The Freedom of the Press Foundation is asking major companies like Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm to build encryption features into their products in a new open letter published today. The letter was signed by over 150 filmmakers and photojournalists, including Citizenfour director Laura Poitras.
Encryption has become an increasingly prominent (and hotly debated) topic in the tech world over the last few years, especially with respect to messaging apps and mobile phones in general. But while encryption has become standard in those parts of our lives, camera and memory card companies are well behind that curve, the FPF argues.
Poitras, who is on the board of directors for the FPF, somewhat famously had to destroy some of the SD cards she used when filming Edward Snowden for her Citizenfour documentary. While there are encrypted hard drives and even USB sticks, cameras (and the memory cards they use) don’t have built-in file protection. That means a journalist or filmmaker’s work is in jeopardy if those things get confiscated at any point in the time between shooting and storing those files.
“We work in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, often attempting to uncover wrongdoing in the interests of justice,” the letter reads. “On countless occasions, filmmakers and photojournalists have seen their footage seized by authoritarian governments or criminals all over the world. Because the contents of their cameras are not and cannot be encrypted, there is no way to protect any of the footage once it has been taken.
The article was published on : theverge