Access Now Blog
Earlier this week, two foreign journalists for Vice working in southeastern Turkey were arrested, raising concerns about the journalists’ safety and security. In a dark reminder of the “Crypto Wars” of the 1990s, a Turkish official stated yesterday that the main reason that these journalists were detained is that they use encryption. This morning, the news surfaced that the journalists have been released and are free to leave the country, although the charges against them have not been dropped. A local translator who had been working with them remains in custody.
This incident raises serious issues for digital rights and digital security, and could cause a powerful chilling effect for freedom of expression — not just in Turkey, but in other conflict-prone regions around the world.
…3 September 2015
A United Nations board of security experts representing 20 governments has released a report critical to the future of the internet. This iterative report aims to identify areas of consensus and prevent conflict between nation states. The report fails to mention encryption, and includes underwhelming statements about rights online. However, it does help to establish boundaries for proper state behavior that are critical to maintaining a secure and free internet.
…31 August 2015
Last week, Twitter shut down a tool that helps people hold politicians accountable in 29 countries around the world. The Netherlands-based civil society group Open State Foundation created Politwoops, which scans the Twitter accounts of politicians for tweets they’ve deleted. Deleted tweets can provide insight to the viewpoints of public officials, and journalists have been using Politwoops to keep representatives accountable for what they say publicly. This is an especially disappointing decision because Twitter has been a champion of transparency and free expression for some time. …28 August 2015