Share confidential information securely with the Herald
Do you have information the public should know? We offer several ways you can securely send information to us.
What makes a good news tip?
To turn your tip into a story:
- It needs to be more than a rumour or an opinion.
- It has some form of evidence, usually either documents or witnesses. If you do not have these things to hand, they need to exist where we can get access to them.
- The issue or problem needs to be newsworthy. It needs to have some implication in the real world, and to affect a wide enough range of people to be interesting to our audiences.
To submit feedback on our journalism, story ideas, news releases, or for other general correspondence, visit our contact us page.
What happens after you submit a tip
We review submissions regularly, but cannot promise each will receive an individual response. All confidential information is only accessible by our investigations team and we will never disclose information to anyone about your contact with us.
How to get started
If confidentiality is not a concern or you just want to speak to someone, you can reach us by:
Phone: +61 466 862 218
We are also contactable via numerous social media platforms, while journalists will sometimes make requests within an article for you to contact them with non-confidential information related to a news event or story.
Note: These methods are not necessarily secure from the Australian government’s metadata collection regime, and some people have become concerned in recent times that contacting a journalist with a public interest disclosure might mean authorities can track them down now or in the future.
Sending your tip confidentially
If you do not want anyone else to see what you will be sharing with us, we recommend you use one of the tools below. They are free and come with end-to-end encryption, so all conversations remain private and are unable to be read by anyone else.
There are also some useful tips under protecting your identity.
WhatsApp is a free messaging service owned by Facebook.
- As one of the world’s most popular apps, you might already be familiar with it so it is a great way to start a conversation with us.
- WhatsApp keeps users’ metadata on their server, including location and other personally identifiable information.
- The same metadata may be subject to a warrant or subpoena.
Add us: +61 466 862 218
Signal is an open-source messaging service with a focus on privacy.
- Looks and works a lot like other messaging apps, so it is easy to get started.
- Very little metadata is stored on the server; only phone number, account creation date and last login time.
- Option to auto-delete conversations after a set amount of time.
Add us: +61 466 862 218
ProtonMail is a Swiss-based encrypted email service.
- All user data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws.
- Can be accessed via internet browser and mobile app.
- No personal information is required to register.
- Easy to send long messages and attachments.
To get started, sign up for an account at ProtonMail.com and then send your email to: SMHinvestigations@protonmail.com
Sending physical material
Sending papers, USB drives, or other physical media by mail can be a reasonably secure way to deliver information to us. If you are worried about mail being intercepted or getting lost in transit, you can drop it in person at our street address.
Please send to:
The Sydney Morning Herald, Level 6, 1 Denison Street, North Sydney, NSW, 2060
We recommend you use a public mailbox rather than going into a post office.
Drop documents in unsigned envelopes between 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday, at our street address at 1 Denison Street, North Sydney, with attention to a specific journalist or to the Herald investigations team.
Include in the package your Signal, WhatsApp or Protonmail address for return communication. For extra security, do not bring your phone to the drop-off, as “pings” off phone towers can help identify your location at any given time.
Protecting your identity
Some tips to further protect your identity:
- Make new user accounts separate from the ones you normally use.
- Clean up or delete browsing history and other traceable behaviour.
- Do not contact us from work. Most corporate and government networks log traffic. Even if you are using Tor, being the only Tor user at work could make you stand out.
- Do not email us, call us, or contact us on social media.
- Do not tell anyone you are a source.