Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2019


Enough: How journalism can benefit from free software

Enough is a set of tools, online and self-hosted, as well as a community composed of technical people and journalists. The tools were designed to empower journalists and Human Rights Defenders when protecting their privacy, and their sources in the digital era. We will run you through the approach with examples of practical application. We hope to inspire developers and sysadmins to help journalists and provide them with the tools they need when the freedom of the press is challenged.

It‘s not news that journalism has undergone significant changes since the beginning of digitalization: from methods and tools applied in news rooms to the pace at which information is received, processed and outdated, today‘s news are as heavily influenced by modern technology as every other aspect of our lives. While many of these changes contribute to the empowerment of citizens, some of them pose challenges and threats to the traditional role of journalism as safeguard of informed public debates which our societies depend on.

One of them is the growing number of intermediaries involved in communication: Journalists rely on Google, Facebook and other private companies to communicate with sources or store documents online. At the same time, a lack of regulation facilitates the access of governments to data collected by said intermediaries, and legislation introduced all across the globe in the name of terror prevention and protecting national security contributes to curtailing civil liberties. All of these taken together significantly increase the risk of abuse through regulators to inhibit journalists from doing their job – which, in turn, becomes all the more important in that very same context to protect the public interest in a fair and free society.

An answer to this would be to empower journalists to maintain control over their data. But because only few of them have the technological know-how to make use of tools that would allow them to do so, they require support. Establishing closer cooperation between journalists and technological experts is one effective way to close this gap.

This is why we promote the use of the communication platform Enough: based on Free Software exclusively, it offers journalists and Human Rights Defenders a way of communicating and exchanging documents with their sources through an interface that seems familiar to them. At the same time, Enough is embedded and maintained by a decentralized community composed of technological experts, who can support users in technical questions.


Photo of Veronika Nad Veronika Nad