Knight Center
Knight Center


Cyber Security for Journalists: Apply now for online course on how to protect your digital information

For the first time, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas will be offering a four-week online course on “Cyber Security for Journalists." The instructor, Robert Guerra, a Canadian expert in cybersecurity and other Internet related issues, will be teaching the course in English from November 19, 2012 through December 16, 2012.

Journalists can apply to this course until November 7, by 5 p.m. (Austin, Texas time). More details about the course can be found here.

Journalists will come away with a better and more nuanced understanding of how the internet works, how it is governed and the various techniques, tools and policies that are being used to control, shape and limit conversation online. Students will also learn about digital threats and risks, mitigation strategies and security best practices that can be used to improve a user’s digital hygiene and overall digital security.

According to Guerra, journalists need to be more careful about how they use the digital platform in their daily news work.

“Governments of all kinds ranging from totalitarian regimes to fragile states and developed democracies are investing in a variety of technologies and techniques that are diminishing the free and open nature of the Internet,” Guerra said. “In this context, it is key that journalists, especially Investigative journalists, know the risks, threats and sophisticated mechanisms of control that they are facing when working online.”

“To keep safe not only to journalists need to equip themselves with the latest tactics and tools, but engage the public and decision makers so that the open, free and democratic nature of the internet can be protected, defended and promoted at national, regional and international level,” Guerra says.

Priority will be given to applicants who are from Latin America and the Caribbean. The journalists accepted into the online course will pay a $60 administrative fee and a certificate of participation will be issued to those who comply with the course’s requirements.

This introductory course is aimed at journalists who routinely use a variety of online and social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, etc) in the course of their professional work in at risk and rights challenged environments.

Participants should have a good understanding of online email services (Gmail, hushmail, Yahoo Mail, etc), social networking tools (Twitter, Facebook, etc) and be knowledgeable of privacy enhancing tools such as PGP and Internet Censorship circumvention tools such as Tor.

Guerra is a civil society expert specializing in issues of Internet governance, cyber security, social networking, multi-stakeholder participation, Internet freedom and human rights. Robert is the founder of Privaterra, a Canadian based company that works with private industry and nongovernmental organizations to assist them with issues of data privacy, secure communications, information security, Internet governance and Internet freedom. He also works as special adviser to the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He serves as a member of ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), as well as a member of the US IGF Steering Committee. Additionally he has participated as a member of the official Canadian delegation at two UN World Summits on the Information Society (WSIS).

This online course is divided into weekly modules containing multimedia presentations and links to online resources. Most of the course activities can be followed in the days and times most appropriate for each student, and a live webinar will be held each week during the course. Exercises, online discussions and additional assignments will also be part of the curriculum. Participants can expect to spend 10-15 hours per week on the course.

The course will be taught using the Knight Center’s distance learning platform that has benefited more than 6,000 journalists from Latin American and the Caribbean, since it was created in the fall of 2003.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created in 2002 by Professor Rosental Alves at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism, thanks to to generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Center also receives contributions from other donors, including the Open Society Foundations and The University of Texas at Austin. The Center's main goal is to help journalists in Latin American and the Caribbean improve the quality of journalism in their countries.



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