WILDLEAKS IS THE WORLD’S FIRST WHISTLEBLOWING INITIATIVE DEDICATED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME
Earth League International – ELI (formerly Elephant Action League), while operating in the field, realized that a huge volume of key information about environmental crime is in the hands of untapped sources working and living around the world, both inside and outside criminal networks. Many of these potential sources were not willing, inspired, or incentivized to share information for many reasons, but primarily out of fear for their own personal security, as well as a lack of trust in local authorities.
In response to this realization, in 2014 ELI launched WildLeaks, the world’s first whistleblowing initiative dedicated to environmental crime. The Mission of the WildLeaks Project is to receive and evaluate anonymous information and tips regarding environmental/wildlife crime, and then transform those tips into concrete action, possible actionable intelligence that can be shared with others to fulfill this mission. ELI created a “safe space” online, built on the Tor technology, a secure and anonymous platform so that people with information can share that information without taking personal risks, particularly in highly corrupt countries.
The problem, until WildLeaks came into the picture, was that reporting environmental/wildlife crime, unlike reporting corporate crime for example, is extremely dangerous in many countries and whistleblowers may not know if they are dealing with corrupt authorities.
Whistleblowers can play an essential role in detecting and reporting environmental crimes, if properly protected. One way to protect them is to provide a system through which they can securely and anonymously send information to an entity that is outside the country, like WildLeaks, thus not sensitive to political pressure or the illegal use of force. In the first 6 years of operations, despite being almost unknown, WildLeaks received hundreds of submissions from many countries around the world, including from the United States, Brazil, Suriname, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa, Liberia, Nigeria, Lebanon, India, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Laos, Russia and Finland.
Managed entirely by Earth League International, WildLeaks enjoys the collaboration of partners around the world, including environmental organizations, media and other experienced professionals. The project is always open to new partnership opportunities. We invite organizations and individuals involved in fighting environmental crime, and the media, to contact us if they wish to be partner with us.
In order to fulfill the Mission of WildLeaks and widen the potential impact, we have signed agreements with leading organizations in the world working with whistleblowers:
Whistleblowing International Network (WIN) – Scotland https://whistleblowingnetwork.org/
National Whistleblower Center (NWC) – United States https://www.whistleblowers.org/
Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights – Italy https://www.hermescenter.org/
How We Work
Our first priority is to facilitate the identification, arrest, and prosecution of criminals, traffickers, businessmen, and corrupt government officials behind environmental crime, including the poaching of endangered species, the trafficking of wildlife and forest products, illegal logging and illegal/unregulated fishing.
After we received and assess a leak/lead, possible actions include:
a) Begin or continue an investigation with our teams and/or in collaboration with trusted partners
b) Share the information with trusted contacts within selected law enforcement agencies
c) Share the information with media partners
Experts on environmental crime, investigative reporters, scientists and former law enforcement officers evaluate documents and tips provided to WildLeaks. Each submission is evaluated and validated in a very scrupulous way. In order to assess the information and decide what to do, WildLeaks uses intelligence methodologies, a vast network of contacts, and various technologies.
It is important to notice that Earth League International and WildLeaks do not release unfiltered data and information onto the web and do not pander to media headlines. Instead, information received through WildLeaks is used to facilitate action in the field by both NGOs and governmental agencies first and foremost.
Specifically, we review, evaluate, and filter all information received through WildLeaks before releasing any of the data to outside parties. In many instances, the leaks provide us with enough information to begin a field investigation, in which case the data may not be released to the public at all until the investigation is complete. Instead, the information is only shared with applicable law enforcement agencies and other NGOs for immediate action on the ground. Unlike other ‘leaks’ organizations, at WildLeaks, we view non-corrupt, assertive law enforcement agencies as our partners, not our enemies, and work with these agencies to bring criminals to justice.
We put a significant amount of effort into protecting the people who choose to send us information, not only by providing a state-of-the-art secure system, but also by managing and using that information in the correct way.
WildLeaks has implemented a very secure online platform in order to allow the sources to stay anonymous and to submit ‘sensitive’ information in the most secure way possible, always encrypted, in respect to data transmission and management. We strongly recommend that you read our data management and editorial policies before submitting any information.