Encrypting Leaks: An International Analysis of Digital Whistleblowing Platforms Adoption in Journalism

Italian Hacker Camp

Encrypting Leaks: An International Analysis of Digital Whistleblowing Platforms Adoption in Journalism

Speakers:

Philip Di Salvo


Whistleblowers are one of the most crucial resources journalists have in order to launch investigations and get access to otherwise unaccessible source material. The history of journalism shows several instances of major whistleblowing-led stories that shaped journalism itself and caused fundamental debates and change. In recent years, whistleblowing has gained even more relevance in contemporary societies and in the information age. Powered by digital tools and practices, whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have shown how impactful leaks can be. In parallel, recent major whistleblowing cases have also underlined new journalistic practices and tool to perform whistleblowing acts and provide effective source protection over the Internet. WikiLeaks, in particular, has played the innovator role with its own online encryption-base submission system, which gave whistleblowers the capability of submitting leaks and documents online anonymously and in a safer way. In the wake of WikiLeaks’ major leaks, other organizations have tried to replicate that approach with different technical solutions. Currently, two open source software are leading the way when it comes to launching of whistleblowing platforms: the US SecureDrop and the Italian GlobaLeaks. Both coded by coders and hackers and made available to news organizations for free, the two software are now used worldwide by journalists and media of different kind to support their journalistic activities and, together with other cybersecurity tools, are becoming routinized in the contemporary journalistic toolbox. This dissertation aims at analyzing how whistleblowing platforms with journalistic purposes are operating and at understanding their peculiarities and their ideas and rationales when it comes to their relationship with WikiLeaks and activism. Based on 25 in-depth interviews, this dissertation looks at the whistleblowing platforms phenomenon under the lens of media innovation and in the context of networked journalism and the hybridization of journalistic and hacking practices and cultures.

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Philip Di Salvo

Philip Di Salvo is a researcher and a journalist. He's currently based at Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland) where he's doing research on digital whistleblowing. His areas of interest include whistleblowing, surveillance, drone strikes and the relationship between hacking and journalism. He covers these issues for Wired, Motherboard and other news outlets. He also works as Italian editor for The European Journalism Observatory.

Informazioni pratiche

Data
02/08/2018 16:20
Durata
30 minuti
Location
MAGRATHEA