How to anonymously and securely share information with Global Witness

Do you have information or data relevant to a Global Witness investigation or one of our campaign areas?  This page describes how to share information with us using SecureDrop. For other ways of contacting us, including ways that guarantee less anonymity than SecureDrop, please see the bottom of this page, and if neither security nor anonymity are of concern, and you simply want to contact Global Witness, please use our normal channels detailed on our contact page.

  • SecureDrop link (only accessible via ToR): http://37fmdxug33hhyi2g.onion
  • Signal number for tips:  +447912517128

What should I know before submitting material through SecureDrop?

No tool can absolutely guarantee your security or anonymity, but to best protect your anonymity when using SecureDrop, it is essential that you follow best practice. This includes not using a network or device that can easily be traced back to your real identity. Instead, use public wi-fi networks and computers or mobiles phones that you own and have set up i.e. not computers in internet cafes or those controlled by your employer. Be wary of people seeing your screen, and of CCTV cameras.  

You can use a separate computer you’ve designated specifically to handle the submission process. Or, you can use an alternate operating system like Tails, which boots from a USB stick and erases your activity at the end of every session.

A file contains valuable metadata about its source — when it was created and downloaded, what machine was involved, the machine’s owner, etc. You can scrub metadata from some files prior to submission using the Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit featured in Tails. Ensure you do not accidentally reveal your identity on any documents sent to us. 

Remember that your online behaviour can be extremely revealing. Regularly monitoring Global Witness’s social media or website can potentially flag you as a source. Take great care to think about what your online behaviour might reveal, and consider using "private" or "incognito" browser settings, or Tor to mitigate such monitoring.

As a source, what else should I know?

Global Witness retains strict access control over our SecureDrop project. A select few within our organisation will have access to SecureDrop submissions. We control the servers that store your submissions, so no third party has direct access to the metadata or content of what you send us.

SecureDrop is a platform which aims to provide a secure way of uploading information, such as documents, datasets and Images without revealing the identity of the source, even to us at Global Witness.

When you use SecureDrop we don’t have access to information that may identify you. Details such as your IP address or physical location are masked by the onion network (ToR). SecureDrop allows us to communicate, without us knowing who you are.

Our researchers may want to contact you to get further Information, to check and verify your story. You may wish to send us information without revealing your identity and then following this up with direct contact (using a safe method) to discuss either on the record or confidentially without leaving a paper trail.

How can I send messages and submit files through SecureDrop?

    • Connect to a public network at a cafe or library.
    • Download and install the Tor Browser.
    • Launch the Tor Browser. Visit our unique SecureDrop URL at http://37fmdxug33hhyi2g.onion/ (copy and paste it into the ToR browser) Follow the instructions you find on our source page to send us materials and messages.
    • When you make your first submission, you will receive a unique codename. Memorise it. If you write it down, be sure to destroy the copy as soon as you’ve committed it to memory. Use your codename to sign back in to our source page, check for responses from our researchers, and upload additional materials.

    SecureDrop Key Points

    • We will do our best to protect your identity unless you  Indicate you wish to waive your anonymity.
    • Uploading of content to SecureDrop is no guarantee that content will be published referencing that data, or that you will receive a response. 
    • We do not monitor SecureDrop constantly. 
    • When accessing this landing page we will not set cookies, track your usage or display third party content.
    • Do not abuse the platform by uploading pornographic or obscene content.
    • Use of the Global Witness SecureDrop platform is at the user's own risk.

    Alternatives to using SecureDrop or ToR?

    If our SecureDrop service is unavailable or you are unable to use it for other reasons, you may want to consider contacting Global Witness via alternative means. The best way of doing this is through the Signal app to our dedicated number is +447912517128

    Signal is a free and open-source messaging app with end-to-end encryption, it is available for both Android and iOS. You can set up the service to delete messages from the sender and recipient’s phones after a set amount of time. Bear in mind that as this will be associated with a phone number it does not guarantee the levels of anonymity or security that SecureDrop does.