Feb 5: Reporting in an Age of Eavesdropping

A discussion with Trevor Timm, Jillian C. York and Cyrus Farivar on the new challenges journalists face to report news and protect whistleblowers.

Moderated by Jeremy Rue with introductory remarks by Dean Edward Wasserman.


Reporters are steadily losing their ability to protect sources in this digital world. As recent revelations demonstrate, eavesdropping by government entities is pervasive. We're not just talking tapped phone calls anymore. Imagine if every e-mail you send could be read by a third party, every Skype call intercepted, the location of cellphones detected — even the camera on a laptop surreptitiously activated.

What practical steps can journalists take to ensure their communications are private? What threats should they protect against? Join us for a discussion with three distinguished experts at the intersection of journalism and cybersecurity.

TREVOR TIMM is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, Harvard Law and Policy Review, Politico, PBS MediaShift and Salon. Trevor formerly worked as an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Before that, he helped the longtime General Counsel of The New York Times, James Goodale, write a book on the Pentagon Papers and the First Amendment. In 2013, he received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for journalism. His PGP encryption fingerprint is 0444 5561 515C BDAE D2BB D47D 8BBC C9D2 6701 402B.

JILLIAN C. YORK is the Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Her work is at the intersection of technology and policy, with a focus on the Arab world. She is a frequent public speaker and has written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Al Jazeera, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, and CNN. With Katherine Maher, she has a regular web show, Interrobang‽, hosted on Bloggingheads.tv. Her PGP encryption fingerprint is D400 E9D4 3831 F185 69D1 E9AF 66A4 1C35 8ED3 8319.

CYRUS FARIVAR [suh-ROOS] is the Senior Business Editor at Ars Technica, and is also an author and radio producer. His book, The Internet of Elsewhere – about the history and effects of the Internet on different countries around the world, including Senegal, Iran, Estonia and South Korea – was published by Rutgers University Press in April 2011. He previously was the Sci-Tech Editor, and host of "Spectrum" at Deutsche Welle English, Germany's international broadcaster. He has also reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, The Economist, Wired, The New York Times and many others. He’s also survived three VfDs on Wikipedia. However, on a 4th VfD attempt in February 2007, he was, in fact, deleted. He’s still waiting for someone to add him back. His PGP encryption fingerprint is BCD0 CEC6 E6FB 971E 26DC 0A36 8A23 10AF 67A6 3251.

JEREMY RUE is a lecturer of digital media at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He has taught at the school since 2007 starting out as a multimedia instructor for the Knight Digital Media Center and now specializes in teaching classes on coding and programming for journalists. A technical editor for several textbooks on Adobe Flash and Adobe Dreamweaver, he previously worked as a multimedia journalist for the Oakland Tribune, a photojournalist for The Fresno Bee and print reporter for Pulitzer newspapers. In 2007 he received UC Berkeley’s Dorothea Lange Fellowship for his photo documentary work on migrant farm workers in the California Central Valley. His PGP encryption fingerprint is A2F8 9A6A EA47 1319 7465 69E4 BEE1 A29D 00CE 40C7.

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