Please email us.
We receive many emails and cannot guarantee to devote equal time to all of them.
If there is something we can help you with, we will do so.
If we can pass you on to someone whom we feel will be of more help, then we will provide you with their contact details and you may choose to take it further
If you plan to write an email to OWN about a sensitive matter, look into PGP encryption. It’s more complicated than using apps, but is probably more secure in practice, and email is much easier for sending longer messages and attachments. Used properly, PGP should make a message or document unreadable to anyone except the person who sent it and the person for whom it was encrypted.
How does it work? With PGP, you will use a “public key” that belongs to the person you are writing to, but is freely available on the internet. This key turns your message into an unreadable jumble. Your recipient – and no one else – has a corresponding “private key” which can unlock messages that were encrypted by their public key.
Public keys for OWN can be requested
Two popular PGP encryption software packages are Gpg4win for Windows and GPG Suite for Macs. If you use a browser to access a webmail service, such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail, you may want to look at Mailvelope.
PGP can be a bit fiddly. It’s best to play around with it first by sending an email containing relatively innocuous content.
Although there’s no easy way to break PGP codes, it does have shortcomings. An encrypted email message can still reveal the identity of the sender. One way to reduce that risk could be to create an independent email address solely for contacting the Guardian. You may want to use computers that aren’t associated with you when setting up and when using such an account. Going to an internet cafe is one option ‐ just be careful about who can see your screen and whether there are CCTV cameras nearby. And think about the information you provide while signing up to a new account. Does any of it link the new address back to you?
If you’re using a shared computer, remember that email and browser software normally retains a history of what you’ve been doing, unless you clear it or use a private browsing or incognito option. And consider the times at which you send messages. Could that information help prove that you sent them?
Even an anonymous email address doesn’t conceal the IP address from which a message has been sent, and an IP address could be traced back to you. To help avoid this you could use the Tor network, which bounces your message through a series of relays to hide the source location. To access the Tor network you will need to install Tor software. Tor browsers can be configured to discard your browsing history and to minimise the amount of information you share.
As with email, if your computer is being monitored at source, Tor does not protect you from that.
Tails, which is short for “The Amnesiac and Incognito Live System”, is a computer operating system designed to preserve security. It connects to the internet using the Tor network; it helps guard against local monitoring; and when you log out, it wipes any unencrypted content. It is far more secure than using a normal computer or phone.
The best way to contactOWN securely is through our SecureDropdocument portal.
The SecureDrop site is only accessible over the Tor network. All submitted messages and documents are automatically encrypted. We download those encrypted files on to Tails computers and then decode them in a secure environment on a computer that is completely offline. SecureDrop does not record where things came from: all we can see is what has been sent to us, the time it arrived, and a randomly generated code name for whoever submitted it.
For maximum security and anonymity, contact us via SecureDrop from a computer that you are confident is not being monitored.
You don’t have to provide us with a means of contacting you but it can sometimes be useful for us to be able to do so. It can also help us if you are able to provide some background about what is in the documents and why you think they might be of interest to us.