Farhan Janjua

"It was only during the course that I realised there are still loopholes that I need to close."


"I’ve been working as a journalist and enthusiast for the digital world in Pakistan for eleven years, and I was on the front line of the campaign to defend the web presence of the daily papers in the times when they were hit by cyberattacks almost every day. In my experience digital security is more important than it seems to be.

As someone with a certain technical background and experience, I always thought that my skills in the area of digital security would be enough to protect me. It was only during the training programme that I realised there are still loopholes that I need to close to protect myself and my sources online and elsewhere.

It’s one thing to have technical and digital know-how, but it’s quite another to have the tools you need to combat invaders when you need them. This is why the training I received with the Berlin Scholarship Programme was important to me. It helped me to organise my thoughts and skills in a methodical approach to counter surveillance and hacking as well as deal with online trolls.

With my improved skills in the areas of encoding, anonymisation and account security and my blog “Voice of Internet“, I now help journalists in Pakistan by offering online seminars, video blogs and free advice."

Farhan Janjua is a fellow of RSF Germany’s Berlin Scholarship Programme. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Voice of Internet - a journalism blog dealing with freedom of expression, digital rights, privacy, gender and intersectionality.

His project helps activists and social projects improve their digital presence through services such as free advice, website design, graphic design, copywriting and copy editing. He also trains journalists in the use of digital media to help them advance their work.

 Prior to this, Janjua worked as a digital editor at the Daily Times, Pakistan's third largest English-language daily newspaper, helping it make the transition to the digital world. As part of his job he managed and edited the newspaper's websites and social media channels and edited their content.

For more than a decade Janjua has focused primarily on digital media. He also completed a training course in electronic media. For three years he managed two of Dunya News’s websites and social media channels. He was also regional editor for the Middle East and AfPak at FutureChallenges.org, a project originally launched by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in 2010.

 Janjua started as a blogger in 2008 and soon his articles were also being published in "big" media. He also became an author at GlobalVoices and founding editor of the Urdu section. Farhan's articles and blogs discuss some of the controversial and taboo issues in Pakistan, including queer and gender rights. His blog also won the “Best News Broken on a Blog” award presented by Google Pakistan and CIO Pakistan. However, because of his focus on controversial issues, and despite heavy self-censorship of his work, Janjua is under constant surveillance by the government, and frequently receives threats both online and over the phone. The training he received helps him to protect himself against digital threats and to continue to work professionally and safely.