Paper Barons

WSJ’s Wikileaks Competitor, SafeHouse, Will Squeal to Cops if Asked

julian assange sunglasses WSJs Wikileaks Competitor, SafeHouse, Will Squeal to Cops if AskedWhy rely on the fickle affections of the international man of mystery, Julian Assange, when you can create your own site for secret data dumps?

The Wall Street Journal announced its own whistleblower websites, Safehouse, this morning. The new service has its own severs separate from WSJ.com, occurs through encrypted connections and will keep data on computers connected to the public web for as little time as possible.

A couple of quick notes that rolled in after the announcements. The fine print says that if you simply submit documents, Dow Jones, “does not make any representations regarding confidentiality.”

If the leaker does choose the more secure route, they shouldn’t expect to hide behind the WSJ when the going gets rough. “Except when we have a separately negotiated confidentiality agreement pursuant to the “Request Confidentiality” Section above, we reserve the right to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities or to a requesting third party, without notice, in order to comply with any applicable laws and/or requests under legal process, to operate our systems properly, to protect the property or rights of Dow Jones or any affiliated companies, and to safeguard the interests of others.”

It’s interesting to see a traditional journalistic outlet trying to adopt the strategy that worked so well for Wikileaks. But so much of that sites success was about reputation and trust. Debuting a service with a glut of legalese that makes it clear info will be flipped to authorities when an investigation goes down will not produce any Bradley Manning style leaks.

On a more technical level, Alexis Madrigal points out that hackers have found fault with Safehouse’s Adobe Flash upload and inadequate encryption.

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