Less than a week into the Trump administration, multiple government agencies have told their employees not to speak to the news media or release information to the public. Journalists have responded by spreading the word that it’s easy to reach them, securely and confidentially.
Many news organizations use SecureDrop, which describes itself as “an open-source whistleblower submission system.”
Reporters like Danielle Paquette of the Washington Post shared links to their SecureDrop sites on Twitter.
— Danielle Paquette (@DPAQreport) January 24, 2017
ProPublica has a “how to leak” page, set up at the end of November, that explains what’s behind the request.
Our job is to hold people and institutions accountable. And it requires evidence. Documents are a crucial part of that. We are always on the lookout for them — especially, now.
Have you seen something that troubles you or that you think should be a story? Do you have a tip about something we should be investigating? Do you have documents or other materials that we should see? We want to hear from you.
The page includes links to its own SecureDrop site, as well as instructions on how to use the free Signal app to contact individual reporters. It’s been shared hundreds of times on Twitter in just the last 24 hours.
On its “News Tips” page, the New York Times tells potential leakers it can be contacted via WhatsApp, Signal, encrypted email and the US Postal Service, as well as SecureDrop.
Here’s SecureDrop’s list of news organizations and others using its system to receive information anonymously, which includes the Associated Press, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and Toronto’s Globe and Mail. My guess is that list will expand. [3/2/17: Just learned The Tow Center has a useful guide to SecureDrop.]
In fact, shortly after I published this post, I ran across a Twitter thread from John Ryan of Seattle public radio station KUOW spelling out ways of contacting him:
6/ Or put flowerpot on your rail. I’ll meet you atop the Space Needle at midnight. 😉 (Democracy always needs whistleblowers!)
— John Ryan (@heyjohnryan) January 26, 2017
Do you know of any other news organizations currently soliciting anonymous submissions? Share in the comments, please.