Shield Law / Confidential Sources
It is the policy of Acme News not to disclose the identity of any source or information that could be used to identify a source if confidentiality was promised. Under North Carolina shield law, our journalists are protected against being compelled to disclose "any confidential or non-confidential information, document, or item obtained or prepared while acting as a journalist." N.C. Gen. Stat. § 8 53.11(b). Confidential information is any information obtained by a reporter with a promise that the source will not be disclosed. See State v. Wallace, 23 Media L. Rep. 1473 (N.C. Superior Ct. 1995); State v. Hagaman, 9 Media L. Rep. 2525 (N.C. Superior Ct. 1983).
Who should use secure contact methods
If you are contacting Acme News with any information that would likley lead to a goverment investigation (such as acting as a whistleblower about goverment wrong-doing) and wish to remain a confidential source it is vital that you only communincate with our journalist only using encrypted methods. While shield laws protect our journalist from being compelled to disclose a source or information, thrid party providors such as the services that provide email, web-hosting, cell service, and other services, would likley not be covered and would be required to turn over records. Using encrtyped communincations methods means that even if these companies turn over those records, all comunication would still be protected as without the encryption keys it would not be possiable for anyone to read the messages. Encryption also verifys the identiy of all participants in the conversation.
To send us an encrypted e-mail please first encrypt the email using PGP with our public key. Please remember that Gmail will autosave drafts. Best security pratices is to paste encrypted text into gmail and to copy encrypted text from gmail and decrypt in an external program. We recomend Mailvelope, you can also use this guide if you need help getting started.
For secure chat we use Signal, a free SMS based encrypted messanger available on Andriod, iOS, and Windows Desktop. Use this guide if you need help getting Signal setup, and be sure to use a burner phone to fully protect your idenity.