Operational security for disclosing wrongdoing

2013-06-08

in Geek stuff, Internet matters, Law, Politics, Security

Wired on the steps now required for whistleblowers to leak evidence of wrongdoing to journalists, in an age of ubiquitous surveillance:

“Get a dedicated computer or tablet: the cheapest Windows laptop will do. And pay cash, as our normal laptops have a host of automatic synchronization and similar services. Our personal web browsers also contain all sorts of location-identifying cookies. Even if you’re logged in to but don’t actually visit Facebook’s home page, a subpoena to Facebook can still reveal where you connect and what pages you visit — every “Like” button reports to Facebook that you are visiting that particular page, at a particular time, from a particular IP address.

Leave your cellphone, your normal computer, and your metro card (like SmarTrip) at home: anything that speaks over a wireless link must stay behind. Then go to a coffee shop that has open Wi-Fi, and once there open a new Gmail account that you will only use to contact the press and only from the dedicated computer. When registering, use no personal information that can identify you or your new account: no phone numbers, no names.

Don’t forget: if you get anything at the cafe, or take public transit, pay cash. Be prepared to walk a bit, too; you can’t stay close to home for this.

Of course, the job still isn’t finished. When you are done you must clear the browser’s cookies and turn off the Wi-Fi before turning off the computer and removing the battery. The dedicated computer should never be used on the network except when checking your press-contact account and only from open Wi-Fi connections away from home and work.”

Related: Wikileaks and whistleblowers

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

anon June 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

As a first-term Illinois senator turned president-elect once put it, “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance”

http://change.gov/agenda/ethics_agenda/

anon July 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

A Secure Submission System for Online Whistleblowing Platforms

http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.6263

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: