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