VTDigger offers several ways to share sensitive information with us, including new encryption services through a secure server.
Investigative journalists rely on members of the public to expose corruption and wrongdoing.
We are making an especial effort to protect our sources. We do not reveal the identities of anonymous sources who wish to give us confidential information. These methods of contact are designed to ensure communication is as secure as possible.
No system is 100 percent secure, but we’ve set up methods to contact us that help protect your identity.
Basic tip submission form
VTDigger for years has offered a place for tipsters to send us information without identifying themselves by name. While our system automatically records IP addresses, we respect your anonymity and do not trace the source of any submission. Here is a link to the tipster form. Here is a link to our document upload form.
Mail delivered through the postal service is a secure means of communication. We recommend that you use a public mailbox — a blue box on the corner — instead of a post office.
A letter with no return address can be sent to VTDigger at 26 State St., Montpelier VT 05602.
Signal: Encrypted phone and text messaging
Signal is an encrypted phone and messaging app for mobile phones. It stores a number, but not your activity while using it. You can also set it to erase content from your phone automatically. For more info, go to https://whispersystems.org
Once you’ve got the Signal app, you can call or message us at +1 802-595-9159
Online anonymous tips: How to use GlobaLeaks
If you want to send an anonymous tip that does not identify your Internet Protocol address, please use our GlobaLeaks service. You can write to us securely and attach documents which will be encrypted.
Online security starts with you. Here are some simple ways for you to protect your identity:
- Update the operating system for your computer so that it’s more secure.
- Make sure your computer has been scanned for malware and viruses.
- Be careful where you access the server. We recommend using broadband or wifi service that is protected by a Virtual Private Network. Do not use it from public places where your screen may be viewed by other people or cameras. Here is a list of popular VPNs.
VTDigger hosts a secure information transmission service on the GlobaLeaks platform, which has been independently validated by journalists from around the world.
You will need to take precautions to help protect yourself, and download special software to your computer:
1> Get on the internet using a Virtual Private Network connection to mask your computer’s IP address.
2> Download and install the Tor browser here.
3> Once you load the Tor browser, copy and paste the URL http://loyjvljzuhxzbifk.onion into your browser’s address bar. When the page loads, you will see additional information on how to submit your content to us.
NOTE: If the Tor browser does not work, you are most likely on a monitored network and need to find a different network to avoid being detected.
4> On submission of your data, you will be assigned a randomly generated 16-digit code. When we respond to your message, you will use this code to log back into the site and communicate with us.
NOTE: This code protects your anonymity and is the only way we have of reaching you.
Please do not lose that code. It will not be stored in your computer’s keychain or browser history. You must write it down.
How Secure is GlobaLeaks?
The GlobaLeaks server is highly secure. All your communication with us is over the Tor network, and we cannot collect any information about your location. Only the editor has access to information stored on our GlobaLeaks server.
The server also geographically, physically, and separate from all the rest of VTDigger’s digital assets, including website hosting, email and internal digital networks.
The GlobaLeaks software powering this system is an open-source project used by newsrooms around the world. You can learn more about it here: https://www.globaleaks.org
Communicate with VTDigger via Encrypted Email
If the GlobaLeaks system is unavailable or TOR is blocked for you, you can use our PGP keys to send us encrypted email. If you do not wish to identify yourself, create an email address on a free webmail service, such as Gmail, using a pseudonym. Download a PGP extension (we recommend the Mailvelope Chrome extension), and send an encrypted email to [email protected] using the encryption at the link below.
If you’re going to send us PGP-encrypted email and would like us to encrypt our response, please send your public key.
For more information about how to use Mailvelope, please check out this explanation from The New York Times.
If you are using the Tor browser you should ensure that there is no keylogging malware on your PC, MAC or tablet. If your computer has already been compromised, we cannot safeguard your identity or the information you are sending us. It’s good practice to routinely run malware checkers on your devices.
Any content uploaded to the platform will be treated in the utmost confidentiality by us to protect your anonymity unless you indicate you wish to waive it.
Sending us your material is no guarantee that we will report on it or publish a story using that material.
VTDigger will not set cookies, fingerprint your browser/machine or display third party content when you use our GlobaLeaks system. Use is ultimately at your own risk.
Thank you for helping us to promote secure, independent, not-for-profit journalism.