Media Members Now Have Resources and Tools
to Secure Their Work
WASHINGTON, DC, October 15, 2020 — Today the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) released the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Journalists at the 2020 Online News Association conference. The toolkit is a free, operational resource aimed at helping journalists, watchdogs, and small newsrooms shore-up their cybersecurity practices. Journalists around the world have long been targets of cyber attacks, whether reporting on crime, politics, or simply being a target for the spread of disinformation. Recent examples include an Angolan journalist reporting on the embezzlement of public funds and two Turkish journalists whose accounts and devices were compromised after reporting on the death of Turkish soldiers in Libya. In order to provide some practical resources to manage these risks, GCA assembled a set of tools that journalists can use to shore up their cyber defenses, protect their devices and data, and help safeguard their online presence.
The GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Journalists supports all journalists but especially those professionals who depend on their own devices, whether they are freelancers, work for small institutions, or spend a lot of time in the field. Watchdogs, such as those who work with vulnerable sources or manage large amounts of sensitive data, can also benefit from the tools in the toolkit. The free tools include encryption of data, set-up of automatic backups, secure communications, and more.
The toolkit follows best practice recommendations provided by the Center for Internet Security, the UK National Cybersecurity Centre, and the Australia Cybersecurity Centre. These global guidelines provide the blueprint for the organization of the toolkit and selection of the tools included. To support adoption and use of the toolkit, GCA has also made a community forum available where members of the journalism community can pose questions, share challenges and experiences, propose solutions, and interact with each other and GCA cybersecurity experts.
“To achieve GCA’s mission of reducing cyber risk, we work to unite communities and scale cybersecurity solutions. The GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Journalists reflects this approach. Over the past year we developed and engaged an advisory group and held listening sessions with a diverse group of journalists,” said Megan Stifel, Executive Director, Americas and Director, Craig Newmark Philanthropies Trustworthy Internet and Democracy Program. “These discussions provided critical input to the toolkit and today’s launch, made ever more essential in the particularly tumultuous year 2020 has become. We’re very grateful for the support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies and our advisory group members, whose contributions have been essential elements in helping us reach this day.”
Support for the toolkit comes from Craig Newmark Philanthropies as part of a growing portfolio of initiatives to build trust in the Internet and democracy.
“My high school history teacher once said that a trustworthy press is the immune system for democracy. So as more and more news is read online, journalists need to keep up their cyber hygiene,” said Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. “We’re living in a critical time for the truth. We must all remain vigilant, but I especially encourage journalists to use this toolkit and maintain the integrity of the fourth estate,” said Newmark. “The Global Cyber Alliance has a proven track record of helping critical industries protect what’s important, and I’m proud to continue to support their efforts.”
“In the fast-moving world of cyber threats, journalists face a daunting task: how to protect themselves and their sources while gathering and reporting critical information. We’ve seen the damage done to news organizations large and small by malicious actors. It can be a whack-a-mole effort to fend off those assaults; the GCA toolkit presents a methodical, step-by-step approach to fending off attackers before they strike,” remarked Joie Chen, former CNN broadcast journalist.
“Journalists are under constant threat – and many don’t have access to the support provided by large organisations. GCA’s initiative could hardly be more timely, and I’ve no doubt it will make an enormous contribution to mitigating those threats and supporting journalism,” said Martin Turner, CEO, Full Frame Technology and former BBC journalist.
The GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Journalists can be found at https://gcatoolkit.org/journalists.
About the Global Cyber Alliance
The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is an international, cross-sector effort dedicated to reducing cyber risk and improving our connected world. We achieve our mission by uniting global communities, implementing concrete solutions, and measuring the effect. GCA, a 501(c)(3) in the US and a nonprofit in the UK and Belgium, was founded in September 2015 by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the City of London Police, and the Center for Internet Security. Learn more at www.globalcyberalliance.org.
About Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. It works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism & the information ecosystem, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans & military families. For more information, please visit: www.CraigNewmarkPhilanthropies.org