Open letter to the adfraud whistleblower

Dear adfraud whistleblower,

First of all, I respect you a lot for wanting to do the right thing.

Posting the information that you did, where you did, is a dangerous way to do it.

As you pointed out in your posts, you are risking your job and risking physical harm.

But you're also risking a complex legal case, where you as an individual could be accused of all kinds of crimes. Your complaints against the web of companies that you know about would be forgotten, and you would have to carry out a costly legal defense. Most of the companies you mention are in good standing in the adtech industry. You'll be coming in looking like an employee accused of wrongdoing and making up stuff.

And, if half of what you're saying is true, you know how quickly they can delete information or move it to a new "clean" company.

If you're really motivated to bring these guys down—and that's something that only you can decide—there is a better way.

You can send documents to a trustworthy reporter who knows Internet security issues. Look for someone whose writing about complex technology doesn't make you facepalm, and who has either put up a personal PGP key or writes for a company that's on the SecureDrop Directory.

You shouldn't contact me, since it's just one more opportunity for someone to mess up. The best way is to do some reading and see who knows the malware/adtech business and can receive documents securely.

Regulatory action follows "viral" news stories, not the other way around. We all know that regulators are relatively uninterested in adfraud, but you have a story that can change people's minds.

The "tl;dr" of all this is "delete your account" but please don't take it that way. Again, much respect and stay safe.


UPDATE: Twitter thread

Don Marti · #