CPJ calls on U.N. to protect use of encryption for journalists

By Geoffrey King/Internet Advocacy Coordinator on February 18, 2015 5:47 PM ET

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.

The joint letter, addressed to Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye, explained why encryption and anonymity are needed by journalists; how encryption policies developed by companies and governments have far-reaching consequences; why the subversion of encryption standards harms journalism; and why the criminalization of protecting the right to private communication and association must not be allowed.

The Special Rapporteur, who has been collecting comments on the use of encryption, is expected to present a report based on the information received by his office to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June.

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.






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