Alexis Madrigal
The Atlantic
May 5, 2011

Once upon a time, WikiLeaks was just a place where a would-be whistleblower could submit documents that he or she wanted the world to see. They provided a technologically secure channel and promised anonymity. The site was phenomenally successful in this early iteration and received thousands of important documents about governments around the world.

As WikiLeaks grew more popular — and began its extended series of document dumps and collaborations around files presumably received from Bradley Manning — journalists began to wonder aloud, “Why didn’t we build this thing?” Indeed, in its purest form, WikiLeaks was simply another way of gathering leaks and tips, long a major part of any reporter’s job. And several news outlets have been rumored to be building WikiLeaks-like portals. Al Jazeera’s is even already up and running, having launched in January.

Now, about five months after WikiLeaks began releasing thousands of State Department documents, the Wall Street Journal has unveiled SafeHouse, a secure uploading system for sending “newsworthy contracts, correspondence, emails, financial records or databases” to the WSJ.

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