Whistleblowing Safely

Tips and Tools for Anonymous Disclosure

Whistleblowers play an essential role in exposing wrongdoing and promoting transparency, but their actions can come at great personal risk. To protect themselves and ensure their safety, whistleblowers must take steps to remain anonymous and avoid retaliation. Here are some tips, advice, websites, and tools that whistleblowers can use to safely disclose information.

  1. Use a secure communication channel: Whistleblowers should use secure communication channels to disclose information, such as encrypted email or messaging apps. Services like ProtonMail, Signal, and Wickr offer end-to-end encryption and are designed to protect users’ privacy and security.
  2. Use a whistleblower platform: Whistleblower platforms like SecureDrop and GlobaLeaks allow whistleblowers to securely and anonymously disclose information to journalists and organizations. These platforms are designed to protect whistleblowers’ anonymity and are often used by news organizations and advocacy groups.
  3. Seek legal advice: Whistleblowers should seek legal advice to understand their rights and protections under the law. Organizations like the National Whistleblower Center offer legal support and resources to whistleblowers.
  4. Protect your digital footprint: Whistleblowers should take steps to protect their digital footprint, such as using a virtual private network (VPN) and a secure browser like Tor. These tools can help hide users’ online activity and prevent tracking.
  5. Use secure storage: Whistleblowers should store sensitive information in secure locations, such as encrypted hard drives or cloud storage services like Tresorit or SpiderOak. These services offer end-to-end encryption and are designed to protect users’ privacy and security.
  6. Use disposable devices: Whistleblowers should consider using disposable devices, such as burner phones or laptops, to avoid being traced. They should also avoid using personal devices to disclose information.
  7. Be cautious with metadata: Whistleblowers should be cautious with metadata, which can reveal information about the source of a leak. They should remove metadata from documents and images before sharing them.

In conclusion, whistleblowers play a vital role in promoting transparency and accountability, but they must take steps to protect themselves and ensure their safety. By using secure communication channels, seeking legal advice, protecting their digital footprint, and using secure storage, whistleblowers can safely and anonymously disclose information. Whistleblower platforms, disposable devices, and cautious handling of metadata can also help protect whistleblowers’ anonymity and avoid retaliation.

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