Guide to Safe Whistleblowing -- How to Be a Whistleblower

This is a guide to safe whistleblowing. It is by no means a comprehensive guide. It contains basic useful information.

Whistleblowing is an essential element of democracy, and whistleblowers often suffer for their righteous acts. These are some ways to protect yourself from those who don't want to be exposed.

Ten Steps to WhistleBlowing

1)Always use a proxy server when accessing your account to do whistleblowing. A proxy server hides your true computer IP address from those who want to find out your identity. Here is an example of an anonymous surfing proxy service: http://www.megaproxy.com/freesurf/

2) Create a separate email address with no identifying characteristcs. The name in the email address should be totally non-identifying. Use a free web service for you email to do whistleblowing. Never use your regular email account. Use it only for whistleblowing and each time you send a message from it, delete the contact from your address book.

3) Do not forward that email address to your regular account. Use twitter over email and email over Facebook. Never use Facebook. Never post on a public forum. Most public forums are open source -- meaning that the software for them is open to the public and can easily be hacked to find your IP address when you post to them.

4) Always use at least 15 characters and numbers in both the user name and password -- resists mechanized hacking and scripts that test various combinations. An easy way to do this is to create user names and passwords with numbers that look like letters. For example: b1rdm4n_s0n8 can be read as birdman_son8 and is a mix of numbers and characters.

5) Never click on a link sent to your email account. A recent whistleblower was identified by a web analytics program when he clicked on a website link sent to him by a reporter who was not sympathetic to his cause. Most websites that you surf to, track IP addresses.

6)Never access your twitter or email from a mobile phone. This makes it way too easy to find out who you are.

7) Try to use public computers (in a library) or WIFI hotspots where the IP addressed cannot be traced.

8) However when using public computers to send communications, be aware of security cameras near where you use the computer. Do not cross in front of a security camera on your way to posting updates to Twitter.

9) Practise and adopt a different persona with different ways of writing than your normal way of communicating. If you are a formal person, use chopped sentences and LOL and OMG. If you always use them, start using big words to disguise your normal pattern of communication.

10) Never speak as a single entity or the lone wolf whistle blower. Speak as a group of concerned citizens. Things are taken more seriously if there is a group of people, not just one malcontent.

These are just some of the things you should know. You should research twitter hashtags to learn how to disseminate your message to the widest possible audience. There are more tricks and tips, and I will assemble another article with them.

Happy Whistleblowing.

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