Twenty-five journalists from different media across Greece were trained by the world’s leading experts on best practices to shield their devices, use the most secure communication channels possible with their sources, ensure the integrity of their research and protect their privacy.
The 7-session workshop cycle organized by iMEdD, through its ideas zone pillar, took place in February 2023.
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Bill Marczak, Senior Research Fellow at Citizen Lab, covered mass surveillance of unencrypted communications, the targeted hacking of devices by mercenary hackers, and showed technological ways of protection. In his interview with iMEdD, he talked about how Predator, “used by governments, including the Greek one”, infects the user’s device through fake links that trigger the user to click on them, but also about even more sophisticated systems that can gain access without requiring any action on the part of the mobile operator.
Harlo Holmes, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of Digital Security at the Freedom of the Press Foundation, stressed the need to focus on simple practices we neglect, such as secure passwords and enabling two-step identification, but also to embed security practices at the newsroom level.
Viktorya Vilk, Director of Digital Security and Free Expression at PEN America, focused on tools and strategies to protect against online abuse, targeting by trolls, impersonation, and the leaking of personal information. She emphasized that every attack on a journalist is an attack on press freedom.
Frank Smyth, Founder and CEO of Global Journalist Security (GJS), conducted a hands-on and experiential workshop against physical surveillance of journalists in a real field environment, so that journalists can gain the technique and the composure to identify people stalking them while heading to a meeting with a source. He focused on the importance of “spotting your stalker without being noticed”.