South Dakota Senate Passes Reporter Shield Law

By Matthew Renda — Courthouse News Service

South Dakota is poised to become the 40th state to pass a shield law for journalists and their sources after a bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday.

The bill, House Bill 1074, gives journalists the right to decline to provide information or the identity of sources to courts, grand juries, legislative bodies or any public bodies with the power to levy contempt charges.

‘Do the right thing’: ads on Facebook and Google seek big tech whistleblowers

Initiative by not-for-profit Fight for the Future offers employees of Silicon Valley firms a way to organize and leak information

By Sam Levin — The Guardian

Silicon Valley activists have launched a whistleblower campaign to help workers organize against “unethical tech”, including ads on social media platforms targeting the employees of those companies.

A Surveillance Wall Is Not a Good Alternative to a Concrete Wall

By India McKinney –

Since even before he took office, President Trump has called for a physical wall along the southern border of the United States. Many different organizations have argued this isn’t a great idea. In response, some Congressional Democrats have suggested turning to surveillance technology to monitor the border instead of a physical barrier.

How Facebook Borrows From the NSA Playbook

The social media giant misleads the American people using tactics ripped straight from the surveillance agency

By Trevor Timm – Medium

Once again, Facebook is embroiled in a scandal where it was caught violating millions of people’s privacy. A blockbuster story published by the New York Times before the holidays revealed that Facebook had entered into secret “partnerships” with various technology companies — Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, and others — that gave hundreds of internet giants vast access to private information for years without Facebook users’ consent.

Prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing activities poses a profound threat to press freedom

On Thursday night Justice Department prosecutors inadvertently published court documents that strongly suggest that the Trump administration has secretly filed charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Shortly afterwards, the Washington Post confirmed that charges have indeed been filed against Assange.

Strengthening Congressional Oversight of the Intelligence Community

Dear Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, and members of the House of Representatives:

We write to express our concerns about congressional oversight of intelligence activities. As you know, Congress is responsible for authorizing and overseeing these programs. In recent years, experts and policymakers have expressed concern that congressional oversight efforts are falling short.

Edward Snowden: Saudi used Israel spyware to target Khashoggi

US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday claimed that Saudi Arabia used Israeli spyware to target murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv via a video link, Snowden claimed that software made by an Israeli cyber intelligence firm was used by Saudi Arabia to track and target Khashoggi in the lead up to his murder on 2 October inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The Consequences of Blowing the Whistle on State-Sanctioned Child Abuse

A year or so ago, a reporter asked me for a comment on what I expected from the Trump administration vis-à-vis the treatment of whistleblowers. I was so down on the recently-departed Obama administration at the time that I said I expected Trump would see whistleblowers differently from Obama, who saw them as leakers and malcontents. I said nobody could be as bad as Obama was on whistleblowing and that I thought Trump and his administration might be easier to deal with.

Warrantless searches of journalists at U.S. borders pose press freedom threat

The Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agency’s powers to carry out warrantless searches of electronic devices has serious press freedom implications, including weakening the ability of the media to protect source privacy, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its report, “Nothing to declare: Why U.S. border agency’s vast stop and search powers undermine press freedom.”

Terry Albury is a Conscientious Whistleblower

Terry Albury was the only Black agent at the FBI field office in Minneapolis. He saw inherent racism in the FBI’s targeting of local communities of color and sought to blow the whistle on that racism and the agency’s unethical use of paid informants. For that, he was fired, arrested, and charged under the Espionage Act. He pled guilty earlier this year and now faces 4 or more years in prison. He’ll be sentenced next week.