Always try to speak with your source about classified information in person. Phone conversations can easily be intercepted by a third party, so avoid confidential topics at all costs. Popular services like Skype do not guarantee end-to-end encryption. And even tools like WhatsApp, Wire or Signal encrypt phone calls between two devices, they do not provide a 100 percent guarantee.
Once you have arranged a place to meet your source, leave your phone at home or shut it off and take out the battery to ensure the device is offline. Additionally, you can use a Faraday Cage Phone Case which blocks electromagnetic signals. The Edward Snowden method is to put the device in a refrigerator to guarantee privacy of a conversation.
Furthermore, you should limit the apps on your phone. Each time you install an app, it asks for access to specific functions, data or information on your device. It is therefore necessary to restrict apps’ permission when at all possible. Within the privacy settings, IOS and Android offer to disable the allowance. But bear in mind that the app will not work without the access permission.
Before starting downloading apps, briefing your sources or taking other security precautions think about conducting a security thread model. Jason Reich, Director of Global Security at BuzzFeed, explains in this video what the model is and how beneficial it can be in selecting the right security methods and tools.
In sum, the goal of this chapter was to underscore the importance of a secured working environment and to make clear that there will never be a 100 percent security during an investigation. The provided information shows how to contact your source safely and what should be considered before meeting with an informant. You are now prepared for the following investigative steps that will be outlined in the following chapters: how to find out about all the aspects of your investigation, how to ask your source the right questions at the meeting and which interviewing techniques are best for obtaining the information you need.