How to Leak to the Media Without Being IDed
You'll feel like you're in a TV show, but you're not: Nicholas Weaver
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2013 12:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – What with the Justice Department seizing AP phone records, Nicholas Weaver is thinking about how a modern-day whistleblower can safely leak info to the media without being identified. The sad truth, he writes in Wired, is that "we now live in a world where public servants informing the public about government behavior or wrongdoing must practice the tradecraft of drug dealers and spies." His tips:

  • If by email: You'll need to buy—with cash—a cheap laptop or tablet you only use for this purpose. Don't log on to any of your accounts on the device, ever, and take it to a coffee shop with open WiFi a good distance from your home and work. (Leave "anything that speaks over a wireless link," including your cellphone or even your metro card, at home, and use cash if you buy anything at the cafe or take public transportation to get there.) Open a new Gmail account that you will only use for this purpose, and don't use any of your personal information when signing up. After sending your email, clear all cookies, turn off WiFi on the device, shut it down, and take out the battery.

  • If by phone: Get a prepaid cellphone at "a small liquor store in a low-income neighborhood," preferably one with old security cameras (or have someone else buy the phone for you), and follow all of the previous advice while buying it. Then, while the phone is off with its battery removed, go somewhere else. Turn it on, make the call, turn it back off, and remove the battery again.
  • If you need to get rid of any of the aforementioned devices, use a "secure erase" to wipe it, then demolish it with a hammer, put it in some other trash like a fast food bag, and throw it away in a public trashcan.
If this seems a bit overkill, it's not, Weaver writes. "We now live in a surveillance dystopia beyond Orwell’s Big Brother vision." Click for Weaver's full column.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
How to Leak to the Media Without Being IDed is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 15 comments
May 15, 2013 1:23 PM CDT
I read the headline as iDead... still works.
May 15, 2013 1:18 PM CDT
Umm much easier and cheaper- Write a letter and mail it from the next town over. Do not use a return address.
May 15, 2013 1:14 PM CDT
How about using an offshore proxy server? Preferably one in which the US government doesn't have much sway over. Or use Tor.