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authorsajolida <>2019-12-07 22:38:52 +0000
committersajolida <>2019-12-07 22:38:52 +0000
commitb03ac2ea5cc93e62a9b2bf957a2c81badda8daa4 (patch)
parent5810bc833941a8f22d6eea6c6eaac6ff686f7d17 (diff)
Publish interview with R (#17108)
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List of interviews
+<a id="roberto"></a>
+Roberto, October 2019
+Roberto is a journalist and works for an organization that does investigative
+journalism. I'm in charge of being the first filter for the information that
+arrives on *Leaks*, which is an alliance of news rooms across the country.
+[[Read the interview with Roberto|interviews/roberto]]
<a id="bea"></a>
Bea, August 2018
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+[[!meta title="Roberto, October 2019"]]
+Tails: Tell me more about your work and *Leaks*.
+Roberto: I'm a journalist and I work for an organization that does
+investigative journalism. I'm in charge of being the first filter for
+the information that arrives on *Leaks*.
+*Leaks* is an alliance of news rooms across the country. It relies on
+cybersecurity tools such as a leaking platform to protect its sources.
+The news rooms in the alliance are very diverse, which is a strength
+because different organizations will be interested in different leaks.
+The leaks could be about a court case, a public servant, or an
+environmental issue.
+*Leaks* is based on GlobaLeaks. When you submit a leak, you describe
+briefly what your leak is about and you can choose to send it to all the
+news rooms in the alliance or to some news rooms only.
+Recently, we enlarged the alliance to include a network of journalists
+that are working all across the country. When we started the alliance in
+2015, it was very hard to include organizations based outside of the
+capital town because of the technical burden that it represents.
+T: Your organization seems to have a lot of technical staff, are you in
+a privileged position in comparison with other news rooms?
+R: There is a big lack of technical education among the journalists in
+the country, especially among the ones outside of the capital town. My
+organization is extremely privileged in this regard. Because technology
+is a strong strategic line in the organization, because we have some
+technical staff, and because we're in the capital town. Being in the
+capital town makes it easier for us to get more resources but also to
+work with the best people.
+For example, my position is full time but, usually, journalists across
+the country work as freelance. It's very hard for them to make a living
+and they don't have the time to care much about the technology. In our
+country, only 2/3 of the population has access to the Internet.
+Even for small news rooms, it's very hard to have technical people in
+their staff like we have in our organization. If I change job tomorrow,
+I'll know how to use all these tools but I'll go back to working on
+Windows with them.
+T: How does the communication between the different news rooms work?
+R: We work as an assembly. I'm responsible for checking the platform
+every week. First, I enter GlobaLeaks using Tails. Then, I send a brief
+on Signal about what could be investigated. We sometimes have in-person
+meetings or use other communication channels.
+T: So you check the platform once a week. How does it go?
+R: I open Tails. I hate it!
+Once a week, I put my other investigations aside and check the platform
+religiously. We have a dedicated computer that we only use for this, to
+lower the security risk.
+I start Tails from a pendrive, start a session, enter in the archive
+through Tor, and export all the new information. The new files are
+marked as such on the platform; I download them to the persistent memory
+and archive them.
+There's one other news room that uses Tails but none of the other ones.
+The complexity that it implies makes it impractical for them. It's a
+heavy system.
+Some of the downloads are 3 times the size of the pendrive for example.
+Sometimes we receive videos that are 1 hour long. Sometimes I even have
+to leave the computer running after office hours to download everything.
+Then I have to stay in the office because I cannot resume the process.
+T: Could it be a problem of GlobaLeaks if you cannot resume the process?
+R: If I pause the process, I risk corrupting the files so I need to have
+a full day ahead. Once I downloaded the files, I also have to clean the
+metadata in order to clean any identifying information before moving
+them out of this computer.
+Security costs time and training but it's very important to take good
+care of the files. It's not great but it's how it is and I'm not sure
+how we could improve things as of now. It takes me a whole day but then
+I'm sure that the information is safe.
+T: You also talked about decrypting the files, which of downloading and
+decrypting takes more time?
+Downloading is super slow. It can take 10 minutes to download a photo of
+8 MB. We tried using a USB 3.1 but the computer doesn't support that.
+Internet is usually fast here. It takes a lot of time to connect to Tor.
+It has a problem with the clock. It takes 10 minutes before you can do
+Our hypothesis is that the computer recommended by GlobaLeaks is bad.
+My life is called "patience".
+T: Let's do some tests! The USB is Kingston. It takes 3:30 minutes to
+get to *Tails Greeter*, 5 seconds to unlock the Persistence, 50 to open
+the desktop, 7 connect to the Wi-Fi, 30 to connect to Tor, more than 1
+minute to open *Tor Browser*. It seems like it's a problem with the
+computer indeed.
+T: Why don't you use Tails to communicate with the other news rooms?
+R: We use communication channels that existed before. In-person meetings
+are unquestionable. We also use Ubuntu and encrypted emails. After
+cleaning the metadata, the leaker is not at risk anymore and we use more
+usual and efficient tools to communicate.
+T: What happens when you run out of space?
+R: We have backups hidden somewhere. We install Tails on another
+T: Who's doing these maintenance operations on the Tails pendrive?
+R: I send an email to the technical staff that deals with all the
+technicalities. I couldn't do it myself. I don't have the skills. Maybe
+I could learn; that would be ideal. I start to understand some of the
+processes but it's still too complicated for me.
+T: What are the things that you could do on your own and the things that
+make you call the technical staff?
+More than anything, they are upgrades constantly. Sometimes it takes us
+a whole day to do an upgrade and then there's another one the week
+after. I could do some parts of it but not everything.
+Each time there's a upgrade we have to do a backup, I'm not sure if
+that's for security or for technical reasons. GlobaLeaks also have
+expiring GPG keys and we have to make sure that the GPG keys match or
+otherwise I could loose files.
+T: What would you like to change in Tails if you could?
+R: I find the menu system cumbersome. I lack something more intuitive
+like the application bar in Ubuntu, like in Apple. It's complicated to
+access the right application with the touchpad as it sometimes jumps
+from one menu to the other. Sometimes I use a mouse because it's more
+T: *I open the Activities overview*. Have you seen this screen before?
+R: No. It's like a multitask screen. But it's an application that will
+disappear so I don't think that's is a good solution. It's still 1 extra
+T: What else takes do you think could be simpler?
+R: Choosing the network. I don't like it in Ubuntu either. You need 5
+clicks to choose a Wi-Fi network. In macOS you get the list of networks
+straight away and you're done with 2 clicks instead of 5. The less
+clicks, the better.
+T: What applications do you use in Tails?
+R: I like KeePass a lot. I didn't know it before working here but now I
+even have it on my Macs. It became irreplaceable.
+T: *I open the System Monitor to check the network speed.*
+R: This is very useful! At least you know whether it's stuck or not.
+T: We downloaded 30 MB in 1:30 min. I think that your problem is with
+the computer, not the network.
+R: Maybe I'm so pissed off that I always blame the computer.
+T: We have a help desk with someone who speaks Spanish.
+R: It would be useful to have their contact.