This article is the second in a series focusing on notable forensic journalists for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
“The truth is its own goal,” Emma Best says of the new journalist collective, Distributed Denial of Secrets. Think of DDoSecrets (a play on the name of a type of cyberattack called a “distributed denial of service”) as an alternative to Wikileaks—indeed, in some cases it hosts the same material—that devotes more attention to explaining its standards for the material it distributes and less to eye-catching press releases. It distributes caches of previously secret data—emails, government records, contracts—some via direct download through the site linked above, some by carefully vetted request. “We simply want to make the information available, and to prevent it from disappearing,” Best, who is the only non-pseudonymous member, says.
The site, which has existed since December of last year, publishes huge volumes of raw data through Tor Hidden Services, an encrypted amenity provided by the Tor Project. In January, for instance, DDoSecrets released a huge dump of emails and messages from Russian officials that Wikileaks had declined to host on the grounds that they were “already public” (many were not), detailing the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine in 2014, which the Kremlin categorically denied was happening at the time.
Reportage and opinion based on that data is left to traditional deadline journalists, but DDoSecrets’s archive, which includes dozens of document troves from around the world, is carefully—journalistically, even—designed. State-sponsored hacks are flagged, as are hacked materials
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/tow_center/emma-best-ddosecrets.php