Panel: “Emerging Online Threats to Journalists” with Danny O’Brien of CPJ
While digital technology has opened doors for journalism, it has also presented new threats, from government censorship and surveillance to vigilante cyberattacks and everything in between.
At the upcoming IFEX General Meeting in Beirut, Danny O’Brien of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) will be leading a panel on this subject. Danny recently published a report on CPJ’s site entitled “The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors,” detailing ten very real examples of how online oppressors are censoring, surveilling, denying access to and using offline tactics to limit reporting. These ten examples are, unfortunately, only a fraction of the ways repressive regimes have found to target online journalists and bloggers.
And yet, there is hope: Danny’s panel will also focus on counteractions that can be taken to fight back against repressive measures. For example, censorship (blocking of websites, either long-term or just in time for an election or auspicious event) is a pervasive problem affecting potentially one-third of the world’s total Internet users. From Syria to Saudi Arabia, Thailand to Tunisia, Internet users are barred from accessing a range of websites, among them social networking sites and vital political opposition. But various tools exist for circumventing Internet filtering; in the panel, Danny will share his thoughts on which tools are best for each situation.
In a time when it seems that digital tools have made it possible for virtually everyone to participate in journalism, it becomes even more important to protect the freedom of the Internet.