At The Times of Toronto, we're strongly committed to publishing stories based on confidential material when it's newsworthy and serves the public interest. And, throughout our short, year-long history, we've acknowledged that whistleblowing is vital to holding powerful institutions accountable.
Whether you work for the public or the private sector, if you've become aware of any behaviour that you believe is unethical, illegal, or damaging to the public interest, consider sharing your information securely with us.
Our reporters, across all departments, work closely with internet security specialists on our most sensitive stories to minimize the risk of exposure of our sources. Below, in some detail, are guidelines for whistleblowers seeking to communicate with The Times' reporters. When choosing what method to use, make note of your personal circumstances, the type of information you're deciding to share with us, and the level of risk it entails on revealing compromising details about your identity, since no method is completely secure.
Using Signal to reach us is fairly easy, as we've outlined below, but make to sure to lock down your phone and make sure what happens in your Signal app is more private, by following this guide by our friends at the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Open the Signal app and tap the pen icon – in the top-right on iOS, in the bottom-right on Android – to share a new message. Type our phone number in the search box, (647) 568-2074, then, from there, you can send us an encrypted Signal message.
If you use your phone to send us a message or call us on Signal, we'll learn your phone number. It's always better for our reporting process to know a source's identity, but we can agree to keep it confidential, if requested. And the Signal service will also know that you've contacted us, but they promise to never log this metadata.
If you've got no reason to be concerned about anyone knowing that you're a source, you can reach our journalists by email, either by contacting a reporter individually or submitting tips at email@example.com.
Concerned about unencrypted email? You're always free to send your email using PGP encryption – and, please note, every journalist's PGP public key is listed on their staff profile page – but keep in mind that metadata will be created by your communication with us, in the form of email "subject" information, because your email server will likely record the exchange.
If you don't wish to engage in back-and-forth communication with us, you can choose to send us your information via postal mail.
Keep in mind that, according to an antiquated law, Canada Post is barred from searching the mail. And, unfortunately, this quirk in the law has been exploited, but it does protect your news tip from being seized by law enforcement. However, there are exceptions to this, including if law enforcement, coupled with the help of Canada Post inspectors, identify a suspicious package that's leaking or has a smell.
And, around the world, certain postal services can – and will – monitor the packaging of everything sent through the post system, including the location from which you send your parcel, and it might include a sample of your handwriting. If law enforcement searches your parcel before it reaches us, they'll be able to see whatever you're sending, which could include your fingerprints, as well as tracking information embedded in documents, such as printer tracking dots, so it's in your best interest to ensure you understand this.
Send letters or packages to:
Viktor A. Elias
c/o The Times of Toronto
PO BOX 99900 UL 740 010
TORONTO ON M4P 0B4
When sending mail to us, please ensure that your package or letter isn't sent from a location that can easily identify yourself – and, as such, please avoid sending it from home, work or a local post office – and don't attach a return address, but you're always free to include your Signal phone number, if you'd like to continue communicating with our journalists.