Do you have something you want to share with the Midwest Center?
Is there a story you think we’re missing? Is there a dataset you think we should request? Or do you want to provide us with documents?
We try very hard to not use any anonymous information in our stories, but these kinds of tips can point us in the right direction — to datasets or documents that haven’t seen the light of day, or to just more reporting in general.
None of the methods below are foolproof, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
ProtonMail is a fully encrypted email service based in Switzerland, so it automatically encrypts all messages from one ProtonMail account to another. Setting up an account is easy. For more security, set up an account with a computer you don’t own, such as one at a local library.
Our ProtonMail account: MidwestCenter@protonmail.com
Signal is a free app for iPhone and Android providing end-to-end encryption for text messages and phone calls. It does not collect metadata about who you are messaging. It only keeps records of your phone number, when you first started using the app and the last time you used the app.
Direct Message our reporters on Twitter to get their Signal numbers:
@skychadde or @madimcvan
For more protection, enter our number in the app directly and do not add it to your contacts.
Using Signal does reveal your number to the Midwest Center. If you’re concerned about that, consider using a Google Voice number to communicate with us. Or purchase a cheap “burner” smartphone with a prepaid plan and pay in cash so it’s not connected to you in any way.
Alternatively, you can use Whatsapp to contact us. DM reporters for that, as well.
It’s low-tech, but it’s often the best way to send us something securely. You can send us tips, paper documents, or thumb drives with digital files.
Do NOT include a return address on the envelope or package. And use a sidewalk mailbox you don’t usually use away from places you frequent. Also, don’t mail anything from your home, your company or agency mailroom, or a post office.
Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
701 Devonshire Dr., C-33
Champaign, IL 61820