Today is World Press Freedom Day – a day created by UNESCO in recognition of the importance of free speech, as well as the important role journalists play in using this right to help inform citizens about what’s going on with the world around them.
This year’s main event is being held in Helsinki, Finland, and co-hosted by the Finnish government. There was lots happening at Finlandia Hall – the event’s “ground zero”. And because Finland is home to F-Secure’s headquarters, we were there in full force to express our support for the journalists who, according to Reporters without Borders, put their privacy, freedom, and even their lives on the line to keep us all informed.
Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure’s Chief Research Officer, delivered a keynote address ahead of a discussion called “Protecting your rights: Surveillance Overreach, Data Protection, and Online Censorship”.
“But right now, over the last couple of years, the biggest changes in this field have not been with online crime. They’ve been with governments entering the online, cyber attack business,” Hypponen told the audience.
After his speech, Mikko shared some additional thoughts on Apple vs. the FBI, and World Press Freedom Day.
“Without privacy, we can’t have free press. And without a free press, we cannot have democracy. And without democracy, we cannot have freedom,” Mikko told the audience. And that’s not just rhetoric – it’s something we’re backing up.
Any journalist interested in using encryption to protect themselves against unwanted surveillance can get in touch with us before May 15 to get a free, 3-device, 12-month subscription for F-Secure’s FREEDOME VPN, which lets users encrypt their communications, block tracking attempts and malicious websites, and change their virtual location.
All journalists need to do is send a confirmation of their valid press credentials (for example, an image) by direct message to our Twitter feed (@FSecure) before May 15.
Edited to add: We also caught a panel discussion about digital threats to journalists with F-Secure Cyber Security Advisor Erka Koivunen, Tanzanian journalist and newspaper editor Dennis Msacky, and University professor, writer and journalist Hanna Nikkanen.