Digital Security For Journalists

``[T]here are no comparable Federal statutory standards to protect the privacy and security of communications transmitted by new noncommon carrier communications services or new forms of telecommunications and computer technology. This is so, even though American citizens and American businesses are using these new forms of technology in lieu of, or side-by-side with, first class mail and common carrier telephone services…

Most importantly, the law must advance with the technology to ensure the continued vitality of the Fourth Amendment. Privacy cannot be left to depend solely on physical protection, or it will gradually erode as technology advances. Congress must act to protect the privacy of our citizens. If we do not, we will promote the gradual erosion of this precious right.”
–cited in “The New Privacy Interest”56

An ongoing issue in the privacy and security of digital communications is the increasingly revealing nature of metadata and the sheer volume of data that is observable by third parties,57 especially as location-aware mobile and embedded technologies become more prevalent. Beyond our duty to investigate, report on, and explain the implications of these issues, the journalism industry should evaluate its relationship to efforts like Digital Due Process. In our own work, we must continue to be rigorous in protecting the privacy of our sources and readers, not just in reporting but in publication.