The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
Imagine that you are participating in a protest on a university campus. The campus police ask everyone to leave. Some protestors refuse to move, and suddenly they are doused with pepper spray by campus police. You pull out your cell phone and start recording, asking protestors to describe what happened. After some editing, you post the video to YouTube.
Lawmakers in Washington are again weighing in on who should and should not qualify as a journalist—and the outcome looks pretty grim for bloggers, freelancers, and other non-salaried journalists.
Next week, the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society (CIS) is hosting a conference titled The Future of Journalism: Unpacking the Rhetoric. The event is free and open to the public, and we have more than 150 people signed up to attend.
The conference opens with a talk by Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29th. Goodman will be signing copies of her books following the event.
On Friday, April 30th, there will be four panel debates. Each panel is designed to challenge a particular tenet of conventional wisdom about the future of news. Registration is required for this portion of the conference.
The entire event will be broadcast in a live webcast on the conference web site. Please visit http://blogs.law.stanford.edu/futureofnews/ for more information.
We hope you will join us!
It’s nothing new for media organizations to employ lofty rhetoric about the role of the press in democracy to advocate special legal privileges. Likewise, it’s nothing new for content creators to try to limit the speech rights of others in order to garner more profit. What is fairly new, however, is for the press to use language about the importance of the First Amendment to argue for a copyright policy that would explicitly limit free speech. In other words, in order to save the First Amendment, we have to limit the First Amendment. Irony is dead.
This week, Rupert Murdoch wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that exemplified this clever strategy. Aptly titled “Journalism and Freedom,” the article belittles the fair use doctrine and demands compensation for news content online, while going on to wax eloquent about the ideals of the Founding Fathers and the First Amendment. The problem is that the right he claims to value above all else, the freedom of speech, is precisely what prevents media companies like News Corp. from claiming ownership in the news. Facts cannot be owned, so while News Corp. can certainly prevent third parties from reproducing stories in full, it has no right to control the facts within those stories. This is not a peculiarity of copyright law; it is a protection of the First Amendment and an effort to create the informed citizenry Murdoch claims to cherish.
Protesters call attention to economic, environmental, racial, gender-based and other forms of injustice. For journalists covering political movements, reporting on protests is crucial, but these events come with unique security challenges. This quick guide will focus on how U.S. journalists can manage the security of their devices and reporting materials when covering protests. Digital security is only one consideration, alongside both physical threats and your rights as a citizen and journalist.
The lack of transparency around the processes of Google’s search engine has been a preoccupation among scholars since the company began. Long before Google expanded into self-driving cars, smartphones and ubiquitous email, the company was being asked to explain the principles and ideologies that determine how it presents information to us.
A rare and serious vulnerability in Apple's iOS operating system has been discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, which today published a report detailing its findings. It is the first known remote iOS vulnerability of its kind. Disturbingly, the company behind malware designed to exploit the security flaw may have also helped target an investigative journalist in Mexico in 2015, Citizen Lab said.
Once upon a time, a journalist never gave up a confidential source. When someone comes forward, anonymously, to inform the public, it's better to risk time incarcerated than give them up. This ethical responsibility was also a practical and professional necessity. If you promise anonymity, you're obliged to deliver. If you can't keep your word, who will trust you in the future? Sources go elsewhere and stories pass you by.
Good news for journalists wanting added protection from surveillance. Yahoo! hasannounced a technical preview of its email security tool End-to-End, which it has been developing in collaboration with Google. This is another milestone in the tech companies' efforts to protect users not just from outsiders, but also from the companies themselves.
"A report published Monday, ahead of the FCC's Thursday vote to repeal net neutrality, highlights the damage that repeal could have on local news.
The report, "Slowing Down The Presses: The Relationship Between Net Neutrality and Local News," comes out of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.
"“The links for Cabrera, the only word I can put on it is diabolical, as clever as they were evil,” said Geoffrey King, a lawyer and technology program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, a group that promotes press freedom worldwide."
""Building secure software is a highly challenging task, even for a world-class team such as Apple's," Riana Pfefferkorn, Cryptography Fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, told CPJ via Twitter. Government attempts to undermine security for law enforcement purposes only make the problem worse., she said.
"Geoffrey King, technology program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, said such policies could jeopardize the safety and careers of reporters and their sources, and set a bad example for more repressive states to use the policy as a cover to crack down on press freedoms.
“The practice of suspicionless searches of electronics is something that has serious implications for press freedom not only in the U.S. but around the world,” said Mr. King."
"A cybercrime report under discussion on Tuesday includes proposals to allow application blocking explicitly, said Pallero, which would increase the number of cases in Brazil.
The block may have impeded journalists' ability to perform their jobs, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
""Journalists in Brazil regularly rely on WhatsApp for their reporting," said CPJ Technology Program Coordinator Geoffrey King. "Blocking access to such a widely used platform is an overreach that violates the open nature of the Internet and disproportionally damages the free flow of information.""
"Geoffrey King, director of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Technology Program, said the AFP’s actions were “obviously outrageous”.
“This should not be happening. But it is the inevitable result of mandatory data retention and mass surveillance, which is neither necessary nor proportional to any threat,” King said. “It doesn’t line up with the values that we all adhere to, to good counter-terrorism strategy, and it certainly doesn’t line up with a free and open society where journalists can do their jobs.”"
"Whenever this period of publishing tumult subsides, is it possible that stability will emerge? That hope was invoked by panelist Andrew McLaughlin, a partner at the media startup “betaworks” who served as deputy chief technology officer to the United States from 2009 to 2011. It will not, he answered. “The real trick,” McLaughlin explained, “is not for publishers to seek protective zones within these platforms, but to build stuff,” as in their own technology."
""Spying on the press violates one of the central precepts of journalism: that reporters will be able to protect their sources, particularly in an environment as risky as Colombia, which historically has been one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the region," said Geoffrey King, CPJ's Internet advocacy coordinator, from New York. "The sentencing of Hurtado and Moreno sets an important precedent for leaders around the world who seek to snoop through journalists' records with impunity.""
""Security lapses like CNNIC's place journalists at elevated risk," said Geoffrey King, CPJ's Internet Advocacy program coordinator. "This decision by Google and Mozilla will help protect those most vulnerable to online attacks. We urge other software developers to follow suit.""
News and Inclusion: Journalism and the Politics of Diversity will focus on the role of journalism in multicultural societies. Scholars from Singapore, Finland, Australia, The Netherlands, Canada, England, and the United States, will examine, in the context of journalism, the question posed by political theorist Iris Marion Young: "What are the norms and conditions of democratic communication under circumstances of structural inequality and cultural difference?
The symposium is free and open to the public -- but, due to limited space, registration is required.
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.