‘Spy draft’ bill threatens press freedom

The Senate is dangerously close to passing a bill that would allow intelligence agencies to essentially “institute a spy draft” and order everyone from dentists to plumbers to surveil their patients and customers’ communications. The RISAA would also allow the government to order commercial landlords who rent space to media outlets, or contractors who service newsrooms, to help it spy on American journalists’ communications with foreign sources.

Stop this horrifying mass surveillance bill

The House has slipped a horrifying amendment into its bill extending intelligence agencies’ already expansive spying powers under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Anyone who values press freedom — or their own freedom — needs to tell their senators TODAY to VOTE NO on the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act, or RISAA, by calling 202-899-8938.

Apple warns iPhone users of targeted malware

On April 10, Apple sent users in 92 countries warning of mercenary malware attacks targeting the iPhone. The notification did not provide details about the identities of the attackers. According to TechCrunch, Apple warned, “This attack is likely targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do. Although it’s never possible to achieve absolute certainty when detecting such attacks, Apple has high confidence in this warning — please take it seriously.”

‘Imperative’ to pass PRESS Act

Veteran journalist Catherine Herridge threw her full support behind the PRESS Act, the federal bill to put an end to surveillance and subpoenas to force journalists to out their sources, during Congressional testimony on April 11, 2024.

Preparing for election-related security issues

Throughout this year, our digital security training team will share our thoughts on navigating security issues during the 2024 election season. Elections around the world experience distinct security issues that may change from year to year, but in the U.S. we look to 2020 for lessons on how to get ahead of likely issues, from surveillance of our sensitive communications to perennial phishing attacks and harassment for political reporting.

Stop arresting journalists

Just a few months into 2024, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has documented four arrests or detentions of journalists covering protests in New York, Tennessee, and California. These arrests violate journalists’ rights, and they undermine the right of the public to learn about newsworthy events happening in their communities. They also show the disturbing and stubborn persistence of a system of policing that either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about First Amendment rights.

Google to delete old Chrome Incognito data

Following a class-action lawsuit over Google’s handling of user data in its Chrome browser’s “Incognito” private browsing mode, the search company will expunge “billions of event-level data records that reflect class members’ private browsing activities” improperly collected before January 2024. It also updated its Incognito landing page to highlight that even Google can discern your activities in private browsing mode. Additionally, the company will be required to delete data that makes users’ private browsing data personally identifiable, such as IP addresses.

UK grants Assange another hearing

On Tuesday, the High Court in London granted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange another hearing on his extradition to the United States, averting — at least temporarily — a press freedom catastrophe. While we’re glad that Assange isn’t being immediately extradited, the threat to journalists from the Espionage Act charges against him remains.

DOJ sues Apple, spotlighting iMessage

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, claiming the company engages in monopolistic practices over the smartphone market, preventing competitors by degrading the experience of communicating with non-Apple users in its products. iMessage features prominently in the suit, with the DOJ alleging consumers are disincentivized to leave its “walled garden” and so miss out on unique features built into the iMessage protocol, including end-to-end encryption between Apple users.

‘National security’ claims don’t trump First Amendment

Most analyses of Monday’s Supreme Court argument in Murthy v. Missouri, the case about government pressure on social media content moderation, agree that the justices are likely to rule that the government can influence platforms’ moderation decisions. But when it comes to alleged threats to “national security,” some justices seemed willing to let the government go even further by coercing — or even requiring — takedowns.

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