Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Authorities Search and Copy U.S. Journalist’s Notes, Computer and Cameras After Returning from Haiti Reporting Trip


jburt56 said...

Try this--

1) Place the files on your laptop into a zip folder and then encrypt the folder.

2) Uplink the contents to a sync service like MobileMe.

3) Wipe the drive on your laptop using DriveScrubber.

4) Later recover a backup of your drive using Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image, etc.

5) Download and de-crypt your files.

Brandon Jourdan said...


mjamesd said...

You should look into sending your reporting materials to yourself online before travelling back to the US. Jburt's suggestions are good, but there are ways to recover deleted documents on a computer. Encryption is good, but can be easily broken with the software that governments employ. You should do Jburt's steps 1-3 and then remove the hard drive (this usually isn't too difficult with a screw driver) and physically destroy it. Then when you get home, download all your materials again.

Keep up the good work. Be safe.

Martin Vahi said...

I was also thinking about various technical solutions, like http://www.torproject.org/, OpenBSD, Linux live CDs with a temporary USB sticks, leaving a few months between the trip and data download, etc, but given the modern technologies, the possibilities of hidden cameras, etc., it's just not possible to hide things.

If not even the governments can't hide things, then why should You be more capable?

So, my suggestion is that try a totally different strategy. May be the best way is to assemble Your stories right on site and publish them also right from abroad. What regards to delicate photos, videos, then there's no point of taking them at first place, if You are never going to publish them. If You're going to publish them, then the only thing to fight against is data loss, not secrecy.

Brandon Jourdan said...

"If not even the governments can't hide things, then why should You be more capable?"

Well for one thing politicians choose to be public figures, my interview subjects don't always want to be public figures. Some of them risk their lives when they give details or at least they might risk arrest. Some of the people I've interviewed would never have agreed if they didn't trust me. A journalist is not a government employee and shouldn't be treated in the same manner.

Also, there is a legal process that the government is getting to skip by copying my footage. You would usually have to subpoena someone or at least request materials. This a violation of the first and fourth amendments.

Lisa Barr said...

MobileMe doesn't have enough capacity to handle a shoot. I think you would need to take a good part of a day or two and send things up to mulitple sites, with multiple copies. But this is bullshit and should not be happening. I hope you sue their ass.