Guardian Installed SecureDrop Outside The UK, Due To Legal Threats

from the incredible dept

As part of the whole Reset the Net effort yesterday, the Guardian announced that it is now using SecureDrop to allow whistleblowers and sources to send them information in a protected manner. As you may recall, SecureDrop (nee DeadDrop) was Aaron Swartz's last project (built with Kevin Poulsen), which the good folks at the Freedom of the Press Foundation took over last fall. It's great to see The Guardian adopt SecureDrop, but what caught my eye was this tidbit:
The Guardian’s SecureDrop system is installed outside of the UK. Last year, the UK government was criticized by international press freedom organisations for applying pressure to the Guardian over its publication of the NSA documents leaked by Snowden, leading to the news organization relocating its reporting on the files to the USA, and destroying all copies of the documents stored in its UK headquarters.
In other words, the Guardian, a UK newspaper, is admitting that it simply doesn't feel safe locating its SecureDrop implementation inside the UK. For people who believe in press freedom in the UK, this is a pretty scary statement -- just the latest in the past few years that have really called into question the UK's support for a free and open press.

Filed Under: freedom of the press, securedrop, uk, whistleblowers
Companies: the guardian

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  1. icon
    Nicholas Weaver (profile), 6 Jun 2014 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Securedrop is pointless theater...

    Actually it would achieve a LOT.

    a: The UK government would need to ask for an MLAT. Which is a pain-in-the-ass.

    b: The 3rd party doctrine and the stored communications act and all that crud would not apply. This is first party data now.

    c: The Guardian's lawyer is right there to fight it.

    d (and the most important one): The Guardian would know.

    Just the fact that the knowledge that the newspaper would know when its email was searched greatly prevents Rosen style-incidents, since guess what happens if a search is attempted? It becomes front page news. And those executing the warrants know it becomes front page news, adding in a pretty big check right there.

    So yes, putting your press institution's mail server in your office in the US under your laywer's desk does actually provide a substantial amount of protection for a press institution.

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