We are very excited to announce that Mediapart, an independent French investigative journal, has decided to support Tails financially every year.
In the past years, Mediapart has played a central role in the revelation and investigation of several major French political scandals. As such they are well aware of the digital threats faced by their sources, their journalists, and their readers.
Tails has gained recognition by being used by Edward Snowden and the journalists reporting on his NSA leaks in 2014. According to Barton Gellman:
« Privacy and encryption work, but it's too easy to make a mistake that exposes you. Tails puts the essential tools in one place, with a design that makes it hard to screw them up. I could not have talked to Edward Snowden without this kind of protection. I wish I'd had it years ago. »
Since then many journalists around the world understood this approach and adopted Tails to make it easier to stay safe. As Jean-Marc Manach puts it:
« War reporters have to buy helmets, bullet-proof vests and rent armored cars; journalists using the Internet for their investigations are much luckier: to be as secured as war reporters, they only have to download Tails, burn it on a CD, install it on a SD card, and learn the basics of information and communication security, and it's free! »
In the same way that news organizations invest in physical security or proprietary software tools to do their work, news organizations should also invest in free software tools that, as security experts like Bruce Schneier have repeatedly stated, are going to be safe:
« I think most of the public domain privacy tools are going to be safe, yes. [...] I think that Tails is going to be safe. [...] You know, the NSA has a big lever when a tool is written closed-source by a for-profit corporation. There are levers they have that they don't have in the open source international, altruistic community. And these are generally written by crypto-paranoids, they're pretty well designed. »
Talking about the challenges of the adoption of encryption by journalists, the Internet freedom expert Christopher Soghoian said at #EncryptNews, a conference on digital security and journalism:
« News organizations need to also contribute to this community pool of tools. We need to have [reporters] contributing patches to PGP, OTR, and Tails. These organizations need to be funding $5.000 or $10.000 improvements to make these tools better. Because everyone is relying on these tools and none of the major organizations that are actually benefiting them are actually contributing to their development. »
Mediapart is the first news organization to officially endorse Tails and answer our call for donations. We hope they are not going to be the last.