An Invisible Threat: Press Freedom and the Dangers of Spyware

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Authoritarian regimes around the world, such as China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, are increasingly using technology to spy on journalists, dissidents, and activists. From basic phishing emails to sophisticated malware, these methods violate personal privacy and endanger the lives of individuals who dare to stand up against dictators and freely express their opinions. The Human Rights Foundation, which produced THE DISSIDENT — a new documentary highlighting the labyrinth of deceit behind the high-profile murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) are co-hosting a virtual panel to discuss the invisible digital threat that is placing press freedom and access to information at risk. The conversation will feature Saudi activist, blogger, and close friend of Jamal Khashoggi, Omar Abdulaziz; THE DISSIDENT’s Award-winning director Bryan Fogel; Al Jazeera journalist Ghada Oueiss; and CPJ Senior Africa Researcher Jonathan Rozen. Panelists will unpack the most pressing questions about spyware: How is spyware used to silence dissidents and journalists? How is it falling into the hands of bad actors? How widespread is the danger? And how should concerned governments respond? This conversation will be moderated by Courtney Radsch, CPJ Advocacy Director.

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