EngageMedia Blog

Serba Tak Pasti: Keamanan Digital Wartawan di Indonesia dan Filipina

by EM News December 14, 2017

Menurut Committee to Protect Journalists (CIJ), sebuah organisasi global yang mengadvokasi kebebasan pers, Filipina dinilai sebagai salah satu negara paling berbahaya bagi nyawa wartawan. Beberapa bulan lalu saja, seorang wartawan di Mindanao meregang nyawa setelah peluru menembus kepalanya. Di Indonesia, menjadi wartawan juga sama mencekamnya. Kasus demi kasus penyerangan terlaporkan dan menurut Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI), sebuah lembaga swadaya masyarakat, kasus kekerasan terhadap wartawan tengah meningkat. Sudah jelas, wartawan-wartawan di kedua negara ini dalam bahaya oleh karenanya mereka harus berupaya memproteksi diri mereka lebih baik lagi.

EngageMedia, sebagai bagian dari Cyber Steward Networks, melakukan serangkaian penelitian mengenai kondisi keamanan digital bagi wartawan di Indonesia dan Filipina. Dalam empat puluh wawancara, para wartawan mendiskusikan tingkat kesadaran mereka mengenai isu keamanan digital dan, jika ada, langkah-langkah dalam menanganinya.

Kami sebelumnya telah mempublikasikan hasil dari wawancara-wawancara kami di situs EngageMedia dalam dua unggahan blog: satu fokus pada kasus di Indonesia dan satu lagi di Filipina. Pembaca juga bisa menyaksikan video pendek yang kami buat untuk menjelaskan konteks Indonesia. Riset di dua negara ini memberikan peluang bagi studi komparasi. Di tulisan ini, kami akan menguraikan dan menganalisis beberapa isu terpenting mengenai keamanan digital yang tengah mencuat. Kami berharap tulisan ini memberikan wawasan lebih mengenai bagaimana wartawan mempersepsi dan mempraktikan keamanan digital.

Penyimpanan Data Online

Di era ini, wartawan umumnya menggunakan telepon genggam dan alat perekam digital untuk merekam wawancara. Semua foto, klip video, dan data audio menuntut tersedianya ruang penyimpanan data yang besar. Belum lagi data-data itu harus dijaga keamanannya, terutama dari pihak luar yang bisa punya niat jahat. Jika data-data kita simpan dengan melampirkannya dalam email, hal itu juga rawan karena email kita mudah diretas. Jika kita memilih ruang penyimpanan data cloud yang kini popular seperti Dropbox, Google Drive, atau Onedrive, data kita cenderung lebih aman. Data kita terenkripsi dan kita bisa membuat kata kunci yang berbeda bagi tiap aplikasi.

Meski demikian, tak ada satu pun dari alat penyimpanan data di atas yang menjamin keamanan data kita. Pemerintah dan industri hiburan (yang memproduksi komoditas yang ber-hak cipta) memberikan tekanan pada provider cloud untuk bisa mengakses sistem cloud untuk mencari apapun yang dianggap “illegal.” Edward Snowden bahkan menyatakan bahwa “Dropbox itu memusuhi privasi” dan ia juga menganjurkan kita untuk “menjauhi Google” dan pindah ke jasa penyimpanan data cloud lain seperti Spideroak yang mengenkripsi semua data dan menggaransi bahwa pihak Spideroak tak akan mampu mengakses data pelanggan mereka. Akhirnya, wartawan harus memahami aturan negara masing-masing mengenai jasa penyimpan data cloud.

Kami mendapati kenyataan yang mengejutkan bahwa wartawan di Indonesia sebagian besar tidak memahami masalah keamanan online (online safety) terutama berkenaan dengan keamanan jasa penyimpanan data. Dari sekian banyak wartawan yang kami wawancarai, hanya satu yang berupaya memproteksi data yang ia kumpulkan. Sebagian besar wartawan bekerja menggunakan laptop pribadi atau telepon pintar dan mereka menggunakan memori internal di laptop atau telepon pintar mereka untuk menyimpan data. Beberapa wartawan menyimpan informasi dengan memasukannya ke dalam arsip aplikasi percakapan seperti Whatsapp atau Line. Seorang wartawan mengatakan bahwa kantornya sering meminta wartawannya untuk menyimpan data atau mem-back up data di komputer kantor.

Ternyata, perusahaan media tempat para wartawan yang kami wawancarai bekerja tidak memiliki standar atau sistem baku mengenai penyimpanan data dan arsip. Lebih jauh lagi, wartawan yang menyimpan data di kantor umumnya tidak paham apakah data yang ia simpan di sana akan aman, dan apa yang terjadi jika data-data itu tidak tersimpan aman di sana. Di sebuah kantor media, kata kunci sebuah komputer bahkan dibagikan ke sesama karyawan di sana, hal ini berarti data bisa diakses, digunakan dan dihilangkan oleh banyak pihak. Berbagai wartawan mengonfirmasi bahwa membagi kata kunci adalah hal yang lumrah di kantor mereka.

Sementara itu, wartawan-wartawan senior di Filipina tidak membiasakan diri menyimpan informasi dalam perangkat elektronik mereka untuk menghindari peretas dan penyalahgunaan informasi. Ada beberapa wartawan yang kami wawancarai yang mengerti cara mengenkripsi data, namun mereka tidak secara konsisten mengenkripsi seluruh file mereka. Umumnya, wartawan di Filipina menganggap upaya mengamankan data dan mendalami sistem penyimpanan data online sebagai hal yang menantang. Butuh waktu banyak dan dukungan peralatan yang memadai dan biasanya mereka tak memiliki itu.

Enkripsi Data

Satu dari beberapa cara terbaik untuk mengamankan data adalah dengan enkripsi. Di Indonesia kita tidak banyak menemukan wartawan yang secara aktif mengenkripsi data, meski pengetahuan dasar mengenai enkripsi mudah didapat. Keengganan mengenkripsi biasanya dikarenakan kurangnya pengetahuan mengenai apa itu enkripsi dan bagaimana ia bekerja. Realita di mana wartawan-wartawan di Indonesia mempraktikan data enkripsi sehari-hari sepertinya tidak akan terjadi dalam waktu dekat. Terlebih, tak satupun dari perusahaan media tempat wartawan yang kami wawancarai bekerja mempromosikan penggunaan enkripsi data.

Di Filipina, kami menemukan beberapa wartawan yang menggunakan alat enkripsi data. Namun, mereka tidak menggunakannya dengan konsisten dan praktik enkripsi tidak terintegrasi dengan budaya kerja sehari-hari. Setidaknya, wartawan di Filipina memiliki kesadaran lebih untuk melindungi data mereka dengan tidak menyimpan data yang sensitif secara digital.

Pengawasan Digital

Wartawan-wartawan di Indonesia dan Filipina umumnya tidak menyadari cakupan dari pengawasan digital (digital surveillance). Pengawasan biasanya dipersepsi sebagai pengawasan fisik, seperti dibuntuti oleh aparat pemerintah atau aparat sebuah perusahaan. Sebuah contoh dari kasus pengawasan digital terjadi di kawasan terpencil di Indonesia timur. Karena takut diancam dan diintimidasi seorang wartawan di sana mematikan telpon genggam ketika harus mendatangi kawasan tertentu, ia menghidupkan kembali telpon genggamnya setelah kembali ke daerah yang ia rasa aman. Dengan demikian, wartawan itu yakin bahwa pemerintah dan aparat militer tahu posisi keberadaanya. Wartawan lain yang bertugas di Jakarta mengatakan bahwa ia berhenti menggunakan akun sosial media agar aman dari intimidasi atau ancaman dari politisi dan atau pendukung sang politisi. Di Filipina, beberapa wartawan lebih memilih bertemu secara tatap muka dengan narasumber yang memiliki informasi sensitif dan menghindari penggunaan alat rekam karena mereka tahu ada resiko penyadapan.

Dari kasus di Indonesia dan Filipina, menjadi jelas bahwa wartawan di kedua negara ini sebagian besar masih tidak paham bagaimana internet bekerja, sehingga mereka tidak paham bagaimana pengawasan digital bekerja dan dampak dari internet yang mereka gunakan bagi keamanan digital mereka. Meskipun wartawan sadar bahwa pemerintah melakukan pengawasan, mereka tidak memahami level kecanggihan metode pengawasan yang sekarang bisa dilakukan negara.

Komunikasi antara Wartawan dan Narasumber

Kepraktisan adalah kualitas paling penting yang dicari oleh wartawan di Indonesia dalam berkomunikasi dengan narasumber mereka. Wartawan harus bisa menghubungi narasumber mereka dengan mudah dan cepat. Oleh karenanya mereka menggunakan platform yang sudah dikenal dan mudah untuk digunakan (seperti Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Line) untuk berkomunikasi. Hampir semua wartawan merekam wawancara-wawancara mereka dalam telpon genggam yang juga merupakan telpon pribadi mereka. Meskipun mereka sadar ada resiko yang mengancam, kepraktisan penggunaan telpon genggam mereka nilai lebih penting. Semua wartawan yang kami wawancarai mengatakan bahwa mereka mau mengganti perangkat mereka dengan yang lebih aman, asalkan praktis digunakan. Akhir-akhir ini, perusahaan media di Indonesia justru mendorong wartawan mereka untuk aktif menggunakan sosial media dan saluran komunikasi yang tidak aman lainnya, jadi hanya sedikit motivasi bagi para wartawan di Indonesia untuk beralih ke platform yang lebih aman.

Di Filipina, para wartawan lebih peka terhadap praktik komunikasi yang aman, namun tidak berarti mereka menggunakan saluran komunikasi yang terenkripsi. Keluhan yang sering terdengar adalah bahwa mereka tidak bisa memaksa narasumber mereka untuk berkomunikasi dengan cara yang mereka kehendaki. Justru biasanya sang narasumber yang berinisiatif untuk mengubah protokol atau cara berkomunikasi ke yang lebih aman. Dan jika narasumbernya tidak berinisiatif untuk mengubah cara berkomunikasi ke yang lebih aman, sang wartawan biasanya tidak proaktif mengusulkan cara yang lebih aman.

Secara keseluruhan, kami mengobservasi bahwa kepraktisan sangatlah penting. Jika sebuah sarana atau platform tidak secara masif digunakan dan tidak praktis, wartawan tidak akan tertarik menggunakannya, meskipun sarana itu lebih aman.

Komunikasi antar Wartawan dan dengan Perusahaan Media

Di samping menerima informasi langsung (seperti tatap muka atau panggilan telpon) dari kantor mereka (agensi media/perusahaan media), wartawan di Indonesia juga menerima dalam jumlah besar informasi dari grup-grup Whatsapp. Grup-grup Whatsapp ini memiliki jumlah yang sangat banyak, sebagian besar adalah wartawan, dan grup ini menjadi ruang berdiskusi mengenai apa saja. Di Indonesia, banyak wartawan mengatakan bahwa mereka banyak belajar dari grup-grup ini. Kebanyakan percakapan penting antar wartawan terjadi di media sosial dan grup-grup Whatsap.

Beberapa perusahaan media di Indonesia menggunakan Whatsapp untuk berkoordinasi dengan reporter mereka di lapangan. Lagi-lagi hal ini dikarenakan saluran ini adalah yang paling praktis dan cepat untuk berkomunikasi. Penggunaan email semakin terasa usang. Email semakin dianggap tidak bisa diandalkan di dalam era live chat dan streaming. Para wartawan di Indonesia mengeluh bahwa email seringkali tidak dibalas atau mereka menunggu balasan terlalu lama.

Ada perdebatan yang tengah berlangsung mengenai keamanan penggunaan Whatsapp. Konsensus umum menyatakan bahwa sejak Facebook, sebagai pemilik Whatsapp, memperkenalkan end-to-end encryption pada Whatsapp di tahun 2016, aplikasi ini semakin aman. Untuk pemahanan sederhana mengenai perbedaan antara enkripsi dan enkripsi end-to-end dan juga sebagai saran praktis mengenai bagaimana agar percakapan online kita aman, silakan baca artikel mengenai NetAlert. Seperti wartawan yang kami wawancarai, pengembang alat komunikasi online harus menyeimbangkan antara kegunaan dan keamanan. Untungnya perubahan tengah terus digenjot. Setidaknya, para wartawan terus up-to-date terhadap syarat dan kebijakan privasi (terms and privacy policies) dalam aplikasi komunikasi online yang mereka gunakan.

Sementara itu di Filipina, kebanyakan wartawan yang kami wawancarai menggunakan Facebook untuk berkomunikasi. Ada cukup banyak perusahaan media yang menggunakan Grup-grup Facebook sebagai sarana penugasan reportase. Kebanyakan dari wartawan di sana menggunakan satu akun Facebook untuk urusan pekerjaan dan urusan pribadi. Bagi mereka, Facebook mempermudah dan mempercepat urusan mereka.

Wartawan Paruh Waktu versus Wartawan Tetap

Beberapa agensi berita di Filipina menentukan standar bagi wartawannya dalam penggunaan sosial media. Meski demikian, sulit ditemukan standar dalam urusan keamanan digital. Berbagi perangkat digital masih sangat umum dilakukan di tempat kerja mereka dan tidak banyak yang mereka lakukan untuk mengamankan data mereka. Selama acara forum publik yang kami gelar di Manila, ada rekomendasi bahwa agensi-agensi media semestinya mulai fokus pada keamanan digital. Menurut seorang peserta forum, agensi media saat ini tidak memiliki mekanisme akuntabilitas. Oleh karenanya, agensi-agensi besar seharusnya mulai menerapkan standar keamanan kerja terhadap wartawan-wartawannya dan menjadi yang terdepan dalam penerapan kebijakan keamanan digital.

Keadaan di Indonesia tidak berbeda, agensi-agensi media tidak memiliki kebijakan keamanan digital bahkan aturan minimal mengenai keamanan digital juga tak mampu mereka tegakkan. Para wartawan saling berbagi kata kunci komputer, sebuah perangkat digital digunakan baik untuk keperluan professional maupun personal. Kami bahkan mendengar lebih dari sekali bahwa transkrip wawancara dan dokumentasi milik narasumber disimpan di aplikasi percakapan Whatsapp. Para wartawan yang kami wawancarai tidak menganggap hal-hal itu sebagai masalah.

Di Filipina, wartawan paruh waktu tidak memiliki standar keamanan digital sama sekali. Keamanan dinilai atas dasar pengetahuan dan pengalaman pribadi belaka tanpa standar yang jelas. Di Indonesia, wartawan paruh waktu tidak kami wawancarai.

Pelatihan

Di Filipina, semua wartawan menyatakan bahwa mereka ingin memperketat keamanan digital mereka. Hasil wawancara memperlihatkan bahwa para wartawan punya keinginan untuk mengikuti pelatihan keamanan digital. Baru-baru ini pihak yang menawarkan pelatihan biasanya adalah kelompok-kelompok pembela hak-hak digital (digital rights) secara umum yang tidak menekankan isu-isu keamanan digital dalam kehidupan sehari-hari terutama untuk wartawan.

Pelatihan keamanan digital harus sampai menyentuh ranah praktik dan mulai fokus pada realita pekerjaan wartawan. Contohnya, dalam situasi di mana seorang wartawan baru menyelesaikan sebuah wawancara dan merekamnya dalam telpon pintar, apa yang harus ia lakukan terlebih dulu sebelum ia mengakses internet lagi dengan telpon yang sama? Atau, bagaimana data ini harus ditransfer dengan aman ke kantor? Seorang jurnalis senior yang kami wawancara bahkan menyarankan bahwa perusahaan media yang lebih besar dan juga universitas harus menetapkan standar dan menawarkan pelatihan keamanan dan keselamatan digital kepada wartawan-wartawan dan mahasiswa jurnalistik.

Di Indonesia, tak satupun wartawan ditawari pelatihan keamanan digital selama mereka bekerja. Mereka langsung dikirim ke lapangan tanpa dibekali pengetahuan keamanan digital telebih dulu. Para wartawan mempelajari keamanan digital biasanya dari teman-temannya, mereka berbagi pengalaman dan tips. Yang mengejutkan, hanya sebagian kecil saja dari mereka memiliki ketertarikan untuk mempelajari lebih lanjut keamanan digital. Wartawan di Indonesia umumnya merasa keadaan aman-aman saja. Terlebih, para wartawan di Indonesia umumnya tidak tahu bahwa pelatihan keamanan digital itu sebetulnya ada. Situasi di Indonesia sungguh kontras dengan tingginya keinginan untuk mempelajari keamanan digital dalam diri para wartawan yang kami wawancarai di Filipina.

Di kedua negara, kami tidak mendapati wartawan yang aktif mempelajari keamanan digital. Kebanyakan wartawan bahkan terkejut bahwa internet menyediakan pengetahuan yang amat banyak tentang keamanan digital.

Edukasi

Di Filipina, sekitar 50 persen wartawan tidak memiliki latar belakang pendidikan di bidang jurnalistik. Mereka rata-rata masuk ke ranah jurnalistik melalui keaktifan mereka di kampus sebagai wartawan majalah atau koran kampus. Di Filipina, keamanan digital bukan bagian dari kurikulum pendidikan jurnalistik. Hanya program pasca sarjana di University of the Philippines yang menawarkan kelas mengenai media dan teknologi, kelas ini mendiskusikan keamanan digital meski tidak terlalu terstruktur.

Di Indonesia, 90 persen wartawan mengecap pendidikan jurnalistik atau berkuliah di program studi jurnalistik. Meski demikian, materi perkuliahan mengenai keamanan digital absen dari kurikulum jurusan jurnalistik di Indonesia. Kami melakukan penelusuran mengenai kurikulum program studi jurnalisme di Indonesia dan hingga hari ini tidak ada satupun kampus jurnalistik yang memberikan perhatian kepada keamanan digital. Seorang wartawan mengatakan bahwa peningkatan keterampilan jurnalistik bisa didapat dengan mengikuti workshop atau dengan bergabung dengan pers mahasiswa di masing-masing kampus.

Oleh karenanya, untuk menjadi seorang wartawan seseorang tidak mutlak memerlukan ijazah jurnalistik. Melainkan lebih ditentukan oleh pola pikir dan gairah untuk menulis berita. Materi pengetahuan dan keterampilan mengenai keamanan digital oleh karenanya lebih cocok diberikan kepada wartawan yang sudah aktif di lapangan.

Kesimpulan

Kami bisa menyimpulkan bahwa baik di Indonesia maupun di Filipina, kesadaran wartawan terhadap keamanan digital itu rendah. Situasi ini tercermin dari praktik bekerja mereka yang tidak aman. Di Filipina, kesadaran wartawan tentang keamanan digital lebih baik dibandingkan dengan wartawan di Indonesia.

Wartawan itu rentan mendapatkan ancaman dan intimidasi di dunia maya, meski demikian mereka tidak dapat banyak dukungan dari perusahaan media tempat mereka bekerja untuk mengantisipasi ancaman dan intimidasi itu. Kesempatan untuk mempelajari keamanan digital tersedia dan sangat mudah didapat di internet, namun para wartawan tidak banyak yang mengetahuinya, atau enggan mengaksesnya. Karena materi keamanan digital di internet kebanyakan berbahasa Inggris, kendala bahasa juga bisa menjadi sebuah faktor penghambat.

Wartawan ada dalam kondisi sulit untuk membuat perubahan. Agensi-agensi media tidak punya kebijakan keamanan digital dan tidak memiliki tanggung jawab untuk mulai mendorong praktik pengamanan data digital dalam organisasi mereka. Pilihan untuk menggunakan sarana komunikasi dan sarana penyimpanan data digital umumnya dipicu oleh tawaran dari narasumber dan jejaring komunikasi yang ada.

Sarana komunikasi yang popular tidak serta merta memiilki protokol keamanan yang memadai. Sejak Whatsapp memperkenalkan enkripsi end-to-end, aplikasi percakapan ini memang menjadi lebih aman. Ini merupakan hal penting karena Whatsapp sangat popular digunakan oleh wartawan, terutama di Indonesia, sebagai alat rekam wawancarai dan untuk menjalin komunikasi dengan narasumber atau dengan kolega.

State of Uncertainty: Digital Security of Journalists in Indonesia and the Philippines

by EM News December 14, 2017

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CIJ), a global advocate for press freedom, the Philippines ranks as one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists. Just a few months ago, a journalist was shot to death in Mindanao. In Indonesia, being a journalist is not safe either. Regular cases of assault are reported and according to the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), a nongovernmental union, violence against journalists is on the rise. Clearly journalists in these countries are at risk and must therefore better protect themselves.

EngageMedia, as part of the Cyber Stewards Network, conducted research on the state of digital security for journalists in Indonesia and the Philippines. In over 40 interviews, journalists discussed their level of awareness on digital security issues and what, if any, they are doing to keep themselves safe.

We previously presented the results of the interviews on the EngageMedia website in two blog posts: one focused on Indonesia and the other one on the Philippines. You can also watch a short video we produced to help explain the Indonesian context. The research conducted between the two countries offers a good opportunity for comparison. In this new blog post, we will outline and comment on some of the most important issues that came up, to provide more insight on how journalists there perceive and practice digital security.

Online Data Storage

Today, journalists predominantly use mobile phones and digital recording devices to record interviews. All these photographs, video clips, and audio files require a considerable amount of storage space. It goes without saying that data storage needs to be done securely, without risking outsiders being able to access these files. If data is saved by attaching them to emails, that means anyone hacking a journalist's email account can have access to the files. When using popular cloud storage providers like Dropbox, Google Drive or Onedrive, stored data is slightly more safe. The data is encrypted and separate passwords are needed.

Nonetheless, none of the previously mentioned companies can guarantee the safety of your data. Governments and the entertainment industry (looking for copyrighted material) are putting pressure on cloud storage providers to search for anything deemed “illegal” and certain employees of the aforementioned companies can access the stored data. Edward Snowden has even stated that Dropbox is hostile to privacy and he also urges users to “avoid Google” and switch to cloud storage services like Spideroak which encrypts all data and guarantees that it can’t access the files of its users. Finally, journalists should be aware of the jurisdiction in their respective countries regarding cloud storage.

Strikingly, Indonesian journalists are mostly unaware about online safety when it comes to data storage. Only one of the journalists we interviewed put some effort into protecting their collected data. Most journalists work using their personal laptops or mobile phones and use the internal phone and/or laptop memory to store data. For others, the way they save information is by storing it inside the archives of chat applications like WhatsApp or Line. A journalist working for a media company told us that employers often ask journalists to save their data at the office and/or back it up on an internal computer.

However, there are no standards or systems for storage and archives that are being used at the media companies that our interviewed journalists work for. Furthermore, the journalists who stored data at the office didn’t really know what happens with it or whether it’s stored safely. At one particular office, passwords to computers are also shared amongst colleagues, meaning that stored data can easily be accessed, used, and/or altered. Various other journalists confirmed that sharing passwords is a common practice at their workplaces.

Most veteran journalists in the Philippines do not keep any sensitive information on electronic devices as they feel that they might be hacked. There are a few journalists who know how to encrypt the files in their devices, but they do not do it consistently with all of their files. In general, journalists in the Philippines find it challenging to ensure better filing and storage systems, as it requires more time and resources, which they usually do not have.

Data Encryption

One of the best ways to secure data is through encryption. In Indonesia, we didn’t find any journalists actively encrypting data, although some basic knowledge around encryption was present. Their reluctance to encrypt is usually caused by a lack of knowledge of what encryption actually is, and how it works. A reality where Indonesian journalists would incorporate data encryption practices as part of their everyday working habits seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. On top of this, none of the interviewed journalists’ employers are encouraging the practice.

In the Philippines, we found some journalists who were using data encryption tools. However, they didn’t do it consistently and these processes were not integrated in their working practices. Overall, it appeared that journalists in the Philippines take better care of their data or do not save sensitive data digitally.

Digital Surveillance

Journalists in both countries are mostly unaware about what digital surveillance entails. Surveillance is mostly perceived as physical surveillance, being followed around by government officials or company security officials. An example of the awareness of digital surveillance was found in a remote area of Indonesia. One interviewed journalist in the Eastern part of Indonesia, afraid of being harassed or intimidated, reported turning off his mobile phone upon heading towards a certain region and only turning it back on after returning. By doing so, the journalist tried to make sure the government and the military were not aware of their whereabouts. Another journalist in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, reportedly gave up using all social media accounts in order to be safe from being intimidated or threatened by politicians and/or their followers. In the Philippines, some journalists prefer to meet face to face with sensitive sources and not use any devices when meeting them as they know they are vulnerable to being compromised.

What shows clearly is that in both countries, journalists are still hugely unaware of how the Internet works, and so they also do not know how digital surveillance works, and the impact of their own Internet usage on their digital security. Although journalists are aware that governments conduct surveillance, they are not aware of the level of sophisticated methods and tools for surveillance that states currently have at their disposal.

Communication between journalists and sources

Practicality is the most important quality that journalists look for when it comes to communicating with sources in Indonesia. Journalists have to be able to contact their sources quickly and easily. Therefore, they use existing easy-to-use, well-known platforms (e.g., WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Line) to communicate. Almost all journalists record interviews on mobile phones which they have for personal use as well. Even though they are aware of the security risks involved, ease of use is deemed more important. All the journalists we spoke to stated that they would be willing to use safer communication channels, so long as they are simple to use. Currently, media companies in Indonesia actually encourage their journalists to use social media and insecure channels to communicate, so there is little urge or motivation for Indonesian journalists to switch to safer platforms.

In the Philippines, journalists are more conscious of safer communication practices, but do not necessarily use encrypted communication channels. An often heard complaint is that they cannot force their sources to use certain kinds of communication channels. If different protocols or safer ways of communication are used, they are mostly initiated by the sources themselves. And if the source does not suggest a secure manner of communicating, the journalist does not usually proactively offer safer measures.

Overall, we observe that practicality is pivotal. If a tool or platform does not have a large user base and is not easy to use, journalists will not be interested in using it, even if it aids in more secure communication.

Communication among Journalists and with their Agencies

Apart from receiving information directly (e.g. in person or through a phone call) from their employers (agencies/media companies), Indonesian journalists get the bulk of their information through WhatsApp groups. These WhatsApp groups have large amounts of members, mostly journalists, and are used to discuss just about anything. In Indonesia, many journalists stated that they learn a lot through these groups. Most of the important conversations between journalists take place through social media and WhatsApp groups.

Some Indonesian media companies are using WhatsApp to coordinate with reporters on the ground. Again, journalists told us that this is because it is the fastest and most practical way to communicate. The usage of e-mail is becoming obsolete. Emails are generally regarded as unreliable in the era of live chat and streaming. Indonesian journalists complain that emails are often not replied to or they have to wait too long for an answer.

There’s an ongoing debate regarding the safety of WhatsApp. The general consensus seems to be that since Facebook, who owns WhatsApp, introduced end-to-end encryption to it in 2016, the product has become a lot safer. For a simple overview of the differences between encryption and end-to-end encryption, as well as valuable practical advice on how to keep your chats secure, read this NetAlert article. Just like the journalists we interviewed, developers of online communication tools must strike a balance between usability and security, and thankfully changes are constantly being made. At best, journalists stay up-to-date on the terms and privacy policies of the online communication services they are using.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, most of the reporters we interviewed primarily use Facebook to communicate. There is even a media outlet that uses Facebook Groups to send reporting assignments to their teams. Most of the journalists interviewed use the same account on Facebook to communicate for both work and personal reasons. For them, it’s easier to use Facebook as it’s faster.

Freelance Journalists versus Agency-based

Several news agencies in the Philippines impose standards on their journalists regarding their use of social media. However, hardly any standards on digital security were found. Sharing of devices is still commonplace and little is done to safely manage the data stored on them. During our public event in Manila, a strong recommendation was made for major news agencies to start focusing on digital security. According to participants in the forum, news agencies at present have no accountability mechanisms. Therefore, bigger agencies should start imposing safe working standards to their journalists and become the front-runners of digital security policies.

The situation in Indonesia is similar. Agencies have no digital security policy in place and the few rules relating to digital security are not being enforced. Journalists share passwords to computers, devices are used both personally and professionally, and more than once we heard of interview transcripts and the documentation of sources being saved in WhatsApp chats. Interviewed journalists did not see this as a problem.

In the Philippines, freelance journalists did not have any standards at all. They just try to stay safe according to their own judgement. In Indonesia, no freelance journalists were interviewed.

Training

In the Philippines, all interviewed journalists stated that they wanted to strengthen their digital security. Our interview results show there is interest among journalists to undergo digital security training. Currently, the organizations offering training are digital rights advocacy groups who address digital security issues in ways that do not necessarily relate to the everyday reality of journalists.

Digital security trainings should therefore be more practical and focus on the working reality of journalists. For instance, in a situation where a journalist has just finished an interview and recorded it on his/her phone: what should they do before going online again with that particular device? Or how should this data be transmitted safely to the office? A veteran journalist we interviewed even suggested that bigger media companies and universities should set the trend and offer digital safety and security trainings to reporters and aspiring journalism students.

In Indonesia, none of the journalists were offered training before or during their employment. They were simply sent into the field to start working. The learning that takes place among journalists in Indonesia is usually peer-to-peer, through the sharing of experiences and tips. Surprisingly, few journalists were actually interested in learning more about digital security. The general feeling is that things are safe. Moreover, journalists in Indonesia were largely unaware of the possibility of training oneself in digital security and whether such trainings existed. In contrast, we observed a high interest for digital security training among the journalists we interviewed in the Philippines.

In both countries, we did not find journalists who are actively educating themselves. Many were surprised to learn that there is a wealth of knowledge available online regarding digital security.

Education

In the Philippines, around 50 percent of journalists have not received any formal education in journalism. Instead, they entered the field through their activities on campus as writers for university newspapers and magazines. In the Philippines, digital security is not part of journalistic education, although a new post-grad course on media and technology at the University of the Philippines does discuss digital security issues, albeit not in any structured form.

In Indonesia, almost 90 percent of the journalists in our research sample have received formal education that focused on journalism or attended journalism schools. Nonetheless, information and teaching on digital security was absent in all programs. Our desktop research in Indonesia also shows that even today, there is no attention given to digital security at the major higher education institutions offering degrees in journalism. One journalist also told us that more advanced journalistic skills were gained by attending workshops or by joining student press clubs in university.

Therefore, to become a journalist, a degree in journalism is not required. It’s more about the mindset and passion for writing stories. Any additional education on digital security is thus best given to journalists already in the field.

Conclusion

Overall, we can conclude that both in Indonesia and the Philippines, journalists’ awareness around digital security is low. This situation is reflected in their often unsafe working practices; although overall, awareness around digital security issues is better among journalists in the Philippines when compared to Indonesia.

Journalists are vulnerable and do not receive much support from their agencies. Opportunities and knowledge to digitally protect oneself are widely available online, but journalists are hardly aware or make use of them. As most of the online resources are in English, the language barrier could also be a factor.

Journalists are in a difficult position to make changes. Agencies have no digital security policies and do not feel obliged to start pushing for better digital security practices with their organizations. The choice of communication and storage tools that journalists use is influenced by sources and general network effects. Popular tools may not necessarily have secure communication protocols. Since WhatsApp’s introduction of end-to-end encryption, it has become much safer to use. This is especially important for Indonesia where the majority of interviewed journalists are highly dependent on Whatsapp for communication and storage.

Besides training, more effort should be put into awareness-raising around digital security, and we hope our research is a step in the right direction. Please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below with your thoughts, as we are keen on continuing this important conversation.

Pocket Power: A Mobile Video Production Workshop at COCONET

by EM News December 07, 2017

As part of EngageMedia’s syllabus on using video for social change, our Communications and Outreach Coordinator conducted a number of related sessions at COCONET, the Southeast Asia Digital Rights Camp.

One of these was the workshop on mobile video production, with was held with a group of participants from across the region, working in various fields such as journalism, human rights activism and digital security. The goal of the workshop was to explain the usefulness of mobile devices to document and advocate critical social issues, the social impact that effective video content can have, and teach participants how to produce short videos themselves.

The session began with a sharing of statistics and examples of how mobile video is used and consumed, after which participants were taken through a detailed list of best practices for recording on mobile devices. These included technical considerations such as stability, lighting, sound, quality settings and memory, but also ethical considerations such as privacy and security for both documenters and subjects. Co-facilitator Prakkash from WITNESS also shared some tools and tips for recording video as evidence.

We then conducted an exercise, where the facilitators interviewed each other and all participants were asked to record the scene as if they were journalists live at the scene. This spontaneous segment was useful to practice and reflect on the technical aspects that were shared earlier and how to maximize the somewhat limited capabilities of mobile devices. Here, Prakkash also showed some gadgets that could be purchased to help improve the quality of footage recorded on mobile phones, such as mobile tripods and portable microphones.

The second half of the workshop involved taking participants through the essentials of recording preplanned video interviews. To make their footage look as professional as possible, they were shown how to frame their shots using the rule of thirds and enhancing them by looking more closely at location, lighting and context. Other topics that were touched on included the 5 basic shots in videography, cutaways, storyboarding, mobile and desktop editing tools, and online sharing platforms.

After a demonstration on how to position their crew, the participants were then put into groups of four where they assigned each other as interviewers, interviewees, videographers and directors. Using all the principles they had learned so far, they were assigned to produce one minute video interviews. The groups came with a great four videos, which were shared to entire group and evaluated collectively, with comments made on the content and technical quality.

We concluded the session by looking at measuring the qualitative and quantitative impact of online video. We also reiterated the importance for civil society to use online video in their work, sharing a statistic that states that, “By 2021, internet video traffic will account for over 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.” Video is the medium of the future, and we’re all able to harness it’s power using the tool in our pockets.

Find out more about COCONET, the Southeast Asia Digital Rights Camp here.

Video interviews with some of the amazing people at COCONET

by EM News November 30, 2017

From 23 to 27 October 2017 in Indonesia, EngageMedia, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) along with key regional allies, hosted COCONET, a Southeast Asia Digital Rights camp.

With over 100 participants Southeast Asia and beyond, the camp was a great platform to share and exchange ideas, projects, skills and tools. Some of the goals also included looking at potential collaborations between participants post-event and building a regional movement for digital rights.

In this post we'd like to share video interviews featuring some of the interesting people who are working on digital rights and human rights issues in their respective countries. They speak about their work and their experiences as well as learnings at COCONET. The interviews were recorded by filmmakers who were participants themselves.

Cathy, vlogger and women's rights activist, Cambodia


Ilang-Ilang, filmmaker and journalist with Altermidya, The Philippines


Wai Phyo, Myanmar Center for Responsible Business, Myanmar


Chat, Association for Progressive Communications, The Philippines


Jeremy, LGBT rights advocate, Malaysia

Read more about COCONET here.

Has ASEAN turned a blind eye to human rights online?

by EM News November 28, 2017

ASEAN Digital Rights Roundtable
Social struggles and movements have changed over time, constantly adapting to realities of the challenges and technologies of the day. As the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ICT Master plan picks up pace, and people across the region invite digital technologies into their lives in more pervading ways, the effects of technology on people and human rights challenges online should not be ignored.

In line with this, EngageMedia and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), collaborated with EMPOWER Malaysia, Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), and Viet Tan to hold 'TECH. ACTIVISM. HUMAN RIGHTS.', a roundtable discussion on the state of activism and digital rights in Southeast Asia on 10 November 2017 at the Journalism Department of University of the Philippines Diliman, College of Mass Communications. Over 35 human rights defenders from ASEAN region met to discuss a range of challenges they are facing online.

“The internet has undeniably opened up spaces for us to challenge and discuss social and environmental issues in a way that was simply not possible before,” remarked Don Le of Viet Tan. To this, Thilaga of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus and Justice for Sisters Malaysia responded by saying, “the mere availability of technology and access to the internet does not make us equals. The discrimination groups and individuals face in offline spaces, especially those belonging to LGBTQIA communities is real and in some ways has been exasperated by the internet.”

The participants of the roundtable debated on the role the internet has played in addressing social and political issues in the region. “Religion is a burning issue in Indonesia. Hate has turned into a business for economic and political gain, executed in a professional and organised manner,” warned Anton from SAFENET Indonesia. Discussants from the Philippines debated over the validity of the discourse on “fake news”, stating that the phrase is an oxymoron and that the real issue rests with disinformation, the solution to which can only be more news, more speech, and not criminalisation.

Ed Legaspi of SEAPA explained that, “the rights we enjoy and are entitled to offline apply online as well. Therefore, the guarantees including freedom of expression should remain the same online as has been affirmed by the United Nations Human Rights Council repeatedly.” Gayatri Khandhadai of APC added by saying, “human rights are not platform specific and we carry our rights to all spaces, irrespective of whether they are online or offline.” Several concerns were raised about laws being applied to online activities which criminalise expression and stiffen democratic discussions.

Touching on the efforts made so far in ASEAN, Lisa Garcia of Foundation for Media Alternatives noted that, “there is a pressing need for individuals to engage in internet governance spaces including national and regional fora.” Nica Dumlao, EngageMedia’s Digital Rights Coordinator added by saying that, “we need to take technology-related discussions to all our spaces and communities, it is an issue that affects us all”. Nica noted that the roundtable discussion is part of a bigger initiative of digital rights organizations in Southeast Asia to raise awareness on digital rights and how technology is impacting the work of civil society.

'TECH. ACTIVISM. HUMAN RIGHTS' was one of EngageMedia’s activities during the ASEAN Civil Society Conference / ASEAN Peoples Forum 2017 (ACSC/APF 2017) in Manila, Philippines. The ACSC/APF is a solidarity gathering of diverse civil society organizations (CSOs) in Southeast Asia, which organizes its own parallel activities during the ASEAN Summit.

EngageMedia also collaborated with feminist & queer activists and organized a pop-up installation and discussion entitled, “Imagining a Feminist & Queer Internet in Southeast Asia” on 12 November.

*With report from the Association for Progressive Communications

Video and Technology for Human Rights Documentation at COCONET

by EM News November 28, 2017
How tools and apps help to complement traditional methods of advocacy.


Video has been utilized for human rights documentation and advocacy for quite some time now and it’s power and impact seem to continuously grow. We now know that there are about 1.5 billion registered users visiting YouTube every month. That’s a huge number for an audience which is increasing day by day. But aside from the numbers, video has also acted as a catalyst for events that bring about social change such as the Arab spring, or has helped propagate another war.

One of the related sessions at COCONET 2017 (a Southeast Asia digital rights camp that was recently hosted by us at EngageMedia and partners) was ‘Video and Technology for Human Rights Documentation’. The session was delivered by Prakkash from WITNESS and Yerry Borang from our organzation who explained how activists, journalists, and human rights advocates can maximize the benefits of using video and technology in their work.

With HD, DSLR and hidden cameras becoming cheaper and more affordable, it becomes increasingly feasible for advocates to use video in their work. It’s also become more common and handy to use drones for advocacy, whether to be used as an alternative source for evidence or to document police brutality.

Today there are several useful tools and apps such as Camera V, which is one of the best ways to capture and share verifiable photos and videos on a smartphone or tablet. With this app, individuals working in difficult and high-risk situations can easily capture and gather visual evidence of rights violations and abuse of power.

It can also be used for documenting personal matters such as those related to accidents, real estate and more. All this evidence can later be verified or used in court or to prove that an event or incident actually took place.

Another interesting app is Obscura Cam, which can be used as a tool to remove metadata such as geo-location or obscure faces for anonymity. This gives people the power to better protect themselves and the identities of those captured in their photos before they are posted online.

It can be used as the default camera app on a device to take a picture, and also select photos or videos that were already taken to automatically detect faces that can be pixelated, redacted (blacked out) or hidden with a comical nose and glasses! There is also a function to invert the pixelation, so that only the person selected is visible, and no one in the background is recognizable. The app also removes all identifying metadata stored in photos including GPS location data, device model, and any internet access points. The edited photograph can be exported or shared directly to Facebook, Twitter and many other platforms.

It’s also best practice that people who want to use these tools and apps always keep in mind journalistic ethics and research on their local laws in order to understand the legal boundaries in using them in their specific locations.

View more blogposts and videos from COCONET here.

Apakah Profesi Wartawan Aman di Indonesia?

by EM News November 29, 2017
Apakah penggunaan Whatsapp adalah langkah aman bagi wartawan untuk memberikan pertanyaan tambahan pada seorang narasumber? Adakah aplikasi alternatif lain yang lebih aman? Apakah bekerja dengan resiko membahayakan bisa dikatakan normal bagi para wartawan? Amankah jika para wartawan dibiarkan berbagi komputer di kantor redaksi mereka? Pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini muncul dalam dua periode wawancara dengan sejumlah wartawan di Indonesia sebagai bagian dari riset oleh EngageMedia mengenai keamanan digital wartawan.

Apakah Profesi Wartawan Aman di Indonesia?

Oleh Yerry Borang and Egbert Wits

Sebelumnya di tahun 2017, kami bekerja sama dengan Citizen Lab, untuk berdiskusi dengan wartawan-wartawan dari Papua, Aceh, dan Jawa Tengah untuk mendalami masalah terkini mengenai keamanan bekerja sebagai wartawan. Enam belas wartawan kami wawancarai, kami fokus pada persoalan keamanan digital dan bagaimana wartawan menggunakan teknologi (dengan aman). Selain di Indonesia, riset ini juga kami jalankan di Filipina.

Meskipun jumlah situs yang membantu kualitas keamanan pekerjaan kita sudah bertambah, namun ada diskusi yang terlewatkan, yakni mengenai pro dan kontra dari keamanan digital bagi wartawan, serta tentang berbagai kendala keamanan digital yang mereka hadapi di era cepatnya arus informasi dan instant deadline. Kami berharap bahwa hasil riset yang kami sebarkan ini dapat berkontribusi bagi diskusi ini. Mari kita mulai dengan menelaan latar belakang Pendidikan para wartawan.

Pendidikan Jurnalisme

10 dari 16 wartawan yang kami wawancarai memiliki latar belakang Pendidikan di program studi jurnalisme. Mereka mendapatkan materi perkuliahan seputar keselamatan fisik dalam proses peliputan, namun materi mengenai keamanan digital sepenuhnya absen. “Tidak ada perhatian sama sekali terhadap keamanan digital selama saya mengecap Pendidikan jurnalisme” (Jakarta no. 2). Ketika menelaah program-program studi jurnalisme di beberapa universitas di Jawa [1] hari ini, kami tidak menemukan satupun institusi yang memiliki materi ajar mengenai keamanan digital atau keselamatan wartawan. Ketika job training, mungkin? Sayangnya juga tidak. Tak satupun perwakilan pihak media yang kami wawancarai mengatakan bahwa mereka memberikan pelatihan esktra mengenai isu keselamaan dan keamanan. Pengetahuan yang beredar mengenai keamanan digital sunggguh minimal dan pengetahuan itu diperoleh biasanya dari diskusi sesama wartawan. Umumnya, para wartawan mulai mempelajari atau mencari informasi tentang keamanan digital dan keamanan kerja setelah mereka merasa terancam, dilecehkan, atau pengalaman negatif lain akibat dari pekerjaan jurnalistik mereka.

Minimnya pelatihan mengenai keamanan online dan offline adalah fakta yang mengkhawatirkan mengingat kondisi keselamatan wartawan di Indonesia ada dalam kondisi genting. Human Rights Watch melaporkan [2] bahwa angka kekerasan terhadap wartawan meningkat. Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI), sebuah lembaga swadaya masyarakat bagi para wartawan, melaporkan bahwa ada 78 insiden kekerasan terhadap wartawan pada tahun 2006 [3], termasuk dilakukan oleh aparat keamanan.  Sebuah peningkatan tajam dibandingkan dengan 42 insiden di tahun 2015, dan 40 di tahun 2014. AJI menemukan bahwa hanya sedikit dari 78 pelaku kekerasan yang berhasil diadili. Jadi, meskipun sudah ada beberapa produk hukum [4] yang melindungi profesi wartawan, akses pada keadilan masihlah sulit diraih.

Smartphones

Semua wartawan yang terlibat dalam riset kami sangat bergantung pada smartphone untuk berkomunikasi dan merekam wawancara. Nomor kontak narasumber juga disimpan di sana. Grup percakapan Whatsapp adalah sumber informasi penting karena menjadi tempat berbagi informasi yang efektif. Hanya tiga dari enam belas wartawan percaya bahwa data dalam telepon genggam mereka akan aman juga digunakan dengan benar. Metode keamanan seperti encrypted messaging tidak diketahui secara luas, meskipun umumnya para wartawan sadar bahwa informasi sensitif lebih baik tidak disirkulasikan melalui aplikasi mobile chat atau SMS. “Pesan penting lebih baik tidak dikirim lewat SMS. Agar aman.” (Papua no. 1)

Ironisnya, umumnya para wartawan sadar bahwa keamanan gadget mereka rentan karena mudah diakses oleh orang lain ataupun diretas oleh pihak yang ingin menginvestigasi data yang mereka miliki. Namun, tidak banyak yang mereka lakukan untuk mencegahnya, dan mereka hanya bisa berharap yang terbaik: “Saya hanya berharap bahwa menggunakan Whatsapp akan aman-aman saja, Saya menggunakannya karena tidak ada alternatif lain” (Jakarta no. 2). Wartawan lain mencoba lebih waspada: “Kami harus lebih mawas diri dalam menggunakan aplikasi dan peralatan digital” (Jakarta no. 7). Tapi umumnya para wartawan tidak begitu peduli. Hanya enam dari enam belas mengatakan “Ya” ketika ditanya apakah mereka berprasangka bahwa keamanan data digital maupun keselamatan fisik mereka mudah terancam sehubungan dengan pekerjaan jurnalistik mereka, kurangnya langkah pencegahan ini begitu mengejutkan. Hampir semuanya menganggap situasi yang sebetulnya berbahaya ini sebagai hal yang biasa saja.

Memisahkan yang Personal dari yang Profesional

Sebelas dari enam belas wartawan menggunakan nomor pribadi dan atau akun sosial media mereka dipakai untuk rutinitas pekerjaan sebagai wartawan. Meskipun banyak yang berpendapat bahwa lebih baik memisahkan akun dan nomor telepon pribadi dengan akun dan nomor untuk bekerja, berbagai alasan membuat mereka tidak mengindahkan prinsip ini. Kenyamanan, seringnya bekerja di luar jam kerja, kedekatan sesama wartawan, dan peralatan kantor yang tidak menunjang menjadi alasan bagi penggunaan nomor dan akun pribadi untuk urusan pekerjaan.

Sehubungan dengan ketidakmampuan wartawan untuk memisahkan akun dan nomor pribadi dan profesional, beberapa wartawan terpaksa harus menonaktifkan akun sosial media mereka, bahkan ada yang menghapusnya. “Saya sudah menghapus semua akun media sosial saya. Sudah tidak punya akun Twitter lagi, begitu juga dengan Facebook dan Instagram. Biar aman saja.” (Jakarta No. 5). Para wartawan juga menyebutkan bahwa mereka sering menjadi korban bully atau menerima ancaman melalui akun sosial media mereka. Juga, detil informasi pribadi mengenai wartawan (anggota keluarga, alamat, dan tempat nongkrong favorit, dsb) dengan mudah ditemui secara online. Sebuah pertanyaan besar apakah kondisi ini bisa ditangani, mengingat nama dan identitas wartawan sering muncul seiring terbitnya artikel mereka di Indonesia. Lewat pencarian sederhana di Google saja, informasi pribadi kita bisa terkumpul dengan mudah.

Keamanan Data

Hanya lima dari enam belas wartawan menyebutkan bahwa perusahaan mereka menerapkan kebijakan yang spesifik mengenai penggunaan perangkat lunak, administrasi online, dan penyimpanan data. Detilnya, hal ini berarti soal penamaan file (pengarsipan dan penyimpanan database) dan perekaman kata kunci yang digunakan untuk menerbitkan artikel. Sebagian besar wartawan menggunakan laptop, smartphone, dan kartu SD pribadi atau peralatan pribadi lain untuk menyimpan data. Hampir semua responden menggunakan perangkat lunak data online (Google Drive atau Dropbox) untuk menyimpan back up data mereka.

Mengenai keamanan data, komentar ini sangat penting: “sebaik apapun kami mengamankan data dalam perangkat elektronik, tetap akan ada orang-orang yang mampu meretasnya” (Jakarta no. 10). Wartawan terlihat memahami adanya bahaya, namun mereka merasa hanya sedikit yang bisa mereka lakukan untuk menanganinya. Para wartawan sudah terlalu terbiasa dengan menyimpan data dalam smartphone pribadi mereka, dan kurangnya alternatif sistem pengamanan, adalah kesepakatan para responden tentang perilaku mereka dengan data digital. Tak satupun perusahaan media tempat para wartawan bekerja membuat aturan ketat mengenai keamanan digital, berbagi komputer di ruang redaksi dipandang sebagai aktivitas yang dianggap wajar. Bahkan kata kunci untuk mengakses komputer tersebar, untuk berjaga-jaga jikalau ada masalah dengan computer atau jika file tertentu butuh diakses wartawan lain. Kesimpulannya, keamanan penyimpanan data tidak dipertimbangkan sebagai sebuah isu penting.

Jakarta vs Daerah

Ada perbandingan yang kontras antara paktik kewartawan di Ibukota Indonesia, Jakarta, dengan di kawasan-kawasan lain Indonesia. Wartawan-wartawan di Jakarta merasa diri mereka lebih aman dalam menjalankan praktik kewartawanan, sedangkan wartawan-wartawan dari kawasan lain, atau yang biasa disebut “daerah”, merasakan lebih banyak bahaya yang mengancam mereka. “Bekerja di luar Jakarta itu masih bahaya. Teman saya wartawan di sana sering menerima terror. Tapi di Jakarta, kami masih cukup aman” (Jakarta no. 3). Ancaman paling bahaya yang mereka sebut datang dari penguasa lokal. Misalnya, pelaku industri lokal, orang pemerintahan lokal, pebisnis lokal yang bekerja di bidang ekstraksi sumber daya alam, dan kelompok-kelompok ekstrimis lokal.

Kami berpendapat bahwa kondisi kontas antara praktik kewartawanan di Jakarta dan kawasan lainnya utamanya dikarenakan oleh perbedaan level akses internet dan akses masyarakat pada informasi. Sebagai tambahan, berbagai kejadian di Jakarta dengan cepat menjelma menjadi isu nasional. Tetapi di “daerah”, karena penetrasi internet lemah dan akses pada informasi lebih sulit. Yang terjadi di level lokal, tetap menjadi lokal; memberikan kesempatan bagi aktor-aktor lokal lebih bebas untuk berkuasa.

Perangkat Lunak Ilegal

Membuat wartawan-wartawan di Indonesia untuk menggunakan perangkat lunak yang legal sungguh merupakan tantangan besar. Hampir semua wartawan menggunakan bajakan, artinya mereka tidak mendapatkan up-date sistem keamanan, dan proteksi dari live malware juga tidak up date.

Kesempatan

Selain menyediakan perangkat lunak asli, pimpinan media juga harus menyediakan pendampingan lebih kepada wartawan. Kelompok diskusi bulanan untuk mendiskusikan dan menginvestigasi isu-isu keamanan digital bisa menjadi solusi. Juga, ada beberapa kursus mengenai perangkat lunak dan internet di luar sana, tapi jika pimpinan media tidak mendorong wartawannya untuk meningkatkan level keamanan data mereka, keadaan tidak akan berubah.

Kesimpulan

Kesimpulan dari mewawancarai para wartawan Indonesia adalah, para wartawan menganggap isu keamanan digital dengan santai. Ditambah dengan adanya persepsi bahwa tidak banyak yang bisa mereka lakukan untuk memperbaiki keadaan, membuat situasi menjadi lebih buruk. Sangatlah penting bagi para wartawan untuk mau lebih memahami bahwa lemahnya keamanan digital bisa berdampak buruk. Bukan hanya bagi wartawannya sendiri, namun juga bagi narasumber, keluarga, pemilik media dan publik pada umumnya.


1 Diantaranya, kami meninjau UGM (Yogyakarta), Unpad (Bandung), UI (Jakarta). Ini link sebuah kurikulum dari program studi ilmu komunikasi, Universitas Atma Jaya (Jakarta).

2 Baca:https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/25/indonesia-journalists-under-assault

3 Angka ini hanya menghitung kekerasan yang dialami oleh wartawan “professional”. Banyak lagi kasus yang tidak dilaporkan di mana korbannya adalah jurnalis warga atau wartawan freelance.

4 Contohnya: pasal 28 UUD 1945 menyatakan bahwa negara melindungi kebebasan berpendapat dan berekspresi. Sumber hukum perlindungan terdapat wartawan juga terdapat pada Undang-undang HAM, UU No. 39 (1999), Undang-undang pers UU No. 40 (1999), dan Undang-undang Penyiaran.

Persepsi tentang Keamanan dan Keselamatan Profesi Wartawan di Filipina

by EM News November 16, 2017

Persepsi tentang Keamanan dan Keselamatan Profesi Wartawan di Filipina

Oleh EngageMedia

Filipina secara konsisten selalu masuk di puncak daftar negara-negara paling berbahaya bagi profesi wartawan dan pelaku media. International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), misalnya, mendudukan Filipina sebagai negara paling berbahaya kedua di dunia bagi wartawan. [1]

Menurut Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 77 wartawan telah terbunuh di Filipina sejak 1992, 75 wartawan dibunuh, dan 68 kasus berakhir dengan impunitas. [2]. Centre for Media Responsibility and Freedoms (CMFR) mengelola sebuah database tentang pembunuhan wartawan di Filipina sejak 1986. Database itu melaporkan adanya 151 upaya pembunuhan sejak 1986 [3] yang mengancam 68 wartawan radio dan 58 wartawan cetak [4]. 57 persen pembunuhan terjadi di wilayah Mindanao, Filipina Selatan.

Kasus impunitas yang paling menonjol dalam pembunuhan wartawan di Filipina adalah kejadian pembantaian di Ampatuan (atau pembantaian Mindanao) di mana 58 orang terbunuh, 32 diantaranya wartawan, pada 23 November 2009. Sampai 5 Januari 2016, 113 dari 197 orang yang menjadi tersangka pembantaian telah ditangkap tapi proses pengadilan masih berlangsung dan terkesan dihambat dan diperlambat [5].

Untuk mengeksplorasi topik ini, dari Juni hingga Juli 2016, berbagai wawancara dengan sejumlah wartawan kami lakukan di Filipina untuk memahami bagaimana persepsi mereka mengenai keamanan dan keselamatan kerja jurnalisme di sana, serta bagaimana strategi mereka untuk menjaga keselamatan.

Tentang Responden

  • Para wartawan yang kami wawancarai adalah campuran antara wartawan tetap dan paruh waktu. Sepuluh wartawan tetap berasal dari beragam perusahaan media, satu seorang pemandu acara televisi, dan tiga wartawan paruh waktu yang secara reguler mengirimkan berita baik kepada media mainstream maupun independen.
  • Ada tujuh wartawan yang bekerja untuk media online, dan empat wartawan bekerja untuk stasiun radio, hampir semuanya mempunyai pengalaman bekerja untuk media cetak, penyiaran, video dan kantor berita radio.
  • Para responden termasuk wartawan-wartawan yang sudah berpengalaman. Enam responden pernah bekerja sebagai wartawan selama sepuluh sampai enam belas tahun, empat responden sudah bekerja lebih dari dua puluh tahun, dan hanya empat wartawan yang menjadi wartawan kurang dari sepuluh tahun.
  • Hampir semua responden menjelajahi ruang peliputan yang sangat luas, di dalam maupun di luar Filipina. Dua puluh wartawan menguasai area liputan Manila dan kawasan ibukota (National Capital Region); enam responden menguasai area liputan Filipina tengah – Visayas (Bacolod, Iloilo, Tacloban); dan tiga responden memiliki area liputan Mindanao. Tiga dari responden juga memiliki area liputan di luar Filipina.
  • Tema peliputan para responden juga sangat bervariasi. Enam diantaranya fokus pada politik (pemilihan umum, pemerintahan, pemerintahan lokal, dan hukum); enam lainnya fokus pada bidang hak azasi manusia (hak buruh, hak masyarakat adat, hak perempuan, dan hak anak-anak); lima responden fokus pada isu perdamaian dan penanganan konflik, lebih spesifiknya isu negosiasi Bangsamoro dan National Democratic Front (NDF) dengan pemerintah Filipina.

 

Narasumber Utama dan Cara Berkomunikasi dengan Mereka

Semua responden sepakat mengenai pentingnya mendapatkan narasumber langsung dari tangan pertama. Beberapa responden menyebutkan bahwa mereka menggunakan sosial media untuk mendapatkan akses ke narasumber-narasumber utama dalam proses peliputan.

Para responden juga sepakat bahwa mendapatkan dan menjaga akses ke sumber utama butuh kerja keras dan ketekunan.

Semua responden memilih untuk mengontak narasumber secara langsung: wawancara tatap muka. Namun, adakalanya keamanan untuk kedua belah pihak yakni narasumber dan wartawan terancam. Dalam kondisi ini, mereka memilih untuk berkomunikasi lewat telepon atau SMS. Selain itu, mereka menggunakan sosial media (pesan pribadi di Facebook atau direct message di Twitter) untuk menginiasi kontak dengan narasumber, atau untuk membuat janji pertemuan.

Semua responden menggunakan beragam cara dan beragam perangkat untuk menyimpan informasi yang mereka kumpulkan dari narasumber mereka. Tak satupun yang dari mereka menggunakan perangkat enkripsi (encryption tools).

Salah satu tantangan yang ada di Filipina adalah, menurut beberapa responden, minimnya peredaran informasi terpercaya di ruang publik (open data) dan sulitnya mendapatkan data statistik dan informasi lain dari pemerintah. Memiliki kontak dengan orang-orang di dalam instansi-instansi pemerintah menjadi sangat penting, meski tidak selamanya bisa terwujud.

Seorang responden berkata: “Biasanya kami bergelut dengan sulitnya mengakses kantor-kantor pemerintah. Tak ada yang lebih sulit daripada itu. Untuk mendapatkan dokumen pemerintah, terkadang kita malah meminta ke organisasi lain. Contoh dari penolakan dari pemerintah, misalnya, Saya ingat bahwa Noynoy Aquino menolak peliputan media sewaktu inagurasi. Kamu butuh kesabaran yang sangat besar bekerja di sini. Saya pernah diminta untuk menunggu enam jam untuk wawancara lima belas menit. Kamu harus ngotot dan mengerjakan apapun yang kamu bisa, dan harus selalu menelpon dan mengingatkan mereka.”

Ada tantangan yang berbeda bagi wartawan yang meliput area di luar kawasan urban di Filipina. Seorang responden mengatakan: “… Jika kamu wartawan dari daerah pinggiran dan kamu ingin mendapatkan informasi resmi dari pemerintah pusat, kamu harus pergi ke pusat kota. Kadang-kadang, meskipun ada kejadian di daerah, dan kami membutuhkan pernyataan dari pemerintah, media-media di pusatlah yang pertama-tama mendapatkan pernyataan resmi. Sudah menjadi norma juga bahwa pemerintah membagikan informasi ke media yang mereka suka. Hal ini juga berlaku bagi pihak kepolisian dan militer, mereka ingin informasi yang disebar selalu merujuk pada pernyataan resmi dari kantor, dan itu selalu datang dari pusat. Sangat sulit bagi kami di daerah untuk mendapatkan akses informasi resmi, oleh karenanya kami memperbesar akses kami ke komunitas akar rumput. Banyak juga agensi-agensi yang tidak memiliki cabang di level provinsi. Kamu butuh waktu untuk mengakeses mereka, kalau kamu ingin menekan mereka agar meluangkan waktu, kamu butuh kolega di kota untuk membantumu. Jika kamu ingin mendapatkan pernyataan dari Commission of Human Rights, mereka tidak punya cabang di provinsi, jadi kita harus menggunakan koneksi kita untuk menjangkau mereka. Namun meskipun kamu bisa menjangkau mereka, sulit juga untuk mendapatkan kepercayaan mereka, berhubung mereka tidak kenal kita. Jika kita mencoba untuk mencari informasi di dalam situs mereka, karena mereka seharusnya menyediakan informasi di sana, kamu juga tidak akan mendapat apa-apa.”

Persepsi tentang Keselamatan dan Strategi Mitigasi

Ketika diajukan pertanyaan mengenai ancaman-ancaman apa yang mereka hadapi dalam pekerjaan, para wartawan memberikan jawaban yang bervariasi:

  • Keselamatan fisik adalah yang utama. Tidak mengejutkan, mengingat Filipina selalu masuk ke dalam daftar negara-negara di mana wartawan bisa terancam nyawanya.
  • Seorang responden mengatakan bahwa kantor medianya pernah diretas.
  • Beberapa mengatakan pernah diprovokasi, diawasi, dan diancam.

Beberapa responden mendapatkan pelatihan mengenai keselamatan dari institusi dimana mereka bekerja, jadi mereka memiliki kesadaran akan resiko ancaman bahaya dan menguasai sedikit kemampuan taktik mitigasi. Teknik mitigasi itu berguna untuk melindungi keselamatan fisik maupun data digital. Antar wartawan biasanya saling membagi taktik ini.

Salah seorang responden mengatakan: “Saya mencoba, meskipun sulit, untuk setidaknya mengganti kata kunci akun-akun media sosial secara rutin. Menggunakan kata kunci yang berbeda untuk tiap akun. Sistem keamanan akun yang berlapis juga itu sangat membantu – verifikasi akun lewat telepon, lewat email, semuanya sangat berguna. Saya tidak nyaman membiarkan laptop saya terbuka ketika ada di ruang publik. Karena dokumen pekerjaan kita ada di sana, bahkan akun personal kita juga di sana. Sudah banyak terjadi insiden ketika data wartawan diretas, dan data itu dipublikasikan di akun Facebook sang peretas. Bagi saya, hal itu sangat tragis. Meskipun tidak disengaja, seperti karena telepon genggam kita dicuri, hilangnya perangkat penunjang profesi kita adalah masalah besar baik untuk karir professional maupun kehidupan personal kita. Seperti jika foto pribadi kita tersebar, iya kan? Kenapa kita harus membiarkan seseorang punya akses itu melakukan itu?”

Saya pikir kita juga harus berhati-hati dalam mengklik tautan. Misalnya jika kita mendapatkan email dari situs pihak ketiga, dulu saya membuka tautan itu tanpa curiga, sekarang saya tidak pernah membukanya lagi. Pasalnya, saya sekarang lebih familiar dengan spam….dan bagaimana melalui ini sejumlah hal bisa tercuri.”

Responden lain fokus pada taktik keselamatan fisik: “jika meliput ke area yang rawan bahaya, kita harus datang bersama teman. Contohnya di Hacienda Luisita, kami harus selalu membawa kawan dan tidak menginap di sana. Kami harus pulang sebelum gelap. Kami juga harus selalu mengabari teman atau keluarga melalui pesan singkat seperti “kami sudah sampai di area liputan” atau “kami sudah kembali dengan selamat.”

Ketika ditanya tentang persepsi mereka mengenai resiko bekerja sebagai wartawan, sebagian besar responden menjelaskan meningkatnya resiko dari pengawasan di dunia online. Hampir semuanya merasa yakin bahwa mereka tengah diawasi secara online. Resiko di dunia online yang mereka hadapi termasuk: agensi berita mereka diretas, diterimanya pesan-pesan provokatif yang membangkitkan emosi (troll), akun atau website dibekukan karena laporan yang masif dari pihak tertentu setelah mereka menerbitkan berita yang tidak menguntungkan pemerintahan, terakhir adalah di-bully di dunia maya.

Semua responden mengerti bahwa pekerjaan mereka mengandung resiko yang besar. Seorang responden mengajukan pendapat mengenai bagaimana menghadapi berbagai tantangan bagi keselamatan wartawan: “Kami harus mendapatkan pelatihan lagi untuk lebih waspada dan hati-hati. Enkripsi—meskipun kamu butuh kompetensi untuk menguasainya. Namun, dengan berbagai kesulitan yang harus kami hadapi untuk menerbitkan berita, saya merasa belajar tentang enkripsi menjadi tidak relevan. Mengapa saya harus mengembangkan kemampuan untuk menyembunyikan informasi ketika sudah menjadi tugas saya untuk membagi informasi? Itu paradoksnya. Pastikan saja kita berhati-hati dengan informasi yang kita dapat dan yang kita publikasikan. Selama semuanya untuk kepentingan umum.”

 

Kesimpulan

Wawancara di tahun 2016 ini berguna sebagai informasi dasar mengenai bagaimana wartawan memandang keamanan dan keselamatan di dunia maya. Tapi itu wawancara setahun lalu. Iklim politik dan situasi di Filipina kini telah berubah drastis. Begitu juga dengan dunia sosial media, perilaku masyarakat, dan dalam takaran tertentu budaya juga mengalami perubahan. Akan sangat menarik untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman responden yang sama mengenai keamanan dan keselamatan profesi wartawan di Filipina tahun 2017 ini, mungkin dengan jumlah sampel yang lebih besar.

Berbicara mengenai keamanan dan keselamatan wartawan, aspek digital biasanya luput dalam pembahasan atau tak terjamah sama sekali – yang bisa diartikan sebagai celah dalam pemahaman penuh kita mengenai resiko pekerjaan wartawan. Dari wawancara yang sudah diselenggarakan, kami belajar bahwa wartawan sudah menyadari akan resiko dibobolnya data digital kita, namun mereka belum sepenuhnya menyadari hubungan yang jelas antara berkomunikasi online dan keselamatan fisik wartawan. Hubungan ini harus dieksplorasi lebih jauh.

Sebagai sebuah organisasi yang menyediakan pelatihan keamanan digital, riset ini telah membuka beberapa pencerahan yang akan sangat berguna bagi pembuatan materi workshop bagi para wartawan. Spesifiknya, yakni:

  • Meyakinkan bahwa hubungan antara resiko dalam komunikasi digital dan resiko fisik akan dibuat jelas dan itu semua berdasarkan pengalaman aktual para wartawan.
  • Membuat sistem keamanan digital senyaman mungkin, mengingat sistem ini akan dikesampingkan ketika wartawan sudah fokus pada berita yang mereka buat dan pekerjaan kewartawanan lain.
  • Pelatihan mengenai keamanan digital fokus pada mengamankan komunikasi dengan narasumber dan mengamankan arsip-arsip wartawan.

 


    [1] “PH adalah negara paling bahaya kedua bagi wartawan -IFJ” Philippine Daily Inquirer, http://globalnation.inquirer.net/135916/ph-2nd-most-dangerous-country-for-journalists-in-past-25-years-ifj

    [2] Committee to Protect Journalists: https://cpj.org/asia/philippines/

    [3] Database CMFR tentang pembunuhan wartawan di Filipina http://cmfr-phil.org/mediakillings/charts.php

    [4] Database CMFR tentang pembunuhan wartawan di Filipina (by medium) http://cmfr-phil.org/mediakillings/charts.php

    [5] “No justice yet for victims of Maguindanao carnage”' Philippine Daily Inquirer, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/752535/no-justice-yet-for-victims-of-maguindanao-carnage

    EngageMedia Presents Results and Opens up the Dialogue on Digital Security

    by EM News November 02, 2017

    Dozens of people from Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) gathered in Jakarta on 24th-25th September 2017 to discuss about journalism and security. In recent years, concern for journalist’s safety, especially in the digital sphere, has become an urgent need. Journalists with many different backgrounds in Indonesia felt the internet poses new threats to them, especially through intensified surveillance and the usage of internet for negative purposes. They are complaining that formal laws do not defend them online. The organizer from the headquarters of AJI Indonesia, had invited over twenty branches of AJI, from cities in Sumatera, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and Java to come together in Jakarta in order to formulate and share some of problems they are facing.

    During this event EngageMedia presented research findings regarding the (online) safety and digital security of journalists in Indonesia. We focused on Jakarta, but also shared some more general research results from the Indonesia based research and the research from Philippines. Executive Director of AJI Indonesia, Suwarjono and General Secretary Arfi Bambani Amri were among those participating.

    In our presentation we included a first draft of the short video we are developing for this research.

    Some questions that come up from the journalists:

    • What kind of threats are out there, are we talking only digital threats?
    • How to protect sources, how to safely communicate with them?
    • What kind of chat apps for smartphone are safe for you and your colleagues?
    • How to secure data? Is google drive safe enough to store sensitive materials?
    • How much law or State protection for journalists is there regarding digital threats?
    • How can Media companies help journalists to protect themselves? What kind of capacity building do they need?

    Results of our discussion and answers to some of the above questions:

    • We tried to explain that we may need to build a stronger security culture. We should not  depend on certain types technology and apps only, but also consider non tech aspect of digital security.
    • An approach to digital threat need to be more holistic. We know from experiences that tackling just a few aspects of a (digital) threat is not enough. Things are much more intertwined than we think at first.
    • Journalist need to do more research themselves. There are already many resources online, even in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia).
    • There are many individual experiences and best practices on how journalist can protect themselves. These need to be shared.
    • Don’t share sensitive materials that can be dangerous to yourself and others on the internet.
    • Journalist should be more careful using social media. They need to know precisely what type of information can be shared through social media.
    • Journalists associations and organization can pioneer workshops around security in general and journalist’s digital security more particularly.

     

    One thing for sure was journalists need more assistance and skill to defence their self and privacy. This can be overcome if they get more help from internal and external actors. On this occasion, some AJI journalists already ask for more techical detail assistance and this something that we also suggested that every journalist institution or even media company need to hold and build their own security procedure and standards.

    Perceptions of Safety and Security among Journalists in the Philippines

    by EM News November 16, 2017

    By EngageMedia

    The Philippines is consistently ranked among the top countries unsafe for journalists and media makers. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), for instance, ranked the country as second most unsafe location in the world for journalists [1].

    According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), seventy-seven journalists have been killed in the Philippines since 1992, seventy-five of whom were murdered and sixty-eight of whom killed with impunity [2]. The Centre for Media Responsibility and Freedoms (CMFR) maintains a database on the killing of journalists in the Philippines since 1986. The database reports 151 work-related killings since 1986 [3] of which sixty-eight work in radio and fifty-eight work in print [4]. 57 percent of the killings happened in the Mindanao region.

    The most notable case of impunity in journalist killings in the country is the Ampatuan Massacre (or the Maguindanao Massacre) in which 58 people were killed, 32 of which were journalists, on 23 November 2009. As of 5 January 2016, 113 of the 197 accused of being involved in the massacre have been arrested but the trial is still on-going and fraught with delays [5].

    In order to begin exploring this topic, from June to July 2016, interviews were conducted with journalists in the Philippines to explore how they perceive their security and safety as journalists, and their strategies to keep themselves secure.

    About the respondents

    • The journalists that were interviewed was a mix of full-time employed and freelance journalists. Ten journalists employed full-time with different news agencies, one TV show host, and three freelance journalists who contribute regularly to both mainstream and independent news agencies.
    • While eleven of the journalists work in online news, and four in radio, most of the journalists have experience in print, broadcast, video and radio newsroom.
    • There is vast journalistic experience among the respondents. Six respondents have been working as journalists for ten to sixteen years, four have over twenty years of experience; while only four have less than ten years of experience.
    • Most of the respondents cover multiple geographical locations within and outside the Philippines. Twelve cover Metro Manila and the National Capital Region; six cover the Central Philippines region – The Visayas (Bacolod, Iloilo, Tacloban); and three cover Mindanao. Three of the respondents also cover countries outside of the Philippines.
    • Beats and thematic focus was also varied among the respondents. Six covered politics (elections, government, local government, and laws); another six focus on human rights (labour rights, indigenous people´s rights, women´s rights, and children's rights); five respondents cover peace and conflict issues, specifically the Bangsamoro, and the National Democratic Front (NDF) negotiations with The Philippine government.

    On the value of sources and communicating with them

    All the respondents were unanimous on the importance of having first-hand, direct sources. Some mentioned about getting leads from social media to get to first-hand sources or to cover events.

    They were also unanimous in saying that getting and maintaining good sources takes a lot of work and perseverance.

    All respondents prefer to have direct contact: face-to-face interviews with sources. However there are instances, when the safety of both the source and the journalists is at risk. In these cases they opt to use phone calls and SMS. Increasingly, they are using social media (private messages on Facebook or direct messages on Twitter) to initiate contact with sources, or to set-up meetings with them.

    All of the respondents use a mix of different tools to store the information that they gather from their sources. None of them use encryption tools.

    One of the challenges, according to some of the respondents, is the lack of open data available and the difficulty in getting statistics and other information from government agencies in The Philippines. Having contacts in government agencies to get information is important, but not always possible.

    A respondent says (paraphrased and translated): ¨Usually our struggle is actually with government offices. But other than that, nothing serious. With official documents, sometimes we also ask other organisations if they have one. For official denial, I remembered that Noynoy Aquino administration denied us media accreditation for his inauguration. You need a great amount of patience. I’ve experienced being asked to wait for six hours for a fifteen-minute interview. You just have to be pushy and do everything that you can, and always call and ask.¨

    There is a specific challenge to journalists not based in urban centres in the Philippines. One respondent says (paraphrased and translated): ¨ …the common ones that we get here when you’re in the periphery is that if you want to get information from official sources, you have to go to the urban centres. Sometimes, even if the event has happened here in our area, and we need to get official statements from sources, it’s the media from the urban centers that get the stories ahead of us. There’s also this norm that they only give the stories to media they know. I’m also referring to the police and to the military, where they want the sources to centralise their statement to their chief information officer, who’s usually in the center. It’s difficult for us to get that information that’s why we capitalize in our access to the grassroots communities.  There are also agencies where they don’t have regional offices here in the provinces. You need time to access them, but if you’re pressed for time, we rely on colleagues based in the urban areas. If you want to get statement from Commission of Human Rights, they don’t have offices here in the provinces, so we have to use our connections to reach them, and if you’re able to reach them, it’s difficult to earn their trust, since they don’t know us. If we try to access materials on their website, since they’re supposed to make information accessible there, they’re not there.¨

    Perception of security and mitigation strategies

    When asked about the threats that they face as part of their work, the journalists had varied responses:

    • Physical security was a priority. Not surprising, given that he Philippines is constantly on the list of countries where journalists are likely to get killed on the job.
    • One respondent talked about their news agency being directly hacked.
    • Some talked about being trolled, stalked online, and threatened.

    Some have received security training from other organisations, so there is awareness of risk and a few mitigation tactics exist. For mitigating information security threats, most of the respondents have basic awareness of personal and digital security tactics. They share a range of tactics for both physical and digital security.

    One respondent says: (translated) ¨I try to, but it´s hard. I try to always, at least regularly change my passwords. Using different passwords for different accounts. It helps that there are different layers -- like the accounts through your phone, like with email, there are several ways to verify your accounts. I´m not comfortable leaving my laptop open when I'm in public. Because your work files are there, even your personal accounts. And there have been incidents when people have been hacked, and they [hackers] post on their Facebook profiles. For me, that's really tragic. Even if it's not deliberate, like if your phone gets stolen. Even just losing a device, that's such a big deal for both professional and personal reasons. Even your personal photos, right? Why will you want anyone to have access to that?

    And I think we should be careful about clicking links. You get this email that you have a message from a third party site, before I would open it, but now I never open them. Well, we're more familiar with spam, and when your friends get stolen from (through that).¨

    Another one focuses on physical security tactics: (paraphrased and translated) ¨If the area is high risk, we have to have a buddy when covering. Like for example in Hacienda Luisita, we should always have a pair when covering, and we don’t stay overnight in the area. We should be on our way home before it goes dark. We also update our friends and family through texts like “we’re already here in the area” or “we arrived safe.”

    When asked if their perception of risk due to their work as journalists, most of the respondents mentioned the increasing risk of online surveillance. Most of them were sure they were somehow being watched online. The online risks that they have faced or heard about include: their news agency website being hacked, being trolled online, having their accounts suspended through a mass of complaints whenever they publish anything against the current government, and being cyberbullied.

    All the respondents understand that their work comes with risk. One particular respondent had an insight about information security that encapsulates the challenges faced when it comes to securing journalists: (Paraphrased and translated) ¨We have had training to be more careful and aware. Encryption -- although you need competence in that. With everything we have to deal with to get our stories out, I can´t build skills in encryption. Why would I want to develop skills to hide information when it´s my job to share information? That´s a paradox. Just think that you have to be careful with the information that you get and the information that you get out. For as long as what you do is for the common good.¨

    Although, for some of them, they believe that they are not specifically in any kind of physical danger. Upon asking why, no clear explanations were given. Meaning it’s likely to be a perceived sense or feeling of security.

    Conclusions

    The 2016 interviews are useful baseline information for how journalists perceive their safety and security online. But the interviews took place more than one year ago. Since then, the political climate and situation in the Philippines has changed significantly. So has the social media landscape, behavior and to some extend the culture in the country. It would be interesting to explore with the same respondents, perhaps even with a bigger sample size, how journalists perceive their safety and security in 2017.

    When it comes to journalist safety and security, the digital aspect of their work is left out and unexplored – which is a gap in understanding the full risks that they face. From the interviews, we learned that most journalists had an awareness of digital and online risks, but haven't made clear connections between how they communicate online vis-à-vis their physical safety as journalists. This connection needs further exploration.

    As an organisation that provides digital security training, this research has yielded some insight that will be valuable in designing workshops for journalists. Specifically:

    • Ensuring that the connection between digital communication risks and physical risks are made clear and are also based on the actual experiences of journalists;
    • Making digital security as convenient as possible, given that it tends to fall by the wayside when the journalists become concerned with their stories and their work;
    • For any digital security training to focus on securing communications with sources, and securing archiving practices for journalists.

    [1] “PH 2nd most dangerous country for journalists – IFJ”' Philippine Daily Inquirer, http://globalnation.inquirer.net/135916/ph-2nd-most-dangerous-country-for-journalists-in-past-25-years-ifj

    [2] Committee to Protect Journalists: https://cpj.org/asia/philippines/

    [3] CMFR Database on Killing of Journalist in the Philippines  http://cmfr-phil.org/mediakillings/charts.php

    [4] CMFR Database on Killing of Journalist in the Philippines (by medium) http://cmfr-phil.org/mediakillings/charts.php

    [5] “No justice yet for victims of Maguindanao carnage”' Philippine Daily Inquirer, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/752535/no-justice-yet-for-victims-of-maguindanao-carnage