Protecting Yourself and Your Sources

Encryption

Email encryption is vital to a journalist seeking sensitive information from a source or whistleblower. Both parties must learn how to protect their digital means of communication to avoid being undermined by surveillance agencies. Learn the basics of email encryption by clicking below.

 Source Protection

In order to obtain information, journalists need to be able to interact with their sources. In today's day and age, we can no longer rely on secret signals and code words to set up meetings. Click below to learn the best ways to safely see your source face-to-face without giving your story away.

Knowing the Law

Many journalists get taken to court over leaking top-secret government information. Find out what your rights are, when you have to give up names, what laws are already in place, and more down below.

Device Glossary

There are thousands of cybersecurity terms and devices to learn the definitions of in the modern day news world. Knowing the terminology will help you better protect yourself, your pressroom and your sources from being exploited. Click below to learn some of the important ones.

Meet a Few Journalists Who Revealed Some of the Nation's Biggest Secrets

Glenn Greenwald
Ali Watkins
Neil Sheehan

Greenwald is a journalist best-known for his role in the the Edward Snowden revelations of 2013. Initially in 2012, Snowden (a former contractor at NSA) had contacted Greenwald as a whistleblower with sensitive information on NSA surveillance abuses that he wanted to be made public. It wasn't until Snowden reached out to filmmaker, Laura Poitras, with encrypted emails seeking help, that Greenwald got involved. After months of communicating secretly through the web and sharing top-secret files that revealed massive NSA disclosures––Greenwald met with Snowden in China and began to release his story via The Guardian. The series of stories immediately rattled the world and angered the U.S. Government. Greenwald received the George Polk Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his groundbreaking reports. 

Watkins is currently a reporter for the New York Times––a position she heartily earned for her gripping work in 2014. During her senior year at Temple University, Watkins was an intern for McClatchy Newspapers in the Washington Bureau. It was there that she discovered startling information detailing the C.I.A.'s involvement in the Senate Intelligence Committee. The C.I.A. had been monitoring Senate Computers which held reports "on the C.I.A.'s post-9/11 torture program." She broke the top-secret information through a series of stories published to McClatchy and BuzzFeed. Her work, with the help of two other journalists, led her to become a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in national reporting.

Sheehan's work within the press began during his university days at Harvard, but it was his military reporting from Vietnam that landed him a job at the New York Times. In 1971, Sheehan was contacted by world famous Daniel Ellsberg with a confidential report on the Vietnam War known as the "Pentagon Papers." The report essentially revealed that the U.S. Government knew for years that a win in Vietnam was impossible. In order to keep the story under wraps, Sheehan and a team of reporters hid out in a New York hotel suite for months to analyze the documents and write up the story. When Sheehan's piece went to print, the Times was temporarily shut down by the Nixon Administration through a court injunction known as The New York Times v. United States. The Supreme Court later decided that the reports were in the public interest and ruled in favor of the paper. Sheehan went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for a book on the Vietnam War.

Thomas Jefferson, 1786

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