CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Geoffrey King

San Francisco-based CPJ Technology Program 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 @CPJTechnology. His public key fingerprint is 4749 357C E686 71B1 4C60 F149 9338 5A57 27FA 494C.

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

Flaws discovered in TrueCrypt, but journalists still have options for encryption

Project Zero, a Google team that searches for bugs, has identified two flaws affecting the TrueCrypt disk encryption software program. While the flaws, which were found by computer security researcher James Forshaw, are not cryptographic--meaning they couldn't be used directly to decrypt a disk or device--they present potential problems for user security.

October 2, 2015 3:01 PM ET

Blog   |   France, Internet

CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France

A protester holds a placard which reads 'I know they tap my phones' during a rally against the proposed surveillance bill in France. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 30 other press freedom and digital rights groups in calling on the French government to reject a draft law on surveillance. The open letter, submitted yesterday to members of parliament, warns against giving authorities greater powers to spy on communications.

October 1, 2015 5:57 PM ET


Blog   |   Internet

CPJ backs Manila Principles to help protect Internet intermediaries

The Committee to Protect Journalists has signed on to the Manila Principles, a set of best practices launched at RightsCon 2015, a digital rights conference CPJ attended in the Philippines in March. With journalists facing increased risks, the principles offer a way to protect the platforms on which they rely.

September 23, 2015 10:35 AM 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.

Blog   |   Internet, Security

Hacking Team leak underscores complexity of regulating software

Among the 400 gigabytes of internal documents belonging to surveillance firm Hacking Team that were released online this week are details of the company's dealings with some of the most oppressive governments in the world. The revelations, which have generated alarm among privacy, security, and human rights advocates, have also fueled debate around the esoteric but important topic of government controls on the export of powerful software that can secretly infiltrate and seize control of targeted computers.

Blog   |   Internet, Security

UN report promotes encryption as fundamental and protected right

A meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye is due to present his report on encryption there on June 17. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

On Wednesday, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye will present his report on international legal protection for encryption and anonymity to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report is an important contribution to the security conversation at a time when some Western leaders are calling for ill-informed and impossible loopholes in technology--a trend that facilitates surveillance and tends to enable states that openly seek to repress journalists.

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


Blog   |   France, Internet

In blocking websites, France abandons role as guardian of free speech

A sign welcomes Bernard Cazeneuve to Facebook's offices in California. France's Interior Minister was in the U.S. in February to press technology companies for help in blocking content. (AFP/Susana Bates)

Attempts by the French government this week to use vague legislation to block five websites for "condoning terrorism" would be troubling anywhere, but it is especially tragic coming from the country that gave us the champion of free speech and tolerance, Voltaire.

March 19, 2015 10:32 AM ET


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