Application of Distributed Systems in Whistleblowing A feasibility study of a decentralized whistleblowing platform

Habbabeh, Ali, 2020

Type of Thesis Master Thesis
Supervisor Asprion, Petra
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Whistleblowing is an effective tool to fight corruption and expose wrongdoing in governments and corporations. Insiders who are willing to come forward and report misconduct, called whistleblowers, often seek to reach a recipient who can disseminate the relevant information to the public. However, whistleblowers face many challenges to protect themselves from retaliation when using the existing centralized whistleblowing platforms. This study discusses several associated risks of whistleblowing when using the existing centralized whistleblowing platforms. Then, this study proposes an alternative, decentralized, software-based solution to mitigate these risks. Following the Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM), this study presents a prototype of a whistleblowing platform in which whistleblowers can share their disclosures anonymously in a marketplace-like manner. The developed prototype consists of a combination of distributed systems, namely Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Distributed File Synchronization and Sharing (DFSS), and Distributed Domain Name systems (DDNS). Client-side encryption was utilized to secure the communication between the whistleblowers and third parties. Domain experts then evaluated this prototype and confirmed that the prototype fulfills the requirements to mitigate the risks of whistleblowing compared to the existing platforms. Simultaneously, one expert held concerns about the selected public blockchain, namely Ethereum, and recommended the use of more privacy-preserving blockchains.
Studyprogram: Business Information Systems (Master)
Confidentiality: öffentlich
Type of Thesis
Master Thesis
Habbabeh, Ali
Asprion, Petra
Publication Year
Thesis Language
Business Information Systems (Master)