Security

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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.

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The west wing of the White House in July. The Obama administration is debating whether to support stronger encryption. (Geoffrey King/CPJ)

Has White House finally got the message about strong encryption? Welcome shift seen in speeches and policy memo

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.

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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…

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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)

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

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…

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

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

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…

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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)

In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies

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…

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A scene from Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary 'The Look of Silence.' (Courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media)

Increased risks for filmmakers and sources in documentaries’ Golden Age

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…

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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…

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CPJ
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)

Securing the newsroom: CPJ, journalists, and technologists commit

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.

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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)

UN report promotes encryption as fundamental and protected right

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…

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