The Associated Whistleblowing Press (AWP) is a not-for-profit information agency based in Brussels, Belgium, dedicated to the defense of human rights by promoting transparency, freedom of information and speech, whistleblowing and investigative journalism, conceived as a global network made up of cooperative local platforms and actors.According to its website, the initiative aims to work in a decentralized network structure, with local platforms that deal with local information, contexts and actors in a "from the roots upward model". The stories produced will then be published on the project's multilanguage newsroom under a Creative Commons license. The team consists of collaborators spread all around the world, led by two editors, Pedro Noel and Santiago Carrion.
In a strategy to amplify the social effect of denouncing on crimes and corruption, the Associated Whistleblowing Press is building whistleblowing platforms oriented to different communities as well as precise issues or problematic subjects, establishing networks with local and international media and civil society organizations. The platforms created to precise contexts are intended to achieve specific goals in transparency, publishing restricted or censored material of political, scientific, ethical, diplomatic or historical significance. Rumor, opinion, stories and other kinds of first hand accounts or material that is publicly available elsewhere will not be accepted. Materials which violate individual privacy will not be accepted unless they speak up on violations and abuses that affect the public sphere.
On September 30, 2012, the AWP launched Ljost,its first local whistleblowing platform in Reykjavík, Iceland. Internet pioneer Guðmundur Ragnar Guðmundsson, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of parliament of Althing, the Icelandic parliament, representing the Pirate Party Iceland and investigative journalist Jon Bjarki have all collaborated with the creation of the platform. Ljost.is a website which allows Icelandic citizens to send information proving abuse or corruption in a safe and anonymous way. The platform is a network of journalists, researchers and media agencies dedicated to analyzing and publishing leaked content to make governments and corporations accountable for their actions by bringing them into light. According to the Associated Whistleblowing Press, the main objective moving Ljost platform is to restore the media as an active player for truth and justice in Iceland, believing transparency as the best way to increase social accountability of local governments and corporations for their actions. AWP members believe that for journalists, researchers and media activists, this is a powerful way to lead people to take action against repression, abuse of power, censorship, social inequality and corporate greed in Icelandic society. On December 30, 2013, Ljost published the Glitnir Files, a leak that brings into public account detailed information identifying Glitnir bank's biggest borrowers and stakeholders as well as relevant track of some its shares movements during 2007/2008 and evidence that a handful of individuals and companies with strong connections to Glitnir's central shareholders borrowed large amounts of cash from the bank, often with insufficient underlying collateral.
On April 23, 2014, the AWP launched Filtrala Archived 2014-04-29 at the Wayback Machine , its first local whistleblowing platform in Spain. The name of the project literally means “leak it”. It was launched in collaboration with four Spanish media organizations – La Marea, eldiario.es, Diagonal, Mongolia –, two Catalan media organizations – Crític, La Directa – along with the Comisión Anticorrupcíon de la Red Ciudadana Partido X. It was created to serve Spanish society in a way that anyone can send safe and anonymous information that denounces crimes, corruption, abuse and infraction from individuals, corporations or institutions. It is part of the international network of AWP and it is settled in Belgium for its recognition in law ensuring press freedom, informant protection and journalism protection. The main objective is to amplify revealed information in a mediatic, civil and legal level. Through the Platform the Spanish society has a citizen mechanism to fight against corruption and abuse with the aim of a social regeneration based mainly in social justice.
AWP uses GlobaLeaks software to manage on-line submissions of sensitive materials and obligates its users to use the Tor anonymity system through a 'tor hidden service only' platform. (Furthermore, AWP is a member of torservers.net, a network of nonprofits which specializes in the general establishment of Tor exit nodes via workshops and donations.)Each node is in charge of managing a virtual dropbox, analyzing any information received, transforming it into news stories and coordinating within a local and international network of media and organizations before publication.
The analysis of all submissions consists of two main steps. First of all a thorough investigation will be done into what are normally very large files in variable formats (such as emails or internal memos) in order to locate relevant information. This information will later be put into context, explaining actors, motives and consequences in relation to the organizations or people in question. When publishing the results as news, the AWP will work closely with as many trustworthy media partners and activists as they can in order to reach the largest audience possible. The dissemination process will also be amplified thanks to the Internet and social media.
A whistleblower is a person, usually an employee, who exposes information or activity within a private, public, or government organization that is deemed illegal, illicit, unsafe, or a waste, fraud, or abuse of taxpayer funds. Those who become whistleblowers can choose to bring information or allegations to surface either internally or externally. Over 83% of whistleblowers report internally to a supervisor, human resources, compliance, or a neutral third party within the company, with the thought that the company will address and correct the issues. Externally, a whistleblower can bring allegations to light by contacting a third party outside of the organization such as the media, government, or law enforcement. The most common type of retaliation reported is being abruptly terminated. However, there are several other activities that are considered retaliatory, such as sudden extreme increase in workloads, having hours cut drastically, making task completion impossible or otherwise bullying measures. Because of this, a number of laws exist to protect whistleblowers. Some third-party groups even offer protection to whistleblowers, but that protection can only go so far. Two other classifications of whistleblowing are private and public. The classifications relate to the type of organizations the whistleblower works in: private sector, or public sector. Depending on many factors, both can have varying results. About 20% of whistleblowers are successful in stopping the illegal behaviors, usually through the legal system, with the help of a whistleblower attorney. In order for the whistleblower’s claims to be credible and successful, the whistleblower must have compelling evidence to support their claims, that the government or regulating body can use or investigate to "prove" such claims and hold corrupt companies and/or government agencies accountable. A whistleblower case would never continue on legally, or ever be reported via the news, without substantial and compelling evidence.
A data haven, like a corporate haven or tax haven, is a refuge for uninterrupted or unregulated data. Data havens are locations with legal environments that are friendly to the concept of a computer network freely holding data and even protecting its content and associated information. They tend to fit into three categories: a physical locality with weak information-system enforcement and extradition laws, a physical locality with intentionally strong protections of data, and virtual domains designed to secure data via technical means regardless of any legal environment.
Íslandsbanki is an Icelandic bank with roots tracing back to 1884, formerly being the domestic part of Glitnir banki hf., but on 15 October 2008 being split from the bankrupt Glitnir and reestablished into a new independent bank. The sole operations of the bank is to manage a branch network in Iceland, with a 20%-40% market share across all domestic franchise areas. As of 2017, the bank has 14 branches around Iceland. The bank is fully owned by the Icelandic State Treasury.
A dark net or darknet is an overlay network within the Internet that can only be accessed with specific software, configurations, or authorization, and often uses a unique customized communication protocol. Two typical darknet types are social networks, and anonymity proxy networks such as Tor via an anonymized series of connections.
Glitnir was an international Icelandic bank. It was created by the state-directed merger of the country's three privately held banks - Alþýðubanki, Verzlunarbanki and Iðnaðarbanki - and one failing publicly held bank - Útvegsbanki - to form Íslandsbanki in 1990. At the time, Íslandsbanki was the only major privately held commercial bank in Iceland. It was publicly listed on the Iceland Stock Exchange, in 1993. Íslandsbanki subsequently merged with FBA Icelandic Investment Bank in 2000.
TorChat was a centralized client-server quasi-anonymous instant messenger based on Instantbird, that used Tor onion services as its underlying network. It provides cryptographically secure text messaging and file transfers. The characteristics of Tor's onion services ensure that all traffic between the clients is encrypted and that it is very difficult to tell who is communicating with whom and where a given client is physically located, but suffers from metadata leaks.
The Icelandic financial crisis was a major economic and political event in Iceland that involved the default of all three of the country's major privately owned commercial banks in late 2008, following their difficulties in refinancing their short-term debt and a run on deposits in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Relative to the size of its economy, Iceland's systemic banking collapse was the largest experienced by any country in economic history. The crisis led to a severe economic depression in 2008–2010 and significant political unrest.
Tor is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication by directing Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays in order to conceal a user's location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace the Internet activity to the user: this includes "visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms". Tor's intended use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities unmonitored.
Diagonal was a Spanish biweekly alternative newspaper, covering breaking news, culture, political analysis from a grassroots approach. It presents itself as a communication tool for the left-leaning social movements, and as a "critical and independent media, without directors or bosses, resting on the base of thousands of subscribers". In 2017 it was renamed El Salto after its merge with 20 other media, such as Píkara Magazine or El Salmón Contracorriente.
GlobaLeaks is an open-source, free software intended to enable secure and anonymous whistleblowing initiatives.
Nawaat is an independent collective blog co-founded by Tunisians Sami Ben Gharbia, Sufian Guerfali and Riadh Guerfali in 2004, with Malek Khadraoui joining the organization in 2006. The goal of Nawaat's founders was to provide a public platform for Tunisian dissident voices and debates. Nawaat aggregates articles, visual media, and other data from a variety of sources to provide a forum for citizen journalists to express their opinions on current events. The site does not receive any donations from political parties. During the events leading to the Tunisian Revolution of 2011, Nawaat advised Internet users in Tunisia and other Arab nations about the dangers of being identified online and offered advice about circumventing censorship. Nawaat is an Arabic word meaning core. Nawaat has received numerous awards from international media organizations in the wake of the Arab Spring wave of revolutions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Pedro Noel is a Brazilian journalist and graduated philosopher. According to Romanian media, he is also an Internet media activist, known as 'one of those who made 700 thousand Spaniards take the streets' in 2011.
CryptoParty (Crypto-Party) is a grassroots global endeavour to introduce the basics of practical cryptography such as the Tor anonymity network, I2P, Freenet, key signing parties, disk encryption and virtual private networks to the general public. The project primarily consists of a series of free public workshops.
Hervé Daniel Marcel Falciani is a French-Italian systems engineer and whistleblower who is credited with "the biggest banking leak in history." In 2008, Falciani began collaborating with numerous European nations by providing allegedly illegal stolen information relating to more than 130,000 suspected tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts – specifically those with accounts in HSBC's Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank.
SecureDrop is a free software platform for secure communication between journalists and sources (whistleblowers). It was originally designed and developed by Aaron Swartz and Kevin Poulsen under the name DeadDrop. James Dolan also co-created the software.
Tor2web is a software project to allow Tor hidden services to be accessed from a standard browser without being connected to the Tor network. It was created by Aaron Swartz and Virgil Griffith.
The Tor Project, Inc. is a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) research-education nonprofit organization founded by computer scientists Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson and five others. The Tor Project is primarily responsible for maintaining software for the Tor anonymity network.
Sigurdur Thordarson, commonly known as Siggi hakkari, is an Icelander known for various information leaks, frauds and embezzlements, and for his involvement with the whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks.
Renata Ávila Pinto is a Guatemalan lawyer and activist specializing in technology and intellectual property. She is a spokesperson and part of the team that defends Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, under the direction of Baltasar Garzón. Since 2018 she has been the Executive Director of the Intelligent Citizenship Foundation, based in Chile and Brazil.