Journalist/educator Lisa Rein is looking for $20,000 to complete a documentary called "From DeadDrop to SecureDrop," which chronicles the development of the last technology project that Aaron Swartz worked on: a tool to help whistleblowers and journalists communicate and exchange documents in secret.
Rein was Swartz's mentor and friend, is the organizer of the annual Aaron Swartz hackathons, and is uniquely situated to tell this important story. We've featured her work here regularly for more than a decade. The film will be released as a DRM-free, CC-licensed file (Rein is co-founder of Creative Commons and was the organization's orginal CTO).
I backed the project.
"From DeadDrop to SecureDrop" chronicles the path of the original
prototype, DeadDrop, that Kevin Poulsen and Aaron Swartz first created,
and then, after Aaron's death, how that prototype made its way to the
Freedom of the Press Foundation, via Trevor Timm, John Perry Barlow, and
Micah Lee, and became "SecureDrop."
It will also explain why having something like SecureDrop is such a vital
tool for exposing corruption around the world, during this modern age of
mass surveillance. Besides illustrating how SecureDrop provides an
anonymous platform for communicating securely with journalists, the film
will also examine the role of whistleblowers, and how their actions can
improve the public's quality of life, all around the world.
I've already interviewed Kevin Poulsen, Garrett Robinson, Trevor Timm,
Micah Lee, Brewster Kahle, Cindy Cohn, John Perry Barlow, William
Budington, and Virgil Griffith, for this film. Since I've recently learned
that Kevin's original idea was inspired by Wikileaks, I'm planning on
going to Berlin to interview Wikileaks Volunteer Jacob Applebaum, and
hopefully, a few other key figures in this space, while I'm over there.
It is my hope that, as people begin hearing more and more about
SecureDrop, and begin to wonder what it is, who created it, and where it
came from, this film will provide an explanation and a greater
understanding of the complexities surrounding these issues.
From DeadDrop to SecureDrop [Lisa Rein/Kickstarter]