[Blabber] Kickstarter for my Aaron Swartz SecureDrop/Whistleblower Movie

Lisa Rein lisa at lisarein.com
Mon Nov 30 02:37:25 UTC 2015

Hi Hackmanhattan :-)

I wanted to let you know about my little Kickstarter campaign for a movie
I am producing independently, "From DeadDrop to SecureDrop" - it's about
"SecureDrop," an anonymous upload system for whistleblowers that Aaron
prototyped with Kevin Poulsen, one month before his death, that connects
directly to news organizations (such as the Washington Post, Forbes, and
The New Yorker):




I'm including a description of the project below! It's only going on for 9
more days, and I only have about $4,000 of the $20,000 I'm trying to
raise, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! :)

Much love,


The film is entitled "From DeadDrop to SecureDrop," and provides a
historical account of how the "SecureDrop" open source anonymous
whistleblowing submission platform was originally prototyped by Kevin
Poulsen and Aaron Swartz, and later, after Aaron's death, how it made its
way its current home at the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

People in the film (so far) include: Wired's Kevin Poulsen (how he was
inspired by WikiLeaks and then convinced Aaron to work with him on the
project), Trevor Timm and John Perry Barlow (of the Freedom of the Press
Foundation), who sought out the DeadDrop prototype, Garrett Robinson
(SecureDrop's current Development Lead) and Bill Budington (an EFF
engineer who worked directly on the early codebase), and some influential
figures familiar with the issues, such as Brewster Kahle (Founder of the
Internet Archive and co-founder, with myself, of Aaron Swartz Day) and
Cindy Cohn (Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation). I
also interviewed Virgil Griffith (Tor2Web and Wikiscanner), as he and
Aaron were good friends and worked on Tor2Web together.

Jacob Applebaum has also agreed to be interviewed for the film. (Besides
being a WikiLeaks volunteer, he was good friends with Aaron.)

After learning more about whistleblower Chelsea Manning (in the course of
my preparing to read her statement during my live Aaron Swartz Day event)
video: https://youtu.be/qle9UvJGdYg?t=1h23m33s statement:

I came to realize that the film really needs to expand beyond the subject
of the SecureDrop technology itself, to attempt to explain *why* these
whistleblowers might decide to use WikiLeaks or SecureDrop to expose
corruption in the first place: To inform the public and make the world a
better place. I realize this sounds simple and obvious, but I don't think
that most people are actually aware of this. Here's a post explaining how
Ed Snowden chose the Constitution over a Non-Disclosure agreement, when he
decided to blow the whistle: http://www.aaronswartzday.org/snowden-oath/

A third theme of the movie deals directly with an observation made by more
than one of the people I interviewed for the film, about how SecureDrop
will "help the next Ed Snowden" communicate with Journalists safely (so no
one will have to go through what he went through, just to get a story

The film suggests that SecureDrop could potentially usher in a new
generation of whistleblower: One that won't necessarily have to put their
whole life at risk, in order to "do the right thing."

Lisa Rein


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