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Localeaks: It’s WikiLeaks For Little Newspapers!

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This actually sounds pretty cool:

Localeaks: A Drop-Box for Anonymous Tips to 1400 U.S. Newspapers

One snag:

Once a file is submitted, the newspaper will receive an email, alerting them to the tip. The newspaper then needs to reply that it’s interested. Then a temporary secure file transfer is established. This last step isn’t automated yet, according to Matthew Terenzio, Web Development Director at The Hour Publishing Co and one of the members of this project. The best way to do so, he says, would be to have the encryption software – the open source GnuPG in this case – set up on the newspaper’s end. “It is unlikely that most would have it yet,” says Terenzio, who says he’s working on helping some newspapers set up their own drop-boxes to avoid this step.

I think most local newspapers just had the crap scared out of them by that last step. It’s not excusable, but higher-end technical know-how like that doesn’t exist at a lot of small papers, and in some cases, it’s a huge barrier to entry.

Just thinking realistically.

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  • Mterenzio

    Great point. I did say “the best way” to do it was that way. It’s not the only way, Obviously we authenticate well enough for online banking so I think this can be accomplished reasonably and am working on it.

    But it does require a relationship with the other end, so i wasn’t something I could implement when I launched it without any of the news organizations participating.

    Thanks for the link.

    Matt Terenzio

  • Mterenzio

    Great point. I did say “the best way” to do it was that way. It’s not the only way, Obviously we authenticate well enough for online banking so I think this can be accomplished reasonably and am working on it.

    But it does require a relationship with the other end, so i wasn’t something I could implement when I launched it without any of the news organizations participating.

    Thanks for the link.

    Matt Terenzio

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  • I stand corrected :)

    I still think this is “pretty cool” (ha) and it’s a great tool for newsrooms that have had the bottom fall out on staffing levels in the last few years. Investigative journalism is hard, time consuming, expensive and doesn’t have much of a payoff a lot of times, and if there’s a way to flip the process around — let outsiders bring the information to the newsroom — I think it’s a huge help.

    Great idea, and I’m really interested to see what comes of it.

    Thanks for dropping by to comment.

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