TAILS is a free software project which preserves privacy and provides anonymity for Human Rights Defenders

TAILS is a free software project aiming at providing an out-of-the-box operating system which preserves privacy and provides anonymity to human rights defenders, journalists and all those who need to protect their communications, securely store data, circumvent censorship by using the Tor network without leaving a trace on the computer. Installed and started from a USB key, Tails discreetly fits into a pocket.

Usage by journalists, whistleblowers and human rights defenders

TAILS has been used by Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald for their revelations on mass surveillance by the NSA, but also by journalists, and human rights defenders in Pakistan, Turkey, and elsewhere.

Edward Snowden recently recalled the importance TAILS had for their work: «I’ve used TAILS for years. The journalists who broke the mass surveillance revelations all relied on it. Free, libre, and open source software projects quietly save the world every day, even when you can’t see it, and their success depends on your support.»

But TAILS is also used by a large number of activists that fight every day for human rights, all over the world. We have documented these uses in our article Who are you helping when donating to TAILS?. Among our users we can find journalists who want to protect themselves or their sources, human rights defense organizations in repressive contexts, democracy defenders facing dictatorships, citizens facing national emergencies but also domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers.

In an ongoing effort, we have also started to interview some of our users, people for whom we create Tails in the first place. These interviews are public and can be found here.
There, you’ll meet:

- Claudia and Felix, two reporters working in a journalists organization in Latin America. They investigate and report on issues such as human-rights violations, enforced disappearances, drug trafficking but always with a focus on the social impacts.
- Ray, a security consultant and trainer in Africa.
- Alex, a journalist working for a big news room in Western Europe. They have a partnership with a whistleblowing platform and when working on their documents they do everything from TAILS.

Usable digital security for everyone

Counting more than 20,000 boots per day, we’ve proved that TAILS is a reliable and successful tool that helps diverse people around the world to be safe online every day. However, the project has few financial means and relies on donations, grants and volunteer work for its development.

What we’ll do with your donations

Our yearly budget for maintenance and core work is about $220.000, which is not much when looking at the result.
This budget includes regular updates, our user support, the writing of our documentation [available in seven languages) and many other tasks.

As an example, we provide support channels to respond to our users’ questions, for free, in four languages. Our user support replies each month to hundreds of users and is financed out of donations.

Upcoming features

Our plans for 2018 are to integrate Veracrypt, to rethink and simplify the installation and upgrade process, the publication of TAILS Server, a tool which will allow launching anonymous and temporary services from within Tails, such as a chat server.

Make a gift to TAILS via the DuckDuckGo donation challenge

Until April 10th 2018, you can support us here.
For a donation of $75 or more, we offer you a T-Shirt.

Even if you don’t use TAILS yourself, your donation will help journalists, human rights defenders and other people in need to protect their privacy online.

We’d be happy to see you share our campaign within your social circles. Here is a sample text you could use:

I just donated to Tails because free, libre, and open sources software projects quietly save the world every day, even when you can’t see it, and their success depends on your support. Join me!

We’re always happy to reply to your ideas and listen to your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you!

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