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[liberationtech] Online Journalists on the Frontlines

Asher Wolf asherwolf at cryptoparty.org
Fri Oct 12 17:47:44 PDT 2012


Hi Frank,

Just a thought - would your group be interested in hosting CryptoParties
for journalists?

Regards,

Asher Wolf.

On 13/10/12 7:07 AM, frank at journalistsecurity.net wrote:
> This is a piece relevant for this group. As always, I'd welcome any thoughts, 
> comments, complaints...
> 
> Every year, for decades, journalists from print, radio, or television media have 
> dominated the ranks of those targeted for murder or otherwise killed on the 
> job--every year, that is, until 2008, when a new era began. The same year that 
> Facebook gained 100 million users 
> <https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=28111272130>and Twitter began seeing 
> exponential growth <http://mashable.com/2009/01/09/twitter-growth-2008/>, online 
> journalists around the world began getting killed and imprisoned at rates never 
> before seen. Today, more than one-third of all journalists being killed, and 
> almost half of all journalists being jailed, were working online when they were 
> targeted.
> 
> http://www.cpj.org/security/2012/10/finding-common-cause-from-first-online-journalist.php 
> 
> 
> 
>   *Finding common cause from first online journalist murder*
> 
> By Frank Smyth/Senior Adviser for Journalist Security 
> <http://www.cpj.org/blog/author/frank-smyth>
> Georgy Gongadze, shown here the summer of 2000, was the first online journalist 
> killed in retaliation for his work. (AFP/Dima Gavrish)
> Georgy Gongadze, shown here the summer of 2000, was the first online journalist 
> killed in retaliation for his work. (AFP/Dima Gavrish)
> The first online journalist killed for his work disappeared one night 12 years 
> ago in the Ukraine. Georgy Gongadze, 31, left a colleague's house to return to 
> his home with his wife and two young children. He never arrived. Seven weeks 
> later, a farmer, a few hours' drive away, discovered the journalist's headless 
> corpse <http://www.cpj.org/killed/2000/georgy-gongadze.php>.
> Gongadze edited the website /Ukrainska Pravda/ and ran stories about corruption 
> and cronyism like no one else in the nation's state-dominated print and 
> broadcast media. Later, the country's then-president was implicated in an 
> audiotape in which he was allegedly heard speaking to aides about the need for 
> Gongadze's murder.
> The latest online journalist to die in retaliation for his work was executed 
> last month in Syria. Government soldiers killed Abdel Karim al-Oqda, 27, and two 
> of his friends before setting fire to the journalist's house. Al-Oqda was 
> preparing <http://www.cpj.org/killed/2012/abdel-karim-al-oqda.php> for a day's 
> work when the soldiers arrived at his home in the city of Hama. He was a 
> cameraman for the Shaam News Network, a Damascus-based citizen news organization 
> that has posted tens of thousands of videos on its website as well as on 
> YouTube, much of which have also run on international news outlets including 
> Al-Jazeera and the BBC.
> Every year, for decades, journalists from print, radio, or television media have 
> dominated the ranks of those targeted for murder or otherwise killed on the 
> job--every year, that is, until 2008, when a new era began. The same year that 
> Facebook gained 100 million users 
> <https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=28111272130> and Twitter began seeing 
> exponential growth <http://mashable.com/2009/01/09/twitter-growth-2008/>, online 
> journalists around the world began getting killed and imprisoned at rates never 
> before seen. Today, more than one-third of all journalists being killed, and 
> almost half of all journalists being jailed, were working online when they were 
> targeted.
> Through the 2000s, anywhere from 24 to 74 journalists were killed 
> <http://www.cpj.org/killed/> every year, according to CPJ research, but only one 
> or, at most, two online journalists were among them until 2008. Five online 
> journalists were killed that year, comprising 12 percent of all journalists 
> killed worldwide. CPJ research shows that last year, at least nine online 
> journalists were killed, but this year already, a record 17 online journalists 
> have been killed. If the trend continues, 2012 will mark the first year 
> <http://www.cpj.org/killed/2012/> that more than one out of three journalists 
> killed worldwide was working online.
> Online journalists are increasingly ending up behind bars as well. In 2007 
> <http://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/127-journalists-in-prison-as-of-december-1-2007.php>, 
> less than one out of three of all imprisoned journalists was working online when 
> he or she was arrested or simply led away. But the watershed came, again, in 
> 2008, when online journalists surpassed 
> <http://www.cpj.org/reports/2008/12/cpjs-2008-prison-census-online-and-in-jail.php>print 
> and online journalists for the first time as the largest single category of 
> journalists behind bars. Since then, online journalists have remained the 
> largest group of journalists in jail, comprising 45 to 50 percent 
> <http://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/2011.php> of all journalists imprisoned worldwide.
> But the numbers tell only part of the story. Like with Gongadze and al-Oqda, 
> there is a face and a life and a world of loved ones behind every imprisonment 
> or killing.
> Last month, I spoke about online journalists at risk with my colleague Danny 
> O'Brien, CPJ's Internet advocacy coordinator, at the Online News Association 
> panel 
> <http://ona2012.sched.org/event/bd4d4437860ee777b1ab07ea7fc45317#.UHgY9ml27WE> 
> in San Francisco. One of the points I made was that most journalists who have 
> been killed on the job--no matter their medium--have been murdered, while the 
> rate of impunity <http://www.cpj.org/killed/murdered.php>--or the degree to 
> which the killers get away with murder--has risen from nearly nine out of 10 
> cases over the past 20 years to more than nine of 10 cases since 2008.
> During the panel, another colleague, Rosental Alves 
> <https://twitter.com/Rosental>, a former top Brazilian journalist who today has 
> no less than 13,271 Twitter followers online, talked about the need to create "a 
> culture of security" to help train journalists--no matter their medium--on how 
> to protect themselves in the face of myriad and evolving threats from violence 
> to malware 
> <http://www.cpj.org/internet/2012/08/dear-cpj-some-malware-from-your-friend.php> 
> attacks.
> There has been partial justice in Gongadze's murder. In 2008, three police 
> officers were convicted and sentenced in connection with the journalist's 
> abduction and murder, and in August 2011, Aleksei Pukach, a former Ukrainian 
> general with the nation's Interior Ministry, confessed in a closed court trial 
> <http://www.cpj.org/2011/08/gongadze-suspect-admits-to-killing-implicates-kuch.php> 
> that he had murdered Gongadze at the behest of then-President Leonid Kuchma and 
> other top officials, according to interviews with lawyers for the Gongadze 
> family who were allowed to attend the proceedings.
> But Pukach's ongoing trial has been marred by irregularities 
> <http://www.cpj.org/2011/03/cpj-concerned-by-irregularities-in-ukraines-gongad.php>, 
> delays, and secrecy 
> <http://www.cpj.org/2011/08/gongadze-murder-suspects-trial-should-be-open-to-p.php>. 
> And though authorities indicted Kuchma in 2011, they dropped 
> <http://www.cpj.org/2011/12/ukraine-must-prosecute-kuchma-in-gongadze-murder.php> the 
> charges against him eight months later. He has never faced trial.
> The first murder of an online journalist 12 years ago should alarm all reporters 
> everywhere. And the threat of retaliation for critical work, the possibility of 
> violence, and the likelihood of impunity should bring journalists of all kinds 
> together, whether or not they work online.
> Frank Smyth is CPJ's senior adviser for journalist security. He has reported on 
> armed conflicts, organized crime, and human rights from nations including El 
> Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, 
> Jordan, and Iraq. Follow him on Twitter @JournoSecurity 
> <https://twitter.com/#!/JournoSecurity>.
> 
> 
>         *Tags:*
> 
>   * Abdel Karim al-Oqda <http://www.cpj.org/tags/abdel-karim-al-oqda>,
>   * Aleksei Pukach <http://www.cpj.org/tags/aleksei-pukach>,
>   * Blogger <http://www.cpj.org/tags/blogger>,
>   * Facebook <http://www.cpj.org/tags/facebook>,
>   * Georgy Gongadze <http://www.cpj.org/tags/georgy-gongadze>,
>   * Impunity <http://www.cpj.org/tags/impunity>,
>   * Internet <http://www.cpj.org/tags/internet>,
>   * Killed <http://www.cpj.org/tags/killed>,
>   * Leonid Kuchma <http://www.cpj.org/tags/leonid-kuchma>,
>   * Social Media <http://www.cpj.org/tags/social-media>,
>   * Twitter <http://www.cpj.org/tags/twitter>,
>   * Ukrainska Pravda <http://www.cpj.org/tags/ukrainska-pravda>
> 
> October 12, 2012 2:36 PM ET | Permalink 
> <http://www.cpj.org/security/2012/10/finding-common-cause-from-first-online-journalist.php> 
> | Comments (0) 
> <http://www.cpj.org/security/2012/10/finding-common-cause-from-first-online-journalist.php#comments>
> 
> 
> Frank Smyth
> Executive Director
> Global Journalist Security
> frank at journalistsecurity.net <mailto:frank at journalistsecurity.net>
> Tel.  + 1 202 244 0717
> Cell  + 1 202 352 1736
> Twitter:  @JournoSecurity
> Website: www.journalistsecurity.net <http://www.journalistsecurity.net>
> PGP Public Key <http://www.journalistsecurity.net/franks-pgp-public-key>
> 
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