L'original en Français est ici
This is the translation of my weekly “tech” post, written yesterday in a 15mn rush. I quick translated it by request of friends. It's probably horribly written, in pure Engrish style, so please, help me improve it, using the comment form below.
Sorry my french and thank you.
Recently, I got the question
what developer can bring to the newsroom ?. Extatic I raved about the open-data boom, raw values are still hard to check, and the challenge of presenting and interpreting them so that citizen can understand them. I also spoke about HTML5 possibilities like SVG, Canvas and not the least WebGL to transform a paper in real interactive presentation.
I was wrong
The facts are that newsrooms do not needing a developer first, but an hacker. A True one, An Unpolished one. A Paranoid one. The kind to scare you.
Why ? The reasons can be found in the last news : A very good reporter is a disturbing one, asking on issues, who is bringing light on power abuses, the one that tracks and makes frontpages on affairs.
Nowadays, it's about US' global spying scandal, whom NSA's PRISM program is only a very small piece. A global and automated surveillance of the world and even american citizens on a scale that Gestapo and KGB wet dreams were made of. A global wiring without any judge, without any defending counsel, without any elected overview, completely out of control. Very private files are freely accessible to employees of privately-owned companies, as Edward Snowden was. Via contractors, an estimated of 2% of US population may have abusively access to personal data sourced by intelligence offices. A business where France is sadly not the last one, mainly in countries that make hard life to their gov's opponents.
The whole drama plot is obviously using terrorism as a pretext. But, as not everyone are still accepting it, let's close embassies to exaggerate peril.
When your state is intimidating, using coercion, abusive detaining of relatives, it does at its best to mimic totalitarian regimes. So the British spooks did it twice during the last 72 hours (when I originally wrote it yesterday) :
First abusively arresting David Miranda, in quality of relative to a Guardian journalist writing on Edward Snowden's documents.
Then, moving in this newspaper to physically destroy computers that got copies of those documents. Even those officers knew that thousand of copies where also available elsewhere. The kind of operation only motivated to intimidate or by frustration, a completely unnecessary, gratuitous and vexing destruction.
Here comes the hacker
The one who reads security specialized sites, the one who looks behind him twice, the one who sleeps his gizmos under his pillow, and who keeps copies cached, the one who cypher his life, the one who doesn't trust no more DRM encumbered devices, a cyberpunk, a paranoid android.
in few words…
The one wearing a tin-foiled hat.
I think this hacker should plan CryptoParties in newsrooms to learn reporters
- why open-source is primordial,
- how the cloud can turn toxic,
- how to install a cleared OS on their smartphones,
- why and how websites are hacked,
- how to plan strategies for fallback and recovery,
- how to use private/anonymous browsing,
- how to cypher e-mails with OpenPGP,
- why encryption can be strong or weak,
- how to encrypt their computers
- how to carefully choose passwords
Because any journalist should absolutely mastering those basics when the story he's covering can be the source of those kind of abuses.
And by the way
I have to date a new CryptoParty with Tetalab folks.
Because digital privacy is not only for reporters, it's a concern for every citizen.