How to Share Anonymous Information with the Press, according to The Doe
The Doe is an online site that believes that big news business is ruining the way we perceive the world and are creating a 1984 like society where consensus is the norm. To break free of these limits The Does releases a completely anonymous narrative each week that showcases an often-side-lined news story in a completely, unfiltered manner. They do so in a completely anonymous way and know a thing or two about how keep sources secret. So, we asked them to discuss the best ways to do so and minimize risk.
Tips To Help You Minimize The Risk
There are many ways to minimize the risk that a tip is tied to you. Here are a few of the most common tactics to share anonymous information with the press without exposing your identity.
Use physical mail to send your documents. Even if you have documents in electronic format you can send them via ordinary mail. Beware, though, the U.S. postal service takes photos of your packages and envelopes. This means that you shouldn’t use a return address that can lead to disclosing your identity. Furthermore, don’t mail it in from one of the mailboxes or postal offices in your neighborhood. If you want a certain reporter to receive your documents, write their name on the envelope.
If you need to call, use a phone number that has nothing to do with you. For instance, you could step into a bar and ask them to allow you to make a phone call. You can also buy a prepaid phone card and the cheapest phone you can find, use them and then discard them. Make sure you use cash to pay for them, in order to prevent anyone from tracing them back to you. Only turn this phone on in locations that aren’t associated with you in any way. If possible, remove the battery when you don’t use the phone. Unfortunately, there are phones that don’t have removable batteries. You may want to avoid using such a device.
Use Signal to send private messages. Signal is an open-source messaging app for the iPhone. Free of charge and secure, this app doesn’t retain any of your personal data other than your phone number, the signup date, and the time when you were last active. On the contrary, WhatsApp stores data about your contacts, as well. This is why we don’t recommend it in such situations. Another great thing about Signal is that it allows you to create self-destructive messages. This makes it more difficult, even though not impossible, for third parties to gain access to your conversations. Here’s a Signal user guide for beginners, should you want to use this app to share anonymous information with the press.
Keep in mind that Signal requires both users to share their numbers. Choose a phone number that’s not connected to you in any way. Also, acknowledge the fact that Signal can’t provide complete anonymity to its users.
Before starting to search for various news outlets, consider switching to Tor Browser, in order to protect your privacy. Tor Browser is a secure version of Firefox that encrypts web traffic, making it more difficult to identify your location. It’s best to avoid using your work computers or network for this type of research.
Use a whistleblower submission tool such as SecureDrop to share documents and to communicate to journalists through an anonymous and secure dropbox.
The website thedoe.com says it is a safe place to upload anonymous articles.