The Italian National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC) has embraced and thereafter launched an online whistleblower platform using Tor onion services. This is expected to encourage and help whistleblowing to manage and expose illegal activities such as corruption cases in government organizations at the same time protecting individual identities.
Millions of people make use of the Tor network daily and globally to avoid censorship and surveillance. Its anonymity which comes with privacy and security enables journalist to report, activists to mobilize and ordinary citizens to access blocked resources and avoid being tracked.
Tor has also been in the ream light of criticism for long now due to its ability to encourage crime particularly on the dark web due to its capability and anonymously mask anyone’s identity and location at the time of web navigation. However, its anonymity could also be used for the good. The whistleblowers, those brave individuals also depend of Tor protection after reporting illegal activities, need it to mask their identities.
Over the past few years ever since Edward Snowden developed and made use of the Tor services to send NSA documents to journalist, the power of Tor services especially on whistleblowing protected platforms such as GlobaLeaks and SecureDrop have been available. In countries where people living under oppressive and restrictive governments and authorities, Tor offers an avenue for expression organization and influx of communication. Its anonymity is the only way people can speak boldly against unfair cruel and restrictive leadership.
The Tor connection is anonymous and difficult to monitor, providing for fascinating access to current news across the globe without having restrictive authorities interfering by filtering the main interpretation intended by the author.
GlobaLeaks project created by an Italian group in 2011 is currently an open whistleblowing platform allowing anyone including the general public, activist groups, public agencies, media organizations and corporations. The whistleblowing framework is essentially a web application running on a Tor onion service which allows whistleblowers and journalist to communicate anonymously with less attacks. GlobaLeaks is currently developed and managed by the Hermes Center for transparency and Digital Human right.
The Italian National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC) has adopted the GlobaLeak software with a few customization of its own to run its own whistleblowing platform. This is after reviewing and seeing how promising Tor can be in enabling whistleblowing especially in the national anti-corruption Authority.
Italian national law requires cooperatives and companies to integrate governance structures and mechanism to protecting whistleblowing submissions masking their identity which can put the whistleblower reporting a corruption incident at risk.
In addition, the Italian National Assembly passed a law last year that allows adoption and integration of IT practical systems for whistleblowing in the country anonymously. In the move to adopt IT, Tor was considered for the legacy that it runs over 60 whistleblowing recent platforms globally due to its real anonymity on the web.
Tor going mainstream.
Tor is going mainstream as we are starting to see it being accepted and embraced at an accelerated rate among national agencies, nonprofit and media organizations globally. People have realized how an important of a tool it can be to provide real anonymity for the better.
The famous Tor network has been receiving major technical upgrades with the recent 3rd version of an Onion service expected to increase the anonymity of onion services by a big margin on the Tor network. Plans are also underway that will see Tor receive significant updates as soon as it switches over to Firefox ESR v60 version which will adopt all the latest features of Firefox Quantum including the more secure multi-process sandboxing architecture.
Equally, Mozilla has also recently started incorporating some of Tor’s unique features such as the anti-tracking filet. Deeper and more integration are expected of the Tor network, into Mozilla Firefox which will eventually see Tor network being more mainstream.
The Tor network Project Development Office is now expected to move with speed as far as its donation budget can allow, to fund its mainstream teams.