True Venezuela Welcome Whistleblowers
One of the founding principles of True Venezuela is that any journalistic source is vital, as long as it allows to clarify the truth; In fact, we launch ourselves in part as a platform for journalism that comes from unauthorized disclosures.
So, whether journalist or not, if you realize that information must be disclosed and known worldwide, regardless of origin, consider sharing your information safely with us.
Our editorial staff has journalists who have extensive experience working with informants. Our pioneering use of the SecureDrop platform allows you to communicate with our reporters and send us documents anonymously.
Access journalism – where journalists treat companies and government officials as arbiters of truth – is a discredited model. Journalism based on the complaint is much better suited to the challenges facing the press and the public today.
HOW TO PROCEED
If you decide to share your information with us, there are key steps you can take to increase your security. If that is too complicated, or you do not want to engage in a two-way communication with us, a perfectly good alternative is simply to send mail to:
You can send us suggestions and your anonymity is not important, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not do if you want to remain anonymous
Do not contact us from work. Most corporate and government networks record traffic. Even if you’re using Tor, being the only Tor user at work could make you stand out.
Do not send us an email, call us or contact us on social networks. From the point of view of someone who investigates a leak, who he communicates with and when, that is all it takes to turn him into a prime suspect.
Do not tell anyone you’re a source.
Other things to think about
Before you decide to bring your story to a journalist, you may want to consult an attorney to better understand the risks. If you do, be careful not to write any detail in the emails, and try to discuss everything face-to-face.
If you are considering filtering particularly sensitive documents, keep these additional tips in mind:
Be aware of your habits. If you have access to secret information that has been posted, it is likely that your Internet activities will be under scrutiny, including sites (such as True Venezuela) that you have visited or shared on social networks. Make sure you are aware of this before filtering and adjusting your habits as needed before deciding to become our source. Tools like Tor (see above) can help protect the anonymity of your surfing.
Compartmentalization. Keep your reporting activity as separate as possible from the rest of what you do. Do not use your normal accounts that are connected to you. Instead, create new accounts for this purpose and do not log on to the networks to which you normally connect.
Disinfect Be sure to cleanse after yourself as best you can. Make sure you do not leave any fingerprints related to the complaint on your personal or work computer (in the Documents folder, in the history of the web browser, etc.). If you realize that you did a Google search related to reporting irregularities while connected to your Google account, delete your search history. Consider keeping all the related files on an encrypted USB memory instead of on your computer, and just plug it in when you need to work with them.
Consider using a completely separate computer or operating system for all your reporting activity so that a forensic search of your normal computer will not reveal anything. Even if you are using the Tor browser, for example, if someone has hacked your computer, they can spy on everything you do. Tails is a standalone operating system that you can install on a USB stick and boot your computer. Tails is designed to leave no footprints. It’s not intuitive to use, but if you’re risking a lot, it’s probably worth the effort. You can find instructions for downloading and installing Tails here.
At True Venezuela, our editors and reporters are committed to high impact reports based on material of interest to journalism. If we decide to go ahead with a story, we will have an argument with you about the risks of retaliation you might face and whether you wish to remain anonymous. We will be explicit with you about the parameters of our agreement to protect your anonymity, and we will honor our commitments.
Becoming a whistleblower carries risks, but can be minimized if you are careful. And sometimes it’s the right thing to do.