Wall Street Journal Safehouse


The Wall Street Journal has launched its own secure submissions site in the style of WikiLeaks.

According to a release from the newspaper, the standalone site, WSJ SafeHouse, is located on secure servers and managed directly by Journal editors.

Under the heading "We need your help", the SafeHouse site encourages users to submit "newsworthy contracts, correspondence, emails, financial records or databases from companies, government agencies or non-profits".

Journal managing editor Robert Thomson said: "The Wall Street Journal is the world’s most trusted source of news, and SafeHouse will enable the collection of information and documents that could be used in the generation of trustworthy news stories."

The Wall Street Journal boasts that submissions to SafeHouse will be "vetted by some of the world's most experienced and responsible investigative reporters and editors", and says it welcomes information covering "politics, government, banking, Wall Street, deals and finance, corporations, labour, law, national security and foreign affairs".

There are three options available to those submitting material through the site, who can either submit their contact details or chose to remain anonymous. There is also a third option to become an "confidential source" of the newspaper, which requires contact details to be submitted.

Under the terms and conditions for the site, the Journal warns potential whistleblowers that it is "unable to ensure the complete confidentiality or anonymity of anything you send to us".

Rival US newspaper the New York Times has reportedly been considering setting up its own secure leaking service for some time, with executive editor Bill Keller telling the Cutline blog in January that members of the Times' computer-assisted reporting and interactive news teams, with advice from the investigative unit and the legal department, had been "discussing options for creating a kind of EZ Pass lane for leakers".

Keller's model was based on Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit, which was launched by the network in January on the eve of its release of 1,700 leaked documents relating to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the so-called Palestinian Papers.

Along with the Guardian, the New York Times was one of the original WikiLeaks media partners to have seen its relationship with the whistleblowers' site fall apart acrimoniously. The Wall Street Journal took its place for the publication of the latest WikiLeaks release, the Guantánamo files.

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