AdLeaks Platform Aims To Protect Whistleblowers When They Release Data

The team at AdLeaks is building a new piece of web-based technology that will make it easier for whistleblowers to anonymously post data. The system would allow whistleblowers to post data from government agencies, businesses, and other organizations without worrying about being caught.

According to the website, the system is being created to minimize the footprint of leaking information online. The platforms goal is to subvert national spying programs so users can feel safe in exposing the overstepping of government agencies.

The program is called AdLeaks because it would dispatch small programs via Internet ads. According to AdLeaks:

“We designed the AdLeaks system to work with partners who embed AdLeaks ads or AdLeaks bugs into their web pages. Our ads contain code that encrypts an empty message with the AdLeaks public key and sends the ciphertext back to AdLeaks. This happens on all users’ web browsers. A whistleblower’s browser substitutes the ciphertext with encrypted parts of a disclosure. The protocol ensures that an adversary who can eavesdrop on the network communication cannot distinguish between the transmissions of regular browsers and those of whistleblowers’ browsers. AdLeaks ads are authenticated so that a whistleblower’s browser can tell them apart from other code. Consequently, whistleblowers never have to navigate to any particular site to communicate with AdLeaks once our ads are sufficiently widespread.”

Because the AdLeaks system passes the same type of information among all users, monitoring systems in the United States are not capable of determining which data should be monitored.

Here’s a look at the AdLeaks platform process flow:



Researchers are currently building the frontend submissions side of the technology, and then they will replay on partners to provide the systems backend, which will receive and distribute information.

The platform will also require a file transfer system to be used by whistleblowers.

At this point, large-scale file disclosures could take “weeks to complete” because of the way data is moved across the platform. While data transfers in the “weeks” timeframe is not ideal, it could mean not being caught by governmental agencies.

Do you like the idea behind AdLeaks?