Author Topic: Aaron Swartz’s last gift to journalism and online privacy finds a new home  (Read 1461 times)

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Offline mayya

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The Switch
Aaron Swartz’s last gift to journalism and online privacy finds a new home
By Andrea Peterson

October 15 at 12:21 pm

Aaron Swartz spoke during an anti-SOPA/PIPA rally in 2012. (Daniel J. Sieradski via Flickr)

Before Aaron Swartz's suicide in January, he had nearly completed work with Wired's Kevin Poulsen on a secure system to accept messages and documents from anonymous sources over the Internet. The result of that effort was DeadDrop, an open- source python platform. The system assigns each source a unique code name so a relationship can be established without news organizations ever knowing the source's identity.

Poulsen managed the program for the first six months since going public six months ago. On Tuesday, the Freedom of the Press Foundation announced it will be taking over the project, renaming it SecureDrop and providing on-site installation for news organizations along with ongoing technical support.

The New Yorker was the first news organization to implement a version of the program, launching their StrongBox system in May. Since then, the application has gone through an extensive security audit led by a team at the University of Washington, which also included input from noted information security experts Bruce Schneier and Jacob Appelbaum.

The Freedom of the Press Association has hired computer specialist James Dolan to help with technical support and installations. Dolan worked with the New Yorker on their installation of StrongBox and reviewed the security architecture before its initial launch.

“A truly free press hinges on the ability of investigative journalists to build trust with their sources," argued Trevor Timm, the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation said in a statement Tuesday. Timm also said that the anonymity made possible by the project is all the more important in light of recent NSA revelations and prosecutions against whistleblowers, which he believes "have shown the grave challenges to this relationship and the lengths governments will go to undermine it."

Offline Riney

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DeadDrop, SecureDrop, StrongBox, these are all excellent ideas. I look forward to the day that transparency becomes more common place and functional. As a singular source and/or drama gathering transparency platform, WikiLeaks has floundered in it's struggle towards true widespread transparency. Smaller more abundant transparency platforms give the secret keepers more ground to cover and less strength in that process.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear