ADVANTAGES

Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, describes the sinister consequences of surveillance in his recent book, The New Censorship. Simon recounts in chilling detail how Iran turned journalists’ reliance on the internet into a weapon against protesters in 2009. Security agents tortured journalists like Maziar Bahari (the subject of the Jon Stewart film Rosewater) until they divulged their social media and email passwords, and then combed through their networks, identifying and arresting sources. Iranian officials also created fake Facebook accounts to lure activists. “The use of Facebook and other social media platforms by governments to dismantle political networks has become a standard practice,” Simon writes.

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