Scripps J School at Ohio University Trip Report
Ohio University EW Scripps Journalism School Trip Report for 07 to 09 November 2012
Danny O'Brien of Committee to Protect Journalists and I were invited to talk to journalism students at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in Ohio University. The topics were around computer security risks and protections from the perspective of journalists. CPJ maintains a great guide for reporters to survive dangerous situations appropriately called the Journalist Security Guide. This covers both offline and online situations. My role was to highlight the experience of Tor, what we've seen, and how we've protected both citizen and professional journalists the world over. I also covered using Tails as one tool in your toolbox to let you do the work of a journalist from anywhere.
Andy Alexander was our host for the three days. We started off with a great dinner to share information about what both Danny and I have learned over the past few years in working with journalists. Andy has a long career of experience in foreign correspondence and reporting. His experiences covering a few decades highlight the need for journalists to learn how to protect themselves when reporting anywhere in the world.
The next day was a first-year class about journalism in general. Danny and I presented to around 200 students. The computer couldn't read my USB drive, so I couldn't use my presentation, rather I used the website to quickly cover Tor, how it works, and why journalists should care. I then discussed a range of attacks against an individual from fairly basic malware infections through more advanced traffic analysis and content swapping. My PirateBox did work, so anyone could get the presentations and copies of Tor locally if they so desired.
Afterwards, we went off to the main panel event to talk to fourth year and graduate students about online security and the risks for journalists. Once again, the USB drive couldn't be read, but the PirateBox worked fine. The lecture lasted around 90 minutes with a Q&A session. Unlike the freshman class, a number of people had questions or wanted to verify what Danny and I stated.
We were then taken out to dinner by the top students at the J School. It was a great Middle Eastern kabob place to have an hour of discussions with the students.
And thanks to Lindsay for getting up at 06:30 to drive me to the airport and for the great discussion along the way. I look forward to reading her dispatches from East Africa in the near future.
Also published via email at https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2012-November/000082....