How to Contact CFE Securely
How to Contact CFE Securely
If you want to contact the Centre for Free Expression and keep your communications secure, please read the guideline below. Otherwise, our regular contact information is here.
To ensure that you do not inadvertently expose yourself, please read this entire page before making any attempt to contact us.
You can contact CFE in several ways that minimize your personal risk. First, never communicate with us using a work computer or work telephone. Do not use employer resources or electronically-generated postage to send us paper documents. If you can, use public WiFi networks and a virtual private network (VPN) that gives you a secure tunnel through which you can send and receive information online, as if you were operating using a private server. There are dozens of VPN optionsthat cater to different needs.
Here are ways you can get in touch:
1. Encrypted email
You can set up a free ProtonMail account and use it to send us encrypted email at GovernmentIntegrity@protonmail.com. ProtonMail is a free, end-to-end encrypted email service developed by MIT and CERN scientists with servers in Switzerland, which has strong privacy laws.
Note: Because ProtonMail does not require authentication, you can even remain anonymous. If you prefer this option, do not connect the account to a cell phone or email account when you sign up for Protonmail.
2. Encrypted text messaging and voice
You can use the free messaging app, Signal, to send us encrypted text messages, and also to hold secure voice conversations. You first install Signal on your smart phone, tablet or computer and then use the app to send messages or to make a voice connection. The messages and voice connections are encrypted digitally. Our Signal account number is: 647-478-6726 .
(1) This is not a phone number but the number Signal uses when you send a message or call through the app. If you call this number from your phone, rather than using the Signal app, you will create an electronic record of your attempt to reach us, and your call will not be answered.
(2) Signal requires you to store our Signal account number in your phone’s address book. To conceal our name, consider entering the number under a false name, and do not sync your phone with a work computer.
(3) Signal shows us (but no-one else) your number. If you want to remain completely anonymous you can install Signal on a “burner” phone with pre-paid service that you purchase anonymously using cash.
3. Postal mail
Normally, you could also contact us or share information via postal mail, but this is not an option during the pandemic as we are all working remotely.
Resources for protecting your privacy
If you want more in-depth information on secure communications, the Electronic Frontier Foundation provides comprehensive, authoritative advice here about how you can and should protect your privacy.
What our vulnerabilities are
Attorneys can protect much of their communication under attorney-client privilege laws. Journalists have a source shield. CFE does not enjoy any such privileges. What that means is that if CFE is subject to a judicial subpoena, it is possible that we would have to turn over communications with sources. We are committed to protecting our sources to the full extent of the law in the face of any attempt to force us to reveal their identities: we would only do so if compelled by a court, but the possibility exists.
As has become obvious in recent times, anyone can be hacked, and unencrypted data can be intercepted. CFE employs state-of-the-art Internet and email security systems, but no system is foolproof. Therefore, we encourage you to initiate your communication with CFE in the encrypted ways described above.