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[liberationtech] Announcing the Digital Whistleblowing Fund
bartl at renewablefreedom.org
Thu Nov 15 11:30:07 PST 2018
How do we learn about dangers to our democracies, about corporate crimes
or corruption? Mostly through brave people within these organisations
who take great personal risks to fulfil what they experience as a moral
obligation: letting the world know about crimes and injustices they
witness, and holding the perpretrators accountable. Without such
whistleblowers, we would not know about some of the greatest scandals of
Yet how can we support whistleblowers and keep them safe? Most would,
with good reason, not feel comfortable contacting people they don’t
know, or reach out to whistleblowing organisations in other countries.
We need local whistleblowing initiatives, because only they know the
specific political context, have personal ties to investigative
journalists, can adequately protect their sources, and know how to make
best use of the information obtained.
Together with Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Rights the
Renewable Freedom Foundation therefore launched the Digital
Whistleblowing Fund today, a program to support those willing to start
projects that actively engage in the solicitation of citizens and
employees to report corruption and wrongdoings. The Fund specifically
supports grassroots organisations that set up digital whistleblowing
projects, including investigative journalists and groups, human rights
and environmental activists, anti-corruption groups, media and free
speech activists, and many more. The Digital Whistleblowing Fund builds
on our Digital Rights Fund.
We know that whistleblowing projects require a specific and mixed set of
skills in essential areas to successfully run a whistleblowing
initiative: strategic, organisational, legal, IT, and security. The
Digital Whistleblowing Fund thus enables these organisations to apply
for and receive financial, operational and strategic support to start
digital whistleblowing initiatives. We also take care to support
peer-learning and exchange, to foster the whistleblowing community as a
A selection committee composed of key individuals and organisations from
the whistleblowing, journalism, activism, anti-corruption and hacking
ecosystems will evaluate the received applications.
The Digital Whistleblowing Fund runs periodical thematic calls. Our
initial call is for “Anti-corruption activism”, with a submission period
that starts today and ends on December 31.
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