Global Conference Agrees Plan to Combat Disturbing Impact of Surveillance on Journalism

Journalists, trade unionists, politicians, lawyers and campaigners worldwide have agreed on a united action plan aimed at tackling the alarming effect of mass surveillance on the global journalism profession.

The decisive action plan was agreed at the international 'Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: safeguarding journalists and their sources' Conference, held on Thursday 16 October at the Guardian newspaper offices in London.

Organised by the IFJ and its UK affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), and hosted by Guardian News and Media, the conference considered the key concerns about the impact of mass surveillance on press freedom and explored the practical steps for safeguarding journalists and their sources.

PICTURES: If you want to buy pictures from the event to accompany your report, write up or coverage, please have a look at NUJ member Luca Neve's photo gallery from the event.


Watch some of the highlights from the conference below: 

Welcome and introduction from Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ UK and Ireland):

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109458059" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109458059">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Michelle Stanistreet Introduction</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian:

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109476850" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109476850">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Alan Rusbridger</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Jim Boumelha, IFJ President: 

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109539897" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109539897">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Jim Boumelha</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC):

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109560081" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109560081">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Frances O'Grady</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>


VIDEO MESSAGE TO THE CONFERENCE: Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/h-rAZkxoAqs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


FIRST DISCUSSION: Big brother is watching you, mass surveillanceof the media industry 

CHAIR: Seamus Dooley, secretary of NUJ Ireland

- Ewen Macaskill, defence and intelligence correspondent at the Guardian: 

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109591190" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109591190">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Ewen Macaskill</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

- Bernie Lunzer, president of The Newspaper Guild-CWA, USA

- Gill Philips, director of editorial legal services at the Guardian News & Media

- Gavin Millar, QC, expert on media law: 

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109585974" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109585974">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Gavin Millar QC</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

- John Battle, head of compliance at ITN: 

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109578488" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109578488">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: John Battle</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>


SECOND DISCUSSION: Practical steps: safeguarding journalists and their sources

- CHAIR: Jemima Kiss, head of technology at The Guardian

David Boxall, head of information security at GNM

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109595386" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109595386">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: David Boxall</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Anthony Bellanger, deputy general secretary of the IFJ

Anthony spoke in French at the conference. Click HERE for a summary of his speech in English. 

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109608151" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109608151">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Anthony Bellanger</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Matthew Rice, advocacy officer at Privacy International 

- Massimo Mucchetti, from Corriere della Sera Italy

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4crpxBwmo0o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


VIDEO MESSAGE TO THE CONFERENCE: James Risen, Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist:

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THIRD DISCUSSION: Joining forces and building alliances against mass surveillance

- CHAIR: Chris Warren, federation secretary of the Media, Arts and Entertainment 

Alliance, Australia

- Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher for Human Rights Watch

 <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109671201" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109671201">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Izza Leghtas</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

- John McDonnell, secretary of the NUJ parliamentary group

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109667981" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109667981">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: John McDonnell MP</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

- Jean Lambert, member of the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee in the European parliament:

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109689073" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109689073">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Jean Lambert</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

- Mike Harris, director of 'Don't Spy on Us' campaign

- Maddy Carroll, campaigns director of 38 degrees


FINAL DISCUSSION: Formulating the Plan of Action and Next Steps

Michelle Stanistreet, brings together the proposals at the end of the conference:

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109704709" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109704709">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Michelle Stanistreet - Formulating the Plan of Action and Next Steps</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Global conference agrees plan to combat disturbing impact of surveillance on journalism

Journalists, trade unionists, politicians, lawyers and campaigners worldwide have agreed on a united action plan aimed at tackling the alarming effect of mass surveillance on global journalism.

1. FOR JOURNALISTS

Self-defence is key: Raise awareness and build a culture among journalists to be secure with their information and communications. Encryption and countless tools, often available for free online, must be used by journalists to protect their own work-in-progress and their communications with sensitive sources.

2. FOR UNIONS AND NGOS

Defend our fundamental human rights: Many of the laws that underpin citizens’ rights, as well as protect journalists, are being chipped away at by governments. The UK government’s plans to exit the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) may set a precedent for a pick and mix approach to human rights across Europe and the world. In the US the government's surveillance programmes have infiltrated most of the communications technologies we have come to rely on.

Save our sources campaign: Journalists and their organisations must get organised to begin dismantling the veil of secrecy around the use of intercept powers to get access to journalistic material and put pressure on the authorities to explain how and why they're being put under surveillance. As well as building campaigns and taking concrete action to defend every case where our ability to protect journalistic sources is attacked or where journalists are spied on, the courts should be used to ensure that governments’ surveillance policies are consistent with national and international laws.

Rein in the surveillance superstructure: Over a year ago it was revealed how the NSA trampled on the privacy rights of citizens all over the world. Its mass surveillance has had a chilling effect on the exercise of our constitutional rights. The huge outcry should be translated into a momentum for change that would stop the indiscriminate collection of information and bring back surveillance policies under democratic control.

Subject access requests: In November 2013 the NUJ launched a campaign to find out about the monitoring and surveillance of individual journalists. Mark Thomas helped to launch the campaign and the union asked members to submit subject access requests to find out what information was held about them. Use the NUJ template letter to submit a subject access request to find out what personal information is held about you by the authorities. Go to the 'take action' section below for more details.

3. FOR THE MEDIA ORGANISATIONS

Proportionality: The greatest tool against the imposition of new surveillance laws, are the stories about those who are subject to them. Publishers should unite in a global commitment to highlight these stories through publications in their own countries, and potentially internationally through a dedicated IFJ portal.

4. BUILDING A GLOBAL MOVEMENT

Strength in numbers: Journalists and their sources are not the only victims of surveillance. We should be reaching out to lawyers, barristers, the medical profession, social workers, accountants and all other professions that rely on professional confidentiality, and build a strong and coordinated global movement to rein in the unchecked surveillance powers that our governments have misused over our citizens.


CONFERNCE DELEGATES COMMENT ON THE EVENT

Jamal Osman, multi-award winning journalist and filmmaker:

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109740248" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109740248">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Jamal Osman</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Malcolm Dean, former Guardian journalist and NUJ life member:

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109730345" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109730345">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Malcolm Dean</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Franco Siddi, journalist and general secretary of the FNSI, Italy:

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109675762" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/109675762">Journalism in the Age of Mass Surveillance: Franco Siddi</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/reportdigital">Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>


Resources for Safegurading Journalists and Their Sources