How To Share Information With BAWN
We tell big stories on difficult subjects. We’ve reported on the inequities of the drug treatment system, deaths in police custody, and a massive bribery scandal involving some of the world’s biggest corporations. To tell these stories, we must work with people who know what is really going on inside government and private institutions. That’s where you come in.
Are you getting new directives that flout established practice? Are new rules making you uncomfortable? Is an important program on the chopping block? Are you being asked to do something unethical? We want to see whatever evidence and documentation you can provide. Your employer, hackers and the government could potentially read your emails (or at least see that you contacted us). But if that doesn’t bother you, email us at scoops@BAWN. Need more privacy? If you’re concerned that being a source for a story poses a significant risk, take precautions:
Know your risks. No form of communication is 100 percent safe from all observers. Make a plan about what you’ll do if the wrong person finds out you contacted us.
Do not contact us from your work computer or phone. Your bosses can track your use of these devices. The same goes for your personal mobile phone, if you’ve ever installed apps from your employer — even if you later uninstalled them.
Use your browser’s “incognito” or “private browsing” mode. Some sites (including, potentially, your employer’s) can access your browser history and see what websites you’ve visited. An incognito window may help mask this data. Open a new incognito browser window to contact us, and close it immediately afterward. If you don’t, your browser can display your online history to sites that ask for it.
Another option for contacting BAWN is SecureDrop, which allows you to share information and communicate with us electronically in a way that protects your identity even from us – as long as you use it correctly. To access SecureDrop, you will need to use Tor Browser to obscure your IP address and computer information. While running Tor Browser, visit HuffPost’s SecureDrop page at http://rbugf2rz5lmjbfun.onion and follow the instructions on the site. This will generate a username that will become your login. However, you will still want to take precautions, such as not using internet networks at your home or office. You may also want to consider using Tails, an operating system that doesn’t keep records of your activity on your computer. For more information on how to use SecureDrop to connect with us, please visit https://docs.securedrop.org/en/stable/source.html using Tor Browser.
Do not contact us during work hours. You could get into trouble if your employer found out.
If you are concerned you are under active surveillance, do not contact us from home and do not contact us from your regular phone. Public wifi hotspots can help keep you anonymous. Use the Tails operating system and Tor Browser. Start your Tails session immediately before contacting us, and close it immediately afterward. Do not tell others that you are a source, and do not contact us on social media.
If you email us documents, strip document metadata. Metadata can include evidence of where a document originated and who has handled it. Here is information about removal methods.
In many cases, our reporters or editors will eventually need to know your identity so we can verify and authenticate the information you provide to us. We understand the risks that sources may be taking, and can discuss with you any additional steps we can take to protect your anonymity. We will absolutely stand behind any agreement we may make to protect your identity. If you instead feel you must remain completely anonymous, we will ask you to provide us with sources or contacts who can corroborate the information you send us.