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Open access

Susan E. McGregor, Franziska Roesner and Kelly Caine

Abstract

A free and open press is a critical piece of the civil-society infrastructure that supports both established and emerging democracies. However, as the professional activities of reporting and publishing are increasingly conducted by digital means, computer security and privacy risks threaten free and independent journalism around the globe. Through interviews with 15 practicing journalists and 14 organizational stakeholders (supervising editors and technologists), we reveal the distinct - and sometimes conflicting-computer security concerns and priorities of different stakeholder groups within journalistic institutions, as well as unique issues in journalism compared to other types of organizations. As these concerns have not been deeply studied by those designing computer security practices or technologies that may benefit journalism, this research offers insight into some of the practical and cultural constraints that can limit the computer security and privacy practices of the journalism community as a whole. Based on these findings, we suggest paths for future research and development that can bridge these gaps through new tools and practices.

Open access

Linda Lee, David Fifield, Nathan Malkin, Ganesh Iyer, Serge Egelman and David Wagner

Abstract

Although Tor has state-of-the art anticensorship measures, users in heavily censored environments will not be able to connect to Tor if they cannot configure their connections. We perform the first usability evaluation of Tor Launcher, the graphical user interface (GUI) that Tor Browser uses to configure connections to Tor. Our study shows that 79% (363 of 458) of user attempts to connect to Tor in simulated censored environments failed. We found that users were often frustrated during the process and tried options at random. In this paper, we measure potential usability issues, discuss design constraints unique to Tor, and provide recommendations based on what we learned to help more users connect to Tor while reducing the time they take to do so. Tor Browser incorporated the changes proposed by this study.