Tails is a live operating system that can started on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. Tails provides a platform to solve many surveillance problems by "doing the right thing" out of the box by default, protecting even less tech-savvy users from the most likely and highest impact risks.

It aims at preserving privacy and anonymity, and helps to:

  • use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;
  • leave no trace on the computer being used unless the user asks it explicitly;
  • use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt files, emails and instant messaging.

Journalists can use Tails to write articles, books and create movies. Journalists use Tails to chat off-the-record, browse the web anonmously and share sensitive documents. Many human rights defenders and journalists overseas depend on Tails to do their daily work, if not simply to stay alive.

Tails is about cooperation and innovation: all products are released as Free and Open Source Software, using current best practices as well as novel techniques, and shared with other projects whenever possible.

Tails has been around since 2009 and is run, on a mostly volunteer basis, by an international team. In October 2013, Tails was started and connected to the Internet around 6,100 times a day.

Project: An Incognito Operating System

Releasing Tails 1.0

The 1.0 milestone is usually an important symbolic milestone for free software projects. Tails is now four years old but we feel that some important features are missing before releasing 1.0.

With the help of Freedom of the Press Foundation donors, Tails will work on:

  • Completing the support for Tor bridges. Tor bridges are a crucial tool to circumvent censorship in places where the access to the Tor anonymity network is blocked. There is already a limited support for bridges in Tails but our goal is to make it available through a graphical interface, fix some technical issues, and improve the overall user experience to make it accessible to many more users.
  • Improve our end-user documentation. Tails has a strong commitment to writing good documentation because we believe that a piece of software is of no use if people are not explained what it does and how to use it. This work will clarify some general ideas and misconceptions about Tails.
  • Do the release work. Due to our high quality requirements, every release of Tails represents an important amount of work that includes peer review work and comprehensive testing of the ISO to make sure each release works as expected.
  • Advocate Tails 1.0 to people who need it. The release of Tails 1.0 will be a great opportunity to do media work targeting journalists and human right defenders.