Susan E. McGregor

Events, Past Events, Tips & Tutorials

Source Protection: Resources

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We are happy to report that many of the attendees of our October 11 workshop on Source Protection in the Information Age left with a good foundation in digital security, and trainers gained a better understanding of the challenges journalists face in becoming more secure. 
This was a collaboratively organized event that brought together organizations and individuals passionate about the safety and security of journalists. We remain committed to continue supporting this collaboration, and will be planning future workshops. 
If you weren’t able to attend the event, we recommend starting with this brief recap. In addition, we would like to share some resources that you may find useful for continuing to develop your skills and understandings in this area.
Enjoy!
The organizers
(Lorenzo, Susan, Sandy & George)

Online Resources

Workshop Resources

Online Library

Tactical Tech Collective

Tactical Tech’s Privacy & Expression program builds digital security awareness and skills of independent journalists, and anyone else who is concerned about the security risks and vulnerabilities of digital tools. On their website you can find manuals, short films, interactive exercises and well designed how-to’s. 

Upcoming Privacy & Security Events

October 20 | 6:30pm | Tracked Online:  How its done and how you can protect yourself
Techno-Activism 3rd Mondays (TA3M) is a community-run monthly meetup that happens in 21 cities throughout the world. It is a good place to meet and learn from individuals that work on anti-surveillance and anti-censorship issues. The October edition of NYC TA3M will feature former product lead of Ghostery who will explain how 3rd parties track you online, what information they collect, and what you can do to protect yourself. If you would like to be alerted of upcoming TA3m events, contact Sandra Ordonez @ sandraordonez@openitp.org
RSVP: 

Circumvention Tech Festival

The Circumvention Tech Festival will occur on March 1-6 in Valencia, Spain. The festival gathers the community fighting censorship and surveillance for a week of conferences, workshops, hackathons, and social gatherings, featuring many of the Internet Freedom community’s flagship events. This includes a full day of journo security events, which will be conducted both in English and Spanish. This is a great opportunity to meet the digital security pioneers. 
RSVP: 

 

Announcements, Events, Past Events, Research

Digital Security and Source Protection For Journalists: Research by Susan McGregor

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The law and technologies that govern the functioning of today’s digital communication systems have dramatically affected journalists’ ability to protect their sources.  This paper offers an overview of how these legal and technical systems developed, and how their intersection exposes all digital communications – not just those of journalists and their sources – to scrutiny. Strategies for reducing this exposure are explored, along with recommendations for individuals and organizations about how to address this pervasive issue.

 

DOWNLOAD THE PDF

GitBookCover

 

 

 



Order a (bound) printed copy.

Comments, questions & contributions are welcome on the version-controlled text, available as a GitBook here:

http://susanemcg.gitbooks.io/digital-security-for-journalists/

DIGITAL SECURITY AND SOURCE PROTECTION FOR JOURNALISTS

Preamble

Digital Security for Journalists A 21st Century Imperative

The Law: Security and Privacy in Context

The Technology: Understanding the Infrastructure of Digital Communications

The Strategies: Understanding the Infrastructure of Digital Communications

Looking Ahead

Footnotes

 

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / Browser Topic Reader

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Browser Topic Reader

Noura Farra, Philip Liou, Joseph Taiwo Orilogbon

BrowserReaderPromo

One way to increase engagement with news articles is to provide users with visual feedback about their favourite news topics and reading habits.  Currently, users spend a lot of time online reading news articles about various topics which can change from week to week. However, they rarely have a convenient and accurate means of aggregating statistics which can enable them to understand their own reading tastes and trends.

By providing analytics to users about their news consumption trends, our tool provides feedback that can alter news consumption positively. For example, a user might realize she is spending too much time reading about “Lindsay Lohan drug addiction” and that she should spend more time reading about other “worldly” events, such as “presidential election 2016”. By providing feedback on reading habits, the proposed tool would increase user engagement with news articles.

The proposed tool we developed is a Chrome browser extension which visualizes a user’s top consumed news topics based on her browsing history. It shows users the breakdown of types of news stories on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and allow them to keep track of their news interests, as well as how they change over time. The extension analyzes news articles based on URL history from the browser and presents a summary of the most popular topics for the selected period, in the form of two types of visualizations: a stacked area chart showing evolution of trends over time, and a Treemap which shows the importance of different news topics to users, based on distribution of keywords. The user has the ability to show and hide topics, as well as zoom in on different topics in the Treemap. Finally, we also show the user links to example articles from each topic.

 

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / IRIS

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Iris: Visualizing Geopolitical Sentiment 

Sahil Ansari, Shensi Ding, Robert KuykendallBo Xu

IRISPromoIRIS is a web application that provides a map of global news of positive or negative sentiment. Users can search for top recent news by country or word phrases and visualize its sentimental impact on foreign relations. IRIS was inspired by NewsStand, a research application which extracts location information from news stories and orients them on a zoomable map.
We envision IRIS being used for education and exploration of current events. News readers would be able to broaden their understanding of issues by looking into specific countries as well as countries connected by sentiment. Ideally, users exploring the map would feel a sense of serendipity as visually relationships pop leading to further exploration.

 

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / InfoScribe

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InfoScribe: Unlock the Stories Trapped in PDFs

Aram Chung, Madeline Ross

InfoScribePromoInfoScribe helps investigative journalists unlock the stories trapped in PDF’s. Specifically, InfoScribe is a generalized, web-based crowd-sourcing document transcription platform that invites the public to participate in the journalistic process by transcribing specified data fields from documents. What does that mean in plain English? We are building a platform where journalists can upload image-based documents (such as PDFs) and a community transcribes those documents.

Despite the exponential increase of digital data today, newsrooms aren’t getting any larger and OCR technology isn’t advancing fast enough. Though on its surface greater availability of digital public records should be a boon to investigative journalism, the reality is that these records are often published as unstructured, image-based documents, or without essential metadata.

While providing journalists with access to data sources that would otherwise be beyond their reach, InfoScribe seeks to cultivate meaningful, long-term personal investment in the journalistic process by giving transcribers access to the journalists who are doing work they care about, as well as publication credit for their contribution. We want to invite community participation to increase the transparency of, and the public’s confidence in, the journalistic process.

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

 

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / The Land

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The Land: Covering Religion in Israel and Palestine

Indrani BasuJihii JollyKali KotoskiSaman MalikLisa MalykhinaTeboho (Poppie) MphuthingEvan Simko-BednarskiHarry Stevens

TheLandPromo“The Land” is an online platform showcasing the print and multimedia works of the Covering Religion class of 2014. As part of the seminar, the class covered a variety of religious communities in New York, and then traveled to Israel and Palestine for an 8-day reporting trip. Our deadline stories and features (yet to be published) integrate print with multimedia elements, including photographs, audio and video stories.

 

In line with current media trends, we chose an image driven design for our main online platform, supplemented by a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (embedded on our website). In addition to driving traffic to our site, our concentrated social media effort attracted the attention of local journalists and contacts, bolstering our reporting efforts in the Holy land. An Al-Jazeera reporter based in Palestine reached out to us over Twitter, and several students were able to coordinate a meeting and tour Ramallah, an outing not originally on the itinerary.

 

While traveling abroad, the editorial and web teams had nightly deadlines to publish Daily Dispatches and Photos of the Day. We operated on a tight schedule with a collaborative editorial vibe you’d see in any newsroom. But instead of meeting in a conference room, our discussions took place in the back of the tour bus, in cafes in Nazareth and in the old city courtyard in Jerusalem.

 

We believe our approach to building the site was especially innovative because we designed it to be a real-time portfolio of sorts, to ensure that despite the time restraints we we reporting under, our viewers could enjoy the content (which dealt with dense, historically significant contexts) at an appropriate and enjoyable pace. Thus, we aimed to combine on-the-ground reporting and time-sensitive journalism with the slow, visually immersive design of a photographer’s portfolio.

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / Dispatch

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Dispatch: Secure, Intuitive Mobile Communication and Instant Publishing

Students: Kanak Biscuitwala / Stanford CS, Willem Bult / Stanford CS, Mathias Lécuyer / Columbia CS, T.J. Purtell / Stanford CS, Madeline Ross / Columbia Journalism

Advisers: Augustin Chaintreau / Columbia CS, Chris Haseman / Tumblr, Monica Lam / Stanford CS, Susan McGregor / Columbia Journalism

DispatchPromo

Journalists, both citizen and professional, have an abundance of options when it comes to digital communication and publishing. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have made it easier than ever to communicate regardless of the size of the audience. However, with this convenience come significant risks. Even in the United States, cloud service providers may be required to divulge communication records without consent from the senders or recipients; traditional journalist-source protection does not apply. Furthermore, as recent events have demonstrated, governments have been more than willing to fully block access to one or more of these services, or to the entire Internet, in order to censor citizens.
Fundamentally, developing and releasing technically sound platforms as alternatives to traditional cloud-based services is insufficient to guarantee adoption of those platforms. Any candidate platform also needs to be intuitive enough to be usable as the communication and publishing platform of choice for a reporter even when the added internal technology is unnecessary. Then, when sensitive situations arise, there is no added overhead or risk in continuing to use the same platform. Providing an application that is both intuitive from a usability standpoint and robust from a technical standpoint is the high-level goal of the Dispatch project.
Dispatch is a collaborative effort between computer scientists and journalists at Stanford University, Columbia University, and Tumblr to build a highly usable mobile platform that is also privacy-preserving and disconnection-resilient. Dispatch supports end-to-end encryption based on pseudonyms with a novel, painless key exchange approach called Identity-Based Cryptography. Additionally, Dispatch provides instant collaborative publishing to popular platforms like Tumblr. To enable disconnection tolerance, Dispatch introduces a new protocol called sneakernet. As the name suggests, the Dispatch sneakernet allows users to transmit encrypted messages person-to-person, using Bluetooth as the communication channel.
The Dispatch team conducted an experiment with an initial version of the application during the 2012 United States Election Day in New York. All captured content was automatically published to a shared Tumblr blog, producing a crowdsourced collection of high-quality micro-posts and images. Since then, prototype versions of the application have been developed and released on the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android. Dispatch is a recipient of a Magic Grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

 

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / QUEER

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QUEER – The Gender and Sexuality of a New Generation

Ainara Tiefenthäler

QUEERPromo“QUEER” explores the gender identities and sexualities of radically liberal Millennials. The video is both disruptive in content and form. Instead of following a linear storyline, “QUEER” creates a space for its characters to question traditional concepts of gender and sexuality, and provides a thriving ground for its viewers to sow new ideas. The short doc uses animation instead of b-roll and breaks one of journalism’s most sacred rules: it includes the journalist’s personal voice and experience.

 

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / A Folk Way

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A Folk Way

Renny GrinshpanSean Ryon

FolkWayPromo3

“A Folk Way” looks at the conventional NYC cultural topic of folk music from a modern perspective. The folk music of 1960s Greenwich Village is considered lost – and folk music itself no longer has a fixed definition. Most people today understand it simply as music played with acoustic instruments.

 

Our video redefines folk music as a diverse form of music – and the form of folk popular in the 1960s – as alive and flourishing in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Our video gives the music’s talented practitioners their first major platform for extending their music to a wider audience.

 

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

Innovation Showcase

Innovation Showcase 2014 / Conversations in Journalism

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Conversations in Journalism

@CJSWomeninMedia

CIJPromoColumbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s first ever student-led conference Conversations in Journalism 2014 took place on Saturday April 5, 2014 in New York City. The event was a day of women-led discussions on the craft, technology, and prospects of journalism.

Conversations in Journalism 2014, presented by Columbia Journalism School Women in Media, provided a unique opportunity for journalism students, alumni, and professionals to hear from leaders and innovators with a wide range of experience and engage in discussions on the pressing topics facing the industry today. The conference highlighted female professionals who have put theory into practice to achieve continued success throughout their careers. They shared their professional and personal journeys with conference attendees, provided a diversity of thoughts and opinions on how to be an effective leader and take action to realize one’s career and personal goals.

Networking opportunities at the conference allowed participants to build relationships that can lead to the sharing of the best practices in today’s new media climate. By engaging in active discussion and hearing from industry experts on topics ranging from diversity and discrimination, to data, disruption and innovation, conference attendees had the opportunity to reflect on their own ambitions and plot their own futures.

 

INNOVATION SHOWCASE 2014 • MAY 12TH & 13TH, 6PM – 8PM • COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL