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How To [Read/Tip Off] Zero Hedge Without Attracting The Interest Of [Human Resources/The Treasury/Black Helicopters]





 

As of this writing we know of two individuals who have been confronted by the Human Resources group of their employers, both financial institutions, in connection with their reading Zero Hedge or emailing the Zero Hedge team.  In one of these cases said individual was summarily terminated after an investigation.

We must be doing something right.

We would, however, prefer that we found out about our impact in a manner that does not involve the termination of our readers.  Given this, it seems prudent to make some suggestions about contacting the Zero Hedge team.

1.  Don't email us directly from work.

Somewhere out there, there is a log with your address and ours on it.  If your employer is likely to peruse such things (pretty much guaranteed if you work at a financial institution) you might be in for a bit of scrutiny.  Don't play that game.

2.  Use encrypted webmail.

If you must email from work, after being sure you aren't violating your employer's network usage policies, use a good webmail provider that allows SSL encrypted browsing.  We are quite fond of hushmail.com, but your mileage may vary.

3.  Consider not using any of your employer's resources when contacting us (or your lawyer for that matter).

Yes, we want to hear from you yesterday.  Yes, we can probably wait until later tonight.  Consider the sad tale of Maria Stengart as outlined in Stengart v. Loving Care:

Before Maria Stengart resigned and sued Loving Care, her employer, she e-mailed her lawyer through her personal web-based account from her company-issued computer with Loving Care’s Internet access. With the help of a computer forensic expert, Loving Care was able to recover temporary files stored on the hard drive of the company-issued computer which contained copies of Stengart’s attorney-client communications. (Employers should note that many web-based e-mail applications leave such temporary files on the hard drive of the sender’s computer).

When Stengart discovered that Loving Care’s lawyers planned to use her e-mail in the litigation, she objected. The trial court was asked to decide whether the e-mail, sent during work hours on a company laptop, was protected by the attorney-client privilege. The court held that it was not.

Key to the decision was the following company policy: “[I]nternet use and communication . . . are considered part of the company’s business and client records. Such communications are not to be considered private or personal to any individual employee.” Put another way, Loving Care told its employees that their Internet use is not private. Stengart’s Internet-based e-mail fell squarely within the policy. As a result, she could not claim the e-mail was protected by attorney-client privilege.

If this isn't enough, remember that if you are using your employer's hardware you have no idea what sort of snooping services they have installed for you.

4.  Use robust end-to-end encryption.

We like PGP and have taken great pains to make it easy to email us securely.  In particular, our PGP keys are attached below.  Please note: Tyler Durden and only Tyler Durden can decrypt traffic encrypted to the "tips@zerohedge.com" key.  If you want Marla snooping into your mail you have to use her key too.

PGP is certainly not perfect, but it significantly raises the bar for security and permits our readers to forward sensitive information to us using strong encryption.  Information security is a complex a multi-layered art.  No solution is absolutely secure, but we have tried to avoid making any obvious mistakes.

Our PGP keys were generated and are held on FIPS 140-1 compliant tokens and we use irritatingly long passwords.  Our mail servers support opportunistic TLS for SMTP and and we religiously use encrypted connections to access them with our clients.  Of course, we can't vouch for the hops in-between, but we hope not to be the weak link in the chain.

We have also taken pains to avoid litigation prone jurisdictions in placing our hardware and data assets.

5.  Use proxies.

For some strange reason, a number of employers, and even a country or two, don't feel that our content is appropriate for consumption by their employees/subjects.  They are, therefore, prone to block our humble website.  In this connection you may find Boing Boing's Guide to Defeating Censorware useful.

 

6.  Consider a secure chat client.

We use OTR to encrypt our instant messaging traffic.  You should too.  To this end, Marla can be reached via AIM: marla@zerohedge.com

 

A small dose of caution and a bit of prudence is about all it takes to avoid the more dire consequences of working for overbearing employers, or living in overbearing jurisdictions.  We want you to keep reading.  Be careful.

 

PGP Keys:

Tyler:

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Marla:

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