Random thoughts on networks and communications from a MACT student

Will journalism go back to “old techniques”..pen and paper?

Julian Assange Rolling Stones Interview was interesting.   His advice for journalists, as quoted below, created several questions.   How will his incident affect the future of journalism, specifically to collecting sensitive data? Will journalists have to go back to the old style of pen and paper as Assange’s advice?  My personal thought is people will not leave their mobile devices at the office.  People are digitally connected and can’t “leave the office” without them.  With the increasing censorship will journalists hesitate to report the truth?  Smart phones,ipads etc are supposed to increase efficiency for day-to-day job duties but if organizations/government block certain websites and are censoring all emails, this is not increasing efficiency.  This is hindering as employees are unable to complete the task. 

In my organization, certain sites are blocked and our email is monitored. I personally do not find this to be an issue as I know that I have to maintain a professional image “online”.   I had to present a case of why I needed access to Facebook which I understand to a certain degree.

What advice do you have for journalists, based on your experience?
I have a lot of sympathy for journalists who are trying to protect their sources. It’s very hard now. Unless you’re an electronic-surveillance expert or you have frequent contact with one, you must stay off the Net and mobile phones. You really have to just use the old techniques, paper and whispering in people’s ears. Leave your mobile phones behind. Don’t turn them off, but tell your source to leave electronic devices in their offices. We are now in a situation where countries are recording billions of hours of conversations, and proudly proclaiming that you don’t have to select which telephone call you’re intercepting, because you intercept every telephone call.”


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