Cyberattacks Against Journalists Represent Easy and Inexpensive Censorship

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released the “Attacks on the Press” report

By Eduard Kovacs on February 15th, 2013 09:51 GMT

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has released its annual “Attacks on the Press” report, a study that makes a global analysis of the state of press freedom.

The Risk List featured in the 2013 edition of the report includes countries such as Pakistan, Somalia and Brazil, locations where the murder rates and entrenched impunity are high.

Ecuador, Turkey and Russia are named the countries where authorities use restrictive laws to silence the press. Numerous journalists have been imprisoned on anti-state charges in Syria, Iran, Vietnam, Turkey and Ethiopia.

"When journalists are silenced, whether through violence or laws, we all stand to lose because perpetrators are able to obscure misdeeds, silence dissent, and disempower citizens," said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney.

"The battle to control information is an assault on public accountability that cannot go unchallenged. Governments must prosecute perpetrators and stop those seeking to incapacitate public oversight by blunting critical and probing reporting."

However, in modern times, there are other threats that journalists have to worry about.

Mahoney told Reuters that cyberattacks on news organizations and journalists had increased considerably over the past few years. Perpetrators often turn to such practices because they represent an easy and inexpensive way to censor someone.

The recent cyberattacks on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post are just a few examples, but experts say that such attacks take place against journalists and organizations from Africa and the Middle East as well.

For instance, we've recently learned that Google is warning several Myanmar journalists that they are the targets of state-sponsored attacks.

Here is a video released along with the "Attacks on the Press" report:

CPJ releases "Attacks on the Press" report
   CPJ releases "Attacks on the Press" report
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