Whistleblowing is risky business. Here in the UK, taking a stand against corruption, violence and environmental abuses can mean losing jobs and livelihoods or being hounded in the courts.
In Africa, the risk is often far greater. Last year, Global Witness reported how activists and park rangers considered to be critics of oil exploration in Congo’s Virunga National Park were detained by security forces and in a couple of cases beaten and stabbed.
Global Witness gets some of its most valuable information from leakers and whistleblowers. This forms one of the building blocks of our efforts to expose corruption and organised crime, and advocacy to change the system.
That gives us a responsibility to protect our sources and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect confidentiality. But with governments and who knows else snooping on phones and emails, how do you leak securely? Not everyone has the knowhow to use the email encryption and online anonymity tools that helped Edward Snowden evade the NSA. Research cited in The Guardian shows that in South Africa, corporate crime identified by whistleblowing more than halved between 2007 and 2013, suggesting potential leakers may be deterred by the fear of detection.
That’s where afriLeaks comes in. A partnership between the Africa Network of Centers for Investigative Journalism (ANCIR) and Italy’s Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, afriLeaks aims to provide a secure channel to connect whistleblowers with investigative journalists.
Unlike Wikileaks, afriLeaks won’t post information online. Instead it will act only as a conduit, using inbuilt encryption to put leakers in touch with a range of organisations, including Global Witness. That way, whistleblowers have a better chance of transferring information confidentially and keep their location secret.
How to leak to Global Witness through afriLeaks
You can easily pass information to Global Witness securely and anonymously by visiting the afriLeaks website, clicking on the ‘Blow the Whistle’ button and following the step-by-step instructions, selecting Global Witness from the list of partner groups.
Global Witness can’t take responsibility for the security of the leak—to make sure you leak safely, it’s vital to read the information on the website in the sections titled “how to leak” and “your safety”. It’s also important to use an internet browser like Tor to keep your location anonymous (you can download Tor here). Don’t use a work computer.
Any information you upload will be sent directly to a highly secure computer. You’ll then have the option to keep talking to us over encrypted email, helping us to expose corruption and human rights abuses and holding powerful elites to account.