Back in June, the Electronic Frontier Foundation analyzed the terms and conditions offered by the whistleblower sites launched by the WSJ and Al Jazeera, concluding that they offered no protection to confidential sources. Now, Al Jazeera has taken their advice to heart and substantially improved their terms.
Al-Jazeera Still Reserves the Right to Sell You Out, But At Least It Has Your Back
Before the revisions, the Transparency Unit noted it could "share personally identifiable information in response to a law enforcement agency's request, or where we believe it is necessary." The terms provided no explanation about how Al-Jazeera determined when to disclose information or who made that decision. The TOU now explains Al-Jazeera "may disclose personally identifiable information about you to third parties in limited circumstance[s], including: (1) with your consent; or (2) when we have a good faith belief it is required by law, such as pursuant to a subpoena or other judicial or administrative order."
We’re also glad to see Al-Jazeera making an effort to be transparent about when users’ data is sought by the government and promising to fight for users' rights in court. AJTU promises that if "required by law to disclose the information that you have submitted, we will attempt to provide you with notice (unless we are prohibited) that a request for your information has been made in order to give you an opportunity to object to the disclosure." And AJTU claims it "will independently object to requests for access to information about users of our site that we believe to be improper."