Jacob Riggs

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Jacob Riggs
Jacob Riggs.jpg
Riggs in Berlin, 2020
Born (1989-11-17) November 17, 1989 (age 31)
Known forDeadswitch

Jacob Riggs is a British crypto-anarchist, ethical hacker, and security expert, best known as founder and director of Deadswitch, a dead man's switch designed to protect journalists, dissidents, and whistleblowers.[1]


In 2015, Riggs was the Chief Architect of CryptKey, a non-profit mobile application project focused on developing authentication tooling and secure communication channels compatible with implantable RFID technology.[2]

Over the course of 2016, Riggs contracted with various charities such as Age UK, Alzheimer's Society, and The Children's Society to help improve their security posture.[3] In 2016, Riggs also began work on Deadswitch,[4] a cloud based zero-knowledge dead man's switch service designed to protect journalists, dissidents, and whistleblowers.[5]

In 2017, Riggs founded Subject Access, a data privacy web-based platform centred on GDPR law to assist UK/EU citizens with exercising their right of access through the use of interactive user-friendly web forms. In the same year, he joined The Guardian as a security consultant and was quickly promoted to a senior security specialist responsible for managing the security, safety, and operational effectiveness of journalists and sources.

Political and economic views[edit]

Riggs claims an array of influences from anti-state and libertarian political thinkers, including leftist market anarchists like the mutualist scholar Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, capitalist libertarians such as the Austrian School scholar Hans-Herman Hoppe, and classical liberals including Frederic Bastiat.

Notable acts[edit]

On 21 October 2015, Riggs was credited with saving the life of a stab victim who had collapsed in the street with multiple stab-wounds to his left arm, chest and back.[6]

On 13 November 2019, during the course of his research as an ethical hacker, Riggs successfully identified and responsibly disclosed a critical vulnerability in the central UK Victim & Witness Care Unit database, which provided unrestricted access to data on thousands of vulnerable people. The vulnerability was fixed shortly thereafter by the UK National Cyber Security Centre.[7]


  1. ^ Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (29 October 2018). "How 'Mr. Hashtag' Helped Saudi Arabia Spy on Dissidents". Vice.
  2. ^ "Major projects report 2019: is the government on the right track to boost military capacity?". Civil Service World.
  3. ^ "Jacob Riggs, Security Specialist at Guardian News & Media". LinkedIn.
  4. ^ "Deadswitch: A mechanism that protects your data at all costs". Kickstarter.
  5. ^ "WikiLeaks 'dead man's switch'? Assange's arrest prompts speculation about possible major data dumps". RT (TV network).
  6. ^ Hakim, Seema. "Plaistow man rushes to help stabbing victim". Newham Recorder.
  7. ^ "Jacob Riggs on HackerOne". HackerOne.