Launched by the Institute for Public Accuracy in June 2014, ExposeFacts.org represents a new approach for encouraging whistleblowers to disclose information that citizens need to make truly informed decisions in a democracy. From the outset, our message is clear: “Whistleblowers Welcome at ExposeFacts.org.”
ExposeFacts aims to shed light on concealed activities that are relevant to human rights, corporate malfeasance, the environment, civil liberties and war. At a time when key provisions of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments are under assault, we are standing up for a free press, privacy, transparency and due process as we seek to reveal official information—whether governmental or corporate—that the public has a right to know.
While no software can provide an ironclad guarantee of confidentiality, ExposeFacts—assisted by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and its “SecureDrop” whistleblower submission system—is utilizing the latest technology on behalf of anonymity for anyone submitting materials via the ExposeFacts.org website. As journalists we are committed to the goal of protecting the identity of every source who wishes to remain anonymous.
The seasoned editorial board of ExposeFacts will be assessing all the submitted material and, when deemed in the public interest, will arrange for journalistic release of information to appropriate news outlets. The editorial board emphasizes to potential whistleblowers that all submitted materials and sourcing are handled with the utmost journalistic integrity.
In exercising its judgment—regarding authenticity, importance, sensitivity and the potential best news outlets for submitted materials—the editorial board is able to call on the expertise of the ExposeFacts advisory board, which includes more than 40 journalists, whistleblowers, former U.S. government officials and others with wide-ranging expertise. We are proud that Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was the first person to become a member of the ExposeFacts advisory board.
While undemocratic authority thrives on secrecy, ExposeFacts is implementing strategies for greater civic transparency. One of our key goals is to bring whistleblowing to the forefront of public consciousness—in a process that widely seeks documentation of official government and corporate actions that cannot withstand the light of day. By openly and clearly facilitating the release of such information, ExposeFacts aims to support and strengthen journalism that is methodical, uncompromising, accurate and truly independent.
As a nonprofit organization dedicated to public education, the Institute for Public Accuracy has worked for more than 15 years to provide media outlets with crucial information and analysis, highlighting key facts below the surface of the news. Based in the National Press Building in Washington, D.C., IPA is able to draw on working relationships with large numbers of media organizations and independent journalists. IPA is providing substantial in-kind backup for ExposeFacts.org, constructing this effort on solid ground in terms of technical requirements, staffing, journalistic rigor and capacity to do wide public outreach.
Additionally, the Freedom of the Press Foundation has agreed to provide major assistance to IPA—generously donating software, installation and training for security best practices, as well as long-term consultation. This has enabled IPA to set up and operate the ExposeFacts.org website from the outset with the most suitable existing secure technology, vetted by top experts in the field.
Some other media outlets also use such technology. But the nonprofit work of ExposeFacts is distinguished by an approach that combines top-notch journalistic skills with real independence, bold outreach and vigorous promotion—committed to exposing realities of anti-democratic power while teaming up with whistleblowers who can provide key documentation.
IPA’s roster of several thousand experts, built since the late 1990s, will give ExposeFacts enormous range and depth—with the capacity to draw on vast knowledge and professional experience in such areas as intelligence, the military, diplomacy, government surveillance, civil liberties, banking, Wall Street abuses, corporate malfeasance and whistleblowing. This expertise is invaluable as ExposeFacts assesses incoming documents and other materials. In tandem with journalistic release of information, IPA fully utilizes its longstanding capabilities to directly reach thousands of journalists with context and experts available for interviews.