This Christmas, encrypt your emails and make the haystack bigger

Why should journalists be interested in web security? You may not fear your social media accounts being hacked by propagandists, your email hacked by companies you write about, or your phone records being seen by police, but there is another good reason for adopting security measures.

“Anonymity loves company,” security researcher Ross Anderson reminded attendees at this month’s Logan Symposium on secrecy, surveillance and censorship. “You can only hide in a crowd.”

In other words, the more people who use encryption in their email, or other security measures, the less unusual it becomes.

And the more widespread these practices are, the harder it is for the contents of messages to be used to identify whistleblowers – whether that is with journalists, charities, or even whistleblowing services (remember that only the message is encrypted, not the identity of the sender or recipient).

So if you have some spare time over the festive period, why not get yourself set up with an email client like Thunderbird with a plugin like Enigmail, and get started.

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2 thoughts on “This Christmas, encrypt your emails and make the haystack bigger

  1. Pingback: Ethical Journalism Newsletter: December 23, 2014 - Ethical Journalism Network

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