It was back in 2005, and we were a group of independent journalists catching up over a cup of coffee at our local café. The topic for discussion was a new governmental proposal that would require Internet service providers to log every online activity of their customers. I remember us laughing and joking about this, as it seemed so absurd to us. Surely no Western democracy would implement such a law? It felt more like something a former Eastern European state would do.
But then one of my friends suddenly said: “But what about this law becomes a reality? What would then happen to the “protection of sources” for whistle blowers who share confidential information with us journalists?”. We all went silent at the thought of this. Yes, what would happen with journalism, if all of our web surfing, and all of our emails, were to be logged and open to surveillance? No journalist would ever be able to do independent investigative research again. Journalism itself, as well as the democracy, would be in danger.
So was the idea of Hidden24.co.uk born – a service that initially only was open for journalists. From that point we have grown into a service for all those who want to shield their integrity and anonymity online – and ultimately for those who care about the democratic values of a free and open society.