Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Journalists?
Technology and economics have radically altered the face of journalism over the last decade or so. This change has redefined who journalists are; how they research, source, and report the news; and how we read it. Just as we previously worked to ensure that the structure of society protects and enables the vital work of the fourth estate, now we must ensure that the tools and technology our society relies on for the sharing and exchange of information continue to make the exercise of reporting safe for journalists and sources, and guarantee that journalism can readily be practiced without fear of censorship or reprisal.
Journalists’, sources’, and readers’ reliance on computer systems means that otherwise-esoteric technical and architectural decisions have profound implications for the future of news and information. What choices protect the press and provide for an informed populace, and what trade-offs must be made with other important interests in society?
Tom Lowenthal is a technologist and an activist who specializes in operational security and grassroots surveillance self-defense. He believes strongly in individual privacy & personal freedom and tries to avoid making eye contact with security cameras, which doesn’t work nearly as well as it sounds. As staff technologist at the Committee to Protect Journalists, Tom works to improve the state of usable liberation technologies and teach at-risk users about the steps they can take to be safe. He previously worked as a paranoia advocate at Mozilla, and the Tor Project’s coordinator. He holds a B.A. in political theory with computer science and technology policy from Princeton University.