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AfriLeaks aims to expose abuses of power in Africa

Image via afriLeaks

Riding on the coattails of accusations that the international community has ignored African woes comes afriLeaks - a whistleblowing website dedicated to exposing corruption and abuses of power across Africa.

The website, hosted at afrileaks.org, claims the ability for regular citizens to "blow the whistle" on corruption in Africa, with the tagline "securely share information with Africa's finest journalists." This is bolstered by a network of 19 regional African newspapers and activist organizations, who dig through completely anonymous, user-submitted documents, removing jokes and false claims and highlighting the ones which expose corruption.

Upon entering afrileaks.org, users are prompted to "blow the whistle" and submit any tips or documents they have. As an added emphasis on security, and to prevent possible backlash towards any African citizens who blow the whistle, afriLeaks suggests using Tor to submit any reports. Users are then taken to a screen which allows them to select multiple receivers for their reports - newspapers like South Africa's Mail & Guardian, The Zimbabwean, and Mozambique's Verdade.

The site's foundation seems directly inspired by Wikileaks, which gained notoriety in mid-2010 after leaking thousands of confidential documents regarding the United States' involvement in Afghanistan. But despite this information, afriLeaks maintains its differences.

afriLeaks isn’t like Wikileaks. Wikileaks publishes the information it receives directly. afriLeaks, on the other hand, is a highly secure mailbox connecting investigative media houses to whistleblowers. Documents shared on afriLeaks form the beginning of a journalistic inquiry, instead of being shared directly on the web.

In an article titled "Calling all whistleblowers: AfriLeaks offers a secure platform," South Africa's Mail & Guardian cites Edward Snowden and the 2013 NSA leaks as a major factor for afriLeaks' inception.

"In the post-Snowden world in which we live, with government and corporate surveillance a reality," said the paper, "it has become critically important for journalists and whistleblowers to take every precaution to ensure their digital safety."

The project only officially launched yesterday, so some kinks are still being worked out - including insuring that every organization receiving the leaks has a valid PGP key, and working on bolstering site security even more so whistleblowers never have the face the uncomfortable situation of being persecuted for their actions.

Source: the Mail & Guardian via BBC

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