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The Logan Symposium for Hacktivists and Journalists

Posted by >>>>> on November 21, 2014




Lorna Garano



The Logan Symposium for Hacktivists and Journalists


London – November 20, 2014 – The Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ), with generous support from The Reva and David Logan Foundation, announces the inaugural Logan Symposium will take place from December 5-7, 2014 at the Barbican Centre, London. Speakers including Seymour Hersh, John Pilger, Charles Lewis, Laura Poitras and Lowell Bergman will discuss what the recent Snowden revelations mean for journalists and how hacktivists and investigative reporters can help each other better protect their sources and their work.

The Event

Held over three days, the Logan Symposium offers a forum for the sharing of ideas and debate around issues of surveillance, privacy and confidentiality. The aim is to find common ground.

Journalists will offer hacktivists a social and political context, and expertise in evidence-based storytelling. Hacktivists will offer insight into digital tools to protect journalists and their sources and disclose ways of accessing and exposing evidentially-based material. The exchange of expert advice and opinion offers both communities, and the public, an opportunity to gain confidence in dealing with cyber threats.

The practice of investigative journalism in a democracy will be front and center at this event. Speakers will engage in uncensored dialogue. What they say may surprise you.

The Symposium will live stream on its Web site: www.logancij.com.

In addition, the conference will also live stream a 3-day chat show produced by a team of young researchers and reporters  between the ages of 18 and 24; they come from diverse backgrounds and represent the future of journalism.

Speakers at the Symposium will include:

Seymour Hersh, Best-known American investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mai Lai Massacre and Abu Ghraib.

Laura Poitras (by Skype), Director of CitizenFour, the only film with Edward Snowden in Moscow, is a well-known artist, currently finishing a trilogy of films about post-9/11 America.

Jake Appelbaum, Computer security expert currently living in Berlin. Chief advocate of TOR, a free software network designed to provide online anonymity. Repeated target of US law enforcement agencies, co-founder of the San Francisco hackerspace Noisebridge and trusted confidant of Edward Snowden.

Charles Lewis, “New York Times” best-selling investigative author, founder of the Center for Public Integrity and author of 935 Lies – The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity.

Lowell Bergman, Former “60 Minutes” producer whose tobacco industry investigations formed the basis of the film ‘The Insider’ is The Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

Julian Assange (by Skype), Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, published Chelsea Manning’s Iraq War and State Department cables, granted political asylum by Ecuador.

Duncan Campbell, Investigative journalist, prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act, who exposed the ECHELON surveillance program.

John Pilger, One of the best-selling investigative authors in the English language. Journalist, documentary filmmaker and critic of Bush, Blair, Obama and the mainstream corporate media.

Bernd Fix, Joined the world’s largest hackers organization, the Berlin-based Chaos Computer Club (the CCC) in 1986. He is a computer security expert and contributor to the Hacker Bible 2.

Nicky Hager, New Zealand investigative journalist whose home was raided by the police this month. He has authored six books, covering intelligence networks, environmental issues and politics.

Beatrice Edwards, Executive and International Director of the Government Accountability Project, the leading US whistleblower protection organization. She has extensive experience with labor issues, anti-corruption measures and public service reforms, and is author of the recently published The Rise of the American Corporate Security State: Six Reasons to be Afraid.

Ben Emmerson QC, UN special rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights.

Jean Marc Manach, Investigative journalist at ZDNet, Le Canard Enchaine, Le Monde, Nova, author of blog Bug Brother, specialist in privacy, internet security and surveillance.

Richard Stallman, Author of the GNU/Linux operating system and staunch advocate of the Open Source development model.

David Mirza Ahmad, A leading expert in open source security research whose company is developing the Subgraph OS.

Contact Details

Website: http://www.logancij.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cijournalism, #LoganCIJ14

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/11D1fdQ

Telephone: 510-280-5397

Email: lornagarano@gmail.com


Many speakers will be available for interview prior to the conference and at the event itself. Please contact lornagarano@gmail.com if you would like to arrange an interview. We will accommodate all requests schedules permitting. See bios here: http://logancij.com/speakers/.

The Centre for Investigative Journalism

The Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) is a nonprofit that champions critical, in-depth reporting and the defence of the public interest. Gavin MacFadyen is the CIJ’s Executive Director, and brings to his work decades of experience in investigative research and film and television production. The primary mission of the CIJ is to provide a centre of excellence in the training of professional journalists, and to ensure that high professional standards in investigative reporting are raised and maintained. The CIJ offers particular assistance to those working in difficult environments where freedom of the press is under threat and where reporting can be a dangerous occupation. The founders and directors of the CIJ are motivated by a strong commitment to the principles of social justice, human rights, whistleblowing and the protection of the environment. More can be found here (logancij.com/about).

The Reva and David Logan Foundation
The Reva and David Logan Foundation is a Chicago-based family foundation that makes strategic grants in the fields of social justice, academic scholarship, the arts, and investigative journalism. The Foundation’s support for CIJ has enabled a wide range of activities, including worldwide trainings, an annual summer school for investigative journalists, and the publication of the Logan Handbooks covering Corporate Filings, Information Security, Investigative Photography, FOIA and Data Protection, and Factual Storytelling… with more to come. “The CIJ’s blend of training and advocacy coupled with their extraordinary commitment to the highest principles of journalism have time and again shown real impact,” says Richard Logan, foundation director.





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Digital Rebellion

Posted by >>>>> on November 12, 2014




Lorna Garano




Digital Rebellion coverIn Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left Todd Wolfson offers the first comprehensive history of cyber activism, and draws important lessons from its successes and failures.

Social and political movements don’t only unfold on the street anymore. Today, the left has staked it claim in cyberspace and is using online tools to democratize the media, mobilize activists, and model alternative communities. In DIGITAL REBELLION: THE BIRTH OF THE CYBER LEFT (University of Illinois Press, December 2014, paperback) Todd Wolfson reveals how “indymedia,” an alternative online media source, which was born at the landmark 1999 WTO protest in Seattle, spurred citizen journalism and became “the switchboard of struggle,” connecting people and communities across space and theme. He traces its growth from a single media center and Web site to a global network, with activists from Seoul to Sao Paulo building satellite site
s around the indymedia hub. The Cyber Left, which is contrasted to the Old and New Left, drew much of its organizing philosophy from the Zapatistas, who used media as a political tool and adopted a “horizontal” or leaderless approach to organization, in which networking was paramount and hierarchy was shunned. While some techno-evangelists were quick to hail this new media as nothing short of revolutionary, Wolfson takes a more nuanced view that celebrates the spirit and successes of the Cyber Left while taking a sober look at its failures.

Here is just some of what Wolfson has to say:

  • Open to all—in theory. The goal of the Cyber Left is to provide a medium for anyone to report on a story or express a view, but the reality is that almost all of the work required to keep the online network going is unpaid. That means, by default, in the Cyber Left as in society at large the wealthier, whiter, and more educated enjoy an advantage because they can afford to devote their time and energy to an unpaid pursuit.
  • No leaders, no problem? “Horizontalism” is a guiding principle of the Cyber Left, many of whom are leery of hierarchy and leaders because of historical abuses of power. “We’re all leaders,” is a popular slogan. While this encourages broad participation, it also makes the Cyber Left unable to develop the leadership skills required for movements to be successful. As a result, those with more social and political capital, who are more likely to come with these skills, wield more power. Horizontalism also stymies proactive decision-making and long-term strategizing.
  • Lost in (cyber) space: Losing touch with real-world communities. One of the most pressing problems that Wolfson found is that the Cyber Left is rarely able to form strong ties with community groups in the real-world and the crucial activism that can only happen offline, face-to-face is neglected. 
  • Clicking our way to freedom and justice? The Web is a powerful tool, but Wolfson cautions against the kind “technological determinism” that he sees with some in the Cyber Left. “Instead of harnessing the technology as a critical element in the material struggles of everyday life, the technology itself becomes the instrument of change,” he says.
  • Cyber Left 3.0: Building on the lessons of the last decade and half. Despite his critique, Wolfson still sees tremendous potential in the Cyber Left, and he cites examples of how the network they created helped to mobilize activists and provide a space for counter-narratives. The Cyber Left continues to evolve, and Wolfson currently works with The Media Mobilizing Project, an organization he founded to address the challenges of the Cyber Left and maximize its potential.


Todd WolfsonTodd Wolfson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. Trained as a socio-cultural anthropologist, his research focuses on the convergence of new media and social movements and he is author of numerous articles on social movements. Todd is also co-founder of the Media Mobilizing Project, which uses media and communications as a strategy for building a movement of poor and working people in Philadelphia and beyond. Todd is also on the leadership team of Progressive Philly Rising and he is sits on the board of the Taxi Workers Alliance of PA. Todd’s research and community work has been supported by the Knight Foundation, Social Science Research Council, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the Dodge Foundation amongst others.


“Combining the passion of an activist and the reasoned arguments of a scholar, Wolfson wonderfully details the emergence of the Cyber Left. In Digital Rebellion he not only celebrates its political potential but also, and more importantly, provides a lucid critique of the forms it has taken thus far.”

Michael Hardt, co-author of Declaration and Empire

“The first book to chart the intellectual and technological history of the Indymedia network and to place that history within the theoretical debate about social movement organization and politics. This is an important chapter in contemporary social movement activism and Todd Wolfson does an excellent job charting the rise of the Independent Media Center and the theoretical implications of this model for left political organizing.”

Andy Opel, author of Preempting Dissent: The Politics of an Inevitable Future

“Makes an original contribution through the depth of the empirical case studies of Cyber Left organization. . . . I cannot think of another book that puts so much of the story of the U.S. left’s experiments with the creation of an ‘electronic fabric of struggle’ within a single volume. . . . The author’s knowledge, thoughtfulness, and political passion is evident.”

Nick Dyer-Witheford, author of Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games



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