Controversy over Mozilla’s anti-data broker service

We recently shared news of Mozilla’s partnership with data removal service Onerep. Through a service it calls Mozilla Monitor Plus, Onerep is designed to automatically scan for personal information on data broker websites. But journalist Brian Krebs has found evidence that the founder of Onerep, purveyor of anti-data broker services, himself created dozens of data broker services. Read more.

The public pays for records lawsuits

Public records and freedom of information laws are fundamental for government transparency. But when journalists fight for access to wrongfully withheld records at the state and local level, the public is paying the price, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. Over the past year alone, local governments have paid journalists at least $1.6 million in attorneys fees — all of which was financed by taxpayers — following public records lawsuits.

WhatsApp now supports messages with third-parties

Under the new European Union law, the Digital Markets Act, Meta is required to allow interoperability between third-party chat software and its WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger apps. These tools offer end-to-end encryption using the Signal protocol, the strong encryption specifications pioneered by the Signal encrypted messaging app.

Press for the PRESS Act

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his support this week for the PRESS Act, the strongest shield bill Congress has ever proposed. One of the most important things reporters can do is write about the PRESS Act in news reports or editorials, and non-journalists can help spread the word with op-eds and letters to the editor. Read more in our newsletter.

Post-quantum iMessage

Both in the U.S. and abroad, governments are capturing encrypted connections that pass over the public internet and saving them for later use. Within years or decades, post-quantum computers could meaningfully shorten the amount of time required to unscramble encryption, allowing attackers to read previously private messages. So a growing number of organizations, including Apple, are preparing for attacks like these with post-quantum encryption. Read more in our newsletter.

NYPD must stop arresting journalists

Earlier this month, NYPD officers violently tackled journalist Reed Dunlea and arrested him while he attempted to cover a pro-Palestinian protest for his podcast. In a letter to the Brooklyn District Attorney calling for the charges to be dropped, FPF wrote that "arresting reporters is a crude form of censorship." Read more in our newsletter.

Avast caught selling browsing data

Aye hearties, gangway — the Avast cor-pirates are walking the plank. That’s because the company sold user data without consumers’ knowledge, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which ordered U.K.-based Avast Limited to pay $16.5 million and will also bar the antivirus company from selling or licensing browser data for advertisements. Read more in our newsletter.

Indictment threatens digital journalism

The disturbing indictment against journalist Tim Burke reportedly arises in part from Burke’s dissemination of outtakes from a 2022 Tucker Carlson interview with Ye. Federal prosecutors accuse Burke of “scouring” the internet for news and failing to obtain express authorization before accessing information posted on public websites. Requiring journalists to get permission to report news is, obviously, problematic. Read more in our newsletter.

Signal usernames are here!

This week, security nerds are dancing in the streets because Signal, the encrypted messaging app, is finally rolling out usernames. Signal has previously required users to provide their phone number as an identifier, but with this most recent update, users may instead use a username. Read more in our newsletter.

Help save the First Amendment

The High Court in London is hearing arguments this week on whether to extradite Julian Assange to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act for obtaining and publishing secret documents from a source — also known as journalism. We’re doing everything we can to urge the Department of Justice to drop the Espionage Act charges against Assange ahead of his potential extradition. You can help.

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