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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.

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If you're here because you want to report an issue in SecureDrop, please observe the following protocol to report an issue responsibly:

Technical Summary

SecureDrop is a tool for sources to communicate securely with journalists. The SecureDrop application environment consists of three dedicated computers:

  • Secure Viewing Station: An air-gapped laptop running the Tails operating system from a USB stick that journalists use to decrypt and view submitted documents.
  • Application Server: Ubuntu server running two segmented Tor hidden services. The source connects to the Source Interface, a public-facing Tor hidden service, to send messages and documents to the journalist. The journalist connects to the Document Interface, an authenticated Tor hidden service, to download encrypted documents and respond to sources.
  • Monitor server: Ubuntu server that monitors the Application Server with OSSEC and sends email alerts.

In addition to these dedicated computers, the journalist will also use his or her normal workstation computer:

  • Journalist Workstation: The every-day laptop that the journalist uses for his or her work. The journalist will use this computer to connect to the Application Server to download encrypted documents that he or she will transfer to the Secure Viewing Station. The Journalist Workstation is also used to respond to sources via the Document Interface.

Depending on the news organizations's threat model, it is recommended that journalists always use the Tails operating system on their Journalist Workstation when connecting to the Application Server. Alternatively, this can also be its own dedicated computer.

These computers should all physically be in your organization's office.

How to Install SecureDrop

See the Installation Guide.

How to Use SecureDrop

How to Contribute to SecureDrop

See the Development Guide.


SecureDrop is open source and released under the GNU Affero General Public License v3.

The wordlist we use to generate source passphrases comes from Diceware, and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported thanks to A G Reinhold.

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