Press Releases

Written by Lucy Parsons Labs

Lucy Parsons Labs | @lucyparsonslabs

MEDIA ALERT - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2016

Contact: media at lucyparsonslabs dot com

Chicago Non-profit Launches SecureDrop Platform for Anonymous Document Leaks

Chicago, IL 3/28 – Lucy Parsons Labs, a Chicago-based non-profit focused on security and transparency, has launched a platform for leaking documents anonymously to journalists. SecureDrop is an open-source whistleblower platform designed to more strongly protect the identity of sources. Twenty other media organizations have set up SecureDrop services around the world, including the Intercept, the Washington Post, ProPublica and the New Yorker. Lucy Parsons Labs is operating the first and only SecureDrop whistleblower submission system in the Chicagoland area.

Lucy Parsons Labs works extensively with data from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, including their partnership with MuckRock, the FOIA transparency organization, into the Chicago Police Department’s use of asset forfeiture funds. Now, Lucy Parsons Labs hopes to move past limitations in the FOIA system by offering a secure way for whistleblowers and others to submit information. Journalists Ali Winston and Paul Gottinger are the first two journalists to be given access to this whistleblowing platform.

Lucy Parsons Labs currently consists of four Chicagoans: Freddy Martinez, Jennifer Helsby, Brian Kroll and Mason Donahue. Martinez began his FOIA battles against the Chicago police in 2014 with lawsuits aimed at forcing the department to release information on their use of IMSI catchers, or Stingrays. In January of 2016, a judge ordered the CPD to turn over all records of its use of these cellphone tracking devices. Lucy Parsons Labs members are also active in hosting CryptoParties, free workshops where participants are taught digital tools strategies to communicate more securely.

Lucy Parsons Labs is a charitable Chicago-based collaboration between data scientists, transparency activists, and technologists focused on the intersection of digital rights and on-the-streets issues. The lab’s work includes a guide to surveillance technology in use in Chicago, a collaboration with MuckRock conducting a financial audit of police use of asset forfeiture, digital security trainings for activists, and FOIA lawsuits against the Chicago Police Department.