Digital Security and Journalists: A Snapshot of Awareness and Practice in Pakistan

Islamabad, August 08, 2012: Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan is very pleased to share new research ‘Digital Security and Journalists: A Snapshot of Awareness and Practice in Pakistan’. Produced by Bytes for All, Pakistan and commissioned by the Internews Center for Innovation & Learning, this new research shows how journalists and bloggers in Pakistan are not aware of the ways to protect themselves, their data, and their sources online. Published online, the report has already received a great reception within the international media development organizations, especially those working in Pakistan.

This pioneering research in Pakistan is part of B4A’s ongoing Digital Security Program, which was seeded early 2010 to raise awareness about the perils of digital age among Internet users in Pakistan, especially the women and young girls plugging to cyberspace now. This program also has a distinct focus on equipping human rights defenders and civil society organizations with the tools to be safe and secure online. For the purpose, B4A conducts regular one on one or mass awareness raising events throughout the country from Gilgit to Gawadar and Karachi to Khyber.

Most importantly, B4A’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) provides excellent technical backstopping for human rights defenders and civil society organizations in need of help on their digital security. RRN is supported by several Tech based organizations all over the world.

For this research, B4A interviewed 37 journalists and 15 bloggers from across Pakistan including the conflict ridden areas of Balochistan and FATA, revealing that a majority of professionals were neither aware of the online threats, nor did they knew the effective methods as to how they could be safe and protect their online privacy. Over 90% of the respondents also highlighted that they had never received any training in digital security, which was alarming.

Given the context, this research is a critically important document that will serve as a ‘launchpad’ for more informed and focused digital security trainings for the media professionals in the future.

Based on the findings of this research Bytes for All, Pakistan is already in the planning phase for a series of Tech Camps to be conducted all over the country for journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders. Stay tuned for the updates on this initiative. Print copies of the report will be available from B4A’s office in a week’s time.

The complete report can be downloaded from here.

 

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About Bytes for All, Pakistan

Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan is a human rights organization and a network of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals and practitioners. It experiments and organizes debate on the relevance of ICTs for sustainable development and strengthening social justice movements in the country. Its mission is “ICTs for development, democracy and social justice”. www.bytesforall.pk
 
For more information:

Shahzad Ahmad
Cell. +92 333 5236060
info@bytesforall.pk and www.bytesforall.pk