Journalists and whistleblowers worldwide are facing unprecedented levels of surveillance and impunity attacks, but effective information security and source-protection practices are not one-size-fits-all. An understanding of local risks, practices, legal frameworks and communications’ practices is essential to letting journalists, human rights activists and academics practice and publish safely.
We propose a collaboration between Columbia Journalism School and the University’s Global Center in Istanbul, Turkey on a project to build and train a network of collaborators from universities, non-profits and news organizations who can provide timely, operational advice about the on-the-ground communication conditions and issues in their local area. After identifying and training these collaborators on the use of secure digital communications technologies, the information they transmit will be aggregated and published publicly for reference and use by any community that needs it. These efforts can be supplemented by annual interview events with students and faculty coming to the university from other countries, providing an important protective resource for journalists, NGOs, and academics traveling or working with populations around the world.