“Despite reports of widespread interception of communications by the UK government, and revelations that police were using surveillance powers to access journalists’ communications data to identify sources, regional newspaper journalists show few signs of adapting source protection and information security practices to reflect new legal and technological threats, and there is widespread ignorance of what their employers are doing to protect networked systems of production. This paper argues that the “reactive” approach to source protection that seeks to build a legal defence if required, is no longer adequate in the context of workforce monitoring, and that publishers need to update their policies and practice to address ongoing change in the environment for journalists and sources.”
What a pleasant surprise to visit a profile page on The Guardian website and see a big, prominent link to the member of staff’s public key. Is this routine? It seems it is: an advanced search for profile pages mentioning “public key” brings up over 1000 results. Continue reading →
In a guest post for OJB, Christian Mihr explains how German plans to allow surveillance of foreign journalists represent a threat to reporters all over the world.
There is perhaps no author more quoted when it comes to surveillance than George Orwell, and his book 1984. The recently proposed reforms to Germany‘s Foreign Intelligence Service, BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst), however, bear more resemblance to Orwell’s novel Animal Farm.
In the novel, farm animals drive their human masters away in hope of achieving democracy. But once the pigs of the farm seize power they become as tyrannical as the humans that came before them, proclaiming:
“All animals are equal – but some animals are more equal than others.”
Some journalists are more equal than others
Politicians are of course not pigs; however, this single principle of the pigs in Animal Farm seems to be the underlying assumption which led the German-ruling parties SPD and CDU/CSU (Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats and Christian Socialists) to draft the new BND law, proposed at the end of June to the German public.
In the law, those more equal than others are not pigs, but rather German journalists. Continue reading →
If you use an Android phone, the Chrome browser, or even just YouTube, you may at some point have been surprised by how much Google knows about you. If you haven’t, take a look at Google’s new My Activity feature.