Media News

Why Reuters unpublished a cybersecurity investigation

Michael Schaffer of Politico Magazine examines how a ruling by an Indian judge caused news agency Reuters to unpublish an eye-opening cybersecurity investigation.

Schaffer writes, “In India — or any other country — the act of blocking foreign reporting was once simple: Impound some magazines at the airport and call it a day. Local civil libertarians might be infuriated, but the confiscation wouldn’t hamper readers beyond the national border.

“Now, though, publishing is global, and keeping things published online is an ongoing choice. Instead of banning disfavored pieces of newsprint in one particular country, judges are apt to demand that things be removed from global websites. A vast organization like Reuters, with major interests in India that could be sanctioned, not to mention local employees who could get in legal trouble, doesn’t have the luxury of blowing off the judge.

“‘If you are the Iowa Daily Beagle, and you publish a story that upsets some company in India, that company can go to an Indian court and get whatever injunction they want,’ said Charles Glasser, who spent 12 years as the global media counsel for Bloomberg News and is the author of a book on international libel law. ‘But if the Iowa Daily Beagle has no assets in India and does no business in India, they can’t do much. It becomes more of an issue for international publishers, like Reuters. They certainly have resources there, and they are subject to the jurisdiction of the Indian court.'”

Read more here.

Chris Roush

Chris Roush was the dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He was previously Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Professor in business journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a former business journalist for Bloomberg News, Businessweek, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Tampa Tribune and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He is the author of the leading business reporting textbook "Show me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication" and "Thinking Things Over," a biography of former Wall Street Journal editor Vermont Royster.

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