Libre, not Gratis

Kushal Das


SecureDrop, the Open Source whistleblower submission system

Submitted Feb 28, 2018

SecureDrop is an open-source whistleblower submission system that media organizations can use to securely accept documents from and communicate with anonymous sources. It was originally created by the late Aaron Swartz and is currently managed by Freedom of the Press Foundation.

In the modern age of Internet, keeping privacy in the online world has become a bigger battle ground. It became an even bigger challenge for the journalists, lawyers, and anyone else who is dealing with sensitive material. Whistleblowing and leaking have dominated news coverage in recent years. SecureDrop (a Python application) project provides a reasonably safe way for the journalists to receive tips/sensitive materials from anyone, and still safeguarding the sources and keeping the materials secured.

SecureDrop also won The Award for Projects of Social Benefit from Free Software Foundation in 2016.

This talk will be divided into three sections, why, how and what is in future.


  • Introduction to the Freedom of the Press Foundation (2 minutes)
  • History of the SecureDrop project (5 minutes)
  • How is SecureDrop working in newsrooms? (3 minutes)
  • The top view of the technical stack from sky high (7 minutes)
  • What are the biggest challenges and threats? (5 minutes)
  • What is in future? (Depending on free time)

As a project SecureDrop has many different parts running in different systems. This talk will provide an overview of the technical backgroud of the project, and will try to help the curious minds to go a step ahead to contribute.

Speaker bio

Kushal Das is a staff member of Freedom of the Press Foundation and developer of SecureDrop project. He is also a CPython core developer, and a director at Python Software Foundation.



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