Last updated

Stable release
4.1.17 [1] / 26 February 2021;19 days ago (26 February 2021)
Written in Python, JavaScript
Operating system Linux
License Affero General Public License

GlobaLeaks is an open-source, free software intended to enable secure and anonymous whistleblowing initiatives.



The project started on 15 December 2010 [2] and the first software prototype was announced on 6 September 2011. [3]

Relevant figures in the first development are Arturo Filastò, Claudio Agosti, Fabio Pietrosanti, Giovanni Pellerano, Michele Orrù. [4]


A GlobaLeaks site utilizes Tor Onion Services in order to guarantee the anonymity of the source. [5]

Once the submission is performed on a GlobaLeaks platform, the data is encrypted using PGP and the system automatically notifies registered recipients (e.g., local media, NGOs, or even single journalists). GlobaLeaks platforms do not store anything permanently and the submitted information and files are deleted as soon as possible with a strict data retention policy. [6] [7]

The process is generally improved by suggesting the sources to use the Tails anonymous operating system while connecting to GlobaLeaks.

JavaScript is required from the user agent to access GlobaLeaks. [8]


By 2021, GlobaLeaks has been internationalized in 40+ languages and implemented by several thousands projects and initiatives all over the world. The vast range of adopters include independent media, activists, media agencies, corporations, and more.

Major organizations supporting the setup of GlobaLeaks based whistleblowing platforms are Free Press Unlimited (FPU) and Associated Whistleblowing Press (AWP).

In 2013, Free Press Unlimited (FPU) [9] , a Netherland-based non-profit organization, created Publeaks NL [10] [11] a foundation that counts around 20 of the country's biggest media organizations among its members that uses the platform to perform investigative journalism under a same umbrella project.

FPU has replicated this successful model in other countries creating MéxicoLeaks [12] , IndonesiaLeaks [13] , [14] and Kenekanko [15] in Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Mali respectively. MexicoLeaks aimed at revealing information for the public interest in Mexico was awarded in 2016 the FRIDA award. [16] . Another project, Africaleaks, was discontinued [17] .

AWP, a Belgium-based organization, created Ljost (Iceland), Filtrala (Spain), EcuadorTransparente (Ecuador) [18] [19] and PeruLeaks (Peru). [20]

One of the most successful GlobaLeaks projects is WildLeaks, the world's first whistleblower initiative dedicated to Wildlife and Forest Crime funded and managed by the Elephant Action League (EAL) which reported and investigated various crimes. One of the investigations was highlighted in the award-winning Netflix documentary "The Ivory Game". [21] [22] [23]

GlobaLeaks also partnered with major anticorruption and human rights NGOs like Transparency International (Allerta Anticorruzione), [24] OCCRP (OCCRPLeaks) and Amnesty International (Amlea). [25]

In 2017, Xnet, an activist project which has been working on and for networked democracy and digital rights since 2008, launched in the Barcelona City Hall the first public Anti-Corruption Complaint Box using anonymity protection technology like Tor and GlobaLeaks ("Bústia Ètica" in Catalan). With this pioneering project, the Barcelona City Hall is the first municipal government to invite citizens to use tools which enable them to send information in a way that is secure, that guarantees privacy and gives citizens the option to be totally anonymous. [26]

In 2018 the Italian Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC), an administrative watchdog, launched their national online whistleblowing platform using GlobaLeaks and onion services, giving whistleblowers who come forward a secure way to report illegal activity while protecting their identities. [27]

In 2020 the Italian National Authority for Anticorruption and Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights communicate with mutual satisfaction that they have amicably settled a legal dispute regarding the application of the GNU AGPL version 3 license to OpenWhistleblowing, the software for the management whistleblowing reports made available to public administrations by ANAC and derived from the Hermes GlobaLeaks 2.60.144 solution. The parties agreed on some changes to the code and to the user license adopted by ANAC, which allowed the restoration of adherence to the AGPLv3 license and compliance with the conditions affixed by Hermes to its code to grant the public and free use. [28] [29]

Since 2020 the software is now recommended by Transparency International among the available secure, ethical and free solutions that could be used to implement whistleblowing systems for anticorruption purposes. [30]


The GlobaLeaks project maintains public and transparent documentation of the funds and partners that have supported its research and development. [31]

See also

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.onion Pseudo–top-level internet domain

.onion is a special-use top level domain name designating an anonymous onion service, which was formerly known as a "hidden service", reachable via the Tor network. Such addresses are not actual DNS names, and the .onion TLD is not in the Internet DNS root, but with the appropriate proxy software installed, Internet programs such as web browsers can access sites with .onion addresses by sending the request through the Tor network.

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Tor (anonymity network) Free and open-source anonymity network based on onion routing

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.

Free Culture Forum

The Free Culture Forum (FCForum) is an international encounter of civic society actors on free culture, digital rights and access to knowledge. It has been taking place in Barcelona every year since 2009. It takes place jointly with the oXcars, a free culture festival.

Tails (operating system) Linux distribution for anonymity and privacy

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Simona Levi

This article contains material translated from the Spanish Wikipedia's version of this page.


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Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 to fund and support free speech and freedom of the press. The organization originally managed crowd-funding campaigns for independent journalistic organizations, but now pursues technical projects to support journalists' digital security and conducts legal advocacy for journalists.


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.

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