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"Grave journalism is threatened"

The OSCE Representative for Press Freedom and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression are concerned about the growing surveillance threat to journalists.

At an open seminar in Oslo on surveillance and freedom of expression, organized by, among others, Norwegian PEN, Dunja Mijatovic admitted that such strategies are not enough to solve the problem. "I have had enough of good documents and papers that save the governments' faces," Mijatovic told the assembly. After the meeting, she elaborates on her views on Ny Tid: "The threats to press freedom have definitely increased in recent years, especially in the wake of the terrorist attacks last year," Mijatovic said. "The attacks seem to have created a momentum for politicians in the West to expand their powers. We see that countries are passing laws that allow for far-reaching collections of large amounts of metadata, which can reveal journalistic sources. "
Metadata contains information about who is talking to who on the web or mobile, when they talk together and where they are. This information is often enough to guess the contents of a conversation as well.

The Rolfsen case is internationally recognized. "The problem with mass surveillance, whether it is illegal or on the basis of new and more invasive legal provisions, is how to ensure the confidentiality of the sources," Mijatovic continues. "This makes it particularly difficult to disclose cases of public interest in national security, police and intelligence, where the information is sensitive, however. . .

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Tori Aarseth
Aarseth is a political scientist and a regular journalist at Ny Tid.

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