How easy is it to securely leak information to some of America’s top news organizations?
I wanted to see just how easy it actually was to use SecureDrop, which I’d never done before. I enlisted ProPublica’s help: I told them I’d be sending them a document (a single-page PDF with “This is a test” on it), and asked them to confirm that they received it. This is not what you do if you are actually leaking something and want to remain confidential, duh, but I was interested to see what things look like on the other side. The full instructions for sources to use SecureDrop are on the SecureDrop website, but essentially, this is what I did — and what you need to do.
1. Download the Tor browser here. Install it, just as you would install any app on your computer.
2. Open Tor. It’s like using any Internet browser. I was mainly surprised by how slow it is — but that’s a feature, not a bug: “Tor is never going to be blazing fast. Your traffic is bouncing through volunteers’ computers in various parts of the world, and some bottlenecks and network latency will always be present,” Tor explains on its site.
3. Paste the SecureDrop address of the news organization you want to reach (all of these are listed below, ending in .onion) in Tor’s address bar. You’ll see the option to send a document or check the status of one you’ve already sent.