Freedom of the Press in the Age of Digital Surveillance

October 29th, 2020 · 37 mins 57 secs

About this Episode

This week we look at the intersection between journalism, freedom of the press, and technology. Joe Petrowski (Research Analyst, Parity Technologies) speaks with Harlo Holmes, Director of Digital Security at the Freedom of the Press Foundation. They discuss the role of journalism in a free society, the contemporary media landscape, the Snowden revelations, surveillance, the role of technology and privacy, the political implications of technology development, and best practices for whistleblowers.

Freedom of the Press Foundation Website
Freedom of the Press Foundation Twitter
Press Freedom Tracker

0:40 - Intro to Holmes and FPF
03:30 - Edward Snowden’s impact
09:08 - Journalism’s role in a free society
11:43 - The change in media today
16:31 - Technology’s role in journalism
19:27 - How to use technology without being exploited
23:27 - The influence that programmers have
29:42 - Blockchain experiments
34:42 - Best practices for whistleblowers

Key Quotes:

“Journalism’s role in society is as old as the printing press itself…. People have the right to know what’s going on. You can’t make informed decisions if you don’t know what’s going on.”

“Certain media sources are more skewed towards obfuscating rather than illuminating, and there has always been a challenge for individuals to find news sources that they can trust.”

“Historians will look at the rise of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as a turning point in the way that the media has had to reevaluate its reach, reevaluate its funding model, and reevaluate how it presents itself to the public at large in order to secure its reach. This is quite a shift in the material of media itself.”

“People don’t necessarily realize that because the more digital aspects of our engagement are incredibly easy to parse, that opens us up to being entirely surveilled very easily and automatically”

“You have a profile, everybody is profiled based off their patterns of behavior on the internet however they interact with it, and you pretty much don’t live a day in your existence without interacting and without contributing to this profile.”