Launch of Infosec Bytes

    Today, 27 April 2017, the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) is happy to announce the launch of the Infosec Bytes project.

    Beginning today, the project is releasing a series of educational videos for journalists, explaining the risks of using information technology, and how to mitigate them using state of the art, free software tools. All videos are reviewed by a panel of security specialists and information security trainers prior to publishing.

    Infosec Bytes launches with three videos, introducing viewers to the Tor Browser: a tool for browsing the web anonymously, and demonstrating in clear, step-by-step instructions how to download, install and use the Tor Browser on Windows and Mac computers. The videos can be viewed a

    Forthcoming videos will cover communications interception, end-to-end encryption, data remanence, secure deletion, disk and file encryption, threat modelling and the use of secure operating systems.

    Supported by a generous grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation, the project aims to create a comprehensive, up-to-date public resource of video training materials to aid not only journalists, but also journalistic sources, civil society workers, lawyers and other professionals in protecting themselves and each other against surveillance threats.

    Recent years have seen the intensification of state surveillance powers, threatening the integrity of the reporting process and eroding the rights of investigative journalists.

    The 2016 passage of the UK Investigatory Powers Act (IP Act) mandates the long-term retention of browsing history, gives state agencies unprecedented surveillance powers, and removes protections for journalists' sources. 

    Building on this foundation, the Conservative government has now mooted plans for a "UK Espionage Act," which would criminalize reporting on official secrets.

    In the United States, the Trump administration has taken a hostile stance on the press, and has threatened to bring charges against journalists and publishing organisations.

    The expansion of surveillance creates an inhospitable environment for journalists attempting to subject government to scrutiny in the public interest. Infosec Bytes will address these developments by catering to the urgent demand for information security skills and techniques within the profession.

    James Harkin, recently appointed director of the CIJ, said:

    "The CIJ is an experimental laboratory that trains a new generation of reporters in the use of investigative tools, and educates the public about the practice and value of investigative journalism. Operational security is more important than ever while using the internet, both for journalists and the general public, so we're thrilled to present this first instalment of Infosec Bytes."

    More information:
    Infosec Bytes:
    Twitter: @infosec_bytes