Tag Archives: privacy

Surveillance awareness: what we all need to know

arjen kamphuis






7.00pm, Thursday November 13th, upstairs in the St Aldates Tavern, St Aldates (opposite Oxford Town Hall)

Who can get access to what information about my personal and professional life, and the lives of those I interact with – and does it really matter? 

At our November branch meeting we invite members to think about the last question first. And we invite Arjen Kamphuis (pictured above), who co-authored the book on Information Security for Journalists (available free online), and does training in conjunction with the Centre for Investigative Journalism, to talk us through who could get access to our information and the abc of how we can protect ourselves.
Does it matter?
For our members involved in print, broadcast and online journalism, the answer is clear. If sources cannot trust us to protect them from the repercussions of talking to us, we will no longer be able find out about – much less report on – any stories that powerful organisations or individuals don’t want to be told.
But this is not just an issue for reporters. We all make assumptions about the security of what we have stored on our computers and remote servers, and we interact daily with others, on a personal and professional basis, on assumptions of trust and confidentiality that often fail to take into account the potential for other people to access those conversations.
At the same time our legislative protection is being undermined, for instance, by police abusing the 2000 RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) to get access to confidential information in a way that bypasses the requirement to go before a judge to demonstrate that such access can be justified in the public interest.
Our responsibility
Our opinions on the use and abuse of such powers may vary, but as media workers we all have a responsibility to be aware of how secure our information is, and ensure that we don’t inadvertently put other people, ourselves or our work in harms way by making assumptions about confidentiality or promises that we can’t keep.
If you are a member,  join us at the branch meeting, Thursday November 13th, to learn about how to safely receive, store and send information. If you are not a member, but work in media and would like to attend, contact the branch secretary at oxfordnuj@gmail.com or by Twitter on @oxfordnuj
Background info
You can see a report by James Murdock (with a ‘k’), editor of Off the Record and blogger for the Huffington Post, of a day long session led by Arjen Kamphuis in July, here.
Video clips from some compelling presentations made at the recent conference on Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Safeguarding Journalists and their sources, organised by the NUJ in conjunction with the IFJ and The Guardian, can be seen here. Definitely worth watching.



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