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WSJ and Al-Jazeera Lure Whistleblowers 84

Posted by timothy
from the please-log-in-to-continue dept.
jjoelc writes "The success of Wikileaks in obtaining and releasing information has inspired mainstream media outlets to develop proprietary copycat sites. Al-Jazeera got into the act first, launching the Al-Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU), and On May 5, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., Inc., launched its own site, SafeHouse. According to the EFF though, both sites offer 'false Promises' of anonymity."
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WSJ and Al-Jazeera Lure Whistleblowers

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  • by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Monday June 13, 2011 @11:20PM (#36432162) Journal
    Not everyone.

    You only have a "price" if you aren't willing to drop your anonymity.

    I posted a lot of whistleblowing material this weekend against my former boss - starmedia.ca - about tax fraud, over-billing customers, scamming the government-subsidized job training programs, etc.

    I didn't do it anonymously, because anonymous whistle-blowing has zero credibility.

    Sure enough, he got so scared he contacted my hosting company (iweb.com - if you don't use adblock, you'll see they're a big advertiser on slashdot and youtube), and they suspended my hosting account. He's too chicken-sh*t to sue me because he knows he'd lose.

    So, having my account suspended is a minor inconvenience compared to the price of knuckling under and allowing him to continue to lie, cheat, and steal.

    And iWeb [iweb.com] is now off the list of hosting companies that I would recommend, since they're located in a country that has no 1st Amendment rights.

  • Re:Anonymity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @12:20AM (#36432480)

    > I'm not sure why someone would interact in this way with any organization: Wikileaks, the Wall Street Journal, or the local newspaper without first masking any information that could identify them unless the publishing organization demands proof of authenticity.

    Most people don't have the technical skill to report things (electronically) in a truly untraceable fashion, even assuming no SIGINT, etc... There are plenty of ways to reverse engineer whistleblowers' identities. What is the information they leaked? How many people had access to it? How many live in the geolocation of the reporting IP or, if the ISP is helping, who owned the IP? Of the people who had access to the information, how many use the sentence structure patterns associated with the submission? How many use the particular subdialect of English? etc...

    I've never had a reason to submit something truly anonymously--but it's a nontrivial problem, though admittedly trivial solutions might work.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @01:23AM (#36432682) Journal

    If you REALLY want to laugh, I'm the one who set up the server at iWeb [iweb.com] that Cholella is now using to run one of his scams - 770star.com. He's got logos of companies implying that they're sponsors, and he also used it to run an illegal lottery right after I quit [slashdot.org], to promote 770star.com.

    The tin-foil-hat brigade might think that iWeb suspended my account because i reported how one of their servers was used for illegal activities.t.

    iWeb suspends trolltalk.com, I post it in my journal on slashdot ... seems to me that all they did was make themselves look stupid and give people a reason NOT to use them.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.

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