Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Online Privacy Guide for Journalists 2017

I have received an email from a Free Press member based in South Africa, asking me to share a blog post.


This post provides advice to journalists on how they can protect themselves in a world of decreasing privacy. The job of journalists is increasingly perilous and not helped by President Donald Trump encouraging violence against journalists (Ref 1, 2). I had communications with a few journalists before. One is a proud resident of Altona and has been actively reporting on local news. Such information could be useful to them.

I went to the blog's home page and found that the site belongs to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. Interestingly, it provides a tool to test the Great Firewall of China.


Coincidentally, my wife is now in China visiting her family and she found she could not access services and websites such as Google, Gmail, Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia. This is due to China state censorship of certain foreign websites under the Golden Shield Project, of which the Great Firewall of China is a major part.

Many people widely utilize these services so it will be a great inconvenience if they cannot access them while visiting China. After some online search, I found that the Great Firewall of China could be bypassed through the use of certain VPN services, thereby allowing one to access Gmail, Facebook and so on.

The Australian Federal Government plans to introduce new laws to protect and reward whistleblowers later this year (Ref 3). This will help journalists as whistleblowers are an importance source of information and news for the media. Better protection will make insiders more forthcoming in disclosing any matters of irregularities and public interest.