Sun launches SecureDrop service to give whistleblowers - 'the unsung heroes of a free society' - 'total anonymity' - Press Gazette

Sun launches SecureDrop service to give whistleblowers - 'the unsung heroes of a free society' - 'total anonymity'

The Sun has today launched a new online system offering whistleblowers "total anonymity".

In an article today, headlined "The Whistleblowers' Charter", the paper unveiled its Sun SecureDrop service, which encrypts messages, files and photographs and sends them through to a special investigations inbox.

The Sun said it had been set up as a result of spending “the last four years under constant attack from an Establishment that doesn’t want the truth to be revealed”.

Describing whistleblowers as “the unsung heroes of a free society”, The Sun said: “Police, prosecutors and the Government have conspired to make it harder than ever for whistleblowers to speak to the press.

“NHS bosses have tried to gag brave workers who have spoken out about patient deaths.

“Police officers and soldiers have been told to officially log all media contact with their bosses.

“More than £20million of public money has been spent on a four-year police inquiry pursuing journalists.

“And today The Sun is fighting back for its readers by providing a new way for members of the public to give us stories without fear.”

It said that the service has been launched in response to the Metropolitan Police’s use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to find the sources of its Plebgate story.

It also pointed to the fact that GCHQ had intercepted the emails of journalists working for Reuters, The Guardian and BBC.

The newspaper said that the public has a right to know when things have gone wrong at organisations “however awkward that might be for those in power”.

On how the system works, The Sun said: “Our 24-hour Sun SecureDrop lets YOU speak to Britain’s biggest newspaper in the most secure way possible – and have those abusing power or their public position back quaking in their boots.

“With our easy-to-use service, your messages, files and photos will be automatically encrypted and sent into our investigation team’s special inbox.

“The system even stops our crack reporters knowing your true identity.”

Dozens of Sun journalists and their sources have been arrested as a result of Operation Elveden which saw Sun parent company News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee give the emails of journalists to the police.

More information is available on The Sun’s website.

The Guardian launched a similar service, also run by SecureDrop, in June last year.

After it emerged that the Metropolitan Police had secretly accessed the phone records of Sun journalists to find its Plebgate whistleblowers, Press Gazette launched the Save Our Sources campaign.

The petition called for public authorities to require judicial approval before accessing journalistic records. This has now been passed into law.



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