The VICE Channels

    Introducing the VICE Media SecureDrop

    Written by

    Jason Leopold and Derek Mead

    At VICE News and Motherboard, we depend heavily on tips, leaks and documents from confidential sources and whistleblowers to inform our reporting on a wide-range of issues that we believe the public needs to know about. And protecting the identities of those sources is a crucial part of our job.

    To ensure that our sources can communicate with our reporters anonymously and securely, and to minimize the chances that anyone—even us—will ever be able to identify you as our source, we’re launching the VICE Media SecureDrop. This new tool, which uses the Tor network and PGP encryption, allows new and existing sources to communicate with us and send us documents discreetly.

    SecureDrop is straightforward to use, and instructions are available at our landing page. Please follow instructions carefully to protect your anonymity, and also feel free to note if your communication is aimed at a specific person or publication at VICE. We will ensure that it reaches the correct parties in a safe and secure fashion.

    SecureDrop is the safest and best option to protect against interception, online tracking and the prying eyes of the government. Indeed, the need for a SecureDrop was sparked by many of the recent leak prosecutions in the United States. As noted by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which runs SecureDrop and helped install the system for us, “Sources have been investigated because authorities are able to retrieve both metadata and content of communications from third parties like email and phone providers in secret."

    “SecureDrop attempts to completely eliminate third parties from the equation so that news organizations can challenge any legal orders that are served on them before handing over any data," the Foundation continued. "SecureDrop also substantially limits the metadata trail that may exist from journalist-source communications in the first place. In addition, it also attempts to provide a safer environment for those communications than regular corporate news networks, which are often compromised.”

    The late Internet activist Aaron Swartz designed SecureDrop. It’s currently being managed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which has already installed the system at The Intercept, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Gawker, The New Yorker and other media organizations. We'd also like to thank Jon Chittenden, Nicholas Petillo, Ariel Rubio, Jesse Knight, and the rest of VICE's excellent IT and development departments for getting this online.