Do Sites like WikiLeaks Guarantee Anonymity?

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Nowadays there are a lot of sites created after the example of WikiLeaks. The most popular of them are Al Jazeera Transparency Unit and SafeHouse, launched by the Wall Street Journal. There are also a lot of regional sites such as Balkanleaks, Indoleaks and Brusselsleaks.

All these web sites support publicity and freedom of speech but very often they don’t guarantee anonymity to the users providing information. For example, the Wall Street Journal promises to protect its sources but at the same time SafeHouse terms of use read the following: "We reserve the right to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities or to a requesting third party, without notice, in order to comply with any applicable laws and/or requests under legal process."

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former WikiLeaks member and IT security expert, does not recommend using such sites because "they are insecure to begin with and people haven't thought about this properly before they started to run such a site." Recently Domscheit-Berg has created his own web site called OpenLeaks, that serves as a mediator between users providing information and media organizations that make it public.

However, to protect your online anonymity and privacy it’s better to use special tools that were developed to these purposes. The most popular of them are VPN and Tor. Tor isa  free software but it is not as secure as the best VPN services that you pay for. It doesn’t secure the whole session of data transmission, that’s why it is possible that your sensitive information will be compromised. VPN services, on the contrary, create a secure tunnel for the entire data transfer and minimize the risk of hackers’ attacks.


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