It seems that would-be whistleblowers and journalists seeking to reveal government information should immediately avoid almost all forms of digital and phone contact — including taking their mobile phone to any physical meetings — in favour of old-fashioned letters if they want to avoid being convicted under national security legislation. The metadata issue seems to be getting traction because of this year’s changes to the law which now require such metadata to be stored for two years. And even though we’re told the new laws tighten just who can now access this sensitive data, the estimate is that about 2500 bureaucrats will still be able to sign off on accessing metadata – without a court warrant.
Some say metadata is killing investigative journalism. The use of free encrypted messaging apps has become increasingly popular to install on your phone or computer. The guarantee is that it has no metadata – it stores no data on its users at all, and it has a built in file shredder that erases all communications after a set time, normally one day. Edward Snowden used TOR to send the NSA’s secrets to the Washington Post and Guardian newspapers.