Welcome to The Disclosure Report.
In this Off The Record hub, our team aims to analyse and disseminate the various laws, regulations, program’s and reports on government surveillance in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The Disclosure Report will be an ongoing series that we will update with news, Freedom of Information requests and explanatory journalism – in order to clearly explain how the government monitors you in this internet reliant era.
You can use the hash-tag #disclosurereport to collate our tweets from this hub in one place.
Northern Ireland has been largely exempt from surveillance analysis with most coverage to date focusing on the United Kingdom and the USA. However, with our turbulent history and issues with extremism, gangs, hate crime and sectarianism, our government has been authorised numerous warrants to monitor citizens of the province.
In the post-Wikileaks, post-Snowden era we now live in government surveillance has suddenly been thrust into the public interest. What we are finding is that the increased snooping of those in power has to be balanced with the need for personal liberty. The balance rests on a pin. In any case, the collection of mass data – metadata, email, phone calls and text messages – seems to be easier than ever.
How to contact?
If you have a disclosure you can find us on twitter or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then discuss submissions and, if you wish, you remain anonymous. We are working on an online and secure ‘Dropbox’ style submission system, however it is still in development. If you wish to contact us anon, the best course of action is to set up a new email address under a different name. If you do not mind being known, contact us and we will travel to your location to meet you in person.
If it’s anonymous, how do we know it is true/factual?
Off The Record will not only need time to analyse the disclosure but also the time to fact check. Nothing is published without multiple sources to back up source material – failing this we will try to ascertain beyond reasonable doubt through investigative journalism. Redactions will be made in line with the law and with journalistic integrity a priority.
What is a ‘disclosure’?
Documents, files, facts, source knowledge or background information on a person, government department or business in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Anything you feel is news-worthy and in the public interest.
If I choose to send my disclosure, will I be fully protected?
Off The Record needs to make clear that any disclosures submitted are done so voluntarily. We do not reveal sources. However, as we now know, communications, email, phone-calls and technology is largely monitored and therefore cannot be relied upon as 100% safe.