Exchanging Files and Messages with GlobaLeaks

Every time a file is exchanged over the Internet via services like emails, Dropbox or file transfer features of instant messaging applications, metadata is left all over the place that can link the journalist and its information source together.

We wrote about OnionShare, which is a simple solution for ad-hoc file transfers. As OnionShare does not have any chat feature, you have to run Ricochet in parallel. However, both parties needs to be online at the same time in both cases.

GlobaLeaks is a secure platform that simplifies the process. It runs as a Tor hidden service, where it connects the information source and the journalist together. The server is self-hosted, therefore the uploaded data and messages are only accessible to you. Also, files are encrypted with PGP, so nobody can open the files except for you and only you.

GlobaLeaks, along with the other popular platform SecureDrop, is currently used by numerous media organisations across the globe.

The following guide demonstrates how an information source can upload files and send messages with the service as well as how the journalist can retrieve them.

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Uploading Files as an Information Source

Visiting the .onion URL as a source

Adding files and messages

Adding files and messages

Retrieving Files as the Journalist

Once the files are submitted, the journalist receives an optional, PGP encrypted email of the submission.

Email notification

Submissions

Submission

Writing a message

Adding More Messages

The information can log back in any time to add more files, or read and write messages.

Logging in

Replying to a message

Email notification