Welcome to BayLeaks
Is there something you'd like to share?
BayLeaks was created to facilitate high-impact investigative journalism throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. BayLeaks uses SecureDrop, an encrypted, anonymized communications system, to enable users to securely share information that’s newsworthy and relevant to the public interest. We work with a variety of media partners to publish stories based on information shared through our system.
We believe increased transparency and public accountability can discourage bad behavior by powerful individuals and organizations.
If you'd like to get started sharing information now, go directly to our BayLeaks How-To Guide.
BayLeaks uses SecureDrop, a secure communications system developed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping support and defend public-interest journalism. SecureDrop uses end-to-end encryption and the Tor anonymity network to provide strong security to its users. For a more detailed explanation of how SecureDrop works, please visit the Freedom of the Press Foundation website.
About protecting our sources
Used properly, BayLeaks’ SecureDrop system provides strong technical protections for people sharing information, preventing anyone — including us — from seeing names, IP addresses and other identifying information. It should be noted that BayLeaks can only provide a layer of technical digital security.
Important information before you begin
You should only open Tor Browser at a public location, such as a library or a café. This offers greater security than connecting to the Internet from a residence or place of employment, where it would be easier for a third party to detect you as a Tor user. After sharing information, you may continue to communicate securely with the BayLeaks team through SecureDrop using the codename you were assigned on your first visit.
BayLeaks How-To Guide
Follow these instructions carefully to share information.
1. Download the Tor Browser Bundle
The Tor Browser Bundle is an easy way to access the Tor network, which our SecureDrop system uses to protect users' anonymity. Here's how to get it!
- Go to a coffee shop or library that offers public Wi-Fi. Make sure you are not connecting from your home or work Internet connection.
- Open your web browser and visit https://www.torproject.org
- Look under "Our Projects," locate "Tor Browser," and click on it.
- Click the button that says "Download Tor Browser Bundle."
- Look under "Tor Browser Bundle Downloads" to find the right version for your computer's operating system. Choose from Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux.
- Follow the prompts to install the Tor Browser.
2. Share documents and information with BayLeaks
Open your Tor Browser. Again, make sure you are on public Wi-Fi for added security!
Type or copy our onion URL into the address bar and press Enter: wd5x5eexdqcjrqfa.onion
Follow the instructions on our SecureDrop site to share documents and information. If you have a specific media partner in mind, please name them in a message to the BayLeaks team. If you want to check back later for responses or send follow-up messages, memorize your codename or write it down and store it in a safe place.
3. Check for responses
Open the Tor Browser and return to the SecureDrop site at wd5x5eexdqcjrqfa.onion. Use your codename to log in and check for replies from the BayLeaks team or share more information. When you’re finished communicating with the BayLeaks team, throw away your codename. Then delete Tor Browser from your computer.
Sending encrypted email
We strongly encourage you to use our SecureDrop system, but if you'd prefer to email us instead, you can send an encrypted email to the BayLeaks team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Scroll down for our PGP key.
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When BayLeaks users visit our SecureDrop site following the instructions in our How-To Guide, we will not record their IP address or information about their browser, computer, or operating system, nor will we embed third-party content or deliver persistent cookies to their computers. Our servers are under the physical control of BayLeaks team members in a protected location.
Though it is our intention to keep you and your information safe, BayLeaks does not guarantee 100% perfect security — nor does any technology. Among other risks, if your computer is compromised, any activities, including communications through SecureDrop, could be compromised as well. The system is provided on an “as is” basis, with no warranties or representations, and any use of it is at the user's own risk.