Civil society, hacking and the danger of tainted leaks

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Do you know David Satter? He is a high profile journalist from the US who extensively covered the Soviet Union, Russia and the corruption around Putin and his cronies. As Citizen Lab recently reported in a new report he is the so called “Patient Zero” in a phishing, hacking and disinformation campaign spanning the globe and targeting politicians, companies and especially the civil society, including journalists. All the information gathered here as well as the explanatory graphics are curtsey the Citizen Lab, and they deserve the highest praise for such an in-depth report at this critical time.

I decided to summarize the report here on my blog and give some advice at the end of the post in regard to the importance of cyber security in our days and how we, especially journalists, can protect themselves more effectively. Continue reading

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Survival during conflicts

Dear readers,

this time I have something “different” for you. Some close and good friends have built up the amazing organisation called Humanitarian Bazaar – and one of their goals is to help civilians in conflict zones to survive the war. Thus I ask you – if you have some spare coin – to support this project and donate to it! Here is the introduction video on the project:

Thanks in advance to every reader who will support this important and great project!

Big changes are coming

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The “best” of all worlds: MacOS, Linux Parrot and Windows

Towards the end of June 2017 I will start to study again, this time for two years – the end goal is to become a IT specialist for system integration with a special focus on cyber security. Yes, this is a big change but no worries, I won`t quit journalism. But why this decision?

A) After working as a freelance Journalist since 2008 and often barely keeping my income above the poverty line I have had enough: Enough of the shitty payment; enough of late payments and rip-offs; enough of getting almost no appreciation by editors and media companies while risking my own life. Especially as struggling financially did impact the quality of my journalism – and I do not want to compromise that quality anymore

B) Becoming a IT specialist for system integration helps me to get a steady and well paying income – and thus enables me to do proper journalism. Especially as I started to focus more and more on long form / investigative reportages which needs time and money. Additionally, technology and cyber security (see the really shitty reporting about the last wikileaks) is more important than ever – with this kind of job I can enhance also my understanding on these topics and thus write about IT, cyber security etc. additionally.

C) I can finally please my inner Nerd 😉

I will keep writing for my blog as well as newspapers in the future (though there will be some design changes at my webpage to better represent my portfolio) – mainly dissecting bad journalistic pieces and in-depth reporting on different conflict zones and social/political issues. So no worries, I won`t disappear from the journalistic field – I am just taking a “break” from longer travels and refocus my goals and future.

Yours sincerely,

Benjamin Hiller

Gewalt gegen Schiiten: Wo beginnt Völkermord?

Der Gastautor und Kollege Konstantin Flemig analysiert in seinem Artikel die Behauptung (u.a. in einem Huffington Post Artikel) eines Völkermordes an Schiiten in Syrien  – stimmt diese Behauptung? Oder wird hier nur eine Ablenkung konstruiert um von den Gräueltaten des syrischen Regimes abzulenken? Konstantin Flemig sammelt die Fakten, analysiert den Begriff des Völkermordes und vergleicht die Situation der Schiiten im Irak und Syrien

Eine der großartigen Seiten des Internets ist die Möglichkeit, Unrecht ans Licht der Weltöffentlichkeit zu bringen. Massaker in MyanmarVergewaltigungen im SüdsudanGiftgas in Syrien – viele Verbrechen, die noch vor wenigen Jahrzehnten als obskure Fußnote der Geschichte geendet wären, gelangen so ins Bewusstsein einer globalisierten Welt.

Diese beispiellose Demokratisierung der Medienlandschaft birgt aber auch Risiken. Wer Aufmerksamkeit will, muss oft lauter schreien als die tausend anderen, die neben einem stehen. Und wenn es um Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit geht, so ist nichts „lauter“ als der Vorwurf des Völkermordes.

Die Huffington Post wittert eine Verschwörung der Weltpresse

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Foto von dem Anschlag in al-Foua und Kafriya. Bild: Tasnim News Agency

Continue reading

News Blues VIII

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Dear Readers,

After a short absence due to traveling and other daily issues I am back with my weekly news blues. While the US under Trump is increasing its irrational military behavior around the globe other issues are also debate widely: The upcoming referendum in Turkey, the struggle for freelance journalists to earn a proper living or the right winged populist movement in France. Here some articles for you to read over the long Easter weekend:

Continue reading