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Digital Security and Source Protection: How secure is ‘the cloud’?

The rapid development of technology and personal data means that journalists and their sources are vulnerable to attack. A panel of cyber security experts staged recently in Paris, adddressed the urgent issue of digital security. Angelique Lu was there for the World Editor’s Forum.

by Nick Tjaardstra nick.tjaardstra@wan-ifra.org | November 10, 2014

Discussing data theft and reputation management, the panel included digital security specialists Sue Humphreys, Christian Kuhn from Gemalto, Amaury Jourdan from Thales Communications & Security, Alvin Khodabaks, partner at Clifford Chance law firm, Marcus Madelung, Telstra and Benoit Tabaka from Google France.

Discussions included the need to create unique passwords across different platforms, new forms of ID verification and the need to consider the jurisdiction of cloud storage services.

Globally, the cost of cyber crime is placed at $500 Billion. News of Ebay and Google account hacks this year are just some examples of the vulnerability the public, and in turn journalists, face in the digital age.

The World Editors Forum is currently undertaking research for UNESCO about legal protections for journalists’ sources and one of the digital dimensions to emerge is the realisation that no law is going to be able to protect a source from unmasking in the absence of appropriate digital security measures.

Blind reliance on ‘the cloud’ is one aspect of digital security that journalists need to be more acutely aware of.  I spoke to panelist Sue Humphreys who offered some useful advice for journalists seeking to protect interviewees and sensitive information storied in the ‘cloud’.

Editorial Assistance on this story was provided by Ashleigh Tullis