Contact Instructions - Signal

Signal

Signal is an encrypted communications app that allows for reasonably secure communication. You can download Signal on a mobile device app store. Messages sent on Signal are not anonymous when the app is downloaded on a mobile device with a phone number that is connected with your identity.

If your information is highly sensitive or you have concerns about your anonymity DO NOT CONTACT US ON SIGNAL, instead follow our instructions for SecureDrop.


Caveats

Signal is reasonably secure. But it will not protect you if:

  • You are already being followed or surveilled
  • Your computer is already compromised

If you have reason to believe either of these things is true, then consider following our instructions and contact us on SecureDrop.

Alternatively, use the device of a trusted friend to make initial contact or buy a new smartphone device in cash and use that device and a phone number new to you to install Signal and contact us.


Written retainer required

If we decide to proceed with your case, we will notify you with instructions on how to sign a written retainer. Regardless of our initial communications, you are not our client, and we do not represent you, unless and until you have signed a written, signed, paper hard copy retainer agreement provided by us.

If you have not signed a written, paper hard copy retainer agreement you received from Whistleblower Aid, then Whistleblower Aid does not represent you, and you are not Whistleblower Aid’s client.

Before you can sign a written retainer with us, we will require proof of your name and identity (although this information is not required in your first message). Regardless of whether we accept you as an actual client, all your communications with us are privileged communications and entitled to legal protection.

Sending your message

Precisely follow the detailed steps below to contact Whistleblower Aid. There is always risk in any online communication, but we feel comfortable recommending this method for less sensitive cases and concerns.

  • Do NOT use a device owned by the government or your employer. Do NOT use a Wi-Fi network that is associated with the government or your employer.
  • If you have concerns about the integrity of the networks you use, we recommend installing a trustworthy VPN service on your device before reaching out. We trust the folks at Mullvad to treat traffic properly.
  • DO NOT include classified information or documents in your messages or attachments.
  • The number will not be screened for Signal calls, the best way to initiate communication is with a message.
  • Signal allows conversations to be set for regular disappearing messages. Before you begin sending messages we recommend you set messages to disappear after one week. This clock does not start until we have opened and “seen” your message.

Our number on Signal will only work and respond to messages sent using the Signal app. Do NOT try to communicate with our intake number using regular SMS messaging or other service. We won’t receive it and it may create a digital record.

To message us on Signal, download the Signal app and send a message to:

+1 201-773-1371

See below for what to include in your initial message.


Signal Attachments

Signal can receive attachments. This functionality is amplified if you connect your mobile Signal app to Signal for Desktop. The use of attachments may help you share a succinct account of your claim. DO NOT attach documents or evidence that are classified or obtained illegally. Lawyers may not receive and possess such information. Anything that appears classified or illegally obtained will be deleted immediately.

Include in your initial message:

Whistleblower complaints should include a claim of waste, fraud, abuse or illegality by a United States government agency or official. Please provide as much of the following information as possible:

  1. Please summarize the illegality or abuse, including dates and details in chronological order if you can. Which company, agency, official or entity is responsible for the wrongful acts? What is your employment position and how did you learn of this matter?
  2. To whom have you disclosed this information, if anyone? Please describe the substance of your disclosure(s) so that we may fully understand the sequence of events up to this point.
  3. Has your knowledge or report of this situation caused any retaliation or adverse action against you? If so, please include as much detail as possible and all relevant dates.
  4. Are you currently involved in any legal or administrative proceedings? Please describe what actions are ongoing and reasons for your involvement.
  5. You do not need to provide your name in your initial message to Whistleblower Aid. However, if you do not provide your name in your first message, you will be required to provide your name at some point before you may become our client by signing a retainer agreement. It is impossible for Whistleblower Aid to provide legal advice or representation to anyone without first verifying their identity.

Discretion & Disclaimers

We cannot accept every case, but we review each message carefully. Our decision about whether and on what terms to accept a case is entirely at our own discretion. We reserve the right to refuse any case or client. This website is for informational and advertising purposes only. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome for any other case. Information on this website does not constitute legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

When Whistleblower Aid chooses not to accept a case or client we will generally inform you within two weeks by return message. To protect the security and privacy of those who reach out to us we do not leave messages about cases we choose not to accept sitting around. Thirty days after we have sent you a notice saying we are not taking your case we will delete any messages you have sent us.