THE SECOND PILLAR OF ELI’S WORK IS WHISTLEBLOWING APPLIED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME
WILDLEAKS: THE WORLD’S FIRST ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME WHISTLEBLOWING INITIATIVE
Earth League International, 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 we launched WildLeaks, the world’s first whistleblower 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 space so that people with information can share that information without taking personal risks, particularly in highly corrupt countries.
Since its launch, WildLeaks, one of the most innovative initiatives ever launched to fight environmental crime, received hundreds of confidential submissions, generated various investigations, and shared dozens of confidential reports with other NGOs or law enforcement agencies.
All information is assessed and validated in a very scrupulous manner, including the use of intelligence methodologies, a vast network of contacts, and the latest technologies. We also 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 anonymous system but also by managing and using the information professionally.
WildLeaks, in collaboration with the Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, has implemented a secure online anonymous submission platform built on the Tor technology in order to allow users to stay anonymous and to submit ‘sensitive information’ as securely as possible, always encrypted, in respect to data transmission and management.
WildLeaks is not just a passive platform. It is an extremely pro-active initiative with a solid investigative component and information gathering assets in target countries. 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 environmental to justice.
POSSIBLE MONETARY REWARDS FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
If you have confidential information regarding environmental/wildlife crime, you may be entitled to a monetary reward from the U.S. government. Various laws in the U.S., such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Lacey Act, include reward conditions that direct certain government departments, like the Fish and Wildlife Service, to pay individuals who provide information that leads to successful enforcement action.
Under those laws, we strongly recommend coming to us as we can act as an intermediary between the person with information and the US government, thus protecting the source’s identity and at the same time collecting the monetary reward for him/her. This includes also hiring a US attorney to follow the case and obtain the monetary reward. In other words, WildLeaks and Earth League International will assist you through the process while ensuring total confidentiality. Click here for more information.
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, all of whom consider WildLeaks a pioneer in applying whistleblowing to environmental crime:
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/
“Wildlife crimes very often go undetected and unchallenged when people do not speak up about them” said Mr. Andrea Crosta, Founder & Project Leader of WildLeaks and Co-Founder of Earth League International, “and whistleblowers can play a crucial role in fighting back, creating awareness and supporting justice“.