Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘a-public-service’

“How to Protect Yourself From Retaliation When Filming Police Brutality” — A PUBLIC SERVICE author Tim Schwartz writes for Truthout

Monday, July 6th, 2020
As protesters continue to occupy the streets around the U.S., many are filming police brutality. If you are in a situation with the cops or witnessing one that has the potential to turn violent, whether at a protest or simply while out in your community, you should be prepared to take video and document events with your smartphone. While taking a video isn’t that difficult — we do it every day — recording police brutality or other atrocities comes with a whole set of concerns that many of us don’t have to face on a daily basis.

Read the full article here.

A PUBLIC SERVICE author Tim Schwartz interviewed by David Swanson on Talk Nation Radio

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

“As you collect documents and bring new information to light, be aware that you are in an escalating digital arms race.” —A PUBLIC SERVICE by Tim Schwartz excerpted in Boing Boing

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Documentation Gathering, Sanitization, and Storage: an excerpt from A PUBLIC SERVICE

There will always be new ways that data forensics can identify you, or uncover information based on data that you inadvertently leave in your files, or data that is retained in logs noting who has accessed what files on what network. Recently it was discovered that noise from electrical grids can be used to quite accurately pinpoint when, and potentially where, an audio recording was made. The best way to win this war—or at least to avoid becoming collateral damage—is to work outside the standard methods and find partners who have experience.

Of course, the actual collection of documents has changed dramatically over the years. In 1969, Daniel Ellsberg systematically removed documents, including the Pentagon Papers, from the RAND Corporation in his briefcase, taking them to an advertising agency where he (sometimes with the help of his 13-year-old son) photocopied them, one page at a time. Though this took enormous courage and psychological stamina—and in 1969 all that copying was certainly time-consuming and undoubtedly tiresome—it was also technologically straightforward and relatively safe. As long as the guards didn’t stop and check his briefcase, and as long as no one saw him remove and return the reports, Ellsberg could duplicate the papers undetected.

Read the full excerpt here.

“Parts of A PUBLIC SERVICE read like a spy-thriller, covering detailed operational security planning, everything from buying a burner phone to doing research into possible journalists to take your docs to — all without leaving a trail that can be traced back to you.” —Cory Doctorow reviews A PUBLIC SERVICE by Tim Schwartz in Boing Boing

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

A Public Service: a comprehensive, comprehensible guide to leaking documents to journalists and public service groups without getting caught

Every technical lesson is presented in clear, easy-to-follow terms — and more importantly, this technical material is embedded in super-sharp context explaining how to assess your risks and use your technological information to counter them. Schwartz begins at the beginning, with steps for getting data out of a network without leaving signs that point to you, and then carries on through the whistleblowing process — sanitizing identifying information in the files, securely transmitting them, and then covering any trace of your possession.

Just as important are Schwartz’s chapters on how to figure out who you should leak your documents to, and then how to contact them in a way that is likely to get your leaks taken seriously enough to rate a followup (both public interest groups and journalists get far more tips than they can handle, so this is every bit as important as the security advice). He also discusses when you might expect to have to go public — as with a workplace sexual assault accusation, say — and how to prepare yourself both mentally and technologically for the inevitable fallout.

Read the full review here.

“Unethical acts — not just illegal ones — need to be revealed. Society can only evolve when individuals stand up and shine a light on unethical practices. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, speak up.” —Tim Schwartz, author of A PUBLIC SERVICE, writes in A Public Seminar

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Whistleblowing, Disclosure and Anonymity

In 1965, 28-year-old Peter Buxtun was hired by the U.S. Public Health Service in San Francisco as a venereal disease investigator. Shortly after starting his job, Buxtun began hearing about a little-known, ongoing study on African-American males with syphilis. To Buxtun’s ears, this didn’t sound right — by the late 1940s, penicillin had been shown to be an effective drug against syphilis. How could there be an ongoing study of people with a disease that had become rare, thanks to a cheap and effective treatment that was discovered 20 years ago?

Though distracted by a return to school and a law degree, Buxtun continued to follow the trail, contacting the Centers for Disease Control and gathering documentation on the under the radar study. He continued to share the story with those around him, but no one he spoke with knew what to do. Was the study illegal? Surely it was unethical, but would it be possible to do anything about it?

Read the full excerpt here.

“The VA and its oversight organizations have failed to provide safe pathways for those who want to protect our veterans by exposing corruption when they see it” —Tim Schwartz, author of A PUBLIC SERVICE, writes in Medium

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

Whistleblowers Protect Veterans

Reporting violations to the OAWP is not safe. Even anonymous hotlines might not truly be anonymous, because your voice certainly isn’t anonymous. Instead, find a partner outside the VA to work with, whether a journalist, lawyer, or someone at a public advocacy organization. Many out there have experience working with whistleblowers and can help you formulate the safest plan.

Read the full piece here.

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