Thursday, June 13, 2013

 

Be the first on your block to offer leaks to the world


by Larry Geller

Whistleblowing has been in the news primarily due to the stunning releases by Wikileaks, and of course the extralegal persecution of its founder, Julian Assange—and now it’s been given a big boost as leaker Edward Snowden continues to make headlines with his revelations of US government spying on its own citizens.

Wikileaks is not, and has not been, the only website publishing leaks. In fact, there are quite a number of them, and software is available for anyone who wants to create their own website for any purpose.

A little googling came up with many hits. Especially convenient is this “Leak Site Directory” wiki. Here’s the table of contents from that website just by way of illustration, with links intact (note that some of the sites may no longer exist, I haven’t checked them out—my point is simply to illustrate that leaking is much more popular than one would think).

GlobaleaksThere is software available to set up your own leak site (the wiki lists others as well). What appears to be much more difficult is to get publicity for it, once it is set up.

Also difficult is dealing with questions such as how to vet submitted leaks. Are they genuine? Or might the leak be simply, for example, a vendetta perpetrated by a disgruntled former (possibly fired) employee?

With a little study, it’s not difficult to learn how potential leakers can use anonymous communication methods to send data to your leak site. Some leak sites post suggestions or provide a mechanism to protect those who would like to submit information. Remember, thanks to Hawaii Senator Clayton Hee, the state no longer has a journalist’s shield law, so leakers have to protect their own anonymity.

Meanwhile, Disappeared News has long welcomed leaks, and many come in each year, mostly about questionable behavior of our state and local lawmakers. It seems people might become unhappy about one thing or another and have no place to turn in a state with weak enforcement of ethics laws or even of common standards of conduct. Heck, this isn’t Chicago (yet), but it’s amazing what some people will do, given even a brief and limited taste of power.

Meanwhile, anyone can submit anonymous comments to this blog, or you can send email to leak [at] disappearednews.com.

Or, if you set up your own leak site, let me know about it.



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