The need for an independent and resilient press is more urgent now than ever. Between the rapidly evolving public health crisis around COVID-19, and the protests surrounding racial and social injustice, press freedom is at the forefront of it all. The world is also experiencing a dangerous surge in authoritarianism and attacks against fundamental freedoms. Today, journalists are routinely described as “enemies of the people,” surveilled, physically assaulted, and arrested—even in the United States.
To protect democracy, we must protect press freedom. Since its founding, Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) has become an essential partner to news organizations around the world, because it does more than merely point out threats — it actively works with news organizations to mitigate them.
At our core, we strive to protect, defend, and empower public interest journalism in the 21st Century. We believe that a thriving free press—one that can change the course of history—depends not only on strong advocacy, but also on actively empowering journalists and whistleblowers to do their job in the face of adversity.
We build secure communications tools used at the world’s top news organizations. We teach journalists and documentary filmmakers how to keep themselves and their sources safe in the digital age. We monitor and document virtually every press freedom violation in the United States. And we engage in public and legal advocacy around critical press freedom issues in the U.S. and around the world.
FPF was founded in 2012 by a group of well known journalists and free speech activists including Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, the late John Perry Barlow, Trevor Timm, Rainey Reitman, and Micah Lee, all of whom are on our board of directors. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined our board of directors in 2014.
Generous support from the David D. Dodge Foundation will assist in helping us build the next-generation of secure communications tools for journalists, specifically the ongoing development of SecureDrop, a project originally created by the late internet activist Aaron Swartz.
For five years, FPF has led the development of SecureDrop, an open source whistleblower submission system that enables journalists to communicate with anonymous sources in a safe and secure manner. SecureDrop is currently available in 20 languages and it is used by over 75 major news organizations worldwide (including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, ProPublica, ICIJ, The Center for Investigative Journalism, and many more). It is seen as an increasingly vital tool for all news organizations to offer to whistleblowers, and it has been the source of countless important investigative stories over the past several years.
SecureDrop was designed to meet the needs of news organizations who face the triple threat of hacking, surveillance, and prosecution. In recent years, these threats have grown to unprecedented levels for news organizations and whistleblowers, in the U.S. and around the world. Leak investigations targeting whistleblowers are at an all-time high, and journalists are experiencing targeted cyberattacks like never before. SecureDrop protects news organizations for all these threats, and it’s why virtually every major news outlet in the country relies on it for protection.
To obtain more information about our work, please go to our website: https://freedom.press/.