Aaron Schwartz’s legacy lives on through SecureDrop

Posted by: Jennifer Cefai (3 years ago)

Non-profit organization The Freedom of the Press Foundation yesterday announced that they have taken over the project SecureDrop, which was the work of late hacktivist Aaron Schwartz before his untimely death. Upon launch, SecureDrop will be an open-source whistleblower submission service that can be used to safely send documents and messages to reporters. The technology behind SecureDrop, which Schwartz developed, is designed to make it easier for whistleblowers to get their information across to reporters. Any news organization can install the free system and make their own modifications to the open-source software as they wish. The New Yorker had originally revealed Schwartz’ legacy in May, before introducing their own system based on his code. The Guardian and The New York Times have been experimenting with similar models, in a nod to the celebrated programmer.

Having been audited by a team of University of Washington researchers, SecureDrop was described as being “not quite ready for launch” yet – and, on top of that, “never 100% secure” from shady groups like the NSA. Yet SecureDrop represents a step forward in the battle to shield sensitive information from a prying government, whose recent record number of whistleblower prosecutions has rocked the media world. Despite his tragic death -one that caused a huge outpouring of grief in the Internet and technology communities – it seems that Schwartz’ memory will live on.

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