A Secure Submission System for Online Whistleblowing Platforms

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on April 30, 2013

A Secure Submission System for Online Whistleblowing Platforms. Volker Roth, Benjamin Güldenring, Eleanor Rieffel, Sven Dietrich, Lars Ries (Submitted on 26 Jan 2013) An abridged version has been accepted for publication in the proceedings of Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2013.

  • “Whistleblower laws protect individuals who inform the public or an authority about governmental or corporate misconduct. Despite these laws, whistleblowers frequently risk reprisals and sites such as WikiLeaks emerged to provide a level of anonymity to these individuals. However, as countries increase their level of network surveillance and Internet protocol data retention, the mere act of using anonymizing software such as Tor, or accessing a whistleblowing website through an SSL channel might be incriminating enough to lead to investigations and repercussions. As an alternative submission system we propose an online advertising network called AdLeaks. AdLeaks leverages the ubiquity of unsolicited online advertising to provide complete sender unobservability when submitting disclosures. AdLeaks ads compute a random function in a browser and submit the outcome to the AdLeaks infrastructure. Such a whistleblower’s browser replaces the output with encrypted information so that the transmission is indistinguishable from that of a regular browser. Its back-end design assures that AdLeaks must process only a fraction of the resulting traffic in order to receive disclosures with high probability. We describe the design of AdLeaks and evaluate its performance through analysis and experimentation.”
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