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Filecoin award $5M grant to Freedom of the Press Foundation

The Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) has awarded a $5.8 million grant to the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF). The FPF will use the grant – by far the largest the organization has ever received – to leverage the decentralized web to enhance free speech for journalists. 

The money will drive efforts to protect public-interest journalism by helping the FPF improve its infrastructure, user experience, and security enhancements for tools used by journalists around the globe. 

Specifically, FPF will use the grant to develop a completely new, enhanced version of their SecureDrop tool that features a zero-trust security architecture. SecureDrop is an open-source news and information submission system employed by the New York Times, Washington Post and other major newsrooms. It enables anonymous sources to share documents and communicate safely with investigative reporters using decentralized, blockchain-based technology.

“Our mission is to permanently preserve humanity’s most important information,” said Marta Belcher, board chair of the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web. “FPF’s efforts are a natural fit for collaboration.”

In addition to helping upgrade SecureDrop, FPF will leverage its collaboration with FFDW to support several other efforts critical to safeguarding free speech, a free press, and the preservation of critical information. Some of these projects include:

  • The FPF’s U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: The tracker provides exhaustive documentation of press freedom violations in the United States, including arrests and assaults of journalists, denials of access, surveillance orders and much more. Every year, FPF will publish all of the tracker’s data on the decentralized web in order to preserve it for future generations.
  • Preservation of FPF’s “Threatened Media Outlets” archive: FPF has created an archive comprised of backup versions of news websites that have been lost. FPF is exploring an effort to publish the full archive on the decentralized web, ensuring these outlets’ important reporting will be available and accessible indefinitely.
  • New privacy-conserving tools: FPF is also evaluating state-of-the-art privacy preserving tools within the decentralized web ecosystem that could provide network-level anonymity in decentralized web projects, in addition to its existing reliance on the Tor network.

“With this grant, by far the largest our organization has ever received, we’ll be able to speed the introduction of new upgrades and features to SecureDrop and spur its adoption worldwide,” said Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director Trevor Timm. “We’re also extremely excited to explore how the decentralized web can help further press freedom and transparency in the coming years.”

More on the Freedom of the Press Foundation here. More about FFDW’s grants program here.