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Help! I am an Investigative Journalist in 2017

Investigative journalists rely on information sources to write interesting stories. Their work is a significant contributor to democracy and free speech in my opinion. Articles that expose wrongdoings within the private and public sector function as a social control when other channels fail to address an issue.

However, certain governments are not that keen on whistleblowers. Many of them choose to track them down and to prosecute them. As mass-surveillance and metadata retention programs are recording almost every aspect our digital life, it gets more and more challenging for the information sources to hide their real identities. The damaging impact on our society is that investigative articles could eventually stop being written as whistleblowers will be afraid to speak out.

The situation is not hopeless, though. Journalists can still do certain precautions to protect the identity of their information sources. A sensible combination of cryptography, privacy tools and OPSEC practices could help to keep those stories coming.

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Helping Reporters Protect Their Information Sources

The information sources of journalists are under constant threat in the age of digital surveillance. Although the confidentiality of information sources is protected by law, secret FISA courts, questionable policing practices and dictatorships regularly circumvent these regulations. To keep investigative articles coming, privacy enthusiasts in Sydney have teamed up to launch ‘Privacy for Journalists’, a website full of practical technology guides for the journalist community.

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Launching ‘Privacy for Journalists’

Reporters are one of the bastions of democracy, as they could expose the wrongdoings of governments, corporates or well-connected individuals affecting the many.

With the legal protections shrinking and the technical disparity widening, the protection of information sources is more challenging than ever.

Information security experts launch website and community to help investigative journalists protect their information sources.

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