The Malcolm Forbes Award 2011

AWARD YEAR: 2011

AWARD NAME: The Malcolm Forbes Award

AWARD RECIPIENTS: Paul Sonne, Steve Stecklow, Farnaz Fassihi, Margaret Coker, Loretta Chao, Christopher Rhoads, Matt Bradley, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Nour Malas, Don Clark

AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: The Wall Street Journal

AWARD HONORED WORK: Censorship Inc.

The Journal ran a series of articles over the course of almost a year that described how Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria used technology from Western and Chinese companies to break through Skype’s encryption features to spy on dissidents, track mobile phone users, conduct surveillance of them, and censor web activity and satellite television broadcasts. Protesters were using high-tech tools to rally support, but their governments were also secretly using technology to stop them. The series raised disturbing questions about whether U.S. and European firms have a responsibility to keep their technology out of the wrong hands and whether Western governments can prevent Chinese companies from rushing in to assist such countries as Iran.