CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views


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   |   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   |   Security, Turkey

Don't Forget Rasool: In international reporting, local journalists often suffer

When two journalists from VICE, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, were arrested with Iraqi journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool on August 28, a familiar scenario unfolded. A week later, Hanrahan and Pendlebury were released following a media flurry and worldwide attention. Still behind bars is Rasool, an experienced journalist and translator who had worked extensively in the Middle East for the Associated Press, Al-Jazeera, and VICE.

Blog   |   India, Security

Amid claims of police beatings during Gujarat clashes, India should step up press protection

A policeman uses a baton to disperse protesters in Gujarat on August 25. Journalists were among those injured as police broke up the crowds. (AP/Ajit Solanki)

Images of police forcibly suppressing protesters, such as the one above, are seen in many places around the world. Too frequently, journalists trying to cover these events find themselves caught in the crosshairs, with news crews beaten by police batons, exposed to teargas or hit by water cannon. From race riots in Ferguson in the U.S. to clashes in India, journalists covering unrest risk finding themselves injured in the violence.

Blog   |   Security, Syria

A year after James Foley and Steven Sotloff murders, more awareness of risks

A photograph of James Foley is seen during a memorial service in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan on August 24, 2014. (AP/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Journalists who regularly cover violence are considered a hard-boiled bunch. But a year ago this month, even the toughest were crying. There was no emotional body armor to deflect the horror of the beheading videos of freelancers James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and other Westerners held hostage in Syria by the self-styled Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or IS.

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 state, 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

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   |   CPJ, Internet, Security

Securing the newsroom: CPJ, journalists, and technologists commit

Jacob Weisberg, chairman of The Slate Group and a member of CPJ's board, left, speaks with BuzzFeed's Miriam Elder, center, and Global Voices' Sahar Habib Ghazi, right, about securing the newsroom. (CPJ/Geoffrey King)

It's second nature now for reporters rushing to a dangerous assignment to grab a helmet and vest. Physical security whether covering conflict or quakes is readily understood, if not always adequately implemented.

June 25, 2015 6:06 PM ET


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