Creating safe platforms to connect whistleblowers with the media
Digital surveillance technologies used by governments and criminals are a threat to press freedom and freedom of expression. Free Press Unlimited supports the set up of whistleblowing platforms worldwide to protect journalists and their sources against these technologies, and to allow whistleblowers and journalists to communicate privately, anonymously and safely.
Sharing information safely
There are transgressions in every society, some of which are only brought to light thanks to whistleblowers. Digital communication channels have made information sharing much easier, but unfortunately less secure too.These days, governments and criminals use advanced methods with which they can keep an eye on what digital information journalists and their sources exchange with each other.
A lack of digital privacy can prevent a whistleblower from sharing important information on misconduct with the press. Through the user-friendly whistleblowing platforms set up with support from Free Press Unlimited, whistleblowers can exchange digital information with the press without the government or anyone else having access to it. In addition to providing a platform, journalists are also informed about digital security.
Receive, check, publish
The whistleblowing platforms make use of open source software called GlobaLeaks, made available by the Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights. Whistleblowers remain anonymous and choose which of the participating media and civil society organizations they wish to communicate their information to.
It is up to the investigative journalists to undertake the important tasks of deciding on the relevance of tips and to verify the information. Only after a thorough investigation will a story be published to publicly expose wrongdoings. In this way, the public gets to hear about matters which the authorities, powerful businesses and criminal gangs want to keep hidden. For example, thanks to the platform in the Netherlands: Publeaks, more than 50 cases have already been brought to light in recent years.
Free Press Unlimited has been involved in setting up safe whistleblowing platforms in five countries: Mexico (Méxicoleaks), Nigeria (Leaks.ng), Indonesia (IndonesiaLeaks), Mali (Kenekanko) and the Netherlands (Publeaks NL). All of these platforms have the same purpose: connecting whistleblowers with the media without their names becoming common knowledge. This improves the safety of the whistleblower, making it easier for them to share sensitive information with the press, and for the press to bring abuses to light. That is why we are committed to the establishment and expansion of these types of platforms.