(Privacy Lover) A new Wikileaks alternative has just opened for business, it is called Openleaks and their target is to help whistleblowers spread leaked documents and information. Openleaks has a contact phone number (with a German country code), fax, email address (with corresponding PGP encryption key) and Skype.
Using Skype for communications does not seem too bright for someone who is a Government target, Skype is owned by eBay and it is closed source software, I can easily envision an scenario where a US Court forces eBay to insert a backdoor in Skype for the FBI to tap into the communications.
I wonder why Openleaks didn’t choose a Jabber based instant messenger based on XMPP, the open standard for instant messaging, Gajim and PSI would be two good choices, they both support end to end encryption with SSL and do not belong to any big US corporation open to subpoenas.
Differences between OpenLeaks and Wikileaks
Openleaks will not publish any leaked information themselves they pass it on to third parties, they define themselves as a complementary project to Wikileaks, not a competitor.
There are ways for someone to anonymously send confidential information to a third party (tor proxy, remailers, etc) but that needs time and knowledge, Openleaks will make it easy to send leaked documents, acting as a middle man in between the leaker and the publisher, the more proxies you have, the harder it becomes tracking down the source.
The only doubt in my mind is, who will dare to post the next stolen top secret documents in a censorship free media without fear of consequences? I can only think of WikiLeaks, maybe Openleaks can be used to send documents to Wikileaks.
In fairness Openleaks claims to be on an alpha stage and it is still too early to judge them, I hope they succeed in their endeavours, I hope they change the Skype thing too.
LocaLeaks sends tips to 1400 US newspapers
This online drop box allows you to send tips and attachments to a list of 1400 local USA newspapers through a simple form, using a drop down menu you first choose a US state and then the local media you want to send an anonymous tip to, I loved the simplicity of this website.
LocaLeaks website uses SSL encryption for access and encrypts all text and attachments during transmission to the server. They claim that they do their best to erase identifiable information like session cookies and IP logging on the server side. Documents metadata is also stripped, an often overlooked factor by non techie people.
After you have submitted your pseudoanonymous tip, the newspaper receives an email alerting them, if they are interested in the information they will need to reply for a secure file transfer to take place, unfortunately many local newspapers are highly unlikely to be using GnuPGP encryption and the last step is more likely to be done in the clear, but the information source should still be safe.