Harvard cancelled an event about journalist safety after a number of people pointed out that its featured speaker worked for an Israeli surveillance group linked to spying on reporters.
The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, a Harvard University research center, originally planned to host a webinar Thursday titled, “Lessons For Female Reporters: Online Harassment and Physical Security.” The event was set to feature security expert Juliette Kayyem.
Numerous “prominent voices on human rights & tech” pointed out that Kayyem works for NSO Group, according to Committee to Protect Journalist’s Avi Asher-Schapiro. He added that the Shorenstein Center cancelled the event after these concerns were raised.
— Avi Asher-Schapiro (@AASchapiro) February 3, 2020
Kayyem’s term as senior advisor to NSO ended in 2019, according to NSO Group. She advised the company on its governance framework.
“Juliette played an important role advising NSO on its governance framework, and we’re grateful for her leadership and experience during her time as Senior Advisor, which came to a conclusion in 2019,” an NSO spokesperson told the Daily Caller.
The Shorenstein Center did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller. Facebook sued the firm in October of 2019, accusing the group of creating software that aided in spying on journalists and human rights workers. Facebook owns the texting application WhatsApp, which NSO is accused of helping hack.
NSO Group denied the allegations when the lawsuit was filed. (RELATED: CNN’s April Ryan Got Security To Supposedly Protect Her From Trump Supporters. Here’s Her Guard Beating Up A Journalist)
Unfortunately this event has been canceled. For information about other upcoming events at the Shorenstein Center please visit https://t.co/Y4JdSG6Dtq
— Shorenstein Center (@ShorensteinCtr) February 2, 2020
Journalist and press freedom advocate Dr. Courtney Radsch, technical advisor for the Freedom of the Press Foundation Eva Galperin, and former member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake are among those who raised concerns about Kayyem, according to Asher-Schapiro.