August 3, 2016
On July 23rd, CPJ Staff Technologist Tom Lowenthal gave a presentation as part of the HOPE XI hacker conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. Tom's talk, entitled “Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Journalists‽” described the challenges of protecting journalists in a world where journalism is no longer conducted only by professionals. Tom exhorted the technologists and developers in attendance to build tools which account for the distinctive needs of journalism and which protect their users when they are engaged in acts of journalism.
When everyone has access to the tools of journalism, it is imperative not only to protect journalists themselves but also to ensure that acts of journalism can be performed safely and without fear of censorship or reprisal. As the technology necessary for committing acts of journalism becomes ever more-widely available, we must make sure that this technical infrastructure is responsive to the needs of journalism. When the media of mass-communication are available to all, it is impossible to know who will be performing acts of journalism tomorrow, or who could be their sources or whistle-blowers. We must therefore ensure that computers are trustworthy and communications tools are safe and private by default.
CPJ Staff Technologist Tom Lowenthal is committed to combating mass surveillance and championing the safety of the evolving fourth estate. Tom previously worked the Tor Project and on Mozilla's Privacy and Public Policy team, and is also a fellow at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. He's a big believer in individual privacy, self-determination, and practical usable tools. You can follow Tom on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/flamsmark