Tom Lowenthal

A strong believer in individual privacy and personal freedom, Staff Technologist Tom Lowenthal is CPJ’s resident expert in operational security and surveillance self-defense. He is also a freelance journalist on security and tech policy matters. The fingerprint of his GPG public key is 1ADE 9951 1A97 95FA 3557 53DC 51E7 1B75 4A09 B187. Follow him on Twitter @flamsmark.

CPJ Blog

Video: Protecting journalism (not just journalists) takes tech that's safe for everyone

August 3, 2016 1:44 PM ET

On July 23, I gave a presentation as part of the HOPE XI hacker conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. My talk, entitled "Won't Somebody Please Think of the Journalists?" described the challenges of protecting journalists in a world where journalism is no longer conducted only...

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How SecureDrop helps CPJ protect journalists

May 12, 2016 7:00 AM ET

CPJ is proud to announce our instance of SecureDrop, the anonymous submission system engineered to resist even nation-state surveillance. In a time of unprecedented, technologically-mediated threats to journalism both online and offline, CPJ's adoption of this state-of-the-art system will help us protect journalists who need help the most. There...

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Status update: Facebook users now have access to PGP encryption

June 1, 2015 11:18 AM ET

Today Facebook announced on its blog a new set of features adding support for the PGP email encryption system. The changes allow users to post their public email encryption key to their Facebook profile, inviting others to encrypt future emails. In a move that significantly bolsters security, it is also...

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China's Great Cannon: New weapon to suppress free speech online

April 21, 2015 6:12 PM ET

China, rated as the eighth most censored country in the world, in a report released by CPJ today, has long had a strong line of defense against free speech online. Its Golden Shield Project, launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 1998, relies on a combination of technology...

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When it comes to Great Firewall attacks, HTTPS is greatest defense

April 8, 2015 2:03 PM ET

The power of HTTPS to protect has been brought into sharp focus by a series of attacks against software collaboration site GitHub. These attacks consistently failed because of the site's universal use of HTTPS. Most recently, GitHub reported a blistering series of distributed denial of service attacks in March,...

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China's CNNIC issues false certificates in serious breach of crypto trust

March 31, 2015 6:02 PM ET

In a major breach of public trust and confidence, the Chinese digital certificate authority China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) certified false credentials for numerous domains, including several owned by Google. The deliberate breach had the potential to seriously endanger vulnerable users, such as journalists communicating with sources. The...

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Yahoo! End-to-End email preview promises greater protection for journalists

March 30, 2015 5:00 PM ET

Good news for journalists wanting added protection from surveillance. Yahoo! has announced a technical preview of its email security tool End-to-End, which it has been developing in collaboration with Google. This is another milestone in the tech companies' efforts to protect users not just from outsiders, but also from the...

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China doubles down on counterproductive censorship

January 28, 2015 5:15 PM ET

In a move unlikely to surprise those who access the Internet from mainland China, the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently blocked several popular tools used to bypass the "Great Firewall" national Internet censorship system. Citing the need to protect "cyberspace sovereignty" and to "maintain cyber security and...

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How Facebook's Tor hidden service improves safety for journalists

November 5, 2014 5:46 PM ET

Facebook announced on October 31 that it has made it easier and safer for users to gain access to its social network by using a dedicated Tor hidden service at https://facebookcorewwwi.onion. A dedicated hidden service access point is a powerful move to protect journalists and anyone else who uses Tor...

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Simple steps to protect journalists and sources from eavesdroppers

October 16, 2014 10:23 AM ET

Journalists are among those most likely to face technical attempts at attack and interception. Reporting is based on discussions with sources who may want to remain out of the limelight, and news sites attract extensive readership, making them a desirable target for potential attackers. But there are simple steps to...

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