The Freedom of the Press Foundation released SecureDrop Tuesday. It’s an open-source tool that allows whistleblowers, or anyone who wants to communicate anonymously with journalists, a channel far more secure than email.
The system is built on code written by Aaron Swartz and has been managed by Wired investigations editor Kevin Poulsen, John Cusack and Josh Stearns write in The Huffington Post. The New Yorker implemented a version of the tool in May. Cusack and Stearns cite the Committee to Protect Journalists’ recent report about press freedom in the United States, which said sources now fear contacting news organizations because of stepped-up leak investigations by the federal government.
SecureDrop is free. “Although it is important to note that no security system can ever be 100 percent impenetrable, Freedom of the Press Foundation believes that this system is the strongest ever made available to media outlets,” the groupwrites in an announcement. “Several major news agencies have already signed up for installations, and they will be announced in the coming weeks.”
The foundation will help newsrooms install SecureDrop, and “Small media organizations with significant financial need may also apply to Freedom of the Press Foundation for help obtaining hardware,” it says.