The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, recently called for outside comments on the protection of sources and whistleblowers around the world and will be presenting a report on the subject to the UN General Assembly in October 2015. Freedom of the Press Foundation submitted our comments to the Special Rapporteur yesterday, which you can read in full below.
It was great to read this Edward Snowden New York Times op-ed—great because the piece is as thoughtful and informative as you’d expect, and even better because it’s an example of Snowden’s continuing ability to raise awareness of the dangers of an unchecked surveillance state.
Today the Senate passed a version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill touted by its authors as surveillance reform that will end the NSA’s mass, suspicionless collection of Americans’ personal data. Given that parts of the Patriot Act expired on June 1st, and that the government is pretending the expiration is a “crisis” rather than an opportunity, President Obama is expected to sign the bill as soon as possible.
Former CIA director David Petraeus received his sentence today for the sweetheart plea deal he struck with the Justice Department after he was discovered to have leaked highly classified information to his biographer and lover Paula Broadwell. As was widely anticipated, the celebrated general received no jail time and instead got only two-years probation plus a $100,000 fine.
Along with dozens of other civil liberties organizations, Freedom of the Press Foundation has signed on to two letters strongly opposing the dangerous “cybersecurity” bills making their way through Congress and expected to be voted on sometime in the next week.
Today, we’re announcing the latest major release of SecureDrop, our open-source whistleblower submission system. SecureDrop 0.3 uses the same basic architecture found in 0.2, but contains numerous improvements focused on better usability for both journalists and sources, a radically simplified installation process, and an auto-updating procedure that allows us to deliver important fixes to all SecureDrop installations in a timely manner.
The Guardian published a shocking story a few weeks ago showing that in 2008 Britain’s spy agency GCHQ collected and stored the e-mails of some of the world’s biggest news organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and BBC.
Attorney General Holder raised some eyebrows yesterday when answering a question about his Justice Department’s notorious crackdown on leaks, and by extension the press, most notably saying this about its notorious pursuit of New York Times reporter James Risen, while claiming the DOJ did nothing wrong: