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afriLeaks Launches to Connect Journalists with Whistleblowers

afriLeaks says it uses Tor to protect whistleblowers. | Photo: Reuters afriLeaks says it uses Tor to protect whistleblowers. | Photo: Reuters
A group of 19 African media outlets launched a whistle-blowing website this week aimed at circumventing state and corporate surveillance.

Dubbed afriLeaks, the website claims to provide a secure and anonymous platform for whistleblowers to contact journalists from its member publications – but isn't another Wikileaks.

“Wikileaks publishes the information it receives directly. afriLeaks, on the other hand, is a highly secure mailbox connecting investigative media houses to whistleblowers,” the organization's new website states.

The website continues by saying, “The system makes finding the source of a leak close to impossible. Our receivers are journalists that have been trained in the use of state-of-the-art security tools and procedures.”

afriLeaks says it routes traffic through Tor – a program designed to allow users to surf the internet anonymously.

Tor has been used for over a decade by political dissidents, journalists and organized crime to evade surveillance.

However, documents revealed by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden indicate the National Security Agency has developed at least one technique to spy on Tor users.

“Leaking is never without risk. afriLeaks tries, as much as possible, to protect information and to provide information about the risks,” the website states.

One of afriLeaks' member publications, South Africa's Mail & Guardian, said Monday the new website is “the safest way to anonymously leak to us.”

“We take the safety of our sources very seriously, and strongly recommend that whistleblowers use this program when leaking sensitive information to us,” the newspaper explained in an op-ed.

“In the post-Snowden world in which we live, with government and corporate surveillance a reality, it has become critically important for journalists and whistleblowers to take every precaution to ensure their digital safety,” the newspaper stated.

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