An Asian woman is surrounded by police at a BART station in California

Are you a journalist covering a protest? Find quick resources to keep you safe

June 5, 2020

By Megan DeBlois, Internews Information Security Adviser and Lead Technologist, Global Technology

We live in an age of rampant surveillance and now, more than ever, it is important for journalists to know how to protect themselves when covering events like protests.

There is so much fantastic community-created content, but we know sometimes it can be an overwhelming amount of information. Internews’ Global Technology Programs do not want to reinvent the wheel, so have compiled a “short list” of tried and true resources created by amazing community members that we want to amplify.

If you see a great resource missing that we should add, email info@internews.org.

Defending Against Surveillance

Electronic Frontier Foundation (11+ languages)
This resource gives you the complete step-by-step on how to prepare for covering a protest, protecting your data, and keeping yourself and your devices safe.

Mobile Phone Security

Freedom of the Press Foundation (English)
These resources cover quick tips for mobile phone security and what to do in case of device confiscation.

Physical Security

From Beirut to Minneapolis: Protest Tips (English, Spanish)
Lebanese technologists, protesters, and activists put together this great resource touching on physical security, safety, tear gas, and safety planning.

Security First
Security First created an application for iOS and Android to support communities safety plan, along with other physical security guidance.

Virtual Meetings and Secure Group Chats

Frontline Defenders (English)
Whether you are meeting with a sensitive source or conducting an interview, this resource helps you select the right video or secure group chat for your context.  

Derechos Digitales (Spanish)
This resource helps you select an appropriate video conferencing tool based on your specific circumstances.

Digital Security Urgent Support

Access Now: Digital Security Helpline
This is a 24 / 7 helpline to support digital security incidents. This is a free resource for civil society and journalists.

Equality Labs: Rapid Response Support
Equality Labs also has great resources on digital security, but also offers urgent digital security support. Requests are answered within 1 business day.

(Banner photo: San Francisco Chronicle reporter Vivian Ho getting arrested at No Justice No BART protest at Powell Station Sept 8, 2011. Credit Steve Rhodes/Flickr/CC)