ideas zone 2023: Training on Anti-Surveillance and Digital Security

Last update: the application period closed on January 27.

The workshops will take place in February and are aimed at professional journalists

iMEdD, in cooperation with speakers from international organisations, is hosting in February an interactive training on Anti-surveillance and digital security. Applications for the workshops, which will have a total duration of 3 weeks and will take place at iMEdD, will remain open until January 27, 2023

Recently there has been increasing talk about the growing use of spyware against journalists and their sources and the implications for the practice of free and independent journalism. In a world where new surveillance technologies are constantly being developed and data is being collected and retained en masse, how can journalists better protect themselves and their sources? In what ways can they keep their communications secure?

The workshops will provide a holistic approach to digital security for professional journalists.

Detailed Schedule:

Thursday, 9 February, 18:00 – 21:00: Digital Safety Essentials

Friday, 10 February, 18:00 – 21:00: Advanced Topics in Source Protection 

with Harlo Holmes, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of Digital Security at Freedom of the Press Foundation

The first two workshops serve as a holistic guide to digital safety, starting from basic credential security and social media best practices to advanced strategies for securing communications with sources and effective methods to protect their identity. 

Thursday, 16 February, 18:00 – 21:00: Online Abuse Self-Defence Training & Bolster Your Digital Safety: An Anti-Hacking, Anti-Doxing Workshop 

with Viktorya Vilk, Director for Digital Safety and Free Expression at PEN America

This two-part workshop will walk you through how to prepare, respond, take care of yourself, and support others as well as provide you with tools and strategies to defend yourself against online abuse. In this context, personalised advice will be provided on how to better protect yourself from impersonation, hacking, and doxing (the publishing of private info). 

Friday, 17 February, 18:00 – 21:00: Physical Surveillance: Awareness and Avoidance (part 1)

Saturday,18 February, 09:00 – 17:00: Physical Surveillance: Awareness and Avoidance (part 2)

with Frank Smyth, Founder and CEO of Global Journalist Security (GJS)

During the theoretical part of the training, journalists will have the opportunity to learn about different forms of digital and mostly physical surveillance and how to detect them. The practical part will take place the following day and will include surveillance awareness exercises in an outdoor environment. 

Thursday, 23 February, 18:00 – 21:00: How adversaries actually spy on your communications and devices, and how to prevent it 

Friday, 24 February, 18:00 – 20:00: Personalized advice: How you can integrate digital security advice with your day-to-day work 

with Bill Marczak, Senior Research Fellow at Citizen Lab

These final two workshops will cover issues including mass surveillance of unencrypted communications, cooperation with technology companies who store data, to targeted hacking of computers and phones facilitated by the mercenary hacking industry. Participants will learn ways to prevent this espionage, including technical defenses and changes in the way they use technology. Finally, they will have the opportunity to have their phones checked for signs of hacking. 

The new ideas zone cycle for professional journalists is conducted in English and is free of charge upon registration for a limited number of participants.

Priority will be given to those applicants available to attend all the workshops.