According to the most recent data, it is becoming more dangerous to be a journalist with every passing year.

A report from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released earlier this year noted that the number of attacks on the press rose around the world in 2017, with freedom under assault from right-wing government regimes and criminal organizations.

Some of the most worrying stories of the curtailment of journalistic freedom come from countries that have historically cultivated a robust and independent press, including a host of European countries and the United States of America.

The murder of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and the gunning down of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova serve as a sobering reminder that the price a reporter pays for telling the truth can sometimes be their life, even as U.S. president Donald Trump continues to brand journalists as enemies of the people.

Even when attacks in press freedom don’t end in tragedy, rising hostility to the news media is still a serious problem. The ICIJ has noted that verbal abuse (especially against women) is on the rise, and news organizations around the world are frequently subject to surveillance from governments, police forces, and powerful criminals.

Given all this, journalists need to exercise extreme caution in just about every aspect of their work, but especially when it comes to communications.
Most of the common communication tools relied on for daily communication, including live chat, SMS, and email, are notoriously easy to hack. Journalists who want to protect their sources — and themselves — need to find other ways to reach out to individuals with sensitive information to share.

Increasingly, one of the most popular tools for doing so is encrypted messaging. Encryption provides the gold standard for digital security in the 21st century, and the most powerful encryption algorithms provide multiple layers of security and protection.

Journalists who want to learn about the benefits of PGP encryption technology should explore options that provide them with maximum flexibility while also guaranteeing the highest levels of security. Many encryption tools that provide maximum security also seriously reduce functionality, and the ones that are easy to use are all-too-frequently vulnerable to cyber attack.

For this reason, reporters who need an encryption service that protects their sensitive information, while also being flexible enough to make communicating with sources and gathering information seamless, should use encrypted smartphones from providers like ChatMail Secure.

ChatMail’s proprietary algorithm offers users access to a wide range of functions, including chat, voice messaging, image messaging, group chat, and anonymous group chat, and its sophisticated blend of Elliptical Curve Cryptography and PGP encryption allows journalists to engage with contacts using a variety of different encryption protocols.

Because ChatMail messages delete automatically and aren’t stored on any server, a message sent via ChatMail cannot be accessed by government surveillance, third party operatives, spyware infections, or hackers.

In its 2018 annual report, industry advocacy group Reporters Without Borders noted that threats to press freedom in developed democracies are only likely to become more serious. Journalists who are at the forefront of fighting corruption and shining a light on the truth will need the strongest possible tolls to defend themselves in the coming years.

Encrypted smartphones from providers like ChatMail secure are one of the only ways to ensure that sensitive information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.