FOR YOUR PROTECTION, DO NOT USE A GOVERNMENT, CONTRACTOR OR GRANTEE PHONE, FAX, OR COMPUTER TO CONTACT POGO.
The Project On Government Oversight has a long history of working with individuals daring to expose corruption. Many of these individuals with whom POGO has worked choose to keep their identity hidden from the public and even to POGO itself.
POGO may be able to further research your concerns, bring public attention to any wrongdoing, and alert those who can bring about change. We've been watchdogs since 1981.
The Downside of "Whistleblowing" or Exposing Corruption
Whistleblowing is risky and not often easy. Exposed whistleblowers are almost always reprimanded, fired, and/or harassed, even if they have not "gone public" and even if their allegations are proven to be true. It takes a lot of courage and forethought to take on a powerful government agency or a private contractor or grantee. The mental, emotional, and financial hardships that a whistleblower may encounter should be fully understood before any steps are taken to disseminate information - publicly or not.
Governments and other large organizations have the power to figure out who you are and retaliate against you. There is never a guarantee you won’t get caught. POGO will work to protect your identity while trying to expose and remedy the problems you have identified. This allows the whistleblower to expose wrongdoing while lowering the risk of jeopardizing their career. Unless you have already been publicly labeled as a whistleblower, we usually do not recommend making your identity public and exposing yourself to the many risks associated with doing so.
Maximize Your Data Security
While e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and postal mail are generally the most convenient ways to contact us, the Project On Government Oversight offers several options to more securely send information and documents to our investigators. It is important to note that no system is 100% secure, but these tools attempt to create a safer environment than that provided by normal communication channels. Please review the fine print before using any of these tools so that you can choose the best option for your communication needs. In addition to using these tools, we recommend that you:
- Never use work computers or equipment: Always use a secure computer to communicate with us—one that does not maintain monitoring software or malware that might be used to record your activities;
- Use secure operating systems you control: Use an operating system that helps preserve your privacy and anonymity, such as Tails;
- Cover your tracks: Delete communication histories stored on your computer, such as copies of messages or your codename assigned when using SecureDrop;
- Strip metadata: Run any files you send to us through a metadata removal tool to minimize the risk of unintentionally sending us information embedded in the documents, such as an author’s name;