How to securely send tips to TechCrunch

TechCrunch relies on sources, tips, and submissions to report on some of the biggest stories in tech news. It is through sources that TechCrunch has uncovered safety violations and workplace discrimination, exposed the shady practices of some of the biggest tech companies, and revealed major data breaches that otherwise may never have come to light.

Sources are vital to telling the stories that people, companies, and governments try to hide and cover up. We are committed to telling stories that uncover wrongdoing and other unethical or illegal activity, both in government and the private sector.

That's where you can help. If you know something, say something.

One of the most secure ways you can contact TechCrunch is to use SecureDrop. This tip submission system allows you to share information and communicate with us in a way that protects your identity even from us — as long as you use it correctly.

To use SecureDrop, you need to download the Tor Browser, which allows you to browse the internet without revealing information about you to the websites you visit. You can access our SecureDrop server by entering (or copying and pasting) http://vplxle7awnyvvvduv6exnwrxbf4gzsh7lv7fxosnfl2ecidkttcbfcqd.onion into the Tor Browser. This web address only works in the Tor Browser. Do not try to access this from your usual web browser as it will leave a trace.

Once you are logged in, you will be assigned a unique code phrase, which you can use to check back for any responses from us. Keep it safe. This code phrase is the only way that TechCrunch reporters and editors can contact you.

Before you get started, here are some other tips to help you stay anonymous.

Do not contact us from your work computer or phone. Your employer may track your use of your work devices. The same goes for your personal phone, if you've ever installed apps from your employer. If you are in a riskier job, such as a government employee, you may want to use an entirely separate computer to submit information through SecureDrop. You can also use Tails, an operating system that doesn't keep track of your activity. Tails can be installed on a USB drive, allowing you to temporarily run the operating system on your computer without affecting any of your files.

Use a public Wi-Fi hotspot to help protect your anonymity. Public Wi-Fi hotspots, like coffee shops, can mask your anonymity. Use a public Wi-Fi hotspot that you have not used before. Do not use a Wi-Fi hotspot that requires you to log in or provide your personal information. Be mindful of security cameras or anyone who may be able to see your computer screen.

Be careful of the trail you leave behind you. Once you contact us anonymously, do not contact us on social media, email, or phone as these are not secure methods of communication. Do not tell anyone you are a source.

Everything you submit through SecureDrop is encrypted, and our servers are physically controlled by TechCrunch. SecureDrop has been through independent security testing, but it's important to understand that no method of communication is guaranteed to be completely secure. We know the risks that sources take, and we can discuss with you any additional steps we can take to protect your anonymity.

TechCrunch editors may eventually need to know your identity so we can properly verify and authenticate the information you provide to us.

We promise to stand by any agreement we make with you to protect your identity. If you feel you have to remain anonymous, we will ask you to provide us with sources or contacts who can corroborate the information you send us.

Last updated: October 27, 2020