The question is; is bitcoin a safe haven for journalists or could it be one?
Journalism comes under extreme scrutiny under governments. Some use it as a tool to push forward their propaganda’s or some shut it down when it’s not speaking in their favor. We Pakistanis know this very well, thanks to Musharraf and Zia. So what news source do you rely on when you don’t know someone is not delivering the truth?
Let’s define the role of a journalist first. It’s pretty simple, educate the public about events, issues and developments that directly or indirectly affect their lives. This is also includes conducting interviews, looking through private or public records and visiting scenes for primary data. This information can put them at risk as well, if they take powerful interests in it.
Oppression against journalists seems to be very common as they speak the truth. By December 2018, it was revealed that 34 journalists have been killed due to their roles. Part of those killings were due to retaliation for their exposes or were accidents. However, it is not only the killings as last year alone, 251 journalists were jailed. Now many of you might be wondering what in the f*** were they being jailed for? Speaking the truth? Standing their ground? Using their basic right of freedom of speech??
To bring this issue under everyone’s attention, UNESCO, a wing of the UN mandated with the protection of press freedom and freedom of expression, did condemn the killing and jailing of journalists.
To show their support and solidarity towards the journalists across the globe and their families, they dedicated a page to these soldiers who paid the price for speaking the truth, peace, freedom of expression and democracy.
But where does one go looking for an unbiased solution? One that won’t be rigged against them? Well, most of the journalists are turning to technology. It is due to these constant dangers and deliberate suffocation of press freedom and the freedom of speech is why Human Rights Foundation wants to help journalists learn and use bitcoin for their safety and privacy.
It is completely digital, not reliant on any source and is under constant improvement to increase transparency and boost privacy. Bitcoin is pseudonymous which means it is anonymous but can be tracked down if need be. But it is the best option that journalists can get when they want to execute their work regardless of their location.
“Activists or journalists who are considering using Bitcoin to escape the prying eyes of an authoritarian government or a corporation need to understand what type of traces they leave when they’re using it and whether the privacy nature of bitcoin is sufficient for their needs. However, achieving this understanding requires some amount of effort.”
Work is underway to built spaces that will be a lot safer for everyone, including journalists.