We want you to leak us things. Sometimes an email will suffice, or a call to our tips line, or even an anonymous comment on a post. But sometimes sources want to contact us without leaving a digital trail.
SecureDrop is designed to help you do just that. It is a way for you to send us things—messages, tips, files, documents—while maximizing your anonymity and frustrating any attempts (including by us) to identify you as the source.
For details on how SecureDrop protects your anonymity, please see our privacy terms below. And for other secure ways to reach us, including encrypted email, encrypted chats, and snail mail, please go here.
To use SecureDrop:
- Download and install the Tor Browser Bundle. This will permit you to visit the SecureDrop connection page, which operates as a Tor “hidden service” and is not accessible via standard internet browsers. We recommend that you not download, install, or use Tor from your office or any network that might be monitored that you are known to use. Instead, go to a coffee shop or some other public, open network.
- Open the Tor browser and paste this URL into the address bar: gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion
- Follow the instructions you find there to send us messages, receive our replies, and upload files. (If your intent is to reach a particular reporter or a particular site, please make that clear in your message.)
How SecureDrop Works
Created by Aaron Swartz and developed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, SecureDrop employs rigorous security protocols and makes use of the Tor network to establish a communications channel that is hardened against interception or subsequent leak investigations. Your messages will be encrypted and read on a machine that is not connected to the internet. Gizmodo Media Group’s SecureDrop will not record or retain your IP address or any information about your browser or your visit, nor will it place any persistent cookies or third-party trackers on your machine. And the use of the Tor’s anonymizing software makes it extremely difficult for anyone to prove or even suspect that you used SecureDrop.
Please read our privacy terms carefully. It explains what type of information SecureDrop does and does not collect, and why.
Gizmodo Media Group SecureDrop Privacy Terms
- We don’t ask or require you to provide any personally identifying information when you submit materials through SecureDrop.
- The system does not record your IP address, information about your browser, computer, or operating system. Furthermore, the SecureDrop pages do not embed third-party content or deliver persistent cookies to your browser.
- The server will only store the date and time of the newest message sent from each source. Once you send a new message, the time and date of your previous message is automatically deleted.
- Reporters decrypt and read each message on a machine that has never been connected to the internet, and will delete messages from the server on a regular basis. The date and time of any message will be securely deleted from the server when the message is deleted.
- Please keep in mind that the actual messages you send and receive through SecureDrop may include personally identifying information. For this reason, once you read a reporter’s message, we recommend you delete it. It will then be securely deleted from the file system.
Also please note that when you submit certain types of files through SecureDrop, you may inadvertently be sending us metadata associated with that file.
For example, if you submit a photo through SecureDrop in JPEG format, the file may include information about the date, time, and the GPS location of where it was taken, and the type of device used to take the photo. Similarly, if you submit a Word file (.doc or .docx), it may include the identity of the document’s author, the author’s operating system, GPS data about the author’s location, and the date and time when the document was created.
Our policy is to scrub metadata from the files we receive through SecureDrop before publication. If you don’t want to send us metadata, please use the Metadata Anonymization Toolkit to scrub the file before you submit it.
Collection of Information About Reporters’ Use of SecureDrop
Gizmodo Media Group collects information about our own reporters’ use of SecureDrop for security monitoring and to make sure the system works properly.
This information includes details about the device, browser, and operating system Gizmodo Media Group staffers use when accessing the system, and the date and time of each session.
We retain these access logs for 7 days, and then delete them.
Gizmodo Media Group works diligently to protect the identities of our sources and keep the information they give us confidential.
SecureDrop servers are under the physical control of Gizmodo Media Group and are isolated from our network infrastructure.
However, no one can guarantee 100 percent security of any system against all adversaries. Like all software, SecureDrop may contain bugs. Ultimately, you use the SecureDrop service at your own risk.
Changes to This Policy
We may revise these privacy terms from time to time. The most current version of the policy will govern our collection and use of personal information and will always be published on this page. If we make changes that we believe are material, we will prominently display a notice on our site before we make those changes.
Gizmodo Media Group welcomes questions, concerns, and feedback about this policy. If you have suggestions for us, feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you work for a media organization and are interested in installing SecureDrop, please contact the Freedom of the Press Foundation.