that a UAE telecom company had prompted local BlackBerry owners to install a rogue surveillance update disguised…

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‘Fear and anxiety’ rules among local journalists, Hong Kong Journalists Association finds

The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) found that authorities use the national security law to silence journalists, systematically limit the media’s ability to access to public databases, and force public and private broadcasters to minimize their political content and, in the case of at least one public broadcaster, spread government propaganda in its annual report,…

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