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Digital surveillance treats "journalists as criminals"

03 May 2022

A man holds a phone and a notebook, surrounded by 1s and 0s © Credit –Getty Images

Digital surveillance of journalists is on the rise. The use of spyware has led to arrest, intimidation and even killings of journalists.

“Journalists should not be treated as criminals,” said Syabolcs Panyi, an investigative journalist from Hungary.

Panyi, whose account was hacked and was monitored for seven months, is one of thousands of journalists across the globe whose work and rights have been threatened by the growing use of spyware and other digital surveillance technologies.

Julie Gavarrete, a political journalist from El Salvador, said surveillance technology curtails journalists’ freedom. She joined UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in calling for a ban on surveillance technologies.

“This manifests in creating fear on journalists and silencing them,” Gavarrette said. “Surveillance entails an indignity to our professional life and our private life.”

Learn more about the challenges of journalists and digital surveillance technology in the video below.

Journalism under siege