Becoming a Whistleblower

The most intriguing thing about the below article from The Intercept is their need to publish it at all. It argues that the other powerful western democracy, Great Britain, does not trust American journalists to do their job, n’est-ce pas? 1

If you’re a public servant in Washington, you may be worried about what your job will look like after January 20 — who you’ll be working for, what you’ll be asked to do. You might be concerned that the programs you’ve developed will be killed or misused. Or that you’ll be ordered to do things that are illegal or immoral.

You may be thinking you have no choice — or that your only alternative is to quit.

But there is another option. If you become aware of behavior that you believe is unethical, illegal, or damaging to the public interest, consider sharing your information securely with us. History shows the enormous value of government workers who discover abuses of power collaborating with journalists to expose them…

…More recently, the public only learned that President-elect Donald Trump avoided paying federal income tax for years because someone anonymously sent his tax returns to the New York Times. And the public heard a 2005 recording of Trump bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy” because someone leaked it to the Washington Post…

…In presidencies full of secrets and lies, truth-tellers are the strongest check against the abuse of power. The era of access journalism — where reporters treat government officials as arbiters of truth — is reaching its nadir. Whistleblower journalism is far better suited to the challenges facing the press and the citizenry today…

…If you choose to share your information with us, there are key steps you can take to increase your safety.

The best option is to use our SecureDrop server, which has the advantage of allowing us to send messages back to you, while allowing you to remain totally anonymous — even to us, if that is what you prefer.

  • •Begin by bringing your personal computer to a Wi-Fi network that isn’t associated with you or your employer, like one at a coffee shop. Download the Tor Browser. (Tor allows you to go online while concealing your IP address from the websites you visit.) 2
  • You can access our SecureDrop server by going to http://y6xjgkgwj47us5ca.onion/ in the Tor Browser. This is a special kind of URL that only works in Tor. Do NOT type this URL into a non-Tor Browser. It won’t work — and it will leave a record.
  • If that is too complicated, or you don’t wish to engage in back-and-forth communication with us, a perfectly good alternative is to simply send mail to P.O. Box 65679, Washington, D.C., 20035, or to The Intercept, 114 Fifth Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, New York, 10011. Drop it in a mailbox (do not send it from home, work or a post office) with no return address.

Here is what not to do:

  • Don’t contact us from work. Most corporate and government networks log traffic. Even if you’re using Tor, being the only Tor user at work could make you stand out.
  • Don’t email us, call us, or contact us on social media. From the standpoint of someone investigating a leak, who you communicate with and when is all it takes to make you a prime suspect.
  • Don’t tell anyone that you’re a source.

There are even more safety precautions you can take described here

Becoming a whistleblower is not an easy decision, but sometimes it is the right thing to do.

Becoming a Whistleblower

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Much as they started to under the Obama White House; the cult of personality blinded them to his excesses.
  2. Or use Tails instead; this is the BEST way of becoming anonymous…

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