Barrett Brown’s sentence is unjust, but it may become the norm for journalists

Jailed, in part, because he shared a link to a stolen document that he did not steal, and despite the fact that this is not a crime.

Journalist Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months in federal prison

He's already served more than two years in prison on charges related to sources within the Anonymous hacktivist entity.

Obama’s Justice Department secretly helped kill FOIA transparency bill

U.S. President Barack Obama looks toward Attorney General Eric Holder. Justice Department investigators have engaged in aggressive tactics against journalists in recent months. [Reuters]

We’ve long known the Justice Department’s stance on transparency has been hypocritical and disingenuous. But they’ve really outdone themselves this time. Read the rest

Spain's Xnet: leak-publishing corruption-fighters

Xnet is a Spanish collective that invites the public to leak evidence of corruption using the Tor anonymizer, then uses those leaks to bring private criminal complaints against officials and corporations. Read the rest

Why journalists should be free speech partisans

Following on the New York Times's decision to continue its critical coverage of China, despite the Chinese government's retaliation against it, Dan Gillmor calls on journalists and news organizations to abandon the pretense of "neutrality" and take a partisan stand for free speech in questions of censorship, surveillance, net neutrality, copyright takedown, and other core issues of speech in the 21st century. Read the rest

Verizon's new big budget tech-news site prohibits reporting on NSA spying or net neutrality

They're positioning the new site "Sugar String" as a well-funded competitor to Wired, but reporters are not allowed to mention NSA spying (in which Verizon was an enthusiastic partner) or net neutrality (which Verizon has devoted itself to killing, with campaigns of overt lobbying and covert dirty tricks). Read the rest

Steven Levy's Backchannel

Veteran tech journalist Steven Levy, author of the seminal books Hackers and Crypto, launched his new tech hub Backchannel over at Medium. Read the rest

Emergent: a realtime Internet rumor tracker

It's like Snopes for Twitter, from Columbia U's journalism school. Read the rest

Guardian rolls out memberships and a physical space for members

The 200-year-old nonprofit newspaper has turned the gorgeous 19th century railroad goods shed opposite their King's Cross office into an event space, and members can attend stellar, intimate events with Vivienne Westwood, Russell Brand, Jimmy Page, Naomi Klein and more. Read the rest

Crowdfunded news-site uncovers ISIS training camp using online mapping tools

Bellingcat kickstarted £51K to do data-driven/crowdsourced citizen journalism earlier this month, and a week later, pinpointed the exact location of an ISIS training camp near Mosul by matching the jihadis' social media posts to online maps and geo-location services. Read the rest

Documenting the arrests of journalists in Ferguson

These arrests are a gross violation of the reporters' First Amendment rights, and attempts to prevent journalists from lawfully doing their job on the streets of Ferguson are illegal.

Germany is NSA's largest listening post, according to new report based on Snowden leaks

A general view of the large former monitoring base of the U.S. intelligence organization National Security Agency (NSA) during break of dawn in Bad Aibling south of Munich, July 11, 2013. Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended Germany's cooperation with U.S. intelligence, dismissing comparisons of its techniques to those used in communist East Germany in an attempt to ease tensions a day before talks on the thorny issue in Washington. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Using documents leaked by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Der Spiegel reports that the NSA has turned Germany into its most important base of operations in Europe. "NSA is more active in Germany than anywhere else in Europe," reports the paper, "And data collected here may have helped kill suspected terrorists."

The German archive provides the basis for a critical discussion on the necessity and limits of secret service work as well as on the protection of privacy in the age of digital communication. The documents complement the debate over a trans-Atlantic relationship that has been severely damaged by the NSA affair.

They paint a picture of an all-powerful American intelligence agency that has developed an increasingly intimate relationship with Germany over the past 13 years while massively expanding its presence. No other country in Europe plays host to a secret NSA surveillance architecture comparable to the one in Germany. It is a web of sites defined as much by a thirst for total control as by the desire for security. In 2007, the NSA claimed to have at least a dozen active collection sites in Germany.

Read the rest

How GM silenced its whistleblowers

The cover of Bloomberg Businessweek this week riffs on a classic Vietnam-era Esquire cover. Sometimes, words speak louder than pictures. Read the rest

Miles O'Brien on life after losing an arm

While on assignment in the Philippines, reporter Miles O’Brien had an accident and lost his left arm. In the weeks that followed, he learned that every movement, no matter how small, requires rethinking.

George Orwell's National Union of Journalists card

From his work with the Tribune. I'm a proud member of the same union. Read the rest

Twitter account that de-bullshitizes linkbaity headlines

The @Savedyouaclick Twitter account decodes linkbaity headlines so you don't have to click on things that aren't likely interesting to you. Read the rest

House approves 'media shield' amendment, as reporter reveals 2011 subpoena fight

The House of Representatives today voted 225-183 to approve an appropriations bill amendment that bars the Justice Department from forcing reporters to testify about their confidential sources.

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