© 2020

Digital Whistleblowing Platforms in Journalism

Encrypting Leaks


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Philip Di Salvo
    Pages 63-89
  3. Philip Di Salvo
    Pages 91-102
  4. Philip Di Salvo
    Pages 103-136
  5. Philip Di Salvo
    Pages 137-153
  6. Philip Di Salvo
    Pages 175-182
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 183-188

About this book


This book analyzes whistleblowing platforms and the adoption of encryption tools in journalism. Whistleblowing platforms are becoming an important phenomenon for journalism in this era and offer safer solutions for communicating with whistleblowers and obtaining leaks. WikiLeaks and the Snowden case have been powerful game changers for today’s journalism, showing the potentials of and needs for encryption for journalistic purposes, together with the perils of surveillance. Whistleblowing platforms are also an interesting example of journalists and hackers coming together to support investigations with new tools and practices. The book introduces this phenomenon and features a qualitative study about whistleblowing platforms and their adoption in the journalistic field.


Whistleblowing Whistleblowing platforms Encryption Investigative journalism Source protection Wikileaks Chelsea Manning Julian Assange

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Media and JournalismUniversità della Svizzera ItalianaLuganoSwitzerland

About the authors

Philip Di Salvo is Lecturer and a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Media and Journalism at the Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland. He researches whistleblowing, leaks, and the relationships between journalism and hacking.

Bibliographic information


“Whistleblowing has always been central to journalism’s mission to hold the powerful in check. But today, mass government and corporate surveillance make whistleblowers, and the journalists who partner with them, exceptionally vulnerable. Digital Whistleblowing Platforms in Journalism is about efforts around the world made by journalists and hackers to protect the flow of information between reporters and their sources. By exploring the development and use of whistleblowing platforms and tools in 15 countries, Philip Di Salvo offers a much needed analysis of how the technologies and practices at the center of journalism today are changing and why it matters.” (Adrienne Russell, Mary Laird Wood Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, USA)

“This book is the first explorative study specifically focussing on digital platforms designed to facilitate information security for journalists and whistleblowers. It is an important intervention into how we understand the operationalisation of mass leaks in a digital communications environment, and the boundaries between journalism and technology-oriented activism. Dr Di Salvo writes authoritatively in a style that is both clear and accessible, which that elucidates debates that are too often steeped in technical complexions. Given the increasingly hostile environment for journalists, even in liberal democracies, this book is essential reading for anyone concerned with source protection and safety of journalists.” (Einar Thorsen, Professor of Journalism and Communication, Bournemouth University, UK)