Tiplines today: Techniques for secure source communications

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Harlo Holmes of Freedom of the Press Foundation; Mike Tigas of ProPublica
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 9 at 3:30pm
  • Location: Salon C
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Realizing that sources may need more secure methods of contacting journalists than the plain old telephone, modern media organizations worldwide have begun to look towards consumer-facing mobile apps (Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.) to create tiplines that can boast communications with increased confidentiality. While this switch is a welcome improvement in maintaining confidential communication with sources, it also comes with a new set of technical, logistical, and legal challenges. This session will address how major news orgs structure their tiplines; grapple with vulnerabilities while maximizing various security features; and craft proactive responses to legal, operational, and technical disasters.

Speaker Bios

  • Harlo Holmes is the Director of Newsroom Digital Security at Freedom of the Press Foundation. She strives to help individual journalists in various media organizations become confident and effective in securing their communications within their newsrooms, with their sources, and with the public at large. She is a media scholar, software programmer, and activist; and contributes regularly to the open source mobile security collective The Guardian Project.

  • Mike is a hacker-journalist at ProPublica, where he works on news applications, network infrastructure, and digital security. Outside of ProPublica he is a core contributor to the Tor Project, working on censorship-circumventing mobile apps. He was an adjunct instructor at New York University’s Studio20 digital journalism program and was a 2013 Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellow. @mtigas

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