Whistleblowers, Edward Snowden

Protecting Whistleblowers To Ensure Transparency and Accountability

In a world where exposing corporate wrongdoing or government misconduct often comes at a high personal cost, whistleblowers play a crucial role in upholding transparency and accountability. However, these brave individuals often face retaliation, harassment, and even imprisonment for their actions. This is where the Sarcophagus Dead Man's Switch (DMS) emerges as a powerful tool to protect whistleblowers and ensure that their voices are not silenced.

The Sarcophagus DMS is a decentralized application that allows individuals to store encrypted data and set a trigger date for its release. If the user fails to check in by the specified date, the data is automatically released to a designated recipient or to the public. This mechanism can be used by whistleblowers to safeguard sensitive information, ensuring that it comes to light even if they are silenced or prevented from doing so themselves.

Throughout history, whistleblowers have faced immense challenges and risks in exposing wrongdoing and need a way to protect themselves, and the information they carry.

  • Edward Snowden: The former NSA contractor who leaked classified documents revealing mass surveillance programs was forced to seek asylum in Russia.
  • Julian Assange: The founder of WikiLeaks, who published sensitive documents exposing government and corporate misconduct and is currently in prison.
  • John McAfee: The antivirus software pioneer became a vocal critic of corruption and government overreach. He died under mysterious circumstances in a jail cell in Spain during his extradition trial, and rumors have spread about a secret Dead Man’s Switch he may have created.
  • W. Mark Felt (Deep Throat) - The FBI associate director in the 1970’s who secretly served as the anonymous source "Deep Throat" for Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during their investigation of the Watergate scandal.

In the corporate realm, employees who uncover unethical or illegal practices within their organizations may also come under threat or be pressured to remain silent. A possible example of one of these cases is Karen Silkwood.

karen silkwood

Each of these mentioned instances illustrates a time when Sarcophagus could have given these individuals leverage to help protect themselves against harm, censorship, and persecution.

Note: While the Sarcophagus DMS may not have existed in its current form at the time of these examples, the underlying concept and functionality would have been equally effective in the given situations.

Sarcophagus has several key features for whistleblowers seeking to protect themselves and their information:

Privacy Via Encryption - Data stored in a Sarcophagus is fully encrypted, and only available to the designated recipient for decryption when released.

Censorship Protection & Immutable Delivery - The Dead Man's Switch function and its associated data are immutably stored and executed on the blockchain. Data is stored on Arweave where it is permanent and cannot be tampered with, altered, or deleted. The DMS is executed by smart contracts and a decentralized node network, with no single point of failure or interference to stop the data delivery.

Personal Security Leverage - Often times whistleblowers and investigators come under threat, and have even been killed to stop the release of information they carry. In this scenario, Sarcophagus offers leverage to these individuals that if they are harmed or removed from control, the information is still made public. This automatic release may also prevent harm from befalling the individual.

Confiscation Security & Recovery - Whistleblowers and journalists alike often carry data that can bring them under serious scrutiny, or even be confiscated from their devices. By storing this data encrypted on-chain, it can be removed from devices and recovered later when it is safe to do so again.

The Sarcophagus Dead Man's Switch serves as a powerful tool for protecting whistleblowers and ensuring that their revelations are not silenced. By providing a secure and decentralized platform for storing sensitive data and guaranteeing its release under specified conditions, the Sarcophagus DMS empowers whistleblowers to uphold transparency and accountability, even in the face of immense personal risk. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and reliant on digital communication, the Sarcophagus DMS has the potential to play a vital role in safeguarding the voices of those who dare to speak truth against power.


St. Francis Law School: https://stfrancislaw.com/blog/10-most-famous-whistleblowers/

US Asked British Spy Agency To Stop Guardian Publishing Snowden Revelations: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/31/edward-snowden-nsa-gchq-guardian-book

The Guardian View On Julian Assange’s Extradition: A Bad Day For Journalism: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/17/the-guardian-view-on-julian-assanges-extradition-a-bad-day-for-journalism

John McAfee 'Q' Instagram Post Sparks Dead Man's Switch Conspiracy: https://www.newsweek.com/john-mcafee-suicide-q-instagram-dead-mans-switch-1603638#:~:

Wikipedia Pages

Edward Snowden: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

Julian Assange: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange

John McAfee: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McAfee

Karen Silkwood: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Silkwood