Skip to main content

To hoodwink intolerance, online guide asks journos to operate anonymously, use encryption for messaging

By Our Representative
In a new guide on how to operate in a changed atmosphere of intolerance, journalists across the world have been told make it “difficult for anyone to try and intercept” their emails, text messages and phone calls as part of the measures “to make the lives of those who want to uncover your sources and the information being revealed to you much harder.”
Written by Michael Dagan, a senior editor with 25 years’ experience, the guide has been forwarded to www.counterview.net following the mention of the Committee to Protect Journalists in an article (click HERE), with the comment: “This is not an easy time for journalists all over the world, with the discoveries of surveillance on citizens, which includes journalists and their sources.”
Dagan says, “The degree of effort you’re prepared to take to protect your privacy, your sources’ anonymity and your data’s safety, should be commensurate to the likelihood of a real threat, be that hacking or spying.”
Pointing out that there is “an air of danger to freedom of speech and freedom of the press is spreading slowly like a dark cloud over the Western Hemisphere", the guide says, US today has a "serving president accuses a former president of surveillance”, even as preventing “central US media outlets access – so far always granted, and taken for granted – to press conferences he holds.”
In his 5,000-words guide, Dagan says, journalists should be “securing on-device applications and functions” thus reducing the “attack surface”, i.e. “limiting the installed apps to the bare minimum, installing only from trusted sources, selecting apps that require minimal rights, keeping the system fully patched and updated, and having as many security controls on the device.”
He wants journalists to isolate their “devices and/or their environment” with “physical insulation of a computer for the purpose of checking files, or the use of prepaid mobile devices.”
Cautioning the use of both “digital and real world”, Dagan says, “For example, never write down the name of the source, certainly not on any app or on any document that’s stored on your computer – and most certainly not on anything stored on the cloud.”
Giving a whole lot of information on how to “encrypt everything” using “full disk encryption” using “FileVault, VeraCrypt or BitLocker”, Dagan wants journalists not to put their computer to “sleep”, as it “may allow an attacker to bypass this defense.”
Asking journalists to “avoid chatting with sources on the phone”, Dagan says, “All phone companies store data related to the caller and the receiver’s numbers, as well as the location of the devices at the time calls were made.”
“In the US and several other countries, they’re required by law to disclose information on registered calls in their possession”, he points out, adding, “You should use a secure call service, such as the one the Signal app – which was tested repeatedly for security – possesses.”
Dagan warns, “Your calls (cellular ones and via landlines) can be monitored by law enforcement agencies and each SMS is like a postcard – all text is fully visible to those who may intercept it”, adding, “Therefore, use messengers that allow for secure end to end call”, especially those where “the Signal Protocol has been actually implemented into WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Google Allo, making conversations using them encrypted.”
However, his advice says, “Do not use organizational chats” such as “Slack, Campfire, Skype and Google Hangouts”, especially for private conversations. “They are easy to break in, and are exposed to disclosure requests for courts use, to resolve legal issues at the workplace”, he adds.
Asking journalists to protect data on computer, Dagan says, “It’s very easy to break regular passwords, but it can take years to break passphrases – i.e., random combinations of words. We recommend trying secure password management tools like: LastPass and 1Password and KeePassX”, even as using “two-factor authentication”.
Other advices include on how to become anonymous online, using private browsing mode and alternative browsing, such as TOR, developed by the US Navy, which “allows you to operate in a hidden network, carry out private communications and set up web sites anonymously.”
---
Click HERE for the complete guide

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”