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NetPol: Fighting back against oppressive policing and surveillance

Blowing the Whistle on Oppressive Policing and Surveillance

[source and credit: NetPol]

Thanks to software developed by the Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, Netpol has created a whistle-blowing platform called Netpoleaks.

This allows anyone who prefers to stay anonymous or who requires a certain level of security to submit ‘sensitive’ information in a secure way. Even your metadata is private and our website offers high levels of encryption [banking standard or better].

By accessing Netpoleaks you can anonymously send information and documents you want to share about excessive and discriminatory public order, protest and community policing and surveillance.

What information are we looking for?

Netpol only accepts restricted or censored material of political, ethical or historical significance relating specifically to law enforcement in the UK. Currently our main interests are:

  • Surveillance in general by police on political campaigners and activists
  • Surveillance in particular on the anti-fracking movement in the UK.
  • Evidence of the targeting of activists by counter-terrorism officers using the government’s Prevent ‘counter-radicalisation’ programme
  • Information about undercover targeting of political activism by the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU) and its predecessors.
  • Evidence of police misconduct and corruption

Before sharing anything with us, make sure you have read our submissions policy for further details on what information we accept and how we handle and verify submissions.

Highest levels of data security

If you have information you want to make it public but you are concerned for your own safety or for possible repercussions, Netpoleaks offers you one of the highest levels of security for data transmission currently available.

The submission system is based on the use of Tor, which is already integrated into the platform. Tor is considered the best technology for digital anonymity available to Internet users. It is constantly revised by academics and IT security experts.

When you use Tor to submit information, your identity and your data are protected by those monitoring traffic on the web. 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure 100% that someone in the future will not find some traces that could lead to your leak but Tor helps to reduce these risks to a minimum.

Before making a submission, make sure you read our advice on protecting your anonymity and minimising risks.

How to submit data to Netpoleaks

Firstly you need to download and then install Tor Browser onto your computer or, preferably, onto a USB drive so you can anonymously access Netpoleaks.

Download Tor by clicking on one of the buttons and then follow the instructions below:

>MacWindows | Linux

Netpoleaks’s secure Tor .onion address is https://owmx2uvjkmdgsap2.onion.link/

Make sure you are using the Tor Browser, otherwise you will not be able to access this link.

Guide diagram

STEP 1: Download the Tor Browser Bundle from one of the buttons above. Save the Tor folder onto your desktop or onto a USB drive.

STEP 2: Open the Tor Browser folder and double-click on ‘Start Tor Browser’. Copy the .onion address above and paste it into the Tor browser address bar.

STEP 3: When the website has loaded, click on the Proceed button. If you are a returning whistle-blower, insert your key code to access your previous submission.

STEP 4: Complete the initial questions and the Fill out your submission form. Add a file and then click on the Submit button. Note down your submission key code.

When using Tor, browsing is sometimes slower than usual.

What is the Tor browser?

The Tor Browser is software built to enable people to navigate the Web anonymously. It is made up of a chain of proxies that work to hide users’ original IP address (your Internet identity). If you are not sure about how to use Tor or want to find out more, take a look at this Wikipedia article.

What is a .onion domain?

.onion domains are secure addresses which can only be accessed through the Tor Browser. This is so we can be sure that any potential sources are using the Internet anonymously while submitting documents. All .onion websites have a randomly generated address. If you are not sure about accessing .onion websites, read this Wikipedia article.


[source and credit: NetPol]

Photo by Spenser H on Unsplash

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Written by MarkCross

Assignment Editor for Press On This. Twitter @MarkCrossPOT

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