Protecting Journalists from Surveillance in Ethiopia | Freethink Coded


In Ethiopia where I come from, the state
controls every little details of people’s lives. They have a physical surveillance
and an online surveillance. It’s a very difficult society to live in. The default setting is repression. The government controls the
internet to control journalism. When you control the narrative,
you control the power. But through technology, I believe my
people can take their freedom back. My name is Endalk Chala, I am a doctorate
student in communication studies, but before I came here from Ethiopia,
I was an activist. I am still an activist. Before I start the class I just want
to talk a little bit about privacy. Anyone has a right to privacy. Privacy is a human right, so for me
privacy is just to be left alone. But privacy is some kind of
alien concept in Ethiopia. The problem is repression. Ethiopia has essentially been under a one
party
government for more than twenty years now. Political opposition members
are being jailed and tortured. Journalists are getting arrested, charged
with terrorism, and put in jail for many years. In Ethiopia, the main prison is divided into
different zones from zone one to zone eight. It’s kind of dark, but they call all of Ethiopia
Zone 9 because we are all part of the prison. I consider myself as a journalist who has
been writing on different social issues and political issues in Ethiopia. This photo is the entire member of
blogging collective called Zone 9. Because we have used internet to tell
stories which offended the government, My friends, Zone 9 bloggers were
apprehended and thrown into prison. Three of us escaped prison. The first thing for Ethiopian journalists
to
know about the Ethiopian environment is it’s a controlled one, which is highly
spied by the government. You need to protect yourself. How? By using encryption. These days journalists need to code and
coders need to be journalists. The lines between the two are blurring. I’m still in touch with activists who do not
use
secure technology and they are risking their lives. What I do is send them a collection of tools,
tips, and technologies which will help both regular people and journalists
to protect themselves. Technology is helping them to speak
their stories and to do journalism. That makes technology a very good thing. Technology gives voice for the voiceless. It gives opportunity for deprived
people to tell their story. Ethiopia is my country, I love my country. But I need to participate in helping
people to protect themselves. Privacy is important because there has to
be an interior zone within each person that the government doesn’t see or control. This zone is for ideas and thoughts
and free expression. A zone where you can share your
doubts and secrets and weakness. If Ethiopians had this we could
take down all nine zones. Through technology, we can build a brighter
future for Ethiopia, and that’s what I’m fighting for.

8 thoughts on “Protecting Journalists from Surveillance in Ethiopia | Freethink Coded

  1. u dummies (people who wrote comments) all you come up with is 1st 2nd…… I SUPPORT ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE'S FREEDOM

  2. When I visited Raaso, Ethiopia 🇪🇹 earlier this year, one day after the regional congressional parliamentary voting(Somali Region), there was massive corruption in the voting and the regional government immediately cut off all internet access and deployed troops and set up checkpoints on the freeway looking for journalists to stop any news from going out.

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