Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Project Veritas Using Encrypted ProtonMail to Protect Whistleblowers

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 As Project Veritas continues to expose the liberal mainstream media in video after video, James O’Keefe is asking for help from “insiders” working for corrupt media organizations, Silicon Valley titans, and the deep state. And he’s leaning on a tried and true method for secure communications to handle those tips: ProtonMail — possibly the most secure e-mail on the planet.

The newest batch of videos, which this writer covered in a previous article, end with a different type of “ask” than other Project Veritas videos. O’Keefe addresses viewers and says:

Usually at the end of these videos, I make a request for financial support. Today, I’m going to ask for something slightly different. As you can see, we’re working on some of the most powerful, sensitive investigations we have ever done. We’ve been able to do this because of people on the inside who are cooperating with us.

If you’re inside a corrupt mainstream media organization — a fake news organization, a Silicon Valley titan, or maybe, you’re one of those people inside the deep state, we want you to reach out to us. Now your security is our biggest concern. We will protect you. I will personally go to jail to protect your identity.

But if you’re an insider, we want you to send us a tip at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to hearing from you.

This writer has some experience with ProtonMail and has interviewed founder and CEO Dr. Andy Yen. In that article — written in the midst of revelations of CIA hacking tools that were let loose in the wild — this writer described ProtonMail as “an open-source, end-to-end encrypted, Zero-Knowledge e-mail service with its servers in Switzerland.” You really don’t get more secure than that. Since it is built on open-source software, there is no way for anything nefarious to be hidden in the code. Since it is end-to-end encrypted, even the administrators don’t have access to the users’ data. Since it is Zero-Knowledge, the administrators don’t know (or have any way to know) users’ passphrases or have access to users’ e-mails. Since the servers are located in Switzerland — outside of both U.S. and EU jurisdiction — they are safe from the prying eyes and grasping hands of the NSA, GCHQ, and other surveillance agencies. Even if one of the “alphabet soup” agencies could get their hands on the servers, the robust public key encryption protecting the data would keep them busy for the next several thousand years.  

It is good to see Project Veritas using this degree of secure, private communication, but there is one caveat this writer wishes O’Keefe had made viewers aware of: Since any chain is only as strong as its weakest link, e-mailing Project Veritas from your Gmail or Yahoo account to their ProtonMail account is pointless. The entire chain of communication needs to be encrypted for it to protect anyone.

Fortunately, that part is simple: ProtonMail offers their basic account with 500MB of storage and one e-mail account for free. Other companies also offer end-to-end encrypted e-mail, though some charge a small fee. StartMail is one such company, offering a free seven-day trial for their service.

If anyone plans to reach out to Project Veritas and provide tips, they need to have an end-to-end encrypted e-mail account. If they do, that communication is as secure as anything could be. And considering the type of damage Project Veritas is doing to the establishment, secure communications are essential.

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