Post Tagged with: "wikileaks"

Full Transcript Of Secret Meeting Between Wikileaks’ Julian Assange And Google Chairman Eric Schmidt

Full Transcript Of Secret Meeting Between Wikileaks’ Julian Assange And Google Chairman Eric Schmidt

Audio and transcript of a meeting between Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, from June 23, 2011.

Assange on why some countries censor speech more than others:

So you can have a lot of political change in the United States. But will it really change that much? Will it change the amount of money in someone’s bank account? Will it change contracts? Will it void contracts that already exist? And contracts on contracts, and contracts on contracts on contracts? Not really. So I say that free speech in many places – in many Western places – is free not as a result of liberal circumstances in the West but rather as a result of such intense fiscalization that it doesn’t matter what you say. ie. the dominant elite doesn’t have to be scared of what people think, because a change in political view is not going to change whether they own their company or not. It is not going to change whether they own a piece of land or not. But China is still a political society. Although it is radically heading towards a fiscalized society. And other societies, like Egypt was, are still heavily politicized. And so their rulers really do need to be concerned about what people think, and so they spend a portion of efforts on controlling freedom of speech.

About what gets censored first:

JA: Even the censors in China of the Public Security Bureau, people who work there. Why do they censor stuff and what do they censor first? I’ll tell you what they censor first? They censor first the thing that someone in the Politburo might see. That’s what they censor first. They are not actually concerned about darknets.

JC: Sorry, about?

JA: They are not concerned about darknets. Because their bosses can’t see what is on the darknet, and so they can’t be blamed for not censoring it. We had this fantastic case here in the UK, we had a whole bunch of classified documents from the UK military, and published a bunch. And then later on we did a sort of preemptive FOI which we do occasionally on various governments when we can. So we did it on the UK ministry of defense, just to see whether they were doing some investigation, sort of a source protection to understand what is going on. So we got back… first they pretended they were missing documents and we appealed and we got back a bunch of documents. And so it showed that someone in there had spotted that there was a bunch of UK military documents on our website. About their surveillance programme. Another two thousand page document about how to stop things leaking, and that the number one threat to the UK ministry was investigative journalists. So that had gone into some counterintelligence da da da da, and they had like, oh my good, it has hundreds of thousands of pages, and it is about all sorts of companies and it just keeps going, and it’s endless, it’s endless! Exclamation marks, you know, five exclamation marks. And that was like, okay, that is the discovery phase, now the what is to be done phase. What is to be done? BT has the contracts for the MoD. They told BT to censor us from them. So everyone in the UK MoD could no longer read what was on WikiLeaks. Problem solved!

On mainstream media:

Well, the way it is right now is there is very… first we must understand that the way it is right now is very bad. Friend of mine Greg Mitchell wrote a book about the mainstream media, So Wrong For So Long. And that’s basically it. That yes we have these heroic moments with Watergate and Bernstein and so on, but, come on, actually, it’s never been very good it’s always been very bad. And these fine journalists are an exception to the rule. And especially when you are involved in something yourself and you know every facet of it and you look to see what is reported by it in the mainstream press, and you can see naked lies after naked lies. You know that the journalist knows it’s a lie, it is not a simple mistake, and then simple mistakes, and then people repeating lies, and so on, that actually the condition of the mainstream press nowadays is so appalling I don’t think it can be reformed. I don’t think that is possible. I think it has to be eliminated, and replaced with something that is better.

See also: Julian Assange plans to develop new crypto system

April 27, 2013 0 comments
The State Of Leak Sites

The State Of Leak Sites

From Ars Technica:

WikiLeaks remains under a near financial blockade, its founder under effective house arrest after having been granted asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The group has yet to release anything as substantial as last year’s “Detainee Policies”—Balkanleaks remains one of the few “leaking sites” still going strong. Its recent insurance-key move comes precisely out of the WikiLeaks playbook.

More than two years ago, a flurry of new WikiLeaks clones sprung up around the world inspired by the world’s most famous transparency-driven organization. They had all kinds of names: QuebecLeaks, BaltiLeaks, EnviroLeaks, and more. PirateLeaks (based in the Czech Republic), BrusselsLeaks (Belgium) and RuLeaks (Russia) all did not respond to Ars’ requests for comments. [...]

So how does Balkanleaks thrive where others haven’t?

Tchobanov, the site’s co-founder, boils it down to one word: Tor. It’s the open-source online anonymizing tool that’s become the de facto gold standard for hiding one’s tracks online. Balkanleaks provides instructions in Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian, and English, and the submission website is only available on its Tor-enabled server.

Full Story: Ars Technica Whither whistleblowing: Where have all the leaking sites gone?

The article goes on to detail the state of some other projects, including OpenLeaks and GlobalLeaks.

March 13, 2013 1 comment
Cypherpunk Rising: WikiLeaks, Encryption, And The Coming Surveillance Dystopia

Cypherpunk Rising: WikiLeaks, Encryption, And The Coming Surveillance Dystopia

Cypherpunks

R.U. Sirius wrote:

If, in 1995, some cypherpunks had published a book about the upcoming “postmodern surveillance dystopia,” most commentators would have shrugged it off as just a wee bit paranoid and ushered them into the Philip K. Dick Reading Room. Now, it is more likely that people will shrug and say, “that ship has already sailed.”

Full Story: The Verge: Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia

March 7, 2013 0 comments
The Atlantic: Stratfor Was Always a Joke

The Atlantic: Stratfor Was Always a Joke

It’s clear now that, much like HBGary before it (see: Inside the World of Wannabe Cyberspooks for Hire) private security research firm Stratfor is a joke.

But according to The Atlantic International Editor Max Fisher, Stratfor was always a joke in the foreign policy community:

The group’s reputation among foreign policy writers, analysts, and practitioners is poor; they are considered a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight. As a former recipient of their “INTEL REPORTS” (I assume someone at Stratfor signed me up for a trial subscription, which appeared in my inbox unsolicited), what I found was typically some combination of publicly available information and bland “analysis” that had already appeared in the previous day’s New York Times. A friend who works in intelligence once joked that Stratfor is just The Economist a week later and several hundred times more expensive. As of 2001, a Stratfor subscription could cost up to $40,000 per year.

Fisher also chide Wikileaks for buying into Stratfor’s marketing hype:

It’s true that Stratfor employs on-the-ground researchers. They are not spies. On today’s Wikileaks release, one Middle East-based NGO worker noted on Twitter that when she met Stratfor’s man in Cairo, he spoke no Arabic, had never been to Egypt before, and had to ask her for directions to Tahrir Square. Stratfor also sometimes pays “sources” for information. Wikileaks calls this “secret cash bribes,” hints that this might violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and demands “political oversight.”

For comparison’s sake, The Atlantic often sends our agents into such dangerous locales as Iran or Syria. We call these men and women “reporters.” Much like Statfor’s agents, they collect intelligence, some of it secret, and then relay it back to us so that we may pass it on to our clients, whom we call “subscribers.” Also like Stratfor, The Atlantic sometimes issues “secret cash bribes” to on-the-ground sources, whom we call “freelance writers.” We also prefer to keep their cash bribes (“writer’s fees”) secret, and sometimes these sources are even anonymous.

The Atlantic: Stratfor Is a Joke and So Is Wikileaks for Taking It Seriously

I suppose much of that depends on whether these payments were made to, as Fisher suggests, freelance researchers/writers, or to, as Wikileaks implies, to government officials and employees. The Stratfor employee mentioned by that NGO worker may not be the only type of “informant” on the company’s pay role.

(via Alex Burns)

See also:

Inside the World of Wannabe Cyberspooks for Hire

Anonymous Publishes E-Mail Saying Stratfor CEO to Resign Over Wikileaks E-Mail Dump

Anonymous Reveals Private Intelligence Firm Stratfor Infiltrated Occupy Austin

February 27, 2012 1 comment
Anonymous Publishes E-Mail Saying Stratfor CEO to Resign Over Wikileaks E-Mail Dump

Anonymous Publishes E-Mail Saying Stratfor CEO to Resign Over Wikileaks E-Mail Dump

From SiliconAngle:

Wikileaks has returned with an astonishing release of more than five million emails from Stratfor, a Texas-based security intelligence company that is associated with CIA type of operations. The company has been the target of hackers in recent months. Though Wikileaks has not stated how it acquired the large cache of information, Anonymous members boasted of their partnership with Wikileaks in releasing this information.

The article quotes one of the Wikileaks dumps:

“Stratfor’s use of insiders for intelligence soon turned into a money-making scheme of questionable legality. The emails show that in 2009 then-Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz and Stratfor CEO George Friedman hatched an idea to “utilise the intelligence” it was pulling in from its insider network to start up a captive strategic investment fund. [...] CEO George Friedman explained in a confidential August 2011 document, marked DO NOT SHARE OR DISCUSS: “What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor’s intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like””

Anonymous has posted an e-mail purported to be Stratfor CEO George Friedman’s resignation from the company.

SiliconAngle:Stratfor CEO to resign after Wikileaks releases 5mil emails – covert operations exposed

See also:

Anonymous Reveals Private Intelligence Firm Stratfor Infiltrated Occupy Austin

February 27, 2012 1 comment
NY Times Considering Building Its Own Wikileaks-esque Leaking System, Al Jazeera Alerady Has One

NY Times Considering Building Its Own Wikileaks-esque Leaking System, Al Jazeera Alerady Has One

This is slightly old news, especially considering the launch of Local Leaks, but I wanted to make note of it here anyway:

The New York Times is considering options to create an in-house submission system that could make it easier for would-be leakers to provide large files to the paper.

Executive editor Bill Keller told The Cutline that he couldn’t go into details, “especially since nothing is nailed down.” But when asked if he could envision a system like Al Jazeera’s  Transparency Unit, Keller said the paper has been “looking at something along those lines.”

Yahoo News: NY Times considers creating an ‘EZ Pass lane for leakers

February 6, 2011 0 comments
U.S. Government Subpoenaing Foreign Leader’s Twitter History as Part of WikiLeaks Investigation

U.S. Government Subpoenaing Foreign Leader’s Twitter History as Part of WikiLeaks Investigation

Glenn Greenwald reports that the U.S. has subpoenaed Icelandic member of parliment and WikiLeaks supporter Birgitta Jónsdóttir’s Twitter history:

What hasn’t been reported is that the Subpoena served on Twitter — which is actually an Order from a federal court that the DOJ requested — seeks the same information for numerous other individuals currently or formerly associated with WikiLeaks, including Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp, and Julian Assange. It also seeks the same information for Bradley Manning and for WikiLeaks’ Twitter account.

The information demanded by the DOJ is sweeping in scope. It includes all mailing addresses and billing information known for the user, all connection records and session times, all IP addresses used to access Twitter, all known email accounts, as well as the “means and source of payment,” including banking records and credit cards. It seeks all of that information for the period beginning November 1, 2009, through the present. A copy of the Order served on Twitter, obtained exclusively by Salon, is here.

The Order was signed by a federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia, Theresa Buchanan, and served on Twitter by the DOJ division for that district. It states that there is “reasonable ground to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation,” the language required by the relevant statute. It was issued on December 14 and ordered sealed — i.e., kept secret from the targets of the Order. It gave Twitter three days to respond and barred the company from notifying anyone, including the users, of the existence of the Order. On January 5, the same judge directed that the Order be unsealed at Twitter’s request in order to inform the users and give them 10 days to object; had Twitter not so requested, it would have been compelled to turn over this information without the knowledge of its users.

It’s possible other companies like Facebook, Google and Skype were subpoenaed and complied with the requests silently.

Matthew Ingram writes for Gigaom:

The fact that Twitter is being targeted by the government is another sign of how important the network has become as a real-time publishing platform, and also of how centralized the service is — something that could spark interest in distributed and open-source alternatives such as Status.net, just as the downtime suffered by the network early last year did. It is another sign of how much we rely on networks that are controlled by a single corporate entity, as Global Voices founder Ethan Zuckerman pointed out when WikiLeaks was ejected from Amazon’s servers and had its DNS service shut down.

See also this post about Douglas Rushkoff’s call to abandon the corporate Internet and the supplemental links I supplied there. I’m tagging further links on the subject of a decentralized Internet with decentralized net.

January 8, 2011 0 comments
My Predictions for 2011 at ReadWriteWeb

My Predictions for 2011 at ReadWriteWeb

Here are my predictions for 2011:

Predictive analytics will be applied to more business processes, regardless of whether it helps.

The U.S. will add new provisions to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to include leaked classified information.

Despite this and other measures taken by governments and corporations, leaking will continue.

Cybersecurity hype of 2011 will dwarf that of 2010.

We’ll see more CouchApp clients for popular web services.

Almost all the big social enterprise players will have some sort of “app store” offering.

Adobe will try to acquire Joyent.

ReadWriteWeb: 2011 Predictions: Klint Finley

Explanations for each is available at the link.

More predictions from RWW staffers:

December 30, 2010 0 comments
Cryptome Hacked, Apparently by Wikileaks Sympathizers

Cryptome Hacked, Apparently by Wikileaks Sympathizers

I haven’t been following Wikileaks stuff closely for the past few weeks, I have some catching up to do. This story today caught my eye though:

The hack of Cryptome would seem to illustrate the real value that a site like WikiLeaks offers. Cryptome, a proto-WikiLeaks, has published many important leaks since it was launched in 1996, exposing government secrets and gaffes.

The site, however, doesn’t provide the kind of secure, anonymized submission process that WikiLeaks boasts. Instead, it uses e-mail addresses controlled by Young, raising the risk that sensitive sources could be exposed by this and other hacks. Despite many controversies surrounding WikiLeaks and its founder, that site has never had a security breach, as far as anyone knows. But now Cryptome has.

However:

Cryptome’s hacker claims that although some of the “insiders” initially communicated anonymously with Cryptome using a PGPBoard drop box, they later used personal e-mail addresses for ongoing correspondence, thus potentially exposing their identities to anyone with access to Cryptome’s files.

Threat Level: Secret-Spilling Sources at Risk Following Cryptome Breach

October 8, 2010 0 comments
Must-Read Glenn Greenwald on the WikiLeaks Arrest

Must-Read Glenn Greenwald on the WikiLeaks Arrest

Exactly what the U.S. Government wanted to happen in order to destroy WikiLeaks has happened here: news reports that a key WikiLeaks source has been identified and arrested, followed by announcements from anonymous government officials that there is now a worldwide “manhunt” for its Editor-in-Chief. Even though WikiLeaks did absolutely nothing (either in this case or ever) to compromise the identity of its source, isn’t it easy to see how these screeching media reports — WikiLeaks source arrested; worldwide manhunt for WikiLeaks; major national security threat — would cause a prospective leaker to WikiLeaks to think twice, at least: exactly as the Pentagon Report sought to achieve? And that Pentagon Report was from 2008, before the Apache Video was released; imagine how intensified is the Pentagon’s desire to destroy WikiLeaks now. Combine that with what both the NYT and Newsweek recently realized is the Obama administration’s unprecedented war on whistle-blowers, and one can’t overstate the caution that’s merited here before assuming one knows what happened.

And:

If one assumes that this happened as the Wired version claims, what Lamo did here is despicable. He holds himself out as an “award-winning journalist” and told Manning he was one (“I did tell him that I worked as a journalist,” Lamo said). Indeed, Lamo told me (though it doesn’t appear in the chat logs published by Wired) that he told Manning early on that he was a journalist and thus could offer him confidentiality for everything they discussed under California’s shield law. Lamo also said he told Manning that he was an ordained minister and could treat Manning’s talk as a confession, which would then compel Lamo under the law to keep their discussions confidential (early on in their chats, Manning said: “I can’t believe what I’m confessing to you”). In sum, Lamo explicitly led Manning to believe he could trust him and that their discussions would be confidential — perhaps legally required to be kept confidential — only to then report everything Manning said to the Government.

The whole thing is worth reading.

Glenn Greenwald: The strange and consequential case of Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo and WikiLeaks

June 18, 2010 0 comments