quote:Wikileaks Pairs with Anonymous to Publish Intelligence Firm’s Dirty Laundry
In an unprecedented collaboration between Anonymous and WikiLeaks, the secret spilling site began leaking Sunday night portions of a massive trove of e-mails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that Anonymous obtained by hacking the company in December.
WikiLeaks did not mention the source of the reported five gigabytes of e-mails in its press release, but did say it has been working for months with 25 media outlets from around the world to analyze the documents.
The first batch of leaked e-mails purport to show that Stratfor monitored the political prankster group known as The Yes Men on behalf of Dow Chemical, which has been targeted by The Yes Men over the company’s handling of the Bhopal disaster. The e-mails also purport to show Stratfor’s attempt to set up an investment fund with a Goldman Sachs director to trade on the intelligence Stratfor collects, as well as give insight into how the private intelligence firm acquires, and sometimes pays for, information.
Stratfor, which bills itself as a private intelligence organization, sells its analyses of global politics to major corporations and government agencies.
Members of Anonymous with direct knowledge of the hack and transfer of data to WikiLeaks told Wired that the group decided to turn the information over to WikiLeaks because the site was more capable of analyzing and spreading the leaked information than Anonymous would be.
“WikiLeaks has great means to publish and disclose,” the anon told Wired. “Also, they work together with media in a way we don’t.”
“Basically, WL is the ideal partner for such stuff,” the anon continued. “Antisec acquires the shit, WL gets it released in a proper manner.” Antisec is the arm of Anonymous that is known for hacking into servers.
According to Antisec participants, Stratfor was targeted not just for its poor security, but also because of its client list, which includes major companies and government entities.
“We believe police and employees who work for the most significant fortune 500 companies are the most responsible for perpetuating the machinery of capitalism and the state,” said one Antisec participant in December, “That there will be repercussions for when you choose to betray the people and side with the rich ruling classes.”
Anons also told Wired that future collaborations with WikiLeaks could involve a series of hacks that will be announced, one after another, every Friday for the foreseeable future. If that happens, the Stratfor e-mail release could be the first sign of a new, powerful alliance between the two groups, each of which has vexed and angered the world’s most powerful governments and corporations.
When WikiLeaks received the documents on a server it controlled, it acknowledged the successful transfer with a coded, public Tweet, according to an anon with direct knowledge of the collaboration.
A document provided to Wired that could not be authenticated indicated that the media partners of WikiLeaks agreed to parcel out stories on the leaks over the coming week and a half. Those media partners do not include previous partners such as the Guardian and U.S. partners The New York Times and the Washington Post.
According to the document, e-mails about WikiLeaks and Anonymous will be disclosed Wednesday, followed by separate disclosures on Italy, the Middle East and then Asian countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, among others. The project, code-named Rock Guitar, is officially named “The Global Intelligence Files.”
Stratfor had been aware that the e-mails would likely be published in some form by Anonymous, but said in January that the e-mails should not embarrass the company.
The collaboration between WikiLeaks and Anonymous is an odd couple pairing. WikiLeaks has largely crumbled over the last 18 months, due to internal disagreements over the management style and legal problems of its outspoken leader Julian Assange. By contrast, Anonymous is an amorphous group with no leadership structure.
If Anonymous continues feeding WikiLeaks with documents, the secret spilling site could return to a prominence that seemed lost due to technical difficulties, legal troubles, in-fighting and public fallings out with media partners in the wake of the site’s publication of a massive trove of U.S. documents in 2010 and 2011.
WikiLeaks’s alleged source for those documents, Pfc. Bradley Manning, is facing a U.S. army court martial and a possible sentence of life imprisonment.
As for how the collaboration between the two groups went, an anon with direct knowledge of it indicated that the new relationship had some tough moments.
“There were some natural tensions as usually can happen inside partnership,” the anon said. ”I hope this was only the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”
quote:prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, according to a confidential email obtained from the private US intelligence company Stratfor.
In an internal email to Stratfor analysts on January 26 last year, the vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks with the comment: ''We have a sealed indictment on Assange.''
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He underlined the sensitivity of the information - apparently obtained from a US government source - with warnings to ''Pls [please] protect'' and ''Not for pub[lication]''.
Mr Burton is well known as an expert on security and counterterrorism with close ties to the US intelligence and law enforcement agencies. He is the former deputy chief of the counter-terrorism division of the US State Department's diplomatic security service.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/tec(...)o.html#ixzz1ngL6LvCN
quote:Sweden will grant extradition of Assange to US if not stopped by international political pressure
UNITED States prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a confidential internal email obtained from a private US intelligence company, Stratfor.
The perils posed by these revelations on a prospective indictment, makes urgent to re-consider political issues of the situation Julian Assange would face now in Sweden, in case been extradited there. In spite of Sweden’s official silence, and the denial by the mainstream media articles, the extradition of political prisoners in Sweden is ultimately decided at a political level. Ergo, the risks for an extradition of the Wikileaks founder to USA - in case it will be requested - cannot be assessed solely attending to juridical arguments.
According to a recent interview with Julian Assange and lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Geoffrey Robertson , the USA shall most certain seek the extradition of the Wikileaks founder. The reason - as mentioned in the interview - being that a US Grand Jury investigation has been on-going in Washington since last year - preparing aggravating charges on espionage. Such charges, most likely in connection with the Wikileaks Pentagon-disclosures, would entail for Julian Assange "up to ten-years in a maximum security prison", according to the legal experts. Meanwhile, a recurrent misconception - or deliberately misinformation - published in the international media, is to consider the deportation of Julian Assange from Sweden to the USA as, statistically speaking, "highly unlikely".
But facts reveal the contrary: Regarding the open extradition requests from the USA since 2000, Sweden has granted such extradition in the TOTAL OF CASES in which the prisoner was in Swedish territory. This is based in statistics according to Sweden's Justice Ministry (see below section "The myth on that Assange's extradition from Sweden to US is not likely").
I put forward the above also in a brief interview conducted at the Royal Court's premises in London on December 5th, after the verdict on the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's appeal to the Supreme Court [Click on this Youtube link for this brief "interview"]:
It is exactly this risk of extradition/rendition to the USA from the part of Swedish officials that made Julian Assange reluctant to come to Sweden (after the Swedish extradition request and the smear campaign that ensued in Sweden). I also refer the reader to the post This is Why, in which the reasons for this apparently Swedish revenge are summarized. This analysis was previously treated in the Professors blogg's article "Sweden will grant extradition of Julian Assange to US if not stopped by international political pressure NOW"
quote:Senator Scott Ludlam asks the Prime Minister what the Government knew about the US sealed Grand Duty indictment against Julian Assange
Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (14:19): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Evans. I refer to reports in the Fairfax press this morning that Stratfor, a Texas based private intelligence firm, has known for more than a year of the existence of a sealed indictment from a secret grand jury against Australian citizen and journalist Julian Assange. Did our ally the United States give the Prime Minister the courtesy of a disclosure and, if so, when? Or did she read it in the papers along with the rest of us? Minister, for how long has the Prime Minister known of the existence of this sealed indictment?
Assange: 'They want to destroy us'quote:Financial power is also a power that controls the world. You announced the release of documents about a major bank, but those files never materialised. Where did they end up?
"One you are probably referring to is documents about the Bank of America".
So you confirm it was Bank of America.
Were those documents relevant?
"We had done only a preliminary review, they included all the things that were being discussed in the executive level within the Bank of America. Material was from an executive member of the Bank of America. A former WikiLeaks volunteer, Daniel Domscheit Berg, was entrusted to look after the Bank of America material and he appears to have destroyed that material. We engaged in a year long legal negotiation to attempt to get it back with the intermediaries and unfortunately we were not successul, we can only hope now that the original source do has some material and release it".
Laatste alinea, wat een inteelt bendequote:WikiLeaks: More Evidence of Monsanto's Bullying and Influence-Buying
The latest revelations from WikiLeaks confirm Monsanto’s continuing efforts to influence governments worldwide to rule in its favor and punish those who won’t.
A cable written in 2007 and released recently by WikiLeaks confirmed the company’s important influence at the very highest levels of the U.S. government. Authored by Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of then-president George Bush, the cable outlined a response to resistance from various members of the European Union to adopting GM (genetically modified) crops. At issue specifically was France’s move to ban Monsanto’s GM corn variety:
. Country team Paris [Stapleton’s code name] recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this [resistance] is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. [Emphasis added.]
The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path [of resistance to the adoption of GM crops] has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech [pro-GM] voices.
Other leaked cables documented attempts to influence the Pope himself, who was resistant to supporting GM crops. From the U.S. State Department came this effort to influence the Pope: “…[name blacked out] met with U.S. monsignor Fr. Michael Osborn of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, offering a chance to push the Vatican on biotech issues…” Another cable said: “Opportunities exist to press the issue with the Vatican and in turn to influence a wide segment of the population in Europe and the developing world.”
These illustrated obvious attempts to work around many Catholic priests who oppose GM crops as being potentially dangerous not only to the health of human beings but to the environment as well. For instance, a prominent member of the Vatican, Cardinal Peter Turkson, said that genetically-modified crops are a “new form of slavery,” referring to the “suicide belt of India” where thousands of farmers are committing suicide in desperation over being unable to repay debts incurred to purchase GM seeds.
Anthony Gucciardi, writing for NaturalSociety.com, stated,
. Monsanto has undoubtedly infiltrated the United States government in order to push their health-endangering agenda, and this has been known long before the release of these WikiLeaks cables. The U.S. is the only place where Monsanto’s synthetic hormone Posilac is still used in roughly 1/3 of all cows, with 27 nations banning the substance over legitimate health concerns.
Monsanto’s bullying tactics in protecting its patents on its GM seeds are legendary, but are only the tip of the iceberg of the company's attempts to influence policy worldwide. The government of India has filed several lawsuits against Monsanto, while Canada has had its own difficulties with the corporation. The company paid contractors to dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing both that it was illegal to do so and that these chemicals were “liable to contaminate wildlife and people.”
In January, 2005, Monsanto paid a fine for bribing an Indonesian official to avoid an environmental impact assessment on its GM cotton. In 2007 the company was fined in France for misleading advertising about its product Roundup. In Germany Monsanto’s attempt to breed GM pigs failed due to overwhelming public outcries. In the United States Monsanto continues its attempt to prohibit dairies from advertising that their cows are not injected with the company’s artificial bovine growth hormone.
And so on. What Monsanto has discovered, and has refined over the years, is that it is more profitable to influence legislation in its favor than to compete in a free market. With friends in high places — including Craig Stapleton, Justice Clarence Thomas (who worked for Monsanto in the ‘70s), Michael Taylor (who worked for the Food and Drug Administration, then moved to a law firm that had Monsanto as a client, and then was appointed to the FDA by President Obama in 2009), Michael Friedman (who worked at the FDA and now is a VP at Monsanto), Linda Fisher (who was initially employed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the moved to Monsanto as a VP, and then returned to the EPA in 2001), and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (who served as chairman and CEO of G.D. Searle which Monsanto purchased in 1985, putting at least $12 million into his pocket in the process) — Monsanto has developed crony-capitalism into a high art form. WikiLeaks just confirmed it.
quote:Top 5 Stratfor Revelations
Wikileaks is publishing internal memos of the Stratfor security analysis firm. A few tidbits have emerged in these very early days, to wit:
En de Russen durfden nog stellig te beweren dat ze achter Iran stonden in de strijd tegen het westen + Israel?quote:4. Russia sold weapons to Iran but turned around and gave their security codes to Israel.
quote:Wikileaks: The IMF’s Fault for Balkan Wars
The International Monetary Fund is partly to blame for wars in former Yugoslavia, according to Stratfor document published by Wikileaks.
Wikileaks made public on Thursday the internal guidelines that the global intelligence company Stratfor issues to its analysts in the field.
In the document from 2009, titled Europe Analytical Guidance, Stratfor alerts its analysts to watch out for any possible riots occurring due to economic crises, since the current situation in Balkans is complex and multifaceted.
“Do not forget, the IMF austerity measures imposed on Yugoslavia were in part to blame for the start of the war there. We need to be aware of any economically motivated social discontent,” document states.
Analysts should pay attention to any possible protest and union activity since, according to Stratfor, the protests by Albanian unions inflamed further conflicts.
“Remember, it was the strikes by the Albanian miners in Kosovo back in the 1980s that in a way moved the region towards conflagration,” states the document.
When it comes to possible conflicts and security issues, the report finds Bosnia and Herzegovina most critical. “Any split developing in the Croatian-Muslim federation is key,” it states.
According to the e-mails from Stratfor revealed by Wikileaks, several journalists from the Balkan media have been working for this intelligence agency, including Veran Matic, head of the Belgrade based media B92, and Bosko Jaksic of Politika newspaper.
Stratfor’s computers were apparently invaded last year by the hacker group Anonymous, which revealed personal information of Stratfor’s customers.
It seems likely that the files and e-mails released by WikiLeaks came from that intrusion, though WikiLeaks is not disclosing its sources.
quote:Uniforms and WikiLeaks in the Discussion of the Anwar al-Awlaki Killing
This panel discussion between former State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley, former Gitmo Chief Prosecutor Colonel Morris Davis, and ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer is one of the more nuanced, interesting discussions on the Anwar al-Awlaki killing. Not surprisingly, it was shown on Al Jazeera English, not, say, NBC.
One highlight, for me, came when Davis pointed out that the CIA, not JSOC, had targeted Awlaki. That’s significant because it effectively made whoever pulled the trigger an unlawful enemy combatant, just as Omar Khadr was (the government argued in his military commission) for engaging in hostilities without wearing a uniform. Of course, Davis ended the discussion by noting that we’re the big kid on the block, so we’ll never be held accountable for the things we prosecute others for.
More interesting still came when PJ Crowley cited this WikiLeaks cable, reporting on a January 2, 2010 meeting between Ali Abdullah Saleh and David Petraeus back in his CentCom days, to show that Yemen was secretly supporting us on drone strikes, including the one that targeted Awlaki on December 24, 2009 (well before, it should be noted, the OLC had authorized his killing).
. AQAP STRIKES: CONCERN FOR CIVILIAN CASUALTIES ———————————————
Â4.(S/NF) Saleh praised the December 17 and 24 strikes against AQAP but said that “mistakes were made” in the killing of civilians in Abyan. The General responded that the only civilians killed were the wife and two children of an AQAP operative at the site, prompting Saleh to plunge into a lengthy and confusing aside with Deputy Prime Minister Alimi and Minister of Defense Ali regarding the number of terrorists versus civilians killed in the strike. (Comment: Saleh’s conversation on the civilian casualties suggests he has not been well briefed by his advisors on the strike in Abyan, a site that the ROYG has been unable to access to determine with any certainty the level of collateral damage. End Comment.) AQAP leader Nassr al-Wahishi and extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may still be alive, Saleh said, but the December strikes had already caused al-Qaeda operatives to turn themselves in to authorities and residents in affected areas to deny refuge to al-Qaeda. Saleh raised the issue of the Saudi Government and Jawf governorate tribal sheikh Amin al-Okimi, a subject that is being reported through other channels.
SHIFTING AIRSTRIKE STRATEGIES
Â5.(S/NF) President Obama has approved providing U.S. intelligence in support of ROYG ground operations against AQAP targets, General Petraeus informed Saleh. Saleh reacted coolly, however, to the General’s proposal to place USG personnel inside the area of operations armed with real-time, direct feed intelligence from U.S. ISR platforms overhead. “You cannot enter the operations area and you must stay in the joint operations center,” Saleh responded. Any U.S. casualties in strikes against AQAP would harm future efforts, Saleh asserted. Saleh did not have any objection, however, to General Petraeus’ proposal to move away from the use of cruise missiles and instead have U.S. fixed-wing bombers circle outside Yemeni territory, “out of sight,” and engage AQAP targets when actionable intelligence became available. Saleh lamented the use of cruise missiles that are “not very accurate” and welcomed the use of aircraft-deployed precision-guided bombs instead. “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” Saleh said, prompting Deputy Prime Minister Alimi to joke that he had just “lied” by telling Parliament that the bombs in Arhab, Abyan, and Shebwa were American-made but deployed by the ROYG.
I find Crowley’s citation of it notable because, while as State Department spokesperson, he strongly argued for the humane treatment of Bradley Manning (and got fired for it), he also routinely criticized the WikiLeaks leaks of State Department cables.
Yet even he now finds himself relying on them to try to understand what the government did when it targeted an American citizen. And Crowley does so while calling for more transparency from the Administration.
Details about Yemen’s role is, of course, one of the things the Administration invoked state secrets to hide back in 2010. But it is also now widely known and crucial to discussions of whether the attack on Awlaki was legal or not.
I can think of few better examples of how the Administration’s own secrecy encourages not just the leaking of classified information, but the validation of those leaks. In a democracy, the Administration has an obligation to share a reasonable explanation about its claims that it can kill American citizens with no court review. In the absence of fulfilling that obligation, citizens will get that information one way or another.
The Administration’s stonewalling on the Awlaki killing only serves to make leaks more necessary and justified. No matter how many whistleblowers it tries to prosecute to deny that fact.
quote:US denies Stratfor bin Laden body claim
A senior US State Department official has denied that Osama bin Laden's body was flown to the United States and not buried at sea, as the official account said.
The Pentagon considers "false and fairly ridiculous" the information contained in a leaked email from private intelligence firm Stratfor, Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Mike Hammer said on Thursday in the department's first press briefing in Spanish.
The email was among the 5 million Stratfor documents obtained by WikiLeaks and disseminated late last month.
Washington insists the body was buried at sea following traditional Islamic procedures after he was killed during a May 2, 2011, US special forces raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
One of the emails sent by Stratfor Vice-President Fred Burton described bin Laden's body as "bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane", while a subsequent message said the remains went "onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda (Maryland)".
Burton was formerly a special agent with the US Diplomatic Security Service.
WikiLeaks has begun to release 5 million Stratfor emails from the period between July 2004 and the end of December 2011 to denounce the espionage operations for which the Texas intelligence firm was contracted by companies and governments.
quote:UK in temporary truce with WikiLeaks after 2010 condemnation
The British government is ironically using WikiLeaks where it serves London’s interests and condemning the website where it threatens to expose the Downing Street.
WikiLeaks said on its Twitter webpage on Thursday that an official inquiry, tasked by British Prime Minister David Cameron with looking into the culture and ethics of the British media with a focus on the News of the World phone hacking fiasco, has asked the website for related information.
“Leveson Inquiry has asked WikiLeaks for a submission on corruption in the UK press. We have submitted over 100 pages,” a WikiLeaks Tweet read.
This comes as Cameron’s office condemned WikiLeaks back in November 2010 for publishing the huge collection of military records that led to the US diplomatic cables leak, named the biggest leak in intelligence history.
“Clearly, we condemn the unauthorised release of classified information. The leaks and their publication are damaging to national security in the United States and in Britain and elsewhere. It’s important governments are able to operate on the basis of confidentiality of information,” a Downing Street spokesman said at the time.
Following the disclosure, the government also asked media outlets to inform the government before publishing any material exposed by WikiLeaks that may be damaging to the government.
WikiLeaks said on its Twitter page on Friday November 26, 2010 that the Downing Street has issued D-notices to British media to watch what they publish.
quote:Stratfor CEO: WikiLeaks ‘makes war more likely’
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Speaking to an audience on Tuesday at this year’s South by Southwest convention, Strategic Forecasting CEO George Friedman suggested that by publishing archives of U.S. diplomatic cables, the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks actually “makes war more likely.”
And in a surprising claim, Friedman added that his company tended to engage in an “orgy of speculation” following major world events — such as the killing of Osama bin Laden and the possibility of a sealed grand jury indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — which is why Stratfor never published that information: because, he said, those claims are simply not true.
Friedman’s speech Tuesday marked the first time he has spoken in public about a devastating hack his company suffered at the end of 2011, which resulted in their entire email archives landing in the possession of WikiLeaks.
Opening his talk, Friedman was almost immediately interrupted by two activists with Occupy Austin, who “mic checked” him and offered the crowd a message about how Stratfor worked as a private spy agency on behalf of wealthy corporations. The crowd reacted negatively to the protesters, booing them loudly. Friedman quickly fell silent, waiting for security to usher them outside.
Continuing, he said that the hack on Stratfor was so completely thorough that their servers were “completely destroyed,” and that even he does not have a copy of the company’s emails anymore.
“I plan to ask the FBI to give me [a copy],” Friedman quipped.
He went on to suggest that hackers who attacked Stratfor had simply done it “for the lulz,” which Friedman called a “nihilistic” concept that he worried may be gaining traction on today’s Internet.
That led him to WikiLeaks, which he claimed to be inflating Stratfor’s profile tremendously by selectively publishing their emails. Reminiscing about the complexity of human conversation, and how that has been lost in the age of the Internet, he added that by elevating a single email from Stratfor, or diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks, as the subject of legitimate reporting, members of the press offer “complete falsification” due to a lack of human context.
“If you’re going to have diplomacy, you must have secrecy,” he said before suggesting that WikiLeaks had only served to “destroy life long relationships” between diplomats continents apart.
Again touching upon the need for more human context in online communications, he added that WikiLeaks, along with the rise of hacker groups like “Anonymous” and “LulzSec,” ultimately advances the Internet’s death march toward repression, instead of broader transparency.
Friedman transitioned into the constantly changing world of Internet security, saying that the “global commons” has evolved to become utterly crucial to business, yet the Internet is still “built with bubblegum and paper clips.”
“We’ve never had a system that so rapidly became so fundamental to what we do, which at the same time is so immature,” he said. “What is it, 20 [years old]? When the automobile was 20 years old, the Model T’s were out. [The Internet] is a Model T.”
He went on to warn that corporations and governments are much more powerful than Anonymous and WikiLeaks, meaning “they will win” in the ongoing power struggle simply by changing the rules of the conflict — I.E., changing the Internet itself.
“It’s not going to go on anymore because large corporations are getting hacked and it’s costing them large amounts of money, and these guys are powerful enough to make changes,” he warned.
“It may be, in the end, that repression is inevitable… I don’t know that Internet 1.0 — and we are still in beta — that this Internet will survive the way it is… [because] every justification for repression is being created by those who claim to oppose it.”
“Those who don’t want that to happen have to find a way to secure the Internet, because Joe McCarthy’s ghost is sitting out there waiting,” Friedman concluded.
quote:Julian Assange to run for Australian senate
WikiLeaks founder hopes to enter politics in home country after discovering his ongoing extradition battle would be no bar
The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to run for a seat in Australia's senate next year despite being under virtual house arrest in the UK and facing sex crime allegations in Sweden.
The 40-year-old Australian citizen has taken his legal battle against extradition all the way to Britain's supreme court, which is expected to rule on his case soon.
"We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian senate while detained. Julian has decided to run," WikiLeaks announced on Twitter.
Assange has criticised Australian prime minister Julia Gillard's centre-left government for not standing up for him in the wake of WikiLeaks' release of hundreds of thousands of classified US embassy cables in 2010.
Australian police have concluded that WikiLeaks and Assange did not break any Australian laws by publishing the cables, although Gillard has condemned the action as "grossly irresponsible".
John Wanna, a policical scientist at Australian National University, said it was possible for Assange to run for a senate seat if he remained on the Australian electoral roll, despite living overseas for several years.
"If he gets on the roll, then he can stand as long as he's solvent and not in jail and not insane," Wanna said.
Being convicted of a crime punishable under Australian law by 12 months or more in prison can disqualify a person from running for the Australian parliament for the duration of the sentence, even if it is suspended.
Constitutional lawyer George Williams of the University of New South Wales said that provision of the constitution has never been tested in the courts in the 111-year history of the Australian federation and probably would not apply to a criminal conviction in a foreign country such as Sweden.
"I'm not aware of an impediment to him standing, even if he was convicted," Williams said.
Any adult Australian citizen can run for parliament, but few succeed without the backing of a major political party. Only one of Australia's 76 current senators does not represent a party.
Every Australian election attracts candidates who have little hope of winning and use their campaigns to seek publicity for various political or commercial causes.
Wanna said the odds are against Assange winning a seat, but that he could receive more than 4% of the votes in his nominated state because of his high profile. At that threshold, candidates can claim more than AUS$2 per vote from the government to offset their campaign expenses. Assange's bill to the taxpayer could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The next senate election cannot be called before July 2013 and is due around August. Candidates cannot officially register as candidates until the election is called at least a month before the poll date.
Assange's mother, Christine Assange, a professional puppeteer from rural Queensland, said on Saturday she had yet to discuss her son's political bid with him. But she criticised what she believed was the government's willingness to put its defence treaty with the US ahead of the rights of an Australian citizen.
"The number one issue at the next election regardless of who you vote for is democracy in this country – whether or not we're just a state of the US and whether or not our citizens are going to be just handed over as a sacrifice to the US alliance," she said.
On at least two occasions, hackers took over U.S. satellites and
targeted their command-and-control systems, a report by the U.S.-China
Economic and Security Review Commission revealed November 16. The
incidents involved two Earth observation satellites. While it may be
difficult to trace who hacked the satellites, U.S. officials
acknowledged the incidents had to come from a nation power. U.S.
officials cannot clearly trace the incidents to China, but the report
released by the Congressionally mandated commission noted Chinese
military writings made reference to attacks on ground-based space
quote:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a source to Stratfor Vice President Fred Burton since at least May of 2007, according to internal Stratfor emails leaked by WikiLeaks.
In an email dated May 1, 2007, Burton says that "BiBi [i.e. Netanyahu] believes he can unseat Olmert and there is a movement underway to do so."
Read more: http://www.businessinside(...)litics#ixzz1qLzdKltT
quote:‘Reckless’ WikiLeaks faces fresh fire from Canberra
THE Australian government has renewed its attacks on WikiLeaks, condemning the group for “reckless” disclosures of secret information.
The Foreign Affairs Department has also delayed release, under freedom of information, of sensitive Australian diplomatic cables relating to Julian Assange until after a legal challenge to the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to Sweden has been decided.
The delay follows expressions of concern by United States authorities about disclosure of US-Australian discussions about WikiLeaks.
Last week an Attorney-General’s Department executive responsible for international crime and extradition matters renewed the government’s condemnation of WikiLeaks’ release of leaked US diplomatic cables as “reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous”.
Writing on behalf of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon to a constituent of a federal Labor MP, international crime co-operation branch head Anna Harmer insisted that “debate about the WikiLeaks matter is not about censoring free speech or preventing the media from reporting news” and confirmed the government’s focus on the “reckless … unauthorised disclosure of classified material”.
Mr Assange, who plans to run for a Senate seat in the next election, is awaiting a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden to be questioned about sexual assault allegations.
He fears extradition to Stockholm will lead to extradition to the US on espionage or conspiracy charges. This week he also expressed concern that a successful appeal against extradition to Sweden would only be followed by the US seeking his extradition direct from Britain.
Last December The Saturday Age obtained Foreign Affairs Department cables that revealed WikiLeaks was the target of an ”unprecedented” US criminal investigation and that the Australian government wanted to be warned about moves to extradite Mr Assange to the US.
The cables showed that as early as December 2010, the Australian embassy in Washington confirmed the US Justice Department was examining whether Mr Assange could be charged under US law, most likely the 1917 Espionage Act.
The Saturday Age has now learnt from Australian government sources that senior US officials subsequently expressed concern about the disclosure of information and asked to be “more closely consulted” on further FOI releases.
Foreign Affairs this week delayed release under freedom of information of more Washington embassy cables about WikiLeaks until at least late May, nearly six months after The Saturday Age lodged an FOI application.
Foreign Affairs’ FOI director David Yardley said in an email to the office of the Australian Information Commissioner: “Some cables in this case are highly classified, some are not … Working out precisely where the sensitivities lie within cables, particularly in light of the potential ‘mosaic effect’ of releases of this type of information, is usually, including in this case, an involved, complex task.”
Mr Yardley revealed that Foreign Affairs was yet to finalise consultation with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s department and had not begun consultation with the US on the possible release of material, a process expected to take at least four to six weeks.
quote:‘I was the fall guy’: Julian Assange in his own words
The Wikileaks founder talks to Jamie Kelsey-Fry about state surveillance, media scrutiny and the Cablegate affair.
quote:De Verenigde Staten hebben het horen van een infiltrant van de Amerikaanse drugspolitie DEA als getuige in een internationaal drugsonderzoek geblokkeerd. Dat heeft een woordvoerster van het Openbaar Ministerie (OM) in Haarlem maandag gezegd. De zaak tegen meerdere verdachten van drugssmokkel dient bij de rechtbank in Haarlem.
De rechtbank bepaalde maart vorig jaar dat de infiltrant van de DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) als getuige moest worden gehoord. Volgens advocaten heeft deze infiltrant de smokkel van een partij van 1000 kilo coca´ne van Colombia naar Polen uitgelokt.
Volgens de woordvoerster van het OM willen de Amerikanen echter onder geen beding dat de infiltrant wordt gehoord in de drugszaak.
De inhoudelijke behandeling van de strafzaak begint morgen in Haarlem. Er staan over een periode van een paar maanden in totaal 24 verdachten terecht voor de handel in xtc-pillen, de invoer van coca´ne en amfetamine en het witwassen van crimineel geld. De belangrijkste verdachten staan vermoedelijk pas eind juni voor de rechter. De uitspraken worden in augustus verwacht.
Volgens ÚÚn van de advocaten in de megazaak, Sjoerd van Berge Henegouwen, kan de DEA-infiltrant niet worden gehoord als getuige, omdat Nederland daarover in 2006 geheime afspraken heeft gemaakt met de VS. Een en ander is volgens hem gebleken uit documenten die door Wikileaks zijn geopenbaard.
De DEA-infiltrant heeft in Polen echter wel verklaringen afgelegd. Volgens Van Berge Henegouwen blijkt daaruit dat de Amerikanen de drugssmokkel van Zuid-Amerika naar Europa van begin tot eind hebben geregisseerd. Hij wil dat deze week samen met zijn collega's Inez Weski en Jan-Hein Kuijpers proberen aan te tonen tijdens een extra regiezitting bij de rechtbank.
quote:WikiLeaks-oprichter zoekt asiel in Ecuador
Julian Assange, de oprichter van de klokkenluiderssite WikiLeaks, heeft politiek asiel aangevraagd bij de ambassade van Ecuador in Londen. De Ecuadoriaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Ricardo Pati˝o, heeft dat vandaag bekendgemaakt.
Ecuador heeft het verzoek van Assange in behandeling genomen, aldus Pati˝o tegenover persbureau Reuters. Assange verblijft momenteel in Groot-BrittanniŰ, en hoopt met zijn asielaanvraag te kunnen voorkomen dat het land hem aan Zweden uitlevert. Dat land wil hem berechten wegens verkrachting en aanranding.
De kans bestaat dat hij dan uiteindelijk in de Verenigde Staten terecht komt, waar hem een nog veel zwaardere straf te wachten staat, zo vreest Assange. De Amerikanen zijn namelijk niet blij met de honderdduizenden vertrouwelijke diplomatieke documenten die zijn website heeft onthuld.
Het Britse Hooggerechtshof besloot vorige week om het verzoek van Assange om opnieuw naar zijn zaak te kijken niet in te willigen. Een uitlevering aan Zweden is daarmee een stap dichterbij gekomen.
quote:Ecuador offers Wikileaks founder Assange residency
Ecuador has offered Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, residency in the country.
Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas said his country's government wanted to invite Mr Assange to Ecuador to give him the opportunity to speak publicly.
He said Ecuador was concerned about some of the alleged American activities revealed by Wikileaks.
Earlier this year Sweden refused an application from Mr Assange, who is Australian, for residency there.
"We are open to giving him residency in Ecuador, without any problem and without any conditions," Mr Lucas said.
"We are going to try and invite him to Ecuador to freely present, not only via the internet, but also through different public forums, the information and documentation that he has," he said.
Mr Lucas added: "We think it would be important not only to converse with him but also to listen to him."
Wikileaks says it has more than 1,600 cables that originated from the US embassy in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, the contents of which have not yet been disclosed.
Mr Lucas said Ecuador was "very concerned" by information revealed by Wikileaks linking US diplomats with spying on friendly governments.
He said the offer to Mr Assange would not affect relations between Ecuador's left-leaning government and the US.
On Monday, the authorities in Australia said they were looking into whether Mr Assange had broken any laws there.
The Spanish paper El Pais says that, according to a secret cable released by Wikileaks, US intelligence operatives wanted to know whether the Argentine president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, was taking medication to deal with her "nerves and stress".
The message asked: "How do Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's emotions affect her decision-making and how does she calm down when distressed?"
The state department cable, dated some 10 months ahead of the death in October of her husband - the former president, Nestor Kirchner - also asked whether she shared his "adversarial view" of politics.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez praised Wikileaks and called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resign following the latest Wikileaks revelations.
"Somebody should study Mrs Clinton's mental stability", he said and added: "It's the least you can do: resign, along with those other delinquents working in the state department."
Another document published by Wikileaks, dated January 2008, detailed Brazil's co-operation with the US on counter-terrorism.
In it, the then US ambassador to Brazil, Clifford Sobel, informed Washington that the police often arrested individuals with links to terrorism but charged them with drugs or customs offences so as not attract media attention.
Brazil has a sizeable Arab population and has publicly denied taking part in counter-terrorism operations.
quote:He walked into the embassy in Knightsbridge, London on Tuesday afternoon and asked for asylum under the United Nations human rights declaration.
A statement issued on behalf of the embassy said: "This afternoon Mr Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian embassy seeking political asylum from the Ecuadorian government.
"As a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights, with an obligation to review all applications for asylum, we have immediately passed his application on to the relevant department in Quito.
"While the department assesses Mr Assange's application, Mr Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorian government.
Met bombardementen, ja. Maar de vraag is of de US een dergelijk schandaal riskeert, zeker gezien ze niet erkennen dat ze naar hem op jacht zijn.quote:
quote:Assange asks Ecuador for asylum
Julian Assange was scheduled within days to turn himself over to British authorities for extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in connection with a sexual assault case in which he has never been charged. Instead, Assange earlier today went to the Embassy of Ecuador in London and sought asylum from that country under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, issued a statement indicating that his government is “evaluating the request” and that Assange will remain under protection at the Embassy pending a decision.
Ecuador may seem like a random choice but it’s actually quite rational. In 2010, a top official from that country offered Assange residency (though the Ecuadorian President backtracked after controversy ensued). Earlier this month, Assange interviewed that nation’s left-wing President, Rafael Correa, for his television program on RT. Among other things, Correa praised the transparency brought about by WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic cables as being beneficial for Ecuador (“We have nothing to hide. If anything, the WikiLeaks [releases] have made us stronger”). President Correa also was quite critical of the U.S., explaining the reason he closed the American base in his country this way: “Would you accept a foreign military base in your country? It’s so simple, as I said that at the time, there is no problem in having a U.S. military base in Ecuador but ok, perfect - we can give permission for the intelligence base only if they allow us to install an Ecuadorian base in the United States, a military base. That’s it, no more problem.”
Assange has been fighting extradition to Sweden for a year-and-a-half now, during which time he has been under house arrest. He has never been charged with any crime in Sweden, but a prosecutor from that country is seeking his extradition to question him. After the British High Court ruled against him by a 5-2 vote earlier this month, and then refused to re-hear the case last week, his appeals in Britain contesting the extradition are exhausted.
Assange’s resolve to avoid extradition to Sweden has nothing to do with a reluctance to face possible sex assault charges there. His concern all along has been that once he’s in Swedish custody, he will far more easily be extradited to the U.S.
In general, small countries are more easily coerced and bullied by the U.S., and Sweden in particular has a demonstrated history of aceeding to U.S. demands when it comes to individuals accused of harming American national security. In December, 2001, Sweden handed over two asylum-seekers to the CIA, which then rendered them to be tortured in Egypt. A ruling from the U.N. Human Rights Committee found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for its role in that rendition (the two individuals later received a substantial settlement from the Swedish government). The fact that Sweden has unusually oppressive pre-trial procedures — allowing for extreme levels of secrecy in its judicial proceedings — only heightens Assange’s concern about what will happen to him vis-a-vis the U.S. if he ends up in Swedish custody.
Can anyone claim that Assange’s fear of ending up in American custody is anything other than supremely reasonable and rational? Just look at what has happened to people — especially foreign nationals — over the last decade who have been accused of harming the national security of the United States.
They’re imprisoned — still — without a whiff of due process, and President Obama just last year signed a new indefinite detention bill into law. Moreover, Assange need merely look at what the U.S. has done to Bradley Manning, accused of leaking documents and other materials to WikiLeaks: the Army Private was held for almost a year in solitary confinement conditions which a formal U.N. investigation found were “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” and he now faces life in prison, charged with a capital offense of aiding Al Qaeda.
Beyond that, the Obama administration has been uniquely obsessed with punishing whistleblowers and stopping leaks. Worse still, the American federal judiciary has been staggeringly subservient to the U.S. Government when it comes to national security cases, rendering defendants accused of harming national security with almost no chance for acquittal. Would you have any confidence in obtaining justice if you were accused of harming U.S. national security and came into the clutches of the American justice system?
Over the past two years, I’ve spoken with numerous individuals who were once associated with WikiLeaks or who still are. Of those who no longer are, many have said that they stopped even though they believe as much as ever in WikiLeaks’ transparency cause, and did so out of fear: not fear that they would be charged with a crime by their own government (they trust the judicial system of their government and are confident they would not be convicted), but out of fear that they would be turned over to the United States. That’s the fear people have: ending up in the warped travesty known as the judicial system of the Land of the Free. That is what has motivated Assange to resist extradition to Sweden, and it’s what has undoubtedly motivated him to seek asylum from Ecuador.
quote:Bradley Manning Support Network Under Army Investigation
The Bradley Manning Support Network is under investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, as revealed by a copy of a Freedom of Information Act request response. In this case, the request for records pertaining to the activist umbrella group was denied, but the reason for the denial - that "an active investigation is in progress with an undetermined completion date" - is obviously news in and of itself, which is presumably why none of the infotainment outlets posing as news organizations have reported on the development thus far.
As of 1:30 PM CST, the FOIA response indicating that a network of activists who advocate on behalf of a celebrated accused whistleblower are being pursued by a branch of the U.S. military has not been mentioned by a single news organization with a web presence. Searching Google News brings up nothing; searching Google itself brings up two blogs with what we may presume to be very little reach (building up an audience has less to do with quality than it does with packaging, which is why Thomas Friedman is so popular). Quite possibly there will be mentions of all this by tomorrow in at least a few more places - but having spent years working in the media, analyzing the media, and sometimes being covered by the media, it wouldn't surprise me if coverage were relegated to a handful of specialist sites and perhaps Wired (which itself does some of the best and most crucial reporting on such issues as the NSA Utah Data Center only to have its revelations ignored by general outlets in favor of Secret Service prostitution scandals).
Complaints of this sort are often brushed off by journalists with the more "respectable" outlets with the response that everyone has their pet issue that they believe deserves special attention. In this case, such an excuse wouldn't hold water, nor does today being Sunday serve to explain away the complete absence of coverage thus far. Back in early 2010, when the Wikileaks Twitter account put forth a series of messages to the effect that one of its volunteers had been stopped and questioned and that others were being aggressively pursued by agents of the State Department, there was zero coverage of the incident at all. And the claims of state interference weren't exactly dubious; just a few days prior, Wikileaks had released Pentagon documents that proved the U.S. military was already considering how best to disrupt the organization. Back then, Wikileaks just wasn't on the radar of the U.S. media on the whole. Only later in the year would editors collectively agree that Wikileaks was indeed maybe some sort of big deal - soon after which it collectively decided that it was easier and more fun to ask probing questions about whether or not Julian Assange thinks highly of himself than it was to look through the actual documents that were providing to the world. And of course it became not only clear, but abundantly and repeatedly clear, that a number of covert operations were in the works against Wikileaks and individuals close to it. At any rate, they would eventually agree that this strange new transparency group was shaping up to be a major story, but only long after it had become obvious. Its notability having been eventually established even by the American media reckoning, there's no viable excuse on "Sorry, We Don't Agree That's Notable" grounds for that incident to have been entirely ignored. It's just hard to look back at that day and make the case that it didn't represent a massive failure on the part of the media to see a story coming, even when plenty of other observers saw it quite clearly.
There's probably more at play here than simply groupthink. In both the Wikileaks/State Department incident and the incident I'm bitching about this time, the story was only apparent to the extent that one kept an eye on certain Twitter feeds, particular reddit sections, and other relatively newfangled venues of the sort that didn't exist ten years ago and which still have attached to them certain vaguely disreputable, quasi-comical connotations in the minds of countless producers and editors. Meanwhile, more and more stories of the sort that clearly merit coverage can be expected to emanate from these allegedly unconventional nooks and crannies, the info itself having been placed on Scribd or pastebin or some other such thing instead of delivered in a press release or spoken at a podium by some well-paid liar. At some point, those whose profession calls upon them to be aware of what's happening are going to have to learn to contend with how much of those happenings are now happening on online thingamajigs with silly names.
To be fair, some professionals of that sort have indeed learned how much data can be gleaned from well-executed examinations of social networking platforms. Unfortunately, most of them work in the surveillance and intelligence sectors of government agencies and for private contractors, rather than newsrooms, and are engaged in keeping tabs on such parties as the Bradley Manning Support Network.
quote:Twitter-WikiLeaks case a test of press and privacy rights online
Two weeks ago Birgitta Jonsdottir, the self-styled activist Member of Parliament from Iceland and central figure in the important and ongoing Twitter-WikiLeaks cases, was in Ottawa. We sent her a tweet, got a quick reply, then met to talk about whistle-blowers, privacy and the role of the free press in the age of the Internet.
Ms. Jonsdottir is one of the co-producers of Collateral Murder, a selectively edited video that documents a U.S. military helicopter gunning down two Reuters staff and several others in the streets of Baghdad. The distribution of the video over the Internet in April 2010 shed light on events that the U.S. military had not disclosed and marked the beginning of WikiLeaks’ campaign to release what would be the largest cache of U.S. classified material the world has ever seen.
Over the course of the next year, WikiLeaks joined together with five of the world’s most respected news organizations – The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Speigel, Le Monde and El Pais – to publish material that wreaked havoc with the routine conventions of journalism, diplomacy and war. The near simultaneous publication of the material also set the global news agenda three more times in 2010: (1) during the release of the Afghan and (2) Iraq war logs in July and October, respectively, and (3) a cache of diplomatic cables starting in late November.
The modern day whistle-blowing campaign garnered a number of prestigious awards for journalistic excellence, including Readers’ Choice in Time magazine’s Person of the Year (Julian Assange) (2010), International Piero Passetti Journalism Prize of the National Union of Italian Journalists, Italy (2011) and the Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, Australia (2011), among many others.
It also unleashed the wrath of the U.S. government and a wave of recrimination and reprisals against WikiLeaks, and its key figures. Some literally called for its enigmatic frontman, Julian Assange, to be assassinated. In December 2010, Senator Joe Lieberman, Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, pressured Amazon, Paypal, Mastercard, Visa and everyDNS to cut-off resources essential to WikiLeaks’ survival: including servers, data storage, domain names and online payments. Apple removed a WikiLeaks app from the iTunes store shortly thereafter.
The actions did not kill WikiLeaks, but they did cause its donor funding to plummet by an estimated 90 per cent.
The publication of classified material by WikiLeaks triggered an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the source of the leaks. That quickly led to the arrest of U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, in May 2010. It also issued a series of “secret orders” to popular U.S. search and social media sites in a more or less successful bid to access information about people of interest to its WikiLeaks investigation.
Birgitta Jonsdottir is one of those people. So, too, are Mr. Assange, WikiLeaks volunteer Jacob Applebaum and Dutch hacktivist Ron Gongrijp. Their struggle to know which Internet companies received the DOJ’s “secret orders,” and to prevent the disclosure of information about them, raise fundamental questions about state secrets, transparency and privacy rights. They also cut to the heart of journalism in light of how social media like Twitter and Facebook are now routinely used by journalists to access sources, share information, and generally to create and circulate the news.
The Guardian recognized the significance of the Twitter-WikiLeaks cases last month by including Ms. Jonsdottir, Mr. Assange, Mr. Applebaum and Twitter’s chief legal counsel, Alex MacGillvray, on its list of 20 “champions of the open Internet.” The latter was on the list because Twitter was the only Internet company to challenge the DOJ’s “secret orders” (not “court authorized warrants”), while others appear to have rolled-over and shut-up.
Twitter won a small victory in January 2011 when it obtained a court order allowing it to tell Jonsdottir and the rest of the parties involved that Justice wanted information about their accounts. Whatever hope was raised by that ruling, however, was dashed by a blunt district court ruling in the second case 10 months later. It ruled users of commercial social media platforms have no privacy rights because these companies’ business models are based entirely on maximizing the collection and sale of subscriber information. As such, Jonsdottir and the others involved in the case “relinquished any reasonable expectation of privacy” the moment they clicked on Twitter’s terms of service.
At the end of the legal line, Twitter reluctantly handed over a slew of information about their Internet service device numbers, registration pages, connection records, length of service and so on.
The final round of the Twitter-WikiLeaks cases is expected by the end of June when the ACLU and EFF’s last ditch appeal to reveal what other Internet companies received the Justice Department’s “secret orders” will be decided on. Unless the decision rules in their favour, we may never know for sure who these companies are, although Ms. Jonsdottir notes that all eyes are on Facebook, Google and Skype (Microsoft).
Ms. Jonsdottir isn’t holding her breath. Pausing to reflect on the personal effects of these cases, she remains surprisingly upbeat.
“You have to completely alter your lifestyle,” she says. “It’s not pleasant, but I don’t really care. It’s just insults my sense of justice. I would not put anything on social media sites that I don’t want on the front pages of the press.”
She no longer travels to the U.S. on advice of her lawyers and the State Department of Iceland out of fear that she may be arrested. Yet, more than dwelling on the personal costs, Ms. Jonsdottir wants to prick the fantasy of Barack Obama as a great liberal president and the illusion that the U.S. turned a corner when he replaced George W. Bush. Of course, Mr. Obama has taken a liberal stance on some social issues – his endorsement of gay marriage being the most recent – but the national security imperatives that took root in the U.S. after 9/11 have just gotten further entrenched. The Obama administration has charged more whistle-blowers (six) than all past presidents combined (three), she notes. The Twitter – WikiLeaks cases have also all occurred on Mr. Obama’s watch, she reminds us. More examples wait in the wings.
She is not alone in such views. Harvard University law professor Yochai Benkler argues that the decisions by Amazon, Visa, Paypal and Mastercard to withdraw resources essential to WikiLeaks’ survival under pressure from government official is tantamount to the state using compliant commercial actors to do an end-run around the First Amendment. The latest version of the Reporters without Borders’ Press Freedom Index also shows the U.S. dropping from 20th place in 2009 and 2010 to 47th place in 2011, in contrast to the brief, but substantial, improvement during Mr. Obama’s first year in office.
Ms. Jonsdottir is probably fighting a losing legal battle in the U.S., but back in Iceland she is busy building a model of the free press fit for the digital media age. To do so, she and a few others are spearheading the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), a project launched by Iceland’s Parliament in 2010. It’s aim? To give whistle-blowers, privacy and free speech the highest standard of legal protection in the world, and make net neutrality a cornerstone of Iceland’s new Constitution.
Idealistic? For sure, but realistic too. The new constitution – mostly written online as an experiment in “crowd-sourcing” – is finished and awaits ratification. Reporters Without Borders calls IMMI “exemplary,” and evidence of progress in a country that already ranks at the very top of its press freedom index. Even Google is funding one small element of the effort: the development of a “democracy index.”
Ms. Jonsdottir is undoubtedly pushing the radical edges of what is possible, but she is acutely aware that while we may never know for certain if companies such as Google were served with the Justice Department’s “secret orders,” not all of them are happy to be used as tools of the state, wittingly or not. Venture capitalists have also told her that the Twitter-WikiLeaks saga is casting a pall over all U.S. Internet companies. IMMI’s commitment to creating a free digital media zone – not to mention pitching Iceland’s cool climate, which is good for data centres – is also about attracting investment in Internet businesses in the country.
So, dreaming big is not unbridled idealism, but pushing the envelope of what is possible. That’s what democracy is about, Ms. Jonsdottir says. “Voting every four years is absolutely not democracy,” she exclaims as our conversation draws to a close, “it is just a transfer of power.” And while she thinks that the Internet is fantastic, experience teachers her that it will never be able to create a free press and better democracy unless people fight like hell for what they believe in, and press equally hard to build the political and legal frameworks that allow such goals to be achieved.
quote:Wikileaked: Lobbying firm tried to help Syrian regime polish image as violence raged
The lobbying firm that brought you a Vogue story featuring the Syrian first lady was still trying to help the Syrian regime improve its image abroad two months after the notoriously ill-timed article was published and then scrubbed, as the country descended into violence, according to a document revealed by Wikileaks.
The international firm Brown Lloyd James (BLJ) was officially employed by the Office of the First Lady of the Syrian Arab Republic Asma al-Assad in Nov. 2010 for $5,000 per month to help arrange and execute the article, which appeared in the March 2011 edition of Vogue. The fawning piece, entitled, "Rose of the Desert," was actually scrubbed from the Vogue website out of embarrassment when Assad began a brutal crackdown on non-violent protests that month. But you can still read it here.
BLJ's contract with the Assad regime, signed by BLJ partner Mike Holtzman and Syrian government official Fares Kallas, expired in March of last year, according to documents posted on the Foreign Agents Registration Act website. The firm had claimed its work on behalf of the Assads ended in Dec. 2010.
But in May 2011, BLJ sent another memo to Kallas and the Syrian government, giving them advice on how to improve their image and institute a more effective public relations strategy amid the exploding violence in Syria. The memo was published by the Wikileaks website in their dump of 2.4 million Syrian documents this week.
"It is clear from US government pronouncements since the beginning of the public demonstrations in Syria that the Obama Administration wants the leadership in Syria to survive," begins the May 19, 2011, memo. "Unlike its response to demonstrations in some other countries in the region, there have been no US demands for regime change in Syria nor any calls for military intervention, criticism has been relatively muted and punitive sanctions -- by not being aimed directly at President Assad -- have been intended more as a caution than as an instrument to hurt the leadership."
The memo was sent only days after Syrian military forces stormed the town of Baniyas and moved into the cities of Hama and Homs, where civilian massacres soon followed. Three days before the memo was sent, 20 bodies of murdered civilians were discovered in a shallow grave in the city of Daraa. President Barack Obama called for Assad to step down that August.
The memo goes on to warn the Assad regime that the mood in Washington is turning against the regime, as evidenced by tougher statements coming from Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and increasingly critical stories in the U.S. media. BLJ warns the Assads that if they don't get smart about public relations quick, the U.S. system might just turn against them.
"[Increasing bad PR] not only reinforces the Administration's change of tone, it is emboldening critics -- who maintain that Syria's reform efforts are not sincere--and building up pressure on the US government to take further, more drastic steps against the country," the memo states.
BLJ then goes into an extensive set of recommendations for how the Assad regime can put a better spin on the largely government-led violence.
"[S]oft power is needed to reassure the Syrian people and outside audiences that reform is proceeding apace, legitimate grievances are being addressed and taken seriously, and that Syria's actions are ultimately aimed at creating an environment in which change and progress can take place," BLJ explains.
The Assad regime should appoint one figure to "own" the reform agenda to convince Syrians and the outside world the reform effort is "sincere," BLJ advised.
"Refocusing the perception of outsiders and Syrians on reform will provide political cover to the generally sympathetic US Government, and will delegitimize critics at home and abroad," the memo reads.
BLJ even recommends that First Lady Asma al-Assad should "get in the game," do a "listening tour" with the president, and start doing press interviews to create an "echo chamber" in the media that reinforces the idea that Assad is reform-minded.
"The absence of a public figure as popular, capable, and attuned to the hopes of the people as Her Excellency at such a critical moment is conspicuous. The key is to show strength and sympathy at once," BLJ writes.
BLJ also recommends that the Assad regime get more serious about containing negative media stories and the voices of the Syrian opposition around the world, which the memo calls "the daily torrent of criticism and lies." BJR told the Assads they should institute 24-hour media monitoring in the United States and challenge and then remove any websites that are "false."
Overall, the memo recommends that the Assad regime get smart on messaging and start trying to convince the world that the Syrian government is benevolent, that all killings by the military were not officially sanctioned, and that the crisis is not as bad as the international community believes.
"Efforts should be made to convey ‘normalcy' and a contrast to current news depicting Syria as being on the verge of chaos," the memo reads.
Contacted for comment by The Cable Friday, Holtzman said that their official work with the Syrian government came at a time when many, including the U.S. government, had high hopes for progress in opening up Syria. He also said that the May 2012 memo was a "last-ditch" effort "to encourage a peaceful outcome rather than violence."
Holtzman said that BLJ was not paid for writing the memo and that the firm hasn't done any work for the regime since. He framed the memo as an attempt to get the Assad regime to behave better.
"We noted that if the regime was serious about dramatic reform that ‘reform-oriented outreach must be dramatically improved', and recommended that Syria begin to directly ‘engage families and young people' in these reforms," Holtzman said. "Unfortunately, our advice was ignored and our professional involvement in the country ended, just prior to new U.S. sanctions being put into effect."
quote:Iceland Warned of WikiLeaks Vendetta
The government of Iceland warned one of its MPs not to travel to the United States because the country was about to engage on some wholesale arrests of people involved with WikiLeaks.
Indeed, Icelandic MP Birgitta Jˇnsdˇttir confirmed that her attorneys have seen papers showing that a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks’ whistleblowing is currently underway in the United States. Birgitta Jˇnsdˇttir was a co-producer of a video released by WikiLeaks to show US soldiers shooting civilians in Baghdad from a helicopter. The MP admitted that already the American Department of Justice tried to hack by legal means into her social media accounts. Unfortunately, the legal team of Twitter unsealed the US secret document and provided a chance to defend personal data in court from being used in a dragnet, for the first serious attacks on the whistleblower’s supporters and volunteers.
Meanwhile, the speaker of the Icelandic Parliament even raised this issue at the International Parliamentarian Union in 2011, but was backed. It said the outfit was concerned that the legal framework over the use of electronic media wasn’t enough to provide sufficient guarantees to ensure respect for freedom of expression, access to data and the right to privacy.
Birgitta Jˇnsdˇttir has parliamentary immunity under its home country’s law when she carries out political activity, but the United States clearly ignored that fact. She believes that it’s proof that WikiLeaks’ founder is clearly not overreacting to his fear of possible extradition to the United States. Jˇnsdˇttir added that the fact her Twitter data sought was clearly content to establishing key facts about an ongoing investigation.
However, during a meeting at the Icelandic State Department, Jˇnsdˇttir received a message from the newly appointed US Ambassador, who was instructed by his country to announce that if Jˇnsdˇttir ever popped over to the US, the border agents wouldn’t get out their rubber hoses, and promised she wouldn’t have to face an involuntary interrogation.
Nevertheless, the Icelandic State Department strongly advised Birgitta against visiting the United States. In a while, her attorneys saw at least a couple of sealed grand jury papers relating to her when requesting access to the papers pertaining to her case. Of course, the United States wants to get even with the service, and its founder has every reason to worry about being extradited to the country, no matter from Britain or Sweden.
quote:Whistleblower says WikiLeaks founder is in danger
A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee says WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in danger from certain clandestine elements within the US government.
"They are extremely angry [at Assange]. According to press reports, there has been a secret Grand Jury and maybe a secret indictment," Thomas Andrews Drake, a known NSA whistleblower, told Russia Today.
"They want to get him and put him away. There are those at high levels in this country - they have called for a death warrant."
According to Drake, the US government will do everything it can to put Assange away for as long as they can - or worse.
"Speaking truth to power is very dangerous. The power elites, those in charge don't like dirty linen being aired. They don't like skeletons in the closet being seen.... Not only do they object to it, they decide to turn it into criminal activity. Remember, my whistle blowing was criminalized by my own government," he added.
Julian Assange is currently holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he is seeking political asylum. The WikiLeaks founder entered the embassy on June 19 after all attempts to fight extradition to Sweden - where Assange faces charges of sexual assault - failed. Assange, who denies the accusations, is concerned that extradition to Sweden could ultimately lead to his eventual transfer to the United States.
Indeed, author-activist David Swanson recently told Russia Today that Assange will ultimately be handed over to the United States - where he is likely to be tried for espionage. According to Swanson, the American government "has issued a secret closed indictment and pressured other governments in Britain and Sweden to ship Julian Assange to the US."
Swanson also claimed the WikiLeaks founder could face conditions amounting to torture or even murder, as the the US has "very much blurred the line between law enforcement and war."
Swanson's concerns were recently echoed by a US lobbying group known as "Just Foreign Policy," which sent a formal letter to Ecuador asking the country's prime minister to grant Assange asylum. Its signatories included a number of prominent filmmakers, writers, lawyers and civil rights campaigners - such as Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Noam Chomsky.
"There is a strong likelihood that once in Sweden, he would be imprisoned and likely extradited to the United States," they wrote. "Were he charged and found guilty under the Espionage Act, Assange could face the death penalty."
quote:WikiLeaks claims court victory against Visa
Icelandic court rules that payment processor broke contract laws by blocking credit card donations to whistleblowing site
WikiLeaks has claimed a "significant victory" in its struggle with the US government to allow people to make donations to it through the Visa payment scheme, after an Icelandic court ruled that a payment processor there had broken contract laws by blocking credit card donations to Julian Assange's whistleblowing site.
But Visa International said that the ruling, against a Reykjavik-based company called Valitor – formerly Visa Iceland – might not have any broader application and may not change the current position, in which payments cannot be made to WikiLeaks using Visa cards and other US-owned credit cards. That has choked off the vast majority of donations to WikiLeaks, which said it had lost about $20m in funding as a result.
US financial institutions including Visa, Bank of America, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union, stopped accepting or handling payments intended for WikiLeaks in December 2010, after the site began leaking US diplomatic cables from a cache of nearly 250,000 it had acquired.
MasterCard and Visa both said at the time that they were cutting the links because WikiLeaks was "engaging in or facilititating" illegal activity. A PayPal vice-president said that he had come under pressure from the US state department to cut payment links with the site. Until Visa cut its links, the only way to pay a donation was via a web page hosted by Iceland-based Datacell, which acted as WikiLeaks's payment processor.
Attorney Sveinn Andri Sveinsson told Reuters that an Icelandic court has ordered Valitor to resume processing donations to WikiLeaks within two weeks or face Kr800,000 (about ú3,000) in daily fines.
Assange said in a statement: "This is a significant victory against Washington's attempt to silence WikiLeaks. We will not be silenced. Economic censorship is censorship. It is wrong. When it's done outside of the rule of law its doubly wrong. One by one those involved in the attempted censorship of WikiLeaks will find themselves on the wrong side of history."
Sveinsson claims that Thursday's judgment means credit card donations could soon be flowing to DataCell. The court ruled that Valitor had broken its contract by refusing to pass donations to WikiLeaks.
But even if Valitor does resume passing payments to WikiLeaks accounts in Iceland, it is not clear that it would have any to process. The Visa and Mastercard system works in a "four-party" model, where the customer holding a credit card effectively has a contract with an "issuing bank". At the receiving end is the "accepting bank" – in this case Valitor – and its "merchant" (here, WikiLeaks).
Visa and Mastercard effect the transfer of funds between the issuing bank and the accepting bank. While the court may have restored the tie between Valitor and WikiLeaks, it is unclear whether that means that Visa is obliged to pass on money transferred to an issuing bank from a cardholder.
WikiLeaks says that the European Commission is conducting an investigation into what it calls the "banking blockade" imposed by the US financial organisations. It filed a complaint in July 2011 with the competition arm of the EC, saying that Visa and MasterCard had breached antitrust provisions.
In October 2011, Assange said that the site needed $3.5m over the next year in order to continue operating because of the restrictions on funding, and that he expected the EC to decide on whether to carry out a full antitrust investigation into Visa and MasterCard by mid-November.
On Thursday, he said he expected an EC decision on whether to carry out the investigation "before the end of August".
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:WikiLeaks Reopens Channel For Credit Card Donations, Dares Visa And MasterCard To Block Them Again
After 18 months of having its funding nearly completely cut off by a payment industry blockade, WikiLeaks says it’s finally found a new workaround that allows it to receive credit card donations. And after a legal victory against Visa in Iceland, the group is literally daring the card companies to shut down payments to his site again.
In a statement to press Wednesday morning, WikiLeaks writes that the Fund for the Defense of Net Neutrality (FDNN) has agreed to accept donations on behalf of WikiLeaks, and that the group can receive payments through the French payment card system Carte Bleue. WikiLeaks claims that Visa and MasterCard and from blocking payments to the site as they’ve done in the past.
Contractual obligations haven’t necessarily stopped the card companies from cutting off WikiLeaks before. Following its release of classified State Department cables in late 2010, PayPal, Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard and Western Union all blocked payments to the site, some claiming that it had violating their terms of service by engaging in illegal activities despite the fact that no WikiLeaks staffer had been charged with a publishing-related crime. In July of last year, the Icelandic firm Valitor, then Visa Iceland, briefly opened payments to WikiLeaks through its partner firm DataCell. Visa blocked that payment channel again within less than 24 hours.
Then last week, an Icelandic court ruled that Visa Iceland had violated its contract with DataCell by unilaterally blocking payments to the firm, and ordered Valitor to re-open payment before July 26 or pay fines of more than $6,000 per day.
Valitor plans to appeal. But Assange, emboldened by the initial win, hopes to press his advantage and open WikiLeaks’ faucet of donations again–or at least draw more attention to Visa and MasterCard’s legally questionable embargo.
“We beat them in Iceland and, by God, we’ll beat them in France as well,” reads a quote from Assange in the group’s statement. “Let them shut it down. Let them demonstrate to the world once again their corrupt pandering to Washington. We’re waiting. Our lawyers are waiting. The whole world is waiting. Do it.”
I’ve reached out to Visa and MasterCard and will update the story when I hear back from them.
Assange’s public game of brinksmanship also aims to draw attention to WikiLeaks’ dire financial situation. Its statement includes a plea for credit card donations while they’re still possible: “WikiLeaks advises all global supporters to make use of this avenue immediately before VISA/MasterCard attempts to shut it down,” it reads.
WikiLeaks move may be one of desperation: Timed to that emergency pledge drive, WikiLeaks is also releasing financial reports for 2011 and the first half of 2012 from the Wau Holland Foundation, a German non-profit that manages its finances. The documents, predictably, show a steady drop-off in WikiLeaks’ funding since the payment embargo began last year, with almost all of the group’s savings now gone. WikiLeaks says it raised only $171,000 in donations last year, compared with $812,000 in expenses the same year.
quote:Late-night visit helped spark Assange asylum bid
A late-night visit by the security contractor who maintained the electronic bracelet around Julian Assange's ankle was one reason why he decided to seek political asylum in the Ecuador embassy in London.
For the first time, Mr Assange has revealed full details of the sequence of events that led to him moving into the embassy last month.
Mr Assange told Four Corners he only took the decision because after a number of "dramatic events" he feared his bail was about to be cut short.
For more than 500 days the WikiLeaks founder had been fighting extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes, including rape.
Speaking from the embassy by phone, Mr Assange said he became suspicious when the Swedish government publicly announced it would detain him "without charge in prison under severe conditions".
What happened next made him believe he may soon be taken into custody.
"On the same evening, the UK government security contractors that maintained the electronic manacle around my leg turned up unannounced at 10.30pm and insisted on fitting another manacle to my leg, saying that this was part of routine maintenance, which did not sound to be credible," he said.
Mr Assange said the following day the security contractor "filed a section nine bail breach against me" in that "my bail would be revoked and they did so under the basis that we refused to let them in at 10.30pm unannounced".
Later that day Mr Assange said he feared his last avenue of appeal was about to be terminated by the British crown prosecution service.
"Acting, we believe, on behalf of the Swedish government, (they) requested that the 14 days that I had to apply to the European court of human rights be reduced to zero."
Sex, Lies and Julian Assange can be seen on the Four Corners website
quote:Judge orders cross-examination of officials over WikiLeaks documents
Unprecedented step in Chagos Islands case is first time one of the WikiLeaks cables has featured in a UK court case
A top judge has taken the unprecedented step of ordering two senior government officials to face cross-examination in court over a classified US document leaked by WikiLeaks. It is thought to be the first time that one of the WikiLeaks cables has featured in a UK court case.
Despite strong objections from lawyers acting for the foreign secretary, William Hague, the high court judge ruled that the move was necessary to resolve "fairly and justly" a claim launched against the government by exiled residents of the Chagos Islands.
The judge declared the leaked US cable - alleged to relate to a private US-UK diplomatic meeting - could be investigated in court even though it must have been obtained unlawfully by "the notorious internet organisation".
The groundbreaking ruling will come as a blow to Whitehall, which argued the courts should not entertain any applications for cross-examination in relation to documents unlawfully obtained by WikiLeaks.
The British expelled the Chagos Islanders between 1965 and 1973 in order to allow the US to establish an airbase on Diego Garcia, the largest island in the Chagos archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
The expulsion has been described by critics as one of the most shameful episodes of modern colonial history.
The islanders have been fighting a long campaign, which has included a string of court cases, for the right to return to at least some of the islands.
Wednesday's hearing relates to a new high court application by the Chagos Refugees Group for judicial review of the government's decision to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA) around the islands.
Commercial fishing is banned within the MPA. The islanders say the MPA was created for the "improper purpose" of preventing resettlement of the islands.
The UK government denies anything improper and maintains the MPA was created for environmental reasons.
But the islanders say their case is supported by the cable obtained by WikiLeaks. It was sent by the US embassy in London to the US State Department in Washington in May 2009.
The MPA was established in 2010 by a proclamation made by Colin Roberts, commissioner for the BIOT, acting upon the directions of the British government.
The court heard that, in the leaked cable, Roberts asserted at the May 2009 diplomatic meeting with the Americans that creating the MPA would not adversely affect US defence interests - but it would the islanders.
Roberts is reported in the cable to have asserted "establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the (Chagos) archipelago's former residents."
Nigel Pleming QC applied on behalf of the Chagos Islanders earlier this month for permission to cross-examine Roberts when the Chagossian judicial review application comes on for hearing in the near future.
He also applied for permission to cross-examine Joanne Yeadon, a civil servant at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the talks with the Americans.
Pleming said it was not suggested that the WikiLeaks cable was not a genuine document, but the government was hiding behind a "neither confirm nor deny" policy.
Pleming said he wished to question Roberts in the witness box about his discussions with his US counterparts and to test the denial that an improper motive drove the creation of an MPA.
Steven Kovats QC, appearing for the government, said the high court was in a novel situation with regard to WikiLeaks disclosures.
Kovats said: "My clients are not opposing cross-examination because they have anything to hide.
"We are opposing it because, as a matter of principle, it does not seem right in relation to an improperly leaked document.
"We, as a matter of principle, do not accept that WikiLeaks can effectively compel the government to defend something which - absent WikiLeaks - there would be no question of it coming before the court at all."
Today Mr Justice Stanley Burnton rejected the government's objections and ordered that cross-examination should go ahead.
The judge said he acknowledged that the US document "must have been obtained unlawfully, and in all probability by the commission of a criminal offence or offences under the law of the United States of America."
He added: "I understand why it is the policy of HM government neither to confirm nor deny the genuineness of leaked documents, save in exceptional circumstances, particularly where, as here, the documents in question are not those produced or received by the UK government.
"However, the documents have been leaked and indeed widely published."
No application had been made for a public interest immunity certificate to prevent the courts openly investigating the genuineness of the cable.
He ruled: "I do not see how the present claim can be fairly or justly determined without resolving the allegation made by the claimant, based on the WikiLeaks documents, as to what transpired at the meeting of 12 May 2009, and more widely whether at least one of the motives for the creation of the MPA was the desire to prevent resettlement.
"Given the conflicting evidence, in my judgment, in order to resolve the dispute, oral evidence will be necessary, including cross-examination of Mr Roberts and Ms Yeadon."
quote:Swedish Prosecutor Raises Possible Extradition of WikiLeaks Founder to U.S.
A Swedish prosecutor raised the possibility that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, could eventually be extradited to the United States in a statement posted online on Tuesday.
Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor who asked British authorities to detain Mr. Assange and send him to Sweden for questioning about possible sex crimes, discussed the possibility of sending him to the United States in a statement posted on the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s Web site on Tuesday.
Perhaps prompted by speculation that Mr. Assange might be indicted by a grand jury meeting in secret in the United States to consider charges against him related to the publication of leaked American military and diplomatic documents, one section of the Swedish prosecutor’s statement, under the heading, “Facts About Extradition of a Person Who Has Been Surrendered,” reads:
. Due to general agreements in the European Arrest Warrant Act, Sweden cannot extradite a person who has been surrendered to Sweden from another country without certain considerations. Concerning surrender to another country within the European Union, the Act states that the executing country under certain circumstances must approve a further surrender.
. On the other hand, if the extradition concerns a country outside the European Union the authorities in the executing country (the country that surrendered the person) must consent such extradition. Sweden cannot, without such consent extradite a person, for example to the U.S.A.
In other words, the prosecutor said that Britain would have to agree to allow Sweden to send Mr. Assange to the United States even if he ends up in Swedish custody.
In an interview with Al Jazeera in London on Saturday (embedded above), one of Mr. Assange’s lawyers, Mark Stephens, told David Frost that he feared his client was being set up for extradition from Sweden to the United States.
. We have heard from Swedish authorities that there has been a secretly-empaneled grand jury in Alexandria — which some people, you’ll certainly know, is just over the river from Washington, D.C., next to the Pentagon — and they are currently investigating this. And indeed the Swedes, we understand, have said that if he comes to Sweden, they will defer their interest in him to to the Americans. Now, that shows some level of collusion, and embarrassment. So it does seem to me that what we have here is nothing more than a holding charge, with the Americans. It won’t really matter to them whether he’s held in Sweden or here, so that ultimately they can get their mitts on him.
On Tuesday, another lawyer from Mr. Stepehens’ law firm, Jennifer Robinson, told Justin Elliott of Salon that the existence of a grand jury was still “purely speculation.” She added, We do not have any concrete information about that.”
If such a grand jury does exist, American federal prosecutors might prefer to try to extradite Mr. Assange from Sweden to face arcane charges related to computer crimes because they have already spent years fighting to get British authorities to surrender another such person — a Scottish computer hacker named Gary McKinnon.
As my colleague John Burns explained last year, Mr. McKinnon acknowledged hacking into 97 computers belonging to the United States Defense Department, Navy, Army and Air Force, and NASA, in 2002, searching, he said, for information about U.F.O.s. But, even though a grand jury in Virginia indicted him in 2002, the long legal battle to extradite Mr. McKinnon is still going on, eight years later.
While Mr. Assange is not British, as is Mr. McKinnon — and he has not been implicated in hacking into American government computers — he is, as an Australian, a citizen of a Commonwealth country with close cultural ties to Britain. For that reason, if American officials are hoping to extradite Mr. Assange in less than eight years, they might just be rooting for him to end up in Swedish custody.
quote:Stratfor emails reveal secret, widespread TrapWire surveillance system
Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology — and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.
Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it's the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation's ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.
The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.
Hacktivists aligned with the loose-knit Anonymous collective took credit for hacking Stratfor on Christmas Eve, 2011, in turn collecting what they claimed to be more than five million emails from within the company. WikiLeaks began releasing those emails as the Global Intelligence Files (GIF) earlier this year and, of those, several discussing the implementing of TrapWire in public spaces across the country were circulated on the Web this week after security researcher Justin Ferguson brought attention to the matter. At the same time, however, WikiLeaks was relentlessly assaulted by a barrage of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, crippling the whistleblower site and its mirrors, significantly cutting short the number of people who would otherwise have unfettered access to the emails.
On Wednesday, an administrator for the WikiLeaks Twitter account wrote that the site suspected that the motivation for the attacks could be that particularly sensitive Stratfor emails were about to be exposed. A hacker group called AntiLeaks soon after took credit for the assaults on WikiLeaks and mirrors of their content, equating the offensive as a protest against editor Julian Assange, “the head of a new breed of terrorist.” As those Stratfor files on TrapWire make their rounds online, though, talk of terrorism is only just beginning.
Mr. Ferguson and others have mirrored what are believed to be most recently-released Global Intelligence Files on external sites, but the original documents uploaded to WikiLeaks have been at times unavailable this week due to the continuing DDoS attacks. Late Thursday and early Friday this week, the GIF mirrors continues to go offline due to what is presumably more DDoS assaults. Australian activist Asher Wolf wrote on Twitter that the DDoS attacks flooding the WikiLeaks server were reported to be dropping upwards of 40 gigabytes of traffic per second on the site.
According to a press release (pdf) dated June 6, 2012, TrapWire is “designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports.” A system of interconnected nodes spot anything considered suspect and then input it into the system to be "analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.”
In a 2009 email included in the Anonymous leak, Stratfor Vice President for Intelligence Fred Burton is alleged to write, “TrapWire is a technology solution predicated upon behavior patterns in red zones to identify surveillance. It helps you connect the dots over time and distance.” Burton formerly served with the US Diplomatic Security Service, and Abraxas’ staff includes other security experts with experience in and out of the Armed Forces.
What is believed to be a partnering agreement included in the Stratfor files from August 13, 2009 indicates that they signed a contract with Abraxas to provide them with analysis and reports of their TrapWire system (pdf).
“Suspicious activity reports from all facilities on the TrapWire network are aggregated in a central database and run through a rules engine that searches for patterns indicative of terrorist surveillance operations and other attack preparations,” Crime and Justice International magazine explains in a 2006 article on the program, one of the few publically circulated on the Abraxas product (pdf). “Any patterns detected – links among individuals, vehicles or activities – will be reported back to each affected facility. This information can also be shared with law enforcement organizations, enabling them to begin investigations into the suspected surveillance cell.”
In a 2005 interview with The Entrepreneur Center, Abraxas founder Richard “Hollis” Helms said his signature product “can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw patterns, and do threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists.” He calls it “a proprietary technology designed to protect critical national infrastructure from a terrorist attack by detecting the pre-attack activities of the terrorist and enabling law enforcement to investigate and engage the terrorist long before an attack is executed,” and that, “The beauty of it is that we can protect an infinite number of facilities just as efficiently as we can one and we push information out to local law authorities automatically.”
An internal email from early 2011 included in the Global Intelligence Files has Stratfor’s Burton allegedly saying the program can be used to “[walk] back and track the suspects from the get go facial recognition software.”
Since its inception, TrapWire has been implemented in most major American cities at selected high value targets (HVTs) and has appeared abroad as well. The iWatch monitoring system adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department (pdf) works in conjunction with TrapWire, as does the District of Columbia and the "See Something, Say Something" program conducted by law enforcement in New York City, which had 500 surveillance cameras linked to the system in 2010. Private properties including Las Vegas, Nevada casinos have subscribed to the system. The State of Texas reportedly spent half a million dollars with an additional annual licensing fee of $150,000 to employ TrapWire, and the Pentagon and other military facilities have allegedly signed on as well.
In one email from 2010 leaked by Anonymous, Stratfor’s Fred Burton allegedly writes, “God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients.” Files on USASpending.gov reveal that the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense together awarded Abraxas and TrapWire more than one million dollars in only the past eleven months.
News of the widespread and largely secretive installation of TrapWire comes amidst a federal witch-hunt to crack down on leaks escaping Washington and at attempt to prosecute whistleblowers. Thomas Drake, a former agent with the NSA, has recently spoken openly about the government’s Trailblazer Project that was used to monitor private communication, and was charged under the Espionage Act for coming forth. Separately, former NSA tech director William Binney and others once with the agency have made claims in recent weeks that the feds have dossiers on every American, an allegation NSA Chief Keith Alexander dismissed during a speech at Def-Con last month in Vegas.
quote:Anonymous Operation TrapWire – Press Release
Sunday – August 12, 2012 11:00 AM ET USA
Greetings Citizens of the United States of America –
This weekend, it was disclosed by Wikileaks the details about a system known as “TrapWire” that uses facial recognition and other techniques including high-end artificial intelligence to track and monitor individuals using countless different closed-circuit cameras operated by cities and other institutions, including private businesses. This program also monitors all social media on the internet. The software is billed as a method by which to prevent terrorism, but can of course also be used to provide unprecedented surveillance and data-mining capabilities to governments and corporations – including many with a history of using new technologies to violate the rights of citizens. TrapWire is already used in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Texas, DC, London, and other locales around the USA.
The ex-CIA agents who help run the firm are old friends of Stratfor vice president Fred Burton, whom they’ve briefed on their own capabilities in e-mails obtained by Anonymous hackers and provided to WikiLeaks. Stratfor has engaged in several surveillance operations against activists, such as those advocating for victims of the Bhopal disaster – on behalf of large U.S. corporatons; Burton himelf was revealed to have advocated “bankrupting” and “ruining the life” of activists like Julian Assange in e-mails to other friends. TrapWire is extremely expensive to maintain, and is usually done so at taxpayer expense; Los Angeles county alone has spent over $1.4 million dollars on the software’s use in a single three-month period of 2007.
Although most of the regions in which TrapWire operates don’t share information with each other, all of this is set to change; as Abraxas Applications president Dan Botsch told Burton via e-mail, “I think over time the different networks will begin to unite,” noting that several networks had already begun discussions on merging their information. Abraxas itself has always had the ability to “cross-network matches” from every region at their own office. By June 2011, Washington D.C. police were engaged in a pilot project under the Departent of Homeland Security that’s likely to lead to more cities using TrapWire on a more integrated basis.
Abraxas, the firm whose spin-off Abraxas Applications developed TrapWire in 2007, has long been involved in a lesser-known practice known as persona management, which involves the use of fake online “people” to gather intelligence and/or disseminate disinformation. The firm Ntrepid, created by Abraxas owner Cubic Corporation, won a 2010 CENTCOM contract to provide such capabilities for use in foreign countries; several board members of Ntrepid also sit on Abraxas.
The more we learn about TrapWire and similar systems, it becomes absolutely clear that we must at all costs shut this system down and render it useless. A giant AI electronic brain able to monitor us through a combination of access to all the CCTV cameras as well as all the online social media feeds is monstrous and Orwellian in it’s implications and possibilities. The Peoples Liberation Front and Anonymous will now put forth a call to arms, and initiate the doom of this evil and misbegotten program. We will use the following tactics to accomplish this goal:
1) The PLF and Anonymous will work closely with WikiLeaks and Project PM to gather, collate, disclose and disseminate as much information as possible about TrapWire and it’s related technologies and programs. This was begun this weekend, and already much has been learned. And they are scared of this, already many sites and repositories of data on TrapWire are disappearing – being taken down by those who do not want you to know the truth about what they are doing. And WikiLeaks is at this writing enduring a massive and historic DdoS attack in an attempt to conceal this information from the public. We will do this not only to educate the general public regarding TrapWire, but to move them to pressure their representatives to shut down funding for this and similar programs of massive surveillance, and to pass laws outlawing the creation of future projects of this type.
2) ACTION ALERT – “Smash A Cam Saturday”: TrapWire has access to virtually all CCTV’s that have IP/internet connectivity. We have prepared an initial map/database of these cameras across the USA, and we will continue to expand this knowledge base.
While this database is a good guide to high priority camera targets, we encourage everyone to target any camera with IP/internet connectivity. We are asking everyone to sabotage at least one CCTV per week on what we are calling “Smash A Cam Saturday”. We have provided this excellent manual of different tactics and strategies for disabling or destroying these “eyes of the beast”.
3) As stated above, this “monster” doesn’t just have eyes that need gouging out – it also has “ears”. TrapWire constantly monitors social media. In a strange twist of fate, the company that developed TrapWire also works on something called “sock-puppet” programs. These are projects designed to create thousands of fake personas on social media. We will turn this idea and software against them, creating thousands of phony accounts and use them to produce a deluge of false triggers for the TrapWire program – essentially drowning it in “white noise”.
4) Finally, the Peoples Liberation Front and Anonymous will do what we do best. We will find, hack – and destroy the servers where the AI “electronic brain” of this program is housed.
Operation TrapWire is a direct action of the over-arching Anonymous Operation USA. TrapWire is but one instance of how the government of the USA has turned against it’s own citizens, designating them as suspects and enemies. Now those citizens rise, and take back their country and their freedom. Welcome to the Second American Revolution.
We Are Anonymous
We Are Legion
We Never Forgive
We Never Forget
Government of the USA, it’s to late to EXPECT US.
quote:Julian Assange will be granted asylum, says official
Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has agreed to give the WikiLeaks founder asylum, according to an official in Quito
Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has agreed to give Julian Assange asylum, officials within Ecuador's government have said.
The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up at Ecuador's London embassy since 19 June, when he officially requested political asylum.
"Ecuador will grant asylum to Julian Assange," said an official in the Ecuadorean capital Quito, who is familiar with the government discussions.
On Monday, Correa told state-run ECTV that he would decide this week whether to grant asylum to Assange. Correa said a large amount of material about international law had to be examined to make a responsible informed decision.
Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Pati˝o indicated that the president would reveal his answer once the Olympic Games were over. But it remains unclear if giving Assange asylum will allow him to leave Britain and fly to Ecuador, or amounts to little more than a symbolic gesture. At the moment he faces the prospect of arrest as soon as he leaves the embassy for breaching his bail conditions.
"For Mr Assange to leave England, he should have a safe pass from the British [government]. Will that be possible? That's an issue we have to take into account," Patino told Reuters on Tuesday.
Government sources in Quito confirmed that despite the outstanding legal issues Correa would grant Assange asylum – a move which would annoy Britain, the US and Sweden. They added that the offer was made to Assange several months ago, well before he sought refuge in the embassy, and following confidential negotiations with senior London embassy staff.
The official with knowledge of the discussions said the embassy had discussed Assange's asylum request. The British government, however, "discouraged the idea," the offical said. The Swedish government was also "not very collaborative", the official said.
The official added: "We see Assange's request as a humanitarian issue. The contact between the Ecuadorean government and WikiLeaks goes back to May 2011, when we became the first country to see the leaked US embassy cables completely declassified ... It is clear that when Julian entered the embassy there was already some sort of deal. We see in his work a parallel with our struggle for national sovereignty and the democratisation of international relations."
Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct. He is said to be living in one room of the diplomatic building, where he has a high-speed internet connection.
Ecuadorean diplomats believe Assange is at risk of being extradited from Sweden to the US, where he could face the death penalty. Assange's supporters claim the US has already secretly indicted him following WikiLeaks' release in 2010 of US diplomatic cables, as well as classified Afghan and Iraq war logs.
Correa and Pati˝o have both said that Ecuador will take a sovereign decision regarding Assange. They say they view his case as a humanitarian act, and are seeking to protect Assange's right to life and freedom. On Monday the state-run newspaper El TelÚgrafo confirmed a decision had been made, although the paper did not specify what that decision was. It said that senior officials had been meeting in the past few days to iron out the last legal details.
Two weeks ago Assange's mother Christine Assange paid Ecuador an official visit, following an invitation by Ecuador's foreign affairs ministry. She met with Correa and Pati˝o, as well as with other top politicians, including Fernando Cordero, head of Ecuador's legislature. Both Pati˝o and Ms Assange appeared visibly touched during a press conference, which had to be briefly suspended when Ms Assange started crying.
Ms Assange also held several public meetings in government buildings, and in one case she was accompanied by the head of Assange's defence team, Baltasar Garzˇn, the former Spanish judge who ordered the London arrest of Chile's General Pinochet.
Other top political figures in Ecuador have been vocal about the government's support of Assange's bid. "Our comrade the president, who leads our international policy, will grant Julian Assange asylum," said MarÝa Augusta Calle, a congresswoman of the president's party, and former head of the Sovereignty, Foreign Affairs and Latin American Integration Commission during the 2008 Constitutional Assembly, during a meeting with Ms Assange.
Over the past year and a half, Assange has remained in touch with Ecuador's embassy in London. In April, he interviewed President Correa for his TV show on Russia Today, the English-language channel funded by the Russian government. The interview, which lasted 75 minutes, included a pally exchange in which Assange and Correa bonded over freedom of speech and the negative role of the US in Latin America. At one point Correa joked: "Are you having a lot of fun with the interview, Julian?" Assange replied: "I'm enjoying your jokes a great deal, yes."
Correa has made international headlines this year for what critics have called a government crackdown on private media. Analysts say that granting the WikiLeaks founder asylum could be a way for him to depict himself as a champion of freedom of speech ahead of the February 2013 presidential elections, in which he is expected to run again.
bronquote:Het blijft volgens de Britse krant The Guardian onduidelijk of zo'n besluit Assange in staat stelt het Verenigd Koninkrijk te verlaten en naar Equador te vliegen. Mogelijk is slechts sprake van een symbolisch gebaar.
Volgens Reuters wordt achter de schermen echter ook gewerkt aan een manier om de Assange ongeschonden Groot-BrittanniŰ te laten verlaten.
Schijnt jammer genoeg niet zo te zijn en de engelse politie heeft destijds al aangekondigd hem op te pakken zodra hij de ambassade verlaat in een auto.quote:
quote:TrapWire scandal: mainstream media whitewashes the facts behind massive surveillance program
The discovery of a surveillance system named TrapWire has connected state and federal law enforcement agencies with a vast intelligence infrastructure, raising questions everywhere — except in the mainstream media.
The New York Times finally brought TrapWire into discussion late Monday in an article published on their website that has journalist Scott Shane discarding initial reports made about the surveillance system as “wildly exaggerated.” A piece published hours earlier in Slate says stories about TrapWire are “rooted in hyperbole and misinformation” and “heavier on fiction than fact,” and even Cubic Corporation, the San Diego, California company reported as the parent company to developers Abraxas Corp., have been driven to dismiss that rumored relationship with a formal press release.
“Cubic Corporation acquired Abraxas Corporation on December 20, 2010,” a Monday afternoon statement from Cubic claims. “Abraxas Corporation then and now has no affiliation with Abraxas Applications now known as Trapwire, Inc.”
But four days after RT first broke the news of a nationwide surveillance system operated underneath the noses of millions of Americans — and even citizens abroad — the mainstream media and the major players are going to great lengths to abolish any and all allegations about TrapWire. As private researchers, journalists and hacktivists correspond with one another over the Web, though, the information becoming increasingly available about Cubic, Abraxas and TrapWire — facts meant to be left under wraps — is opening up details about a vast operation with strict ties to the intelligence community, the federal government, the US Defense Department contractors and countless others across the globe.
While the New York Times has indeed finally come forth with a story on TrapWire, their rushed exposÚ about a story sparked by “speculation” contains references to allegations that are argued directly in emails obtained from Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, the intelligence company that was hacked by the Anonymous collective last year. Emails uncovered in the attack were provided to WikiLeaks, who on their part published the trove in installments, including a dump last week. Thanks to a red flag being raised by independent researcher Justin Ferguson last week, the TrapWire system was linked to Stratfor staffers, in turn causing a colossal investigation to be launched from all corners of the Internet.
So far, that probing has proved at least one thing: that the allegations made by both Cubic and sources speaking to the Times are either dead wrong or represent a quickly snowballing attempt at a cover-up.
Speaking to the Times for Shane’s article, New York Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne says that rumors the city’s subway system is covered by 500 cameras linked to TrapWire are false. Explicitly, Browne says, “We don’t use TrapWire,” but the Times stops short of printing a quote from the NYPD that exceeds six syllables. While Browne has not publically weighed in yet as to if the NYC surveillance cams were formerly part of the TrapWire system, emails uncovered in the Stratfor attack seem to suggest exactly that.
In an email dated September 26, 2011, Stratfor Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton is believed to have responded to a memo about the NYPD’s counter-terrorism efforts by writing, “Note their TrapWire intuitive video surveillance capabilities. NYPD has done what no US Govt Agency has been able to do in the CT [counter-terrorism] arena.”
In a separate correspondence sent one year earlier on July 16, 2010, Burton writes that “TrapWire may be the most successful invention on the GWOT [Global War on Terror] since 9-11.”
“I knew these hacks when they were GS-12's at the CIA. God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients,” he adds, referring to “high-value targets.”
Contrasting the statements made by the NYPD rep and Stratfor’s VP open up nothing more than a he-said-she-said scenario that makes it impossible, at this point, to put a finger on who exactly is in the right. Since New York City has readied their own domain-awareness-system, openly admitted to conducting undercover surveillance of Muslim residents and installed thousands of cameras on the island of Manhattan alone, though, it doesn’t seem all that odd that Mayor Bloomberg would have authorized the use of TrapWire in at least some capacity during the past few years.
Also brought into question are the merits behind Cubic Corporation's claims about their relationship with TrapWire. “Abraxas Corporation then and now has no affiliation with Abraxas Applications now known as Trapwire, Inc.,” the company claims in their press release issued this Monday. According to a 2007 report in the Washington Business Journal, though, that as well is a full-on fib.
“Abraxas Corp., a risk-mitigation technology company, has spun out a software business to focus on selling a new product,” the article reads. “The spinoff – called Abraxas Applications – will sell TrapWire, which predicts attacks on critical infrastructure by analyzing security reports and video surveillance.”
Published more than five years before the Stratfor emails prompted a probe into TrapWire and its affiliates, the Washington Business Journal article answers a lot of questions that are being asked today.
“Reston-based Abraxas Applications will seek federal, state and local government clients as [well] as companies in financial services, oil and gas, chemicals, transportation and other industries with critical infrastructure,” the article alleges.
Just as today, though, Business Journal also acknowledges a cloud of secrecy that keeps the juiciest part of TrapWire under wraps: “The 300-person company has spent millions of dollars developing TrapWire, but won't say precisely how much,” their article reads.
Elsewhere, the Journal adds another piece to the puzzle involving the surveillance system and the NYPD: “Abraxas Applications hits the ground running. Abraxas Corp. previously won contracts to test TrapWire with the New York Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Department of Energy and Marine Corps.”
Meanwhile, current investigations conducted by RT and other outlets have suggested that TrapWire may be connected to as many as thousands of cameras in Washington, DC and others in London, Las Vegas as elsewhere.
Heftigquote:'Wij zijn geen Britse kolonie', aldus de minister in een boze verklaring. Hij zei tevens dat Ecuador donderdag om 14.00 uur (onze tijd) officieel bekendmaakt of Assange politiek asiel krijgt in het Zuid-Amerikaanse land.
quote:Patino also released details of a letter he said was delivered through a British embassy official in Quito, the capital of the South American country.
The letter said: "You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the Embassy."
The letter added: "We need to reiterate that we consider the continued use of the diplomatic premises in this way incompatible with the Vienna Convention and unsustainable and we have made clear the serious implications that this has for our diplomatic relations."
An Ecuadorean government spokesman said: "We are deeply shocked by the British government's threats against the sovereignty of the Ecuadorean Embassy and their suggestion that they may forcibly enter the embassy.
"This a clear breach of international law and the protocols set out in the Vienna Convention.
Dat kan nog leuk worden:quote:
Kut, ik wil eigenlijk slapen maar dit gaat idd leuk worden. kan je een beetje het nieuws hier posten? Zit op mobiel .quote:Op donderdag 16 augustus 2012 00:54 schreef Papierversnipperaar het volgende:
Dat kan nog leuk worden:twitter:
Ik moet ook slapenquote:
Ja ik ook, aan de andere kant is dit best belangrijk!quote:Op donderdag 16 augustus 2012 00:58 schreef Papierversnipperaar het volgende:
Ik moet ook slapentwitter:
"Rumors: revoke embassy status"quote:
Nee, precies hetzelfde. Maar wat wou Ecuador daar aan gaan doen dan?quote:
http://bambuser.com/v/2905238 - daar keek ik naar want plotseling ligt die hele site eruit.quote:
Ecuador kßn daar niks aan doen, dat weet ik ook wel. Maar het maakt wel mooi duidelijk hoe vreselijk hypocriet het is.quote:
Origineel... (d'r werd net al een pizza bezorgd).quote:
Precies. Laat ons trotse bareback-ers met rust.quote:
Ja, maar het schijnt dat de ambassade op de eerste verdieping begint. Er is vannacht wel een diplomaat naar binnen gegaan.quote:
Dat weet ik niet, maar binnen in het gebouw betekend niet automatisch binnen in de ambassade.quote:
Assange heeft aangeboden met de Zweedse justitie te praten, in die ambassade. Dat wil Zweden niet. Op de vraag of Zweden kon garanderen dat Assange niet aan de VS zou worden uitgeleverd kon Zweden geen antwoord geven.quote:Op donderdag 16 augustus 2012 16:00 schreef SeLang het volgende:
Waar gaat dit in godsnaam allemaal over...
Assange is aangeklaagd in Zweden voor verkrachting en Zweden vraagt uitlevering. Toch normaal dan dat je zo iemand uitlevert? Als hij onschuldig is dan zal dat in de rechtszaal wel blijken. Wat is daar mis mee?
Maar de angst van Assange is blijkbaar uitlevering aan de VS. Hoezo uitlevering aan de VS? Hij is toch helemaal niet aangeklaagd door de VS? Dus in feite gaat het hier alleen maar om pure speculatie dat hij misschien wordt aangeklaagd door de VS en dan misschien zou worden uitgeleverd door Zweden. WTF!
Hoe dan ook volkomen terecht van de Britten dat ze iemand die wordt verdacht van een ernstig zedendelict uitleveren. Sterker nog, ze zijn dat per Europees verdrag gewoon verplicht.
Natuurlijk niet. Staat die Assange dan boven de wet ofzo dat er voor hem speciale regels moeten gelden?quote:
Natuurlijk kunnen ze daar geen antwoord op geven. Er is namelijk helemaal geen uitleveringsverzoek van de VSquote:Op de vraag of Zweden kon garanderen dat Assange niet aan de VS zou worden uitgeleverd kon Zweden geen antwoord geven.
Hij is beschuldigd van verkrachting en dat is een ernstig delict. Of dat standhoudt zal moeten blijken in een Zweedse rechtbank. Het heeft weinig zin om daarover te speculeren want het verandert niets aan het uitleveringsverzoek dat er ligt.quote:En dat 'ernstige zedendelict', daar is ook nog wel het e.e.a. op af te dingen - een van die dames heeft naderhand foto's van Assange in haar bed op FaceBook gezet Ún daarna nog een feestje gevierd ter ere van Assange. Komt op mij niet bepaald over als een slachtoffer van misdrijf...
Er is geen aanklachtquote:
Blijkbaar wel. Want tegen alle regels in heeft Zweden een Interpol bericht uitgestuurd, niet omdat deze man een voortvluchtige crimineel was, nee, zelfs niet dt hij een verdachte was, nee... een Interpol bericht omdat ze hem eventjes will spreken. En dit is de eerste keer in de geschiedenis van Interpol dat dit gebeurt is!quote:
Nee, dat uitleveringsverzoek komt pas zodra Assange een voet op Zweedse bodem zet. Daarvoor zou dat een hele slechte zet zijn, want dan gaan andere landen misschien wel wat voorzichtiger om met Assange, terwijl de VS weet dat Zweden hem zo zou uitleveren.quote:[..]
Natuurlijk kunnen ze daar geen antwoord op geven. Er is namelijk helemaal geen uitleveringsverzoek van de VS
Nee, hij is niet beschuldigd, hij is nog nooit in staat van beschuldiging gesteld. Hij is officieel ook geen verdachte. De politie wil hem enkel horen.quote:[..]
Hij is beschuldigd van verkrachting en dat is een ernstig delict. Of dat standhoudt zal moeten blijken in een Zweedse rechtbank. Het heeft weinig zin om daarover te speculeren want het verandert niets aan het uitleveringsverzoek dat er ligt.
quote:List of documents > for release Syria Files shed some light on how Blue Coat technologies ended up in Syria
Thursday 5 July 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing the Syria Files – more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies, dating from August 2006 to March 2012. This extraordinary data set derives from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names, including those of the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture. At this time Syria is undergoing a violent internal conflict that has killed between 6,000 and 15,000 people in the last 18 months. The Syria Files shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another.
quote:The RT.com website went down for hours worldwide on Friday after a massive DDoS attack, with the hacker group calling itself AntiLeaks claiming responsibility.
“Yes. We are behind the DDoS attack on #RT_com,” AntiLeaks wrote on Twitter.
quote:The hackers that attacked RT.com put a #FreePussyRiot hashtag in the end of their tweet, expressing their support for the three alleged members of punk band Pussy Riot who are currently on trial in Moscow.
The DDoS attack disrupted RTs extensive reporting on the final day of Pussy Riot trial. RT has been following the bands case on a daily basis since their infamous 'punk prayer' at Russias Christ the Savior Cathedral in February.
Ach, flikker toch op, tosti-ijzerquote:
Laat jij de aanklacht even zien? Assange is nog met niets aangeklaagd (behalve nu zijn borgtocht), Zweden wilt hem spreken inzake een lopend onderzoek. Dat is iets heel anders.quote:Op zondag 19 augustus 2012 17:00 schreef Robmeister het volgende:
Doe jij nu verkrachters het handje boven het hoofd houden omdat ze toevallig geheimen staatdocumenten gepubliceerd hebben?
Assange dient zich gewoon te verandwoorden voor een rechter zoals iedereen die verdacht wordt van verkrachting. Of begrijp je niet wat hem ten laste is gelegd.
Dus misschien kan je beter zelf opflikkeren, of je haalt jezelf door de papierversnipperaar.
Ik hoef niemand het hand boven het hoofd te houdenquote:het handje boven het hoofd houden
Dat is helemaal niet toevallig in het geval van Wikileaks en Assangequote:omdat ze toevallig geheimen staatdocumenten gepubliceerd hebben?
Er is hem niets ten laste gelegd.quote:Assange dient zich gewoon te verandwoorden voor een rechter zoals iedereen die verdacht wordt van verkrachting. Of begrijp je niet wat hem ten laste is gelegd.
Dat maak ik zelf nog wel uit, tosti-ijzer.quote:Dus misschien kan je beter zelf opflikkeren, of je haalt jezelf door de papierversnipperaar.
er is aangifte gedaan door twee vrouwen van het zelfde vergrijp. Het is dan niet meer dan logisch dat jij je daar voor moet verantwoorden. Zo werkt het nu eenmaal in een rechtstaat. Al er een aangifte ligt en jusitie vind er voldoende bewijs in om er iets mee te doen wordt je ondervraagt. Het is dan ook niet meer dan logisch dat je dat moet doen vanuit het land waar die aangifte ligt.quote:Laat jij de aanklacht even zien? Assange is nog met niets aangeklaagd (behalve nu zijn borgtocht), Zweden wilt hem spreken inzake een lopend onderzoek. Dat is iets heel anders.
Ecuador heeft gevraagd of Zweden hem wilt ondervragen in hun ambassade in Londen. Dat wilt Zweden niet. De kans is dus groot dat ze hem willen enkel om op te sluiten en uit te leveren.
quote:Now that Andrew Kreig, of the Justice Integrity Project, has confirmed Karl Rove’s role as an advisor to the Swedish government in its prosecution of Julian Assange on sexual misconduct charges, it is important that we note the many glaring aberrations in the handling of Assange’s case by the authorities in Sweden.
Dr. Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist at Uppsala University, explained on Kreig’s radio show last month that Karl Rove has been working directly as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party. Kreig also reported, in Connecticut Watchdog, that the Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgstr÷m and Bodstr÷m, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodstr÷m, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice. In that office, Bodstr÷m helped approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured. This background compels us to review the case against Assange with extreme care.
Based on my 23 years of reporting on global rape law, and my five years of supporting women at rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters, I can say with certainty that this case is not being treated as a normal rape or sexual assault case. New details from the Swedish police make this quite clear. Their transcript of the complaints against Assange is strikingly unlike the dozens of such transcripts that I have read throughout the years as an advocate for victims of sex crimes.
Specifically, there are eight ways in which this transcript is unusual:
Zucht.....quote:Op zondag 19 augustus 2012 18:37 schreef Robmeister het volgende:
er is aangifte gedaan door twee vrouwen van het zelfde vergrijp. Het is dan niet meer dan logisch dat jij je daar voor moet verantwoorden. Zo werkt het nu eenmaal in een rechtstaat. Al er een aangifte ligt en jusitie vind er voldoende bewijs in om er iets mee te doen wordt je ondervraagt. Het is dan ook niet meer dan logisch dat je dat moet doen vanuit het land waar die aangifte ligt.
Het zelfde gold voor die Dominic Strauss Kahn die verdacht werdt van aanranding van een kamermeisje. Het was niet meer dan terecht dat hij de VS niet mocht verlaten. Dat geld natuurlijk ook voor Assange. Het is natuurlijk niet niets als er twee aangiftes tegen je liggen van een soortgelijk vergrijp. Zweden heeft alle recht om deze man te berechten. Want dat gebeurd meestal als er een aangifte tegen je ligt.
http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/(...)szaak-tegen-assange/quote:Een gelekt politierapport over de aangifte van de twee Zweedse vrouwen tegen Julian Assange werpt nieuw licht op de verkrachtingszaak. De seksuele verhoudingen zouden in eerste instantie door zowel de vrouwen als Assange gewenst zijn, zoals de WikiLeaks-oprichter beweert. Maar nadat hij onveilige seks wilde, veranderde dit.
En ze willen hem ook niet spreken. Ze lieten hem het land uit gaan en weigerden hem in Engeland te spreken.quote:
Lees je eerst even in anders...quote:Op maandag 20 augustus 2012 00:28 schreef Robmeister het volgende:
die aangiftes liggen er wel!!
Nou kijk, Zweden wil hem natuurlijk niet voor niets spreken. Het is niet zo dat ze hem willen interviewen. Zweden is zo ongeveer het meest respectvolle land van Europa, door deze actie wordt het rechtssysteem van Zweden publiekelijk geschoffeerd door een schoffie..Men mag er gewoon vanuit gaan dat Zweden aanleiding zat heeft om Assange te spreken voor een lopende zaak. Hoogstwaarschijnlijk heeft deze assange gewoon iets te verbergen hoor.quote:Op maandag 20 augustus 2012 00:45 schreef oompaloompa het volgende:
Hij is niet officieel verdacht omdat het Zweedse systeem anders werkt. BInnen dat systeem kunnen ze iemand niet als officiele verdachte aanmerken zonder diegene officieel gesproken te hebben. Techinisch gezien is hij dus niet officieel verdacht. Maar praktisch gezien is hij meer een "verdachte" dan iemand die in Nederland niet officieel verdacht zou zijn.
De vrouwen hebben overigens hun aangifte ingetrokken, die liggen er dus niet. De staat heeft echter besloten de zaak open te houden voor zover ik me kan herinneren.
Als burger in een democratie heb je niet alleen het recht, maar ook de morele verplichting het systeem te controleren. Met de leaks is aangetoond dat Amerika systematisch mensenrechten schond. Daar moet je iemand niet voor martelen, maar voor prijzen.quote:Op maandag 20 augustus 2012 10:19 schreef Robmeister het volgende:
Nou kijk, Zweden wil hem natuurlijk niet voor niets spreken. Het is niet zo dat ze hem willen interviewen. Zweden is zo ongeveer het meest respectvolle land van Europa, door deze actie wordt het rechtssysteem van Zweden publiekelijk geschoffeerd door een schoffie..Men mag er gewoon vanuit gaan dat Zweden aanleiding zat heeft om Assange te spreken voor een lopende zaak. Hoogstwaarschijnlijk heeft deze assange gewoon iets te verbergen hoor.
Buiten dat om moet hij ook niet zo zeuren, als je geheimen staats documenten publiekelijk maakt dan kan je weten dat niet iedereen daar op zit te wachten. Ook vraag ik me af wat bv een land als Rusland zou doen als Assange alle Russische militaire geheimen openbaar had gemaakt, Wat dat betreft kan hij nog beter overgeleverd worden aan Amerika als ze dat willen, als dat je de Russische geheimen dienst achter je kont aan hebt lopen.
Wie zijn kont brand moet op de blaren zitten.
Hoezo is assange gemarteld dan? Ik geloof het niet, dus ik begrijp je hele reactie dan ook niet. Buiten dat om als je geheimen staats documenten openbaar maakt noeemen we dat spionage en niet klokkenluiden. Klokkenluiden is iets aankaarten wat men nog niet wist. Dat amerika mensenrechten schend is al jaren geen geheim. Sterker nog mensenrechten schenden doen we allemaal. Of niet?quote:Als burger in een democratie heb je niet alleen het recht, maar ook de morele verplichting het systeem te controleren. Met de leaks is aangetoond dat Amerika systematisch mensenrechten schond. Daar moet je iemand niet voor martelen, maar voor prijzen.
Dat zeg ik niet, Ik vraag het me wel af wat Rusland zou doen met spionnen en hoe de wereld dan reageert.quote:De vergelijking met Rusland snap ik niet helemaal. Omdat je iets kunt verzinnen dat nog erger is, is het andere niet meer zo erg?
Manning is gemarteld. Assange vraagt asiel aan omdat hij vreest aan de US uitgeleverd te worden en daar gemarteld te worden.quote:Op maandag 20 augustus 2012 11:58 schreef Robmeister het volgende:
Hoezo is assange gemarteld dan? Ik geloof het niet, dus ik begrijp je hele reactie dan ook niet. Buiten dat om als je geheimen staats documenten openbaar maakt noeemen we dat spionage en niet klokkenluiden. Klokkenluiden is iets aankaarten wat men nog niet wist. Dat amerika mensenrechten schend is al jaren geen geheim. Sterker nog mensenrechten schenden doen we allemaal. Of niet?
Dat zeg ik niet, Ik vraag het me wel af wat Rusland zou doen met spionnen en hoe de wereld dan reageert.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:An Unethical Record – Stratfor & the New York Times
Three months after WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files — more than 5 million e-mails from the private intelligence gathering company Stratfor — New York Times London Bureau journalist Ravi Somaiya told his readers “WikiLeaks has not released any significant material for more than a year.” (“Deportation Decision Awaits WikiLeaks Founder,” May 29, 2012, NYT) Yet on the day The Global Intelligence Files were released (February 27, 2012) WikiLeaks conveyed that Stratfor has paid diplomatic sources; advocated for the psychological and material mistreatment of at least one informant; sought to utilize early access to intelligence for a strategic investment fund by creating a vehicle (StratCap) that would “trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds”; monitored activists, including for its client Dow Chemical; and engaged in secret deals with media organizations. Somaiya’s dismissive superciliousness of The Global Intelligence Files is indicative of the Times’ treatment of WikiLeaks.
Through NYT eXaminer’s (NYTX) participation in an investigative partnership organized by WikiLeaks we have had access to The Global Intelligence Files and found material that the Times should find significant. The material shows that Times journalists rely on Stratfor despite the company’s interests in advancing U.S. corporate and government dominance at home and abroad, enhancing government secrecy and eroding civil liberties. In addition, Stratfor maintains a perverse relationship with its informants, which is incongruent with the Times’ own standards for the treatment of sources. The Global Intelligence Files also highlight examples of Stratfor employees consciously manipulating journalists at the Times — some of whom seem all too willing to be led by the inauspicious Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company.
Stratfor claims to be “objective” and “non-partisan” but Times Editors are not oblivious to the company’s motivations or the fact that they gather intelligence in unethical ways. In 2003 Times reporter Matt Bai met with Stratfor CEO George Friedman on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq for an auspiciously timed profile of the company. The profile highlighted Stratfor’s belligerent attitude towards human rights and international law. Bai reported that George Friedman could “live with” a “slaughter” of the Kurds “if that would enable the Americans to get to Baghdad quicker.” (“The Way We Live Now,” Matt Bai, NYT, April 20, 2003). Despite such crass overtures, the Times provide Op-Ed space for George Freidman and lends credence to Stratfor analysts. Further, George Friedman argued in his recent essay “The Geopolitics of the United States: The Inevitable Empire,” that the “final imperative” for the U.S. as a dominant power is to “keep Eurasia divided among as many different (preferably mutually hostile) powers as possible.” Eurasia comprises the continental landmass of Europe and Asia and contains more than 70% of the world’s population.
Three years ago — preceding Obama’s mission in Pakistan which led to the extrajudicial assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the president’s secret orders to send waves of cyberattacks against Iranian nuclear facilities and his “Secret Kill List” to assassinate human targets by drone warfare — the Times published George Friedman’s Op-Ed “Afghan Supplies, Russian Demands” (February 2009, NYT), insisting that the Obama administration should “rely less on troops, and more on covert operations like the C.I.A.” in Afghanistan. Friedman’s preference for covert operations is interesting as these operations often escape public scrutiny and accountability, erode civil liberties and make a folly of international human rights and humanitarian law. Stratfor’s cavalier contempt for transparency reveals un-democratic tendencies antithetical to the ideal of an informed civic with the capacity to participate freely and fully in society — enabling the free and equal practice of self-determination. Though, is perhaps unsurprising given Stratfor’s involvement in the TrapWire “counterterrorist” surveillance system used to monitor activists (Doc-ID: 5355966). (“TrapWire and Stratfor are business partners,” August 15, 2012, Darker Net)
Despite Stratfor’s (at best) ambivalence toward — and at worst support for — war crimes, advocacy for covert war, participation in the corrosion of privacy rights and cheerleading for Empire — often in the Times own pages — the e-mails obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that the Times Senior terrorism and national security writer Eric Schmitt (Doc-ID: 577559), London Bureau chief John F. Burns (Doc-ID: 501124) and others (Doc-ID: 12750) hold the information provided by Stratfor in high regard and value easy access to it. Many other Times journalists also hold accounts and their News Directors have sought Foreign Desk and bureau-wide access (Doc-ID: 620711). In 2009, Stratfor said they had 34 readers “with an @nytimes.com email address.” (Doc ID: 219254). Two Times journalists, Jane Perlez and Carlotta Gall, became close to the company following a meeting in Pakistan with Stratfor’s South Asia director Kamran Bokhari. The Times journalists sought and gained access to Stratfor intelligence and reciprocated by publishing Bokhari’s views six weeks later in “Rebuffing U.S., Pakistan Balks at Crackdown.” (October 14, 2009, NYT)
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:http://falkvinge.net/2011(...)-copyright-monopoly/
Among the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the US government and industry interests.
I can understand that the significance has been missed, because it takes a whole lot of knowledge in this domain to recognize the topics discussed. When you do, however, you realize that the cable lists orders for the Swedish Government to implement a series of measures that significantly weakens Sweden’s competitive advantage in the IT field against the US. We had concluded this was the case, but had believed things had come from a large number of different sources. That was wrong. It was all coordinated, and the Swedish Government had received a checklist to tick off. The Government is described in the cables as “fully on board”.
Since 2006, the Pirate Party has claimed that traffic data retention (trafikdatalagring), the expansion of police powers (polismetodutredningen), the law proposal that attempted to introduce Three Strikes (Renforsutredningen), the political trial against and persecution of The Pirate Bay, the new rights for the copyright industry to get subscriber data from ISPs (Ipred) — a power that even the Police don’t have — and the general wiretapping law (FRA-lagen) all have been part of a greater whole, a whole controlled by American interests. It has sounded quite a bit like Conspiracies ’R’ Us. Nutjobby. We have said that the American government is pushing for a systematic dismantlement of civil liberties in Europe and elsewhere to not risk the dominance of American industry interests, in particular in the area of copyright and patent monopolies.
But all of a sudden, there it was, in black on white. It takes the description so far that the civil servants in the Justice Department, people I have named and criticized, have been on the American Embassy and received instructions.
This will become sort of a longish article, as I intend to outline all the hard evidence in detail, but for those who want the executive summary, it is this: The Pirate Party was right on every detail. The hunt for ordinary Joes who share music and movies with one another has been behind the largest dismantlement of civil liberties in modern history, and American interests have been behind every part of it.
At the middle of this, we find the US cable Stockholm 09-141, recommending Sweden to not be blacklisted by the US on the so-called Special 301 list, and outlines why. The Special 301 is a list that the United States compiles every year that names and shames countries that haven’t been friendly enough to American industries. A majority of the world’s population is on the list, Canada and Spain among them. It’s quite nice company to be in, actually.
Since the 1980s, the US has aggressively threatened trade sanctions against countries who don’t give American companies sufficiently large competitive advantages — this is described in detail in the book Information Feudalism about the origins of the TRIPs agreement and WTO, for those interested in gory details. In practice, it works like this: industry associations in the US go to the Trade Representatives, who go to the myriad offices dealing with Foreign Policy, who go to the embassies, who talk to national governments (including the Swedish one) and demand changes to national law to benefit American corporations.
This sounds like fiction, right? But here are the documents. This document comes from the copyright industry’s trade association IIPA, mainly consisting of record and movie companies. They have listed six demands on the Swedish Government, which stand to find in the linked document:
quote:Julian Assange rejects 'Perfil' Freedom of Expresion award:
Statement by Julian Assange, Founder of WikiLeaks:
"I note that Argentinian journalist Herman Schiller has rejected the award, under the basis that the award is abusing my good name to promote U.S. funded attacks on the government of Ecuador. This year Perfil concurrently awarded the director of the media lobby group 'Fundamedios'.
I have researched the issue and discovered that the director of 'Fundamedios' has previously denounced my work and that of WikiLeaks.
Fundamedios specializes in savaging the Ecuadorian government's attempts at breaking up Ecuadorian media ologopolies. Most of these ologopolies have traditionally been close to the U.S. government and have engaged in frequent acts of journalistic corruption. Ecuadorian media diversity reforms have been mandated by national popular referendum.'Fundamedios', which is also funded by these same ologopolies, simply has little credibility. While no government should get a free pass in media reform, 'Fundamedios' is not an example to be followed.
According to U.S. embassy cables released by WikiLeaks the director of 'Fundamedios' has been a U.S. embassy informant and according an interview with U.S. ambassador Adam Namm in el Telegrafo earlier this year, 'Fundamedios' receives more than $25,000 a month from USAID and other U.S. government bodies.
I will join Herman Schiller in rejecting the Perfil award this year."
quote:What is the biggest mistake Wikileaks and Julian Assange have made in the site's existence?
In my view, and I have only been with the organization for two and a half years, our biggest mistake was to have too much confidence in the main stream media and not understanding, fully, the limitations of even established media powerhouses as the New York Times are operating under. For me as a jounalist for 25 years, it was a shock and a surprise to witness first hand how a prominent media house as the NYT had become subservient to the administration. We've come a long way from the Pentagon Papers and taking on Nixon.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:WikiLeaks reveals General Motors' suspected Russian Mafia ties
With one tweet Saturday night, WikiLeaks and its supporters simultaneously took on the Russian Mafia, General Motors, the Guardian newspaper, and also implicitly the U.S. government.
“Censored by MSM: Russian mafia suspected of having ‘sizable investment’ in General Motors,” the official account of Cabledrum.net announced on Twitter, linking to a Spanish Embassy cable detailing Spain’s strategy for combatting the Russian mob.
Cabledrum.net is a site that exists to facilitate easy searching the enormous cache of documents from Cablegate, WikiLeaks’ breakthrough leak of thousands of diplomatic cables. They particularly highlight cases where the mainstream media has posted redacted versions of the cables for reasons other than protecting the defenseless. This appears to be one such case.
On its FAQ page, CableDrum explains, “Sadly, this process was misused by several media partners for redactions that have nothing to do with the protection of endangered individuals. On cabledrum all cables are available both redacted and unredacted."
The cable itself describes an interview with Spanish National Court Prosecutor Jose "Pepe" Grinda Gonzalez on January 14 of 2010, in which he reviews his belief that Russia has become a kleptocracy run by organized crime linked to Russian PM Vladimir Putin. The cables were published by the Guardian in the UK, Le Monde in France, and El PaÝs in Spain.
They were, however, significantly different from the original, significantly less embarrassing to the U.S. government, which had just given General Motors a $50 billion bailout the year before. The American government is the largest single shareholder of GM stock, and as the Wall Street Journal reports, is under pressure from the company to sell its entire stake at a loss of at least $15 billion.
But who would buy it?
quote:US brands Julian Assange and WikiLeaks ‘enemies of the state’ (VIDEO)
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been declared enemies of the United States. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents reveal that military personnel contacting WikiLeaks may face execution for "communicating with the enemy."
şThe documents, which have been released under American Freedom of Information laws and published by WikiLeaks, were originally classified as secret and not releasable to non-US nationals.
Julian Assange said that the documents have been released just recently because of their sensitivity for some of the people involved in the investigation.
With these documents the “unusual position” and “difficulty” Assange and his organization face turn completely absurd.
“For example, that the US military should designate me and all of WikiLeaks as the enemy in its formal investigation, an investigation that carries a death-penalty offense into a person who was alleged to have come to my extradition hearing,” he said. “And in the same document it speaks about the victim being that of society, when there is no allegation that any documents have been released or published by us.”
The report exemplified the "absurdist, neo-McCarthyist fervor that exists within some of the government departments in the US,” Assange said.
Enormous wheels have been set in motion, with over a dozen different US intelligence and investigative organizations turning through this, Assange said. “Everyone sees that it is completely absurd and counter to the values the United States should be trying to present to the world,” he said, urging everyone to read the files.
The files covered a counter-intelligence investigation into a UK-based cyber systems analyst who allegedly supported WikiLeaks. The probe was trying to determine whether the analyst had disclosed any classified data to an "anti-US and/or anti-military group." She was suspected of breaching article 104-D of the US Uniform Code of Military Justice, which outlaws military personnel “holding intercourse with the enemy.”
The probe, however, was closed as the investigators failed to prove the analyst had leaked any information.
But US Army Private Bradley Manning was not so lucky, as he could face execution – though prosecutors have said they won't seek it – to be decided by a military tribunal, as officials allege that he aided al-Qaeda by releasing classified documents through WikiLeaks.
And the fact that WikiLeaks was treated as an enemy of state would have serious implications in case Assange is extradited to the US, as he is likely to face military detention.
“It appears that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the 'enemy,'” Michael Ratner, Assange's US attorney, said. “An enemy is dealt with under the laws of war, which could include killing, capturing, detaining without trial, etc.”
Assange was once labeled a "high-tech terrorist" by American Vice President Joe Biden in December 2010, and a number of top US officials have openly called on the authorities to hunt the whistleblower down.
The diplomatic cables released over the past months reveal the true scale of the US Justice Department investigation targeting both Assange and WikiLeaks. Assange himself called the investigation "unprecedented."
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation … now has, according to court testimony earlier this year, produced a file of 42,135 pages into WikiLeaks, of which less than 8,000 concern Bradley Manning,” Assange said in an address to a panel of UN delegates.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Police stakeout bill for Assange tops ú1m as it costs ú11,000 a DAY to ensure he doesn't flee Ecuadorian Embassy
The police bill for staking out the embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is evading justice has already reached more than ú1million.
Scotland Yard confirmed it is costing ú11,000 every day to ensure the Australian does not flee his bolthole at the Ecuadorean Embassy.
The final bill could be much more as the 41-year-old continues to defy extradition to Sweden where he is suspected of sexually assaulting two women.
Officers have been watching the property in Knightsbridge, west London, since Mr Assange breached his bail and claimed asylum in June. They have been told to arrest him if he puts ‘one toe’ outside.
Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Pinto has warned Mr Assange he could be in the embassy for a decade if he is not allowed to leave Britain.
Officieel wil de VS hem helemaal niet. Er mogen dan geheime jury's en aanklachten in voorbereiding zijn, maar daar weten we officieel niets vanaf. Er valt dus niets aan de VS uit te leveren.quote:Op maandag 8 oktober 2012 04:26 schreef LangeTabbetje het volgende:
Misschien een domme vraag, maar de VS wil hem uitgeleverd zien, (logisch denk ik dan vanuit hun oogpunt), maar waarom geen arrestatiebevel uitgegaan en Groot Brittanie gevraagd ?
Waarom zouden ze het zo ingewikkeld en raar via Zweden spelen ?
quote:WikiLeaks GI Files Presidential Campaign Release
Today, Wednesday 10th October, WikiLeaks begins releasing over 200,000 Global Intelligence Files (GI Files) relating to the U.S. presidential elections. Each week day we will release thousands of emails referring to Obama, Biden, Romney and the Republican and Democratic parties. Today we will publish over 13,734 emails referring to republican(s), Romney, RNC and/or GOP, ranging from 3rd January 2011 to 19th December 2011.
The GI Files total over five million emails from the U.S. private intelligence firm Stratfor. Stratfor is a secretive multi-national private intelligence firm, providing services to large corporations, and government agencies. Despite providing the U.S. government with "global intelligence" services there is no public oversight of Stratfor. The emails highlight Stratfor staff’s revolving door with government offices; Stratfor’s Vice-President for Intelligence, Fred Burton, was formerly a special agent with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and was their Deputy Chief of the counterterrorism division. Although Stratfor boasts U.S. governmental sources and reports to have a lot of influence on western decision makers, their emails reveal poor working and security methods and show strong political bias within the organization.
This close connection to the U.S. government means that these GI Files releases will shed insight into key U.S. federal election players. The only legitimate government is one that is elected by an informed population. Through this release WikiLeaks aims to inform the U.S. electorate in an unbiased way through the release of source documents from one of the most oddly influential companies in the U.S. today. We call upon all people around the world to search the emails and publicise their findings using the hashtag #wlfindGI.
Whoever you elect into power, keep them accountable by supporting WikiLeaks - vote with your wallet, vote WikiLeaks.
GI Files: http://wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.html
Vote WikiLeaks: http://wikileaks.org/donate2012/
Donate to WikiLeaks: http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate
WL Friends: https://wlfriends.org/
WikiLeaks has begun releasing the ’Detainee Policies’: more than 100 classified or otherwise restricted files from the United States Department of Defense covering the rules and procedures for detainees in U.S. military custody. Over the next month, WikiLeaks will release in chronological order the United States’ military detention policies followed for more than a decade. The documents include the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of detention camps in Iraq and Cuba, interrogation manuals and Fragmentary Orders (FRAGOs) of changes to detainee policies and procedures. A number of the ’Detainee Policies’ relate to Camp Bucca in Iraq, but there are also Department of Defense-wide policies and documents relating to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and European U.S. Army Prison facilities.
quote:World Bank contract details to be published online in transparency push
Bank's capacity development arm promises to open its books on publicly funded contracts as part of global anti-corruption drive
Details of World Bank-financed contracts will be available online as part of a global initiative to fight corruption and get governments to disclose their deals with private companies.
Sanjay Pradhan, vice-president of the World Bank Institute – the capacity development branch of the World Bank – said the organisation would "walk the talk", ensuring its own contracts are disclosed while helping countries open their books. "We need to be credible partners to do this," he said.
The move will embolden the nascent Open contracting initiative, a global campaign to increase disclosure and participation in public contracting. Estimates suggest governments around the world spend $9.5tn (ú5.8tn) a year contracting private companies to provide goods and services, but these deals are often shrouded in secrecy. In some developing countries, procurement can account for up to 70% of public spending.
Under the initiative, details and copies of contracts funded by public money will be online in a bid to reduce corruption and increase value for money.
"Corruption, opaque contracting processes and poor oversight of contract implementation are undermining results and citizens are paying the price in terms of schools not being built, environmental damage, bridges not fixed to standard and hospitals unable to offer necessary medicines," says the campaign, arguing that "creating a level playing field with transparent and fair contracting processes … benefits all of society – government, private sector and citizens."
Pradhan said the effort, which is backed by the World Bank Institute and the German government, fits into the bank's anti-corruption work and its broader "open development" agenda, both of which have support from the very top of the bank.
"It's inherent in our DNA that we cannot tolerate corruption, we cannot tolerate any kind of blemish to the reputation of the bank on the fiduciary side," said Pradhan. "It's a natural evolution for the World Bank and the bank needs to play a leadership role in this area."
The bank finances public contracts worth up to $13bn each year. It already publishes some information for its major contracts but would release further details under the Open contracting initiative, which aims for the disclosure of all relevant documents, from pre-award activities through to the awarding of contracts and the implementation of projects.
Pradhan said the bank would also disclose contracts for its central, corporate procurement and that the International Finance Corporation, the bank's private-sector lending arm, is phasing in new requirements to disclose contracts for extractive industries projects (video).
The initiative builds on recent efforts by some governments to increase transparency around contracts. Georgia, for example, publishes all information around public contracts, including correspondence around original bids and details of payments from the state treasury. This month the Afghan government disclosed hundreds of mining contracts online.
Yama Torabi, from Integrity Watch Afghanistan, an NGO that monitors reconstruction projects in the country, welcomed the move. "This is the first time we can see how our natural resources have been contracted to private companies. We can now look at whether this was done in the national interest, for the benefit of the people," he said.
Torabi, who was in Johannesburg this week for the first Open contracting global meeting, said it will take years to roll out the initiative, which must find a way to include information about sub-contracts. "We really need to see who's getting the money at the end of the chain," he said. He added that a lack of literacy skills, reliable electricity and internet access will in some areas limit the initiative's promise to strengthen public monitoring of contracts.
One of the biggest challenges in achieving full disclosure of contracts will be the resistance of companies that claim such moves violate commercial confidentiality. Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International, said that although companies have the right to secrecy when contracting with each other, "different rules have to apply" when a government is party to a contract. Eigen added that confidentiality clauses are often overprotective and "sloppily written", and must be subject to scrutiny.
Increased transparency alone is unlikely to satisfy critics of the World Bank, who say the lender's procurement rules favour big companies from industrialised and emerging economies. "A lack of transparency in tendering, tendering in large lots, and restrictive eligibility criteria make it difficult for small and medium enterprises from developing countries to compete against large multinationals," said a group of civil society organisations (pdf) last month.
This year, the bank launched a separate review of its procurement policies, which is expected to lead to new rules in 2014.
quote:European Commission documents released today by WikiLeaks show that hard-right U.S. politicians were directly behind the extrajudicial banking blockade against WikiLeaks. In the heavily redacted documents, MasterCard Europe admits that Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King both “had conversations” with MasterCard in the United States. Lieberman, the then-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, boasted of instigating Amazon’s cutting of service to WikiLeaks – an action condemned by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 7 December 2011.
Senator Lieberman tried to introduce the SHIELD Act into the Senate and advocated for prosecuting the New York Times for espionage in connection with WikiLeaks’ releases. Rep. Peter King, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, tried to formally designate WikiLeaks as a foreign terrorist organization, have its staff listed as ’enemy combatants’, and have WikiLeaks put on a U.S. Treasury blacklist. On 13 January 2011 the U.S. Treasury announced it would not do so because there was no evidence that WikiLeaks should be on such a list. While Lieberman and King were unsuccessful in these methods of legally cutting WikiLeaks from its popular donor base, they were successful in doing so extra-legally via VISA and MasterCard, which together hold a monopoly of 97 per cent of the market of EU card payments.
VISA Europe is registered in London and is owned by a consortium of European banks. MasterCard Europe is registered in Belgium and has similar ownership, but the Commission papers show that European control of VISA Europe and MasterCard Europe is a fiction. The papers reveal that the instructions to blockade WikiLeaks’ operations in Europe came directly from VISA and MasterCard in the United States. Ownership would normally imply control, but VISA and MasterCard Europe are essentially controlled by confidential contracts with their U.S. counterparts, a hidden organizational structure that the Commission calls an “association of undertakings”.
On Tuesday, 19 November 2012, the European Parliament took an important step towards safeguarding the economic sovereignty of all Europeans. In Article 32 of its resolution, the European Parliament expressed the will that the Commission should prevent the arbitrary refusal of payments by credit card companies, which economically strangles businesses and organizations, notably ours. The resolution is an important step to putting an end to the Lieberman/King blockade, which has wiped out 95 per cent of WikiLeaks’ revenues. The Lieberman/King blockade has been directly condemned by, among others, the UN Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Speech and the New York Times Editorial Board. The blockade is a direct infringement of the Article 19 right to receive and impart information, and threatens all donor-funded organizations and the freedom of the press.
It comes as a surprise, then, that the European Commission is taking the contrary view in its preliminary decision, of not opening a formal investigation into VISA, MasterCard and AmEx’s violations against DataCell, the company that collected donations to the WikiLeaks project until the imposition of the blockade in 2010. The Commission’s 16-page preliminary decision has been announced after 15 months of deliberations. The ’normal’ waiting time is four months. Yesterday, DataCell and WikiLeaks submitted detailed counter-arguments to the Commission’s preliminary decision.
Through the leaked documents we learn that VISA and MasterCard have used a false statement by the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to mislead the European Commission. The Prime Minister’s statement, which she later claimed was made in her "private capacity", was that the WikiLeaks publication of diplomatic cables was "illegal". This was declared to be false by a subsequent investigation by the Australian Federal Police, which declared that WikiLeaks had not broken any Australian law. Earlier this year, the Australian Senate passed a resolution demanding the retraction of the Prime Minister’s false statement.
The leaked documents reveal MasterCard’s political stance to our exposure of the crimes and horrors of military campaigns: “It is evident that any affiliation with an organisation causing damage to the national interests of several nations involved in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq... will be extremely damaging for the public perception of MasterCard”.
Julian Assange said: “There is no sovereignty without economic sovereignty. It is concerning that hard-right elements in the United States have been able to pressure VISA and MasterCard, who together hold monopoly over the European market, into introducing a blockade that the U.S. Treasury has rightly rejected. These unaccountable elements are directly interfering in the political and economic freedoms of EU consumers and are setting a precedent for political censorship of the world’s media.”
WikiLeaks will continue to fight the blockade, despite its limited resources, because it is fighting for its survival. Already there have been victories. In June 2012 WikiLeaks won its first court victory in Iceland against the Lieberman-King blockade. Last month WikiLeaks opened a new battle front by filing, together with its partner DataCell, a case against Teller A/S (VISA Denmark).
The movement in Parliament and in the rest of Europe is to support WikiLeaks’ publishing rights. The German foundation Wau Holland Stiftung (WHS), which collected donations for WikiLeaks via PayPal had their donations account arbitrarily shut down. The tax-exempt status of the Foundation was challenged as well, as a result of political interference which was exposed this month in Der Spiegel (“Taxing Transparency”). Yesterday, WHS announced that, after almost two years of negotiations with German tax authorities, its tax exemption (charitable status) has been reinstated. Citizens of all EU Member States will now be able to donate to WikiLeaks’ operations through WHS and deduct the donation from their income tax.
quote:Big outcry on Wikileaks that last week has published more that 2.4 million emails allegedly obtained from continuous hack against Syrian government and organizations connected to the regime.
The correspondence of “Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies” between August 2006 and March 2012 has been defined embarrassing for the government of Damascus and its allies, but the email also reveal uncomfortable truths on the West governments actions.
It’s the case of Finmeccanica affiliate Selex Elsag that sold to Syria its Tetra network for encrypted communications. The deal was made in 2008, before the beginning of the Arab Spring, but some emails leaked show ongoing relationship between the regime and the Italian company.
The email demonstrate the intermediary role of Greek company Intracom, an email dated February 2nd, 2012 discusses ”the arrival of Selex engineers in Damascus to train Intracom Syria technicians on Tetra technology, including at helicopter terminals. The email does not specify whether they are police or military helicopters,”
quote:But the WikiLeaks chief advances a much more positive assessment of his circumstances, dismissing critics including Carr as "self-interested apologists for the US" and arguing WikiLeaks' and his own "trajectory over the past four months [have] been increasingly positive".
In defence of WikiLeaks' continuing relevance he points out his group continues to publish confidential material, with more than 1 million emails and documents in the course of this year, including major disclosures from the private intelligence company Stratfor and confidential Syrian government emails.
He also argues that considerable resources have been devoted to, and progress made in working around, the financial embargo imposed on WikiLeaks by major credit card and money transfer corporations.
However, it's Assange's continuing interest in playing a political role in Australia that may prove to be the main focus for him and WikiLeaks in 2013.
Assange says plans to form and register an Australian WikiLeaks party are now ''significantly advanced''.
He also intends to be a candidate for the Senate and says "a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public" have indicated their availability to stand for the party.
quote:Swedish Pirate Party targets banks over WikiLeaks blockade
The Swedish Pirate Party has filed a complaint against the country’s banks over their involvement in the financial blockade of the controversial whistleblower site WikiLeaks.
şInternational payment companies refused to process donations to WikiLeaks in December 2010 after the site published confidential diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.
The Swedish Pirate Party, which holds two seats in the European Parliament, has urged authorities launch a probe into the country’s banks. They claim the banks’ participation in the blockade violated their customers’ right, as well as Swedish law.
The complaint to the Financial Supervisory Authority, Sweden’s financial regulatory agency, was filed on Monday, local media reported.
“We believe it is worrisome that companies like Visa and MasterCard have so much power and can decide how we spend our money. You should be able to donate to any organization you want as long as it is within the law,” Pirate Party leader Anna Troberg told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
The party has criticized the financial blockade as the precedent to serious threats to freedom of expression, complaint author Erik L÷nroth said.
Swedish financial authorities will investigate the case and determine whether it has grounds to intervene, said Johan Terfelt, head of the Financial Supervisory Authority’s department for payment service.
“The law states, that if there aren’t legal grounds to deny a payment service, then it must be processed,” he said.
WikiLeaks says it lost about 95 percent of cash inflow after the blockade was imposed, shrinking its financial reserves and reducing its ability to publish new material. It blamed the US for the measure, which it called both ‘extrajudicial’ and ‘immoral.’
On Sunday, WikiLeaks announced an initiative aimed at beating the blockade: The Freedom of the Press Foundation will use donations to crowdfund journalism and transparency organizations. Donors may choose which organization they want to fund, out of a list that currently includes WikiLeaks.
quote:New press freedom group is launched to block US government attacks
Nothing is more vital than enabling true transparency and adversarial journalism, and preventing further assaults on them
quote:Several weeks ago, I wrote about the steps taken by the US government to pressure large corporations to choke off the finances and other means of support for WikiLeaks in retaliation for the group's exposure of substantial government deceit, wrongdoing and illegality. Because WikiLeaks has never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime, I wrote: "that the US government largely succeeded in using extra-legal and extra-judicial means to cripple an adverse journalistic outlet is a truly consequential episode." At the end of that column, I disclosed that I had been involved in discussions "regarding the formation of a new organization designed to support independent journalists and groups such as WikiLeaks under attack by the US and other governments."
That group has now been formed and, this morning, was formally launched. Its name is Freedom of the Press Foundation. Its website is here and its Twitter account, which will be quite active, is @FreedomOfPress.
I'm very excited to have participated in its formation and will serve as an unpaid member of the Board of Directors, along with the heroic whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, 2012 McArthur-fellowship-receipient and Oscar-nominated documentarian Laura Poitras, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation John Perry Barlow, the actor and civil liberties advocate John Cusack, BoingBoing co-founder Xeni Jardin, and several other passionate free press and transparency activists. Numerous articles have been written today about its launch, including from the New York Times' media reporter David Carr, the Guardian's Dan Gillmor, Forbes' Andy Greenberg, Huffington Post's media reporter Michael Calderone, FDL's Kevin Gosztola, and board member Josh Stearns.
The primary impetus for the formation of this group was to block the US government from ever again being able to attack and suffocate an independent journalistic enterprise the way it did with WikiLeaks. Government pressure and the eager compliance of large financial corporations (such as Visa, Master Card, Bank of America, etc.) has - by design - made it extremely difficult for anyone to donate to WikiLeaks, while many people are simply afraid to directly support the group (for reasons I explained here).
We intend to raise funds ourselves and then distribute it to the beneficiaries we name. The first group of beneficiaries includes WikiLeaks. We can circumvent those extra-legal, totally inappropriate blocks that have been imposed on the group. We can enable people to support WikiLeaks without donating directly to it by donating to this new organization that will then support a group of deserving independent journalism outlets, one of which is WikiLeaks. In sum, we will render impotent the government's efforts to use its coercive pressure over corporations to suffocate not only WikiLeaks but any other group it may similarly target in the future.
The second purpose is to ensure that truly independent journalistic outlets - devoted to holding the US government and other powerful factions accountable with transparency and real adversarial journalism - are supported to the fullest extent possible. Along those lines, we have selected three other organizations along with WikiLeaks as our initial beneficiaries:
quote:Earlier this month BalkanLeaks, an anonymous leaking site run by a pair of Bulgarian journalists, obtained and published a series of secret documents from Bulgaria’s country’s police archive showing that the country’s prime minister Boyko Borisov had been suggested by police as a possible informant against his alleged associates in the Bulgarian mafia. The 1997 file, which refers to Borisov under the codename “Buddha,” notes his “criminal orientation” and suggests “clarifying connections of the subject with people and businesses linked to criminal activities,” according to a translation by the English-language Bulgarian new site Novinite.
That Buddha file is just the latest scandal-stirring publication from BalkanLeaks, which over the last two years has released other documents through its news site Bivol that deal with alleged corruption in Bulgaria’s banks and claims of Borisov’s mob ties. But this time it’s accompanied its leak with a new defensive measure taken from WikiLeaks’ playbook: An encrypted insurance file with a key that will only be released if BalkanLeaks’ staff are arrested or feel that their lives are threatened.
“In response to threats made against its journalists, Bivol is now releasing this insurance file. The key will leak automatically if something happens to our staff,” reads a note posted to BalkanLeaks’ website. The note asks supporters to download the file and share it via bittorrent in order to make it more difficult to censor.
When I reached BalkanLeaks founder Atanas Tchobanov by instant message, he said the 86 megabyte, AES-encrypted package includes a collection of PDF and audio files, but wouldn’t offer details of their contents. Tchobanov explained that the threat of releasing the key for the data is intended to offer protection for him and the rest of BalkanLeaks’ staff; The release follows a series of anonymous threats posted to online forums and a cyberattack against the website that took it offline for 12 hours earlier this month. “We are up against a mafia-state nexus,” says Tchobanov. “We need insurance.”
quote:WikiLeaks publishes 1.7m US diplomatic records
Julian Assange says 1973-76 reports, including many by Henry Kissinger, show vast range and scope of US activity
WikiLeaks has published more than 1.7m US records covering diplomatic or intelligence reports on every country in the world.
The data, which has not been leaked, comprises diplomatic records from the beginning of 1973 to the end of 1976, covering a variety of diplomatic traffic including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence.
Julian Assange said WikiLeaks had been working for the past year to analyse and assess a vast amount of data held at the US national archives before releasing it in a searchable form.
WikiLeaks has called the collection the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD), describing it as the world's largest searchable collection of US confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications.
Assange told Press Association the information showed the vast range and scope of US diplomatic and intelligence activity around the world.
Henry Kissinger was US secretary of state and national security adviser during the period covered by the collection, and many of the reports were written by him or were sent to him. Thousands of the documents are marked NODIS (no distribution) or Eyes Only, as well as cables originally classed as secret or confidential.
Assange said WikiLeaks had undertaken a detailed analysis of the communications, adding that the information eclipsed Cablegate, a set of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks from November 2010 and over the following year. He said WikiLeaks had developed sophisticated technical systems to deal with complex and voluminous data.
Top secret documents were not available, while some others were lost or irreversibly corrupted for periods including December 1975 and March and June 1976, said Assange.
He added that his mother, who lives in Australia, had told him he was being kept at the embassy "with nothing to do but work on WikiLeaks material".
Assange is confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought asylum in June after losing his legal attempts to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted to answer allegations of rape and sexual assault against two women.
Assange denies the claims, and argues that he fears that if he was remanded in Sweden he would be at greater risk of extradition to the US to face potential prosecution for espionage relating to the WikiLeaks cable releases.
quote:Chagossians suffer blow in fight to go home as court rejects WikiLeak cable
US embassy cables allegedly detailing UK plan to stop return to Indian Ocean islands used by US military is ruled inadmissible
Classified American embassy cables obtained by WikiLeaks cannot be used as evidence in English and Welsh courts because they breach diplomatic privilege, judges have ruled.
The decision by Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Mitting in the high court will have far-reaching consequences and is a severe setback for the use of material obtained from leaks or whistleblowers.
Lawyers representing exiled islanders from the Chagos archipelago had planned to exploit revealing official documents, obtained by WikiLeaks and published in the Guardian, to question a Foreign Office official, Colin Roberts. He was commissioner for the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), which covers the Chagos Islands, in 2009 when the cable was written by the US embassy in London.
The US cable quoted Roberts, who is due to become the next governor of the Falkland Islands, telling the Americans that as a result of imposing a marine protected area (MPA) on the territory, there would no longer be "human footprints" or "Man Fridays" on the islands. The US rents a military base on the largest island, Diego Garcia, and the Chagossians have been in a long-running dispute with the Foreign Office about their right to return home.
The case is the first one resulting from the leak of classified US cables in which UK officials had been ordered to appear. WikiLeaks material has been deemed admissible in other cases, notably the UN-backed special court for Sierra Leone in The Hague.
To avoid confirming the WikiLeaks cable's authenticity, Steven Kovats QC, counsel for the Foreign Office, said the government would stick to a policy of "neither confirm nor deny" anything about the documents. The policy is known in Whitehall as NCND.
But the judges warned that Roberts could not avoid answering questions by relying on the NCND policy. Kovats then argued that the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964, which incorporates the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations into domestic law, meant the alleged cable, or copies of it held by newspapers, were inadmissible in evidence.
In their ruling, the judges agreed and said that the 1964 Act prevented them from considering whether the cable contained an accurate record of the May 2009 meeting. Article 24 of the Vienna Convention states: "The archives and documents of the mission shall be inviolable at any time and wherever they may be."
Outside the court, Sam Brown of law firm Clifford Chance, which is representing the Chagossians, said: "We are extremely disappointed that the court has decided not only to reverse the ruling it made on whether the policy of NCND prevented Foreign Office officials being asked questions about the accuracy of US cables, but also to exclude the cables from evidence in their entirety.
"This decision, that has potentially global ramifications, means that the real reason the MPA was created in the Chagos archipelago may never be known. The foreign secretary [William Hague] has opposed the use of WikiLeaks cables in court so as to deprive the Chagossians of the opportunity to cross-examine the BIOT commissioner as to his motives for the MPA, which were recorded by the US officials as being the best way to defeat the resettlement of the islands by their rightful inhabitants, with no human footprints or Man Fridays."
Earlier in the hearing, Roberts denied he had said the MPA was a plan with an "ulterior motive" – namely, to prevent the islanders from returning.
Asked by Nigel Pleming QC, counsel for the islanders, about the alleged "Man Fridays" comment, Roberts, talking generally, said he "absolutely" agreed and would never have used the phrase in such circumstances. He refused to answer questions about the authenticity and accuracy of the cable's contents.
The case has been brought by Louis Olivier Bancoult, chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, who has seized on the leaked cable to argue in the high court that the decision to impose an MPA by the then foreign secretary, David Miliband, in 2010, should be declared unlawful. The leaked US cable was seen as a key element in their claim.
The inhabitants of the archipelago were removed in the 1960s and 1970s when the UK agreed that the US could build its base on Diego Garcia.
Their removal and the imposition of a marine reserve is also being contested at the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague. Earlier this year Britain was told it would have to justify its decision before a full hearing of the tribunal.
The Mauritian prime minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, has said the decision to establish a 1,400,000 sq km (540,000 sq mile) marine reserve was carried out in defiance of assurances given to him at the time by the then prime minister, Gordon Brown.
The Diego Garcia agreement signed by the US and UK in 1966 expires in 2016. Both parties must agree to extend, modify or end it by December 2014. Ramgoolam told the Guardian last year that the objective of Mauritius was to "reassert sovereignty" over the Chagos islands. The case continues.
Gottegottegot.. wat een toneelspel is het ook: We weten het wel maar doen net alsof we van niks weten want dat vindt Uncle Sam niet leukquote:
quote:Victory for WikiLeaks
Iceland may just have given WikiLeaks & Julian Assange a much needed and overdue boost.
The supreme court of Iceland passed a ruling on April 24, 2013 ordering Valitor – a.k.a Visa Iceland – to resume processing online donations to WikiLeaks within two weeks. And if they don't follow through, the judge will hold them to it by charging Valitor a nice daily fine of $6,830 until it complies.
“This is a victory for WikiLeaks and freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders declared, “The arbitrary blocking of payments put in place by financial service companies was completely illegal and has now been condemned as such by a country’s highest court.” RWB continues:
. We hope that this ruling will put a stop to the controversial decisions that Visa has been taking until now in connection with WikiLeaks and that Visa will instruct all of its partners and subcontractors around the world to comply. It would be strange, and unacceptable, if only Valitor were obliged to provide a service to WikiLeaks in Iceland while all the other subcontractors, including those in the rest of Europe and the United States, were not.
The gates are finally reopened. It's time to send money and rejuvenate the spirit of transparency that so captivated us all when WikiLeaks first brought all the dirty secret-dealing to light. In two weeks, you'll be able to donate again to WikiLeaks here. And by the end of 2013, let's raise again a unified and unstoppable global rallying cry for full-transparency and freedom of expression . . . this dream must not die!
quote:Julian Assange reveals GCHQ messages discussing Swedish extradition | Media | guardian.co.uk
WikiLeaks founder uses subject access request to access British agency chatter, which allegedly calls extradition 'a fit-up'
Authorities at GCHQ, the government eavesdropping agency, are facing embarrassing revelations about internal correspondence in which Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is discussed, apparently including speculation that he is being framed by Swedish authorities seeking his extradition on rape allegations.
The records were revealed by Assange himself in a Sunday night interview with Spanish television programme Salvados in which he explained that an official request for information gave him access to instant messages that remained unclassified by GCHQ.
A message from September 2012, read out by Assange, apparently says: "They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ … It is definitely a fit-up… Their timings are too convenient right after Cablegate."
The messages appear to contain speculation and chatter between GCHQ employees, but Assange gave little further explanation about exactly who they came from.
The WikiLeaks founder, who has spent the past 11 months in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden, claimed GCHQ had been unaware that it might have anything on him that was not classified.
"It won't hand over any of the classified information," he said. "But, much to its surprise, it has some unclassified information on us."
"We have just received this. It is not public yet," he added.
A second instant message conversation from August last year between two unknown people saw them call Assange a fool for thinking Sweden would drop its attempt to extradite him.
The conversation, as read out by Assange, goes: "He reckons he will stay in the Ecuadorian embassy for six to 12 months when the charges against him will be dropped, but that is not really how it works now is it? He's a fool… Yeah … A highly optimistic fool."
"This is what the spies are discussing amongst themselves," Assange told the Spanish television presenter Jordi EvolÚ.
The Cheltenham-based agency said: "We can confirm that GCHQ responded formally to the subject who made the request. The disclosed material includes personal comments between some members of staff and do not reflect GCHQ's policies or views in any way.
GCHQ is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. However, it is understood that Assange's request was a subject access request, a mechanism under the Data Protection Act that can be used by individuals to obtain personal information that bodies hold about them.
On its website, the agency says : "As one of the UK's intelligence and security agencies, we gather and analyse digital and electronic signals from many channels, from all corners of the world".
"Converting this information into intelligence material, we play a significant role in informing national security, military operations, police activity and foreign policy."
Julian Assange reveals GCHQ messages discussing Swedish extradition
quote:More than three years after he was arrested, Army whistleblower Bradley Manning goes on trial today accused of being behind the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Manning faces life in prison for disclosing a trove of U.S. cables and government documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
quote:The military prosecutor, Captain Joe Morrow, accused Manning of "dumping" hundreds of thousands of documents "into the lap of the enemy," and painted a picture of close ties between Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Manning's defense lawyer, David Coombs, said Manning wanted to reveal the human cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "He believed [the leaked] information showed how we value human life," Coombs said. "He was troubled by that. He believed that if the American public saw it, they too would be troubled."
quote:A group of reporters along with Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange have filed a joint complaint over the way the government is handling the military tribunal of Bradley Manning - they argue that the judge and prosecution are violating their first amendment rights by keeping the majority of the court proceedings secret.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:On an August workday in 2011, a cherubic 18-year-old Icelandic man named Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson walked through the stately doors of the U.S. embassy in ReykjavÝk, his jacket pocket concealing his calling card: a crumpled photocopy of an Australian passport. The passport photo showed a man with a unruly shock of platinum blonde hair and the name Julian Paul Assange.
Thordarson was long time volunteer for WikiLeaks with direct access to Assange and a key position as an organizer in the group. With his cold war-style embassy walk-in, he became something else: the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks. For the next three months, Thordarson served two masters, working for the secret-spilling website and simultaneously spilling its secrets to the U.S. government in exchange, he says, for a total of about $5,000. The FBI flew him internationally four times for debriefings, including one trip to Washington D.C., and on the last meeting obtained from Thordarson eight hard drives packed with chat logs, video and other data from WikiLeaks.
The relationship provides a rare window into the U.S. law enforcement investigation into WikiLeaks, the transparency group newly thrust back into international prominence with its assistance to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Thordarson’s double-life illustrates the lengths to which the government was willing to go in its pursuit of Julian Assange, approaching WikiLeaks with the tactics honed during the FBI’s work against organized crime and computer hacking — or, more darkly, the bureau’s Hoover-era infiltration of civil rights groups.
“It’s a sign that the FBI views WikiLeaks as a suspected criminal organization rather than a news organization,” says Stephen Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy. “WikiLeaks was something new, so I think the FBI had to make a choice at some point as to how to evaluate it: Is this The New York Times, or is this something else? And they clearly decided it was something else.”
quote:'Microfoon gevonden in ambassade Ecuador'
In de ambassade van Ecuador in Londen, waar WikiLeaks-voorman Julian Assange verblijft, is een afluistermicrofoon gevonden. Dat heeft de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken van Ecuador woensdag bekendgemaakt, aldus Britse media.
Ricardo Pinta zei dat uitleg zal worden gevraagd aan het land dat verantwoordelijk is voor de microfoon maar hij zei er niet bij welk land dat is. De afluistermicrofoon zou zijn aangetroffen in het kantoor van ambassadeur Ana Alban.
Assange vluchtte vorig jaar juni de Ecuadoraanse ambassade in Londen binnen om te ontkomen aan een mogelijke uitlevering aan Zweden. De Zweedse justitie wil hem verhoren in verband met beschuldigingen van seksueel misbruik.
De WikiLeaks-oprichter heeft zich kandidaat gesteld voor de parlementsverkiezingen in AustraliŰ, werd gisteren bekend gemaakt. De AustraliŰr, die zich meer dan een jaar schuil houdt in de ambassade, treedt aan voor de politieke vleugel van de door hem opgerichte onthullingssite. De partij wil zich inzetten voor onderwerpen als milieu, vluchtelingenpolitiek en belastingen.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Is Strongbox the New Wikileaks?
The New Yorker's new Strongbox feature claims to be an online safebox for whistleblowers to submit documents safely and anonymously. The system, based on open source DeadDrop software developed by the late Aaron Swartz, has invited comparisons to Wikileaks.
Can Strongbox really deliver on its promises? Can it be as successful and secure as Wikileaks' system was?
"I think Wikileaks is the gold standard for reasons that most other leaking systems hardly understand," said Jacob Appelbaum, a famous hacker who has been working with Julian Assange for years.
Wikileaks' submission system has been offline since late 2010, when the mysterious hacker who developed it — known as "The Architect" — left Wikileaks and took the system with him, as explained in Andy Greenberg's This Machine Kills Secrets.
Strongbox, just like Wikileaks' old submission system, tries to achieve two goals: First, give sources with incendiary information a way to deliver it to journalists without without revealing their identity. Second, strike a balance between security and usability by giving sources and reporters a system they don't need to be computer geniuses to understand.
Security experts are generally impressed by Strongbox's seemingly paranoid approach to security, but are more skeptical about its practicality.
"For me, it's unusable," said Fabio Pietrosanti, an Italian security engineer, who's working on his own Wikileaks-style software called GlobalLeaks.
Pietrosanti was specifically referring to the way journalists must jump through five or six hoops to manage and read documents after files are uploaded to the server. For him, this is "overkill" and a nightmare for journalists without the technical skills or time to take such precautions.
Tim May, one of the leaders of the Cypherpunk movement in the 1990s, agrees with Pietrosanti. May was also the mind behind BlackNet, the very first concept of an anonymous submission system powered by cryptography.
quote:Lawyers for accused Army whistleblower Bradley Manning have opened their defense at his military court-martial with a bid to dismiss a number of charges, including aiding the enemy.
quote:Closing arguments have wrapped in the nearly two month military trial of Army Private Bradley Manning. The presiding judge, Col. Denise Lind, is now deliberating on 21 charges, including "aiding the enemy." Manning faces up to life in prison for leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks and other news sources, the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history.
quote:The sentencing hearing for Army whistleblower Bradley Manning begins today following his acquittal on the most serious charge he faced, aiding the enemy, but conviction on 20 other counts. On Tuesday, Manning was found guilty of violating the Espionage Act and other charges for leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents to WikiLeaks. In beating the "aiding the enemy" charge, Manning avoids an automatic life sentence, but he still faces a maximum of 136 years in prison on the remaining counts.
quote:Wikileaks Releases A Massive "Insurance" File That No One Can Open
Anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks just released a treasure trove of files, that at least for now, you can't read. The group, which has been assisting ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden after he leaked top-secret documents to the media, posted links for about 400 gigabytes of files on their Facebook page Saturday, and asked their fans to download and mirror them elsewhere.
quote:TIME Magazine Reporter Michael Grunwald Calls For Murder Of Julian Assange | FDL News Desk
.Michael Grunwald, TIME magazine’s “senior national security correspondent,” decided to advocate for Julian Assange’s violent murder (in an embassy no less) on twitter saying:twitter:
I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.
A petition has already been created asking TIME to remove Grunwald from national security reporting as clearly he is biased if not unhinged. You can not advocate murdering someone and cover them objectively or really any issue surrounding the individual. And given that Wikileaks is connected to Snowden and the larger issue of government secrecy and civilian privacy in the 21st century - it is unlikely Grunwald can really function in that field. He is going to run into the issue again and again and it seems that transparency advocates give him bloodlust.
However, there may be a larger point here. The attempt by the corporate/mainstream media to defend the Obama Administration’s police state isn’t working. A recent poll showed that 70% of Dems and 77% of Republicans say NSA surveillance intrudes on privacy rights. Establishment media and politicians are losing the argument. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say they can no longer effectively propagandize the public.
This loss of power by two different factions within the American kleptocratic elite must be causing immense insecurity and anxiety. They feel the intense desire to reassert dominance over the means of communication in hopes of regaining control of the public’s imagination. Part of this manifests itself in renewed attempts to control the internet, which the corporate media by and large supports. Another aspect is the State Terrorism against supposed threats through the use of drones to kill American citizens. To people like Michael Grunwald – who admits to not believing in the Constitution – Julian Assange is a threat and worthy of death. Assange threatens the 1% and in Grunwald’s world that is the ultimate crime.
Obviously, Grunwald, for all his skill set on national security, is now proving himself to be just another “dry dip stick” in our national media infrastructure.
To wit, I grew up in a “poor” family, served in our military, and spent a considerable amount of my life in the Latin America Region, and thusly, became quickly acquainted with “national security, foreign policy, as well as economics and finance. Hell, I was even offered on two differing occasions, a professorship at distinguished universities, and to which I refused. Being considered a “spy” in several instances, does not make for a longlasting career.
Therefore, when I think of our nation’s “unmet needs” relative to either domestic policy or foreign policy, invariably, none of our decision-makers notify the general public on just encompasses these “unmet needs” relative to the decision-making, other than spending taxpayer dollars. And with this in mind, aside from the assorted propaganda efforts by the Obama administration and the “opposition” readily found in Congress, no mention is made of foreign decision-makers that have inserted themselves into our foreign policy efforts, writ large.
Take, for example, the drone strikes that are ongoing in Yemen. For all this “dirty work” or “heavy lifting” and depending on one’s political affinities, it is obvious that Saudi Arabia has an “unmet need” that the USA is willing to address in the guise of “dirty work” since Al Quaeda is in Yemen, and which is bedeviling the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia.
And needless to say, but I will, Michael Grunwald has no inkling that America is ‘getting its chain’ pulled by the Royal Family, and ultimately, the oil and gas industry ‘needs’ the continuing access to the marketplace for the sale of its black gold, albeit, the role of the Middleman located here in the U.S..
Now, I will step down from my “soap box.”
And remember Assange’s big crime was embarrassing the Bullshit Artists. Thou shalt not embarrass your overlord or their minions.
Humanity is in a transition and while much suffering seems to be due us in the near term I am hopeful (and their are signs which should be interpreted as hopeful) that the “new” enlightenment will rid our public offices of these mentally ill people who have no capacity for empathy and should clearly be prohibited from representing a constituency of humans whatever the Government system.
Jaango & BSbafflesbrains = kudos!!!
Let’s see … If this had been tweeted by a member of Occupy,
and the subject of the fantasy was a government official instead of Assange,
how long would it be before an FBI SWAT team was knocking down their door?
Yet another example of liberal media bias.
Color me unsurprised. Geez. “senior national security correspondent” from lapdog poodle Time corporate-fascist propoganda sheet. No kidding.
I am hearing more citizens talk about the “propoganda media.”
It’s really almost “good” when some jerkwad spews forth seriously disgusting crap like this. It reveals the PTB for who they are, and serves to remind the 99% that We, The People, are, after all, 99%.
Shameful and should be fired….Is this kind of advocacy not illegal?
A petition has already been created asking TIME to remove Grunwald from national security reporting as clearly he is biased if not unhinged
A better response: remove TIME from you subscription list. Grunwald is just the tip of TIME’s iceberg.
Exactly. Withholding dollars is the only action you can take that will get noticed by the Corporatocracy.
It is a Tweeter War! Embedded government shill Grunwald, and TIME magazine versus Julian Assange. This cannot end well. Grunwald makes the next move, calling his critics “anti-semitic”. Yes, that always is successful to play the anti-semitic card.
Michael Grunwald ✔ @MikeGrunwald
It was a dumb tweet. I’m sorry. I deserve the backlash. (Maybe not the anti-Semitic stuff but otherwise I asked for it.)
7:36 PM – 17 Aug 2013
And stay on that Soap Box Jaango!
dumb is tweetese for reprehensible, contemptible despicable I guess.
Grunwald’s tweet sounds like something you’d expect from a terrorist didn’t it?
A related comment … If I had ever read Orwell’s “1984″ it would have been 40 years ago. However, I just downloaded and listened to Blackstone Audio’s recording of “1984″ from overdrive.com through my local library’s site and highly recommend it if you haven’t read the book in a while.
Time has been in the red for years. The only place you see it is in the Dentist’s office, about 2 months out of date. Can anyone imagine paying for a copy of Time magazine?
Dumb to admit that’s what he thinks but in no way a misrepresentation of his views.
Does anyone still subscribe to Time? I stopped about 10 years ago.
If I was the Man of the Year I still wouldn’t buy a copy.
God, how I love the smell of angry tweets so early in the morning. Yes, Grunwald was dumb, for admitting that his threatening tweet might be interpreted as a threatening tweet. So he deleted the tweet. And the internet forgot that tweet. Ha ha just kidding.
Michael Grunwald ✔ @MikeGrunwald
Fair point. I’ll delete. @rober1236Jua my main problem with this is it gives Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in
6:54 PM – 17 Aug 2013
I almost bought a copy. Black cover with honey bee in center. May be a good article – who knows? But I thought (before I read this) Do I really want to spend $4.95 on Time magazine?
There’s plenty of stuff about bees on internet – and that is the point, no?
Yeah, that’s it, I ALWAYS cheer for tweeted death threats and defend them to the death UNLESS the tweeter is Jewish.
Considering Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy, there’s no way those of us in Latin America can interpret this other than a call for using death squads (ok, robo-death squads) against a Latin American nation. You’d think, given the stink over trying to access Bolivian President Morales’ plane that YOU. DO. NOT. JOKE. ABOUT. THESE. THINGS.
For those keeping score at home, my original comment was snark.
I went back and read Grunwald’s piece on “balancing” liberty and security in Time. The quality of his reasoning would be embarrassingly low at a corner bar after the third round of beers.
Calling for the assassination of anyone should be a firing offense at any respectable news organization.
BUT TERRORISTS AND THE CHILDREN!!!
He works for TIME.
You’d think they would at least take away his afternoon Starbucks break.
Hilarious that this hack tweeted about others persecution complex, then hid behind his religion as if he was being persecuted.
Fascism must be called out everywhere it raises its head.
quote:Wikileaks details how NZ spies will work | Stuff.co.nz
Confidential new security industry documents released by Wikileaks reveal details of the kinds of surveillance systems that will be used in New Zealand under the controversial GCSB act.
The documents include operating manuals, promotional material and invoices from companies specialising in internet and telecommunications spying equipment.
This includes equipment for "mass monitoring", "tactical internet monitoring", "deep packet inspection" and "data warehousing". British, German and Swiss companies promised to "fulfil the customer's needs" for "massive data interception and retention".
Special off-the-shelf systems also provide governments with speech identification, facial recognition and number plate recognition technology.
The Government Communications Security Bureau Act passed in Parliament by 61 votes to 59 two weeks ago after months of controversy including mass public protests.
The laws were drafted in the wake of a succession of blunders by the GCSB, New Zealand's foreign intelligence agency, which included illegally spying on German internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.
The new legislation gives it the power to spy on New Zealanders.
The documents outlining just how that spying will be conducted are now publicly accessible on the Wikileaks website. The US government tried to close Wikileaks after its massive leak of US embassy cables and military reports in 2010. However, the whistle-blowing website continues to operate and this is the fourth major leak since then.
The latest leaks reinforce the Edward Snowden revelations about US mass surveillance systems. Wikileaks has been supporting and cooperating with Snowden.
The Sunday Star-Times is one of a small number of global media organisations given advance access to the documents by Wikileaks.
Julian Assange said in a press release that the leak is part of Wikileaks' "ongoing commitment to shining a light on the secretive mass surveillance industry". He said the sensitive sales brochures and presentations were being "used to woo state intelligence agencies into buying mass surveillance services and technologies".
The focus of the documents is internet spying technologies, but the documents also detail bulk interception methods for voice, SMS, MMS, email, fax and satellite phone communications, "the ability to analyse web and mobile interceptions in real-time".
One of the specialty services revealed in the documents is called "intrusion solutions". These are computer systems that allow a government to hack into private computers.
For instance, a company called Dreamlab Technologies produces a system called "Finfly iProxy", which is like a computer virus or "trojan" used to enter people's computers when they are downloading information off the internet.
One system, which was designed to cover two internet exchanges in the Gulf state of Oman, was "used to infect binaries [non-text files] downloaded from the internet by the configured target".
The system also had an "update infection mode", entering people's computers when their computers searched for updates to iTunes and other software. Once the computer is hacked, it will automatically send back the users' information to the government agencies.
Finfly was found by human rights activists during a search of an Egyptian intelligence agency after the 2011 overthrow of Mubarak. It was also discovered in Bahrain where it was apparently being used to target political opponents.
The internet monitoring equipment falls into three main types. First, there are "probes" that tap into and and automatically search the major trunk lines of the internet, many of which pass over US and British territory.
Second is what the documents call "LI" operations (Lawful Interception), which are systems like Prism for tapping into private Internet companies. Third is the state-organised computer hacking.
New Zealand's electronic spy agency, GCSB, has legal powers to conduct all three of these types of operations.
Persbericht 9 september
Vandaag lanceert Stichting Publeaks samen met een groot aantal Nederlandse mediaorganisaties Publeaks (https://www.publeaks.nl), een website waarop iedereen veilig en anoniem documenten kan lekken naar de media. Het initiatief is bedoeld om klokkenluiders te beschermen, misstanden aan de kaak te stellen en onderzoeksjournalistiek te stimuleren en ondersteunen.
Publeaks is een doorgeefluik. Het faciliteert veilig lekken naar de pers: de afzender blijft volledig anoniem en kan zelf kiezen naar welke van de aangesloten media hij of zij documenten, geluid- en beeldfragmenten wil sturen. Ontvangende mediaorganisaties kunnen in een beveiligde omgeving de bestanden inzien en bewerken.
Publeaks maakt gebruik van de software GlobaLeaks die ontwikkeld is door het Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights (http://logioshermes.org). Publeaks heeft zelf geen toegang de gelekte bestanden, kan onmogelijk achterhalen wie de afzender is en publiceert niets. Deelnemende media hebben beloofd dat zij het materiaal voor publicatie checken op waarheidsgehalte, ondersteunende bronnen zoeken en hoor en wederhoor toepassen. Op een afgesloten deel van de website kunnen journalisten vragen achterlaten voor de anonieme tipgever. Het is aan de tipgever om te beslissen of hij of zij hierop in gaat. Journalisten die iets via Publeaks ontvangen zijn op de hoogte welke andere media de documenten eveneens hebben gekregen en kunnen besluiten tot een gezamenlijk onderzoek.
Publeaks is een initiatief van de Stichting Publeaks, een stichting die zich inzet om het controlerend vermogen van de pers te stimuleren, en wordt gefinancierd door deelnemende persorganisaties. Dit zijn: AD, ANP, De Correspondent, De Groene Amsterdammer, de Volkskrant, Het Financieele Dagblad, het Parool, NOS Nieuws, NRC Handelsblad, Nieuwsuur, Nu.nl, Pownews, RTL-Nieuws, Trouw en Vrij Nederland.
De samenwerking tussen vrijwel alle toonaangevende Nederlandse mediaorganisaties maakt dit initiatief uniek in de wereld, op een moment dat veiligheid, privacy en bescherming van klokkenluiders actueler is dan ooit.
quote:Kijken: een docu over de VS en de media, gemaakt door Wikileaks
De documentaire Mediastan is gemaakt door Wikileaks en toont een offensief van jonge journalisten die namens de klokkenluiderssite in 2011 media in Centraal-AziŰ bezochten en probeerden aan te sporen om geheime Amerikaanse documenten te publiceren.
Dit is gedaan in de landen Kazakhstan, KirgiziŰ, Tadzjikistan, Turkmenistan, Oezbekistan en Afghanistan. Het blijkt een moeizaam te bereiken doel.
Alleen dit weekend is de film gratis te bekijken:
Ge´nterviewde lokale journalisten geven zelf aan dat ze volledige vrijheid hebben in hun werk, maar als er documenten door Wikileaks worden aangereikt die de machthebbers in dat land negatief belichten blijkt er weinig bereidheid voor publicatie.
Slechts een journalist, werkend voor Radio Liberty in KirgiziŰ geeft aan waarom hij niet meewerkt: "Wij worden gefinancierd door USAID" (het Amerikaanse agentschap voor ontwikkelingssamenwerking).
In de documentaire worden geheime bezigheden van de Amerikaanse overheid belicht, maar ook komt de vraag welke taak media precies hebben diverse malen terug. Om deze reden zijn in de film ook interviews met de hoofdredacteurs van The Guardian en The New York Times opgenomen, die ook in 2011 zijn gehouden.
quote:'Aanklacht tegen Assange van de baan'
Aanklagers in de Verenigde Staten zien waarschijnlijk af van de vervolging van Julian Assange.
De AustraliŰr is verantwoordelijk voor de publicatie via WikiLeaks van een kolossale hoeveelheid vertrouwelijke informatie van de Amerikaanse overheid.
The Washington Post meldde dinsdag dat bronnen bij justitie hebben gezegd dat het te problematisch wordt Assange te vervolgen wegens publicatie van geheimen.
Vervolging zou ertoe leiden dat ook journalisten en nieuwsmedia in de beklaagdenbank terechtkomen, omdat zij de informatie samen met Assange hebben verspreid. Officieel is geen besluit genomen over de vervolging van Assange, maar betrokkenen zeiden tegen de 'Post' dat het er waarschijnlijk nooit van komt.
Als Assange nog iets anders heeft uitgespookt, kan hij misschien worden vervolgd. Maar het lekken van militaire geheimen en diplomatieke post is volgens de bronnen geen optie. Hij heeft ze bovendien niet echt gelekt, maar gepubliceerd.
Een aanklacht is dan ook nog steeds niet geformuleerd, meldt de krant. De belangrijkste bron van Assanges infomatie, ex-militair Bradley Manning, heeft wel moeten terechtstaan en werd in augustus veroordeeld.
Assange vreest ondertussen dat er wel een aanklacht en een arrestatiebevel klaarliggen. Hij wordt bovendien gezocht in verband met een aanranding in Zweden en vluchtte in juni 2012 de ambassade van Ecuador in Londen binnen, waar hij sindsdien bivakkeert. Assange is vooral bang dat Zweden hem uitlevert aan de VS.
Een advocaat van Assange in Washington, Barry Pollack, klaagde dat het ministerie van Justitie herhaaldelijk heeft geweigerd te vertellen hoe het onderzoek ervoor staat. Een panel van onderzoekers, een grand jury, moet bepalen of er reden tot strafvervolging is. Het is onduidelijk of dat team al tot een conclusie is gekomen en of justitie daar dan iets mee doet.
Pollack dringt erop aan dat duidelijk te maken, ''want het mag justitie geen jaren kosten om te concluderen dat het geen journalisten mag vervolgen wegens het publiceren van feiten''.
De Amerikaanse minister van Justitie, Eric Holder, heeft recent beklemtoond dat klokkenluider Edward Snowden terecht moet staan en de journalist die diens geheimen publiceerde, Glenn Greenwald, niet.
quote:The latest leak from WikiLeaks – which the public had access – shows that the founder of this organization will always correspond with analysts of Stratfor, a company that mixes journalism, political analysis and methods of espionage for selling “intelligence analysis” to customers that include corporations like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical – for those who monitored the activities of environmentalists who opposed them – besides the U.S. Navy.
The Canvas (abbreviation for “center for conflict and non-violent strategies”) was founded by two student leaders of Serbia, who participated in the successful revolt that overthrew dictator Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. For two years, students organized creative protests, marches and acts that ended up destabilizing the regime. Then joined the body of knowledge in hand and began to teach the opposition groups from different countries about how to organize to defeat the government. It was so arrived in Venezuela, where they began to train leaders of the opposition in 2005. On his TV show , Hugo Chavez accused the group of coup and be of service to the United States. “It’s called soft coup,” he said.
quote:Looking through the same PowerPoint presentation, the performance of Canvas impresses. Between 2002 and 2009, held 106 workshops, reaching 1800 participants from 59 countries. Not all Americans are disaffected – Canvas trained activists for example in Spain, Morocco and Azerbaijan – but the list includes many of them: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Iran
According to the Canvas itself, its performance was important in all so-called “color revolutions” that have spread from former countries of the Soviet Union in the 2000s.
The document points out how “successful cases” knowledge transfer to Kmara movement in Georgia in 2003, the group that launched the Revolution overthrew President and Roses, a little help to the Orange Revolution in 2004, Ukraine; training groups made the Cedar Revolution in 2005 in Lebanon, several projects with NGOs in Zimbabwe and the opposition coalition to Robert Mugabe, training activists in Vietnam, Tibet and Burma, as well as projects in Syria and Iraq with “pro-democracy” . And in Bolivia, “preparation of the 2009 elections in groups of Santa Cruz” – known as the most outspoken group of opponents of Evo Morales.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Among the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the US government and industry interests.
I can understand that the significance has been missed, because it takes a whole lot of knowledge in this domain to recognize the topics discussed. When you do, however, you realize that the cable lists orders for the Swedish Government to implement a series of measures that significantly weakens Sweden’s competitive advantage in the IT field against the US. We had concluded this was the case, but had believed things had come from a large number of different sources. That was wrong. It was all coordinated, and the Swedish Government had received a checklist to tick off. The Government is described in the cables as “fully on board”.
Since 2006, the Pirate Party has claimed that traffic data retention (trafikdatalagring), the expansion of police powers (polismetodutredningen), the law proposal that attempted to introduce Three Strikes (Renforsutredningen), the political trial against and persecution of The Pirate Bay, the new rights for the copyright industry to get subscriber data from ISPs (Ipred) — a power that even the Police don’t have — and the general wiretapping law (FRA-lagen) all have been part of a greater whole, a whole controlled by American interests. It has sounded quite a bit like Conspiracies ’R’ Us. Nutjobby. We have said that the American government is pushing for a systematic dismantlement of civil liberties in Europe and elsewhere to not risk the dominance of American industry interests, in particular in the area of copyright and patent monopolies.
But all of a sudden, there it was, in black on white. It takes the description so far that the civil servants in the Justice Department, people I have named and criticized, have been on the American Embassy and received instructions.
This will become sort of a longish article, as I intend to outline all the hard evidence in detail, but for those who want the executive summary, it is this: The Pirate Party was right on every detail. The hunt for ordinary Joes who share music and movies with one another has been behind the largest dismantlement of civil liberties in modern history, and American interests have been behind every part of it.
quote:Today, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, which covers 50 countries and 68.2%1 of world trade in services. The US and the EU are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes, which also covers cross-border data flow. In a significant anti-transparency manoeuvre by the parties, the draft has been classified to keep it secret not just during the negotiations but for five years after the TISA enters into force.
Despite the failures in financial regulation evident during the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and calls for improvement of relevant regulatory structures2, proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets. The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals – mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt – into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The leaked draft also shows that the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.
quote:Assange files case to dismiss Swedish warrant
On Tuesday 24th of June at 1pm CET, Julian Assange’s lawyers filed a request to Stockholm District Court to dismiss his detention without charge, which has kept him in different forms of deprivation of liberty since 7 December 2010 (3.5 years). The legal actions will lead to the first custody hearing since his arrest.
The Julian Assange case is Sweden’s longest running pre-trial, pre-charge deprivation of liberty (the matter is formally at the ’preliminary investigation’ stage). Julian Assange is in a legal no-man’s-land: he has not been indicted so he cannot formally defend himself.
The Swedish government refuses to guarantee he will not be extradited to the United States. The Swedish prosecutor, unlike in other cases, refuses to question him in London or via video link, instead demanding that Mr. Assange give up his right to political asylum and speak to her in Sweden. The UK has encricled Mr. Assange at a cost to date of over GBP 6.6 million/USD 11 million/SEK 75.000.000 (see: http://govwaste.co.uk).
Assange obtained political asylum in relation to the United States criminal investigation against WikiLeaks in 2012. The United Kingdom and Sweden have both refused to give a guarantee that Julian Assange will not be extradited to the United States for his WikiLeaks activities. Earlier this week, 59 international organizations submitted complaints about the investigation against Julian Assange to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
On 19 June 2014, 56 international free press and human rights organisations signed an open letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder to drop the investiigation against WikiLeaks: https://t.co/cbZcz2dHEE
Read Julian Assange’s sworn statement from September 2013 about his stay in Sweden: http://wikileaks.org/IMG/html/Affid...
quote:Julian Assange makes fresh bid to break deadlock in Swedish rape case
Lawyers say change in Swedish law earlier this month means WikiLeaks founder should have access to text message data
Lawyers for Julian Assange have called for controversial telephone evidence to be released as they made a fresh attempt to break the deadlock in the rape case brought four years ago against the WikiLeaks founder.
Filing a challenge to the prosecution in the Swedish courts, lawyers for Assange – who last week marked the second anniversary of his asylum in Ecuador's embassy in London – said a recent revision to Swedish law requires evidence held by the prosecution to be made available to the defence.
Text messages sent by the two women plaintiffs were seen by defence lawyers in 2010, but copies of the messages were not issued to them. Assange has claimed that text messages sent by one of his accusers show that she was ambiguous about his arrest and even opposed to it.
"The messages strongly suggest that there is no basis for the arrest and they are thus vital so that he [Assange] can effectively tackle the arrest warrant," the lawyers say in documents filed with Stockholm district court on Tuesday.
The court said the request would be assessed within a few days by judge Bertil Sundin, who declined to comment.
The Swedish detention order that Assange is challenging requires him to be extradited to Sweden to face questioning over the alleged rape and sexual assault of two women there in August 2010.
Assange claims cooperation with the British and Swedish authorities would expose him to an ongoing criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice into WikiLeaks activity.
Sweden's code of judicial procedure was updated on 1 June to conform with EU law, and now includes a provision that anyone arrested or detained has the right to be made aware of "facts forming the basis for the decision to arrest".
"There is material in the prosecutor's possession that we know is to Julian Assange's advantage," said his lawyer Thomas Olsson, based in Stockholm.
"The new law enables her to release that new material, which has been in the prosecutor's possession from the start … We have seen the text messages but have not been able to use them because we could not demand that the prosecutor hand them over as evidence to the court."
The new law was "a little bit of a revolution" in Swedish legal procedure, Olsson said.
Bengt Ivarsson, president of the Swedish Bar Association, confirmed that since 1 June a suspect has had the right to be made aware of "all the circumstances that have influenced a court's decision", so all the papers for the prosecution must be handed over to the defendant.
"The new law gives us more power," said Per Samuelson, another lawyer for Assange in Stockholm, who said they had also written directly to the prosecutor on Tuesday to request the text messages. "In 2011 we were allowed to read them and memorise them, but we do not have the full messages."
ΩThe lawyers also argue that the "severe limitations on Mr Assange's fundamental freedoms" over the past four years are "unreasonable and disproportionate".
They further attest that the arrest warrant should be rescinded because it cannot be implemented, owing to Assange's asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy. "Under Swedish law, if a detention decision is not useful for its purpose, then it must be rescinded," Samuelson said.
Swedish legal opinion at a senior level has swung against the prosecutor's decision not to travel to London to interview Assange, with Anne Ramberg, head of the Bar Association, calling the current impasse a "circus".
Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a lawyer for one of the women in the case, did not respond to telephone and email requests for comment. Interviewed this year, she said her client would wait as long as it takes to get justice in court, even if Assange stayed in the Ecuadorean embassy until the statute of limitations on the case expired in 2020.
The Swedish prosecutor declined a request to comment.
quote:Swedish court sets date for Julian Assange rape case hearing
16 July hearing is first legal battle in the case since WikiLeaks founder sought asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London
Prosecutors in Sweden pursuing Julian Assange over rape allegations have rejected a demand by his lawyers to hand over new evidence and withdraw the warrant for his arrest, setting the stage in two weeks' time for the first legal battle in the case since 2012.
In a sharply worded rebuttal, prosecutors stated that Assange does not have the right to see copies of the case files.
Lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder requested last week that text messages sent by his accusers be passed to the defence in an attempt to break the deadlock in the rape case brought four years ago against him.
"There is still probable cause to believe that Julian Assange is guilty of the offences that he was arrested for, and the basis for his detention, risk of flight, is undiminished," prosecutors Marianne Ny and Ingred Isgren said in a submission to Stockholm district court.
The court announced on Thursday that the two sides will present their arguments on 16 July in a public hearing – the first formal legal discussion of the case since Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London two years ago.
Dismissing the lawyers' argument that restrictions on Assange's "fundamental freedoms" since the allegations were made in 2010 are unreasonable and disproportionate, the prosecutors said Assange's confinement in the embassy is voluntary and "cannot be equated with detention".
"In our opinion, when assessing proportionality, only the time [detained] for questioning in the English courts should be taken into account," the prosecutors said. Assange was held for just 10 days in December 2010, they point out.
They also reiterated their refusal to travel to London to interview Assange in the embassy, which is seen by some Swedish politicians and senior legal figures as a possible first step to resolving the case.
Legal experts say that new legislation on a suspect's right to see evidence in the case before trial is open to different interpretations and has yet to be tested in court.
"The law states specifically that this provision does not give the suspect the right to have copies of case files," the prosecutors said in their rebuttal.
On Thursday Stockholm district court extended the invitation to Assange to appear at the hearing in two weeks' time.
Writing to him at an "address unknown", the court said valid reasons for not attending were problems with public transport, sudden illness, or unforeseen circumstances. It advised him to arrive in good time and "clear your pockets of metal objects and put them in the plastic bins provided".
Thomas Olsson, a Stockholm-based lawyer for Assange, said: "The statement from the prosecutor gives us strong arguments for our case."
quote:Swedish officials weigh up option to question Assange ahead of court ruling
Foreign Office happy for Marianne Ny to question Wikileaks founder in Ecuadorian embassy over allegations of rape and sexual molestation made in 2010
Sweden’s chief prosecutor said on Tuesday she was seriously considering an invitation by the British government to question Julian Assange in London, before a court ruling in Sweden on whether to lift the warrant for his arrest.
The Foreign Office said on Tuesday it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy and would be happy to facilitate such a move, which is seen by Assange’s lawyers as an important step towards breaking the deadlock surrounding the case.
The appeal court in Sweden is due to rule as soon as next week on a request by Assange’s lawyers that the warrant against him be rescinded, but the timing of the Foreign Office’s remarks appeared to be accidental.
Assange has sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has lived for more than two years to avoid a perceived threat of extradition to the US for publishing military secrets. Since 2010 Swedish prosecutors have been trying to question him about allegations of rape and sexual molestation, although he has not yet been charged.
“These are matters for the [Swedish] prosecutor to decide on, but if she wished to travel here to question Mr Assange in the embassy in London, we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that. Indeed, we would actively welcome it,” foreign minister Hugo Swire said on Tuesday in the House of Commons.
Ny said through a spokeswoman that the remarks were “all news to her”, and she would probably respond to them publicly within the next couple of days.
The argument that the prosecutor should interrogate Assange in London is a central element of his lawyers’ appeal, because, they say, it demonstrates that the prosecutor has not conducted the case with sufficient “urgency or effectiveness”, thereby condemning Assange to indefinite “deprivation of liberty”. However, in documents submitted to the Appeal Court, the prosecutor states she has “continually, over the past two years, tested the conditions and the practical possibility for conducting the interrogations and other necessary investigative measures in Great Britain”. Responding to a question from Anne McIntosh, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, Swire said Ny was “quite rightly, a fiercely independent lady, and independent of the executive”.
McIntosh said she and other Tory backbenchers saw the failure to question Assange in London as one of the barriers to justice in the case.
She had been moved to ask the question by concern from her constituents over the case of footballer Ched Evans, who is challenging his conviction for rape after serving two years in jail. “I believe if [Assange] is innocent he should submit himself to the law,” she said.
Commenting on the response to her question, McIntosh added: “Presumably the prosecutor would have the time to pop over and speak to [Assange] before the Appeal Court ruling.”
Swedish legal opinion at a senior level has this year swung against the prosecutor’s decision not to travel to London to interview Assange, with Anne Ramberg, head of the Bar Association, calling the current impasse a “circus”.
Ramberg told the Guardian on Tuesday: “Many voices in Sweden take a view along the same lines [as the Foreign Office]. It is time for this longstanding matter to be brought to a fair and proportionate end.”
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said its willingness to help Swedish officials to question Assange was not a change of policy but it was “likely” that the message had not been made clear amid all the other questions about the case. Details of any questioning “should be agreed between the Swedish Prosecutor, Mr Assange and the Ecuadorian Embassy”, she said.
A spokeswoman for Sweden’s new justice minister Morgan Johansson declined to comment until the Appeal Court rules in the case.
quote:Julian Assange is er niet in geslaagd het arrestatiebevel tegen hem te laten intrekken. Het Zweedse gerechtshof zag vandaag niets in de twee argumenten die de WikiLeaks-oprichter hiervoor aandroeg.
quote:Maar het gerechtshof zegt dat er “geen reden” is het bevel in te trekken louter omdat Assange in die ambassade zit en het bevel dus niet kan worden uitgevoerd. Wel ging het hof in op het “falen van de aanklagers” bij het onderzoeken van alternatieve manieren die het mogelijk zouden moeten de klokkenluider te ondervragen.
De advocaten van Assange lieten weten in beroep te gaan bij het hooggerechtshof in Zweden. Ze zien de woorden van het hof als “een waarschuwing” voor het openbaar ministerie en steunbetuiging voor kamp-Assange, meldt Reuters.
quote:Amazon’s frightening CIA partnership: Capitalism, corporations and our massive new surveillance state
When Internet retailer and would-be 21st century overlord Amazon.com kicked WikiLeaks off its servers back in 2010, the decision was not precipitated by men in black suits knocking on the door of one of Jeff Bezos’ mansions at 3 a.m., nor were any company executives awoken by calls from gruff strangers suggesting they possessed certain information that certain individuals lying next to them asking “who is that?” would certainly like to know.
Corporations, like those who lead them, are amoral entities, legally bound to maximize quarterly profits. And rich people, oft-observed desiring to become richer, may often be fools, but when it comes to making money even the most foolish executive knows there’s more to be made serving the corporate state than giving a platform to those accused of undermining national security.
The whistle-blowing website is “putting innocent people in jeopardy,” Amazon said in a statement released 24 hours after WikiLeaks first signed up for its Web hosting service. And the company wasn’t about to let someone use their servers for “securing and storing large quantities of data that isn’t rightfully theirs,” even if much of that data, leaked by Army private Chelsea Manning, showed that its rightful possessors were covering up crimes, including the murder of innocent civilians from Yemen to Iraq.
The statement was over the top — try as it might, not even the government has been able to point to a single life lost due to Manning’s disclosures — but, nonetheless, Amazon’s capitalist apologists on the libertarian right claimed the big corporation had just been victimized by big bad government. David Henderson, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, explained that those calling for a boycott of Amazon were out of line, as the real enemy was “megalomaniacal Senator Joe Lieberman,” who had earlier called on Amazon to drop WikiLeaks (and is, admittedly, a rock-solid choice for a villain).
“The simple fact is that we live in a society whose governments are so big, so powerful, so intrusive, and so arbitrary, that we have to be very careful in dealing with them,” Henderson wrote. That Amazon itself cited a purported violation of its terms of service to kick WikiLeaks off its cloud was “a lie,” according to Henderson, meant to further protect Amazon from state retribution. Did it make him happy? No, of course not. “But boycotting one of the government’s many victims? No way.”
But Amazon was no victim. Henderson, like many a libertarian, fundamentally misreads the relationship between corporations and the state, creating a distinction between the two that doesn’t really exist outside of an intro-to-economics textbook. The state draws up the charter that gives corporations life, granting them the same rights as people — more rights, in fact, as a corporate person can do what would land an actual person in prison with impunity or close to it, as when Big Banana was caught paying labor organizer-killing, right-wing death squads in Colombia and got off with a fine.
Corporations are more properly understood not as victims of the state, but its for-profit accomplices. Indeed, Amazon was eager to help the U.S. government’s campaign against a website that — thanks almost entirely to Chelsea Manning — had exposed many embarrassing acts of U.S. criminality across the globe: the condoning of torture by U.S. allies in Iraq; the sexual abuse of young boys by U.S. contractors in Afghanistan; the cover-up of U.S. airstrikes in Yemen, including one that killed 41 civilians, 21 of them children. The decision to boot WikiLeaks was, in fact, one that was made internally, no pressure from the deep state required.
“I consulted people I knew fairly high up in the State Department off the record, and they said that they did not have to put pressure … on Amazon for that to happen,” said Robert McChesney, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois, in an appearance on “Democracy Now!.” “It was not a difficult sell.”
And it paid off. A little more than a year later, Amazon was awarded a generous $600 million contract from the CIA to build a cloud computing service that will reportedly “provide all 17 [U.S.] intelligence agencies unprecedented access to an untold number of computers for various on-demand computing, analytic, storage, collaboration and other services.” As The Atlantic noted, and as former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed, these same agencies collect “billions and perhaps trillions of pieces of metadata, phone and Internet records, and other various bits of information on an annual basis.”
That is to say: On Amazon’s servers will be information on millions of people that the intelligence community has no right to possess — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper initially denied the intelligence community was collecting such data for a reason — which is used to facilitate corporate espionage and drone strikes that don’t just jeopardize innocent lives, but have demonstrably ended hundreds of them.
Instead of helping expose U.S. war crimes, then, Amazon’s cloud service could be used to facilitate them, for which it will be paid handsomely — which was, in all likelihood, the whole point of the company proving itself a good corporate citizen by disassociating itself from an organization that sought to expose its future clients in the intelligence community.
“We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA,” Amazon said in a 2013 statement after winning that long-sought contract (following a protracted battle for it with a similarly eager tech giant, IBM).
If it were more honest, Amazon might have said “We look forward to a successful relationship with the [coup d’Útat-promoting, drone-striking, blood-stained] CIA.”
And if it were more honest, Amazon could have said the same thing in 2010.
So long as there are giant piles of money to be made by systematically violating the privacy of the public (the CIA and NSA together enjoy a budget of over $25 billion), corporations will gladly lie in the same bed as those who created them, which is, yes, gross. Protecting consumer privacy is at best an advertising slogan, not a motivating principle for entities whose sole responsibility to shareholders is to maximize quarterly profits. This isn’t an admission of defeat — and when companies fear state-sanctioned invasions of privacy will cost them customers in the private sector or contracts with foreign states, they do sometimes roll back their participation — but a call to recognize the true villain: If we desire more than just an iPhone with encryption, we must acknowledge the issue is not just a few individual megalomaniacs we call senators, but a system called capitalism that systemically encourages this behavior.
In the 1970s, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the Church Committee exposed rampant spying on dissidents that was illegal even according to the loose legal standards of the time. Speeches were made, reforms were demanded and new laws were passed. The abuses, it was claimed, were relegated to history. What happened next? Look around: The total surveillance we enjoy today, enabled by high-tech military contractors including AT&T and Google and Verizon and every other nominally private tech company that capitalism encourages to value profits over privacy — a public-private partnership that grants those in power a means of spying on the powerless beyond the wildest dreams of any 20th century totalitarian. Sure, ostensibly communist states can of course be quite awful too, but the difference is that, in capitalist nations, the citizens actually place the eavesdropping devices in their own homes.
Now, whether the reforms of the 1970s were inadequate or were just plain ignored by those who were to be reformed is sort of beside the point; the status quo is what it is and, at least if one values privacy and the ability to organize and engage in political discussion and search the Internet without fear a spy agency or one of its contractors is monitoring it all in real-time, it sure isn’t good. So when groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and progressive magazines such as The Nation call for “another Church Committee,” the question we ought to ask them is: “Fucking really?”
Abolishing capitalism is indeed a utopian goal, but when corporations routinely go above and beyond their legal duties to serve the state — granting police and intelligence agencies access to their customers’ data without so much as a judge’s rubberstamp on a warrant — expecting meaningful change from a few hearings or legislative reforms will only leave the reformers disappointed to find their efforts have just led to dystopia. So long as there’s money to be made serving the corporate state, that is what corporations will do; there’s no need to resort to conspiracy for it’s right there in their corporate. And that’s not to be defeatist, but to suggest we ought to try a different approach: we ought to be organizing to put a stop to public-private partnerships altogether.
Right-wing libertarians and other defenders of capitalism are absolutely right when they say that the profit motive is a mighty motive indeed — and that’s precisely why we should seek to remove it; to take away even just the prospect of a federal contract. If the demands of privacy advocates are limited by myopic concerns of what’s politically possible here and now, all they will have to show for their advocacy will be a false sense of achievement. The problem isn’t, as some imagine it, a state spying without appropriate limits, but the fact that capitalism erases the distinction between public and private, making it so non-state actors gleefully act as the state’s eyes and ears. This isn’t about just Google or the government, but both: the capitalist state. And until we start recognizing that and saying as much, the result of our efforts will be more of the same.
quote:Sinds Assange in de ambassade zit, staan continu agenten bij het pand in de wijk Knightsbridge. 'We zijn aan het kijken welke opties we hebben', zegt politiecommissaris Bernard Hogan-Howe vandaag tegen de radiozender LBC. 'Het put onze middelen uit. We bekijken ook hoe we dit anders kunnen doen in de toekomst.'
quote:Julian Assange to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors in London
Lawyers for Wikileaks founder welcome prosecutor’s decision to interview Assange at Ecuadorian embassy in bid to break deadlock
Lawyers for Julian Assange have claimed victory after a Swedish prosecutor bowed to pressure from the courts and agreed to break the deadlock in his case by interviewing the WikiLeaks founder in London.
Marianne Ny, who heads the investigation into accusations of rape, coercion and sexual molestation against Assange, made a formal request to interrogate him in the Ecuadorian embassy – the first sign of movement in a case that has been frozen since August 2012.
The prosecutor will also ask the UK government and Ecuador for permission to carry out the interviews at the embassy in London, where Assange has been staying for more than two-and-a-half years to avoid extradition to Sweden, from where he fears being handed over to the US to face espionage charges.
Ny said she had changed her mind because the statute of limitations on several of the crimes of which Assange is suspected runs out in August 2015.
“My attitude has been that the forms for a hearing with him at the embassy in London are such that the quality of the interrogation would be inadequate and that he needs to be present in Sweden at a trial. That assessment remains,” Ny said in a statement.
“Now time is running out and I therefore believe that I have to accept a loss of quality in the investigation and take the risk that the hearing will not take the investigation forward, because no other option is available as long as Assange does not make himself available in Sweden,” she said.
Per Samuelson, a Stockholm lawyer for Assange, said: “It is a victory for us. We have been asking for this to happen for over four years. That is the route to acquittal.”
There were “minor details” to be discussed between Assange and the prosecutor over how the interrogations will be conducted, Samuelson said, “but there are no major questions as I see it”. Assange welcomed the development but was irritated it had taken so long, Samuelson said. They are due meet in London on Saturday.
The British Foreign Office said in November it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy. Ecuador’s government has also repeatedly stated that it approves of such a step. Assange has been wanted in Sweden since the accusations were made against him in August 2010.
His lawyers, who are currently appealing against his arrest warrant in Sweden’s highest court, have complained bitterly about the prosecutor’s refusal to travel to London to speak to him – an essential step under Swedish jurisprudence to establish whether Assange can be formally charged.
The prosecutor’s refusal, they say, has condemned Assange to “severe limitations” on his freedom that are “disproportionate” to the accusations against him.
Ny has objected that interrogating Assange abroad would be complicated and largely pointless because – should sufficient grounds emerge – he would still have to travel to Sweden for trial. However, she is obliged to drop the case against him unless she believes there are reasonable grounds for suspicion of his guilt.
The prosecutor’s apparent U-turn on Friday came just days after a supreme court judge in Stockholm wrote to the prosecutor general, directing him to give his opinion concerning Assange’s appeal, “especially regarding the investigatory procedure and the principle of proportionality”.
Further pressure on the prosecutor came in November when the appeal court, while rejecting Assange’s arguments, nonetheless directed sharp criticism at Ny for failing in her “obligation” to move the case forward.
Swedish legal opinion at a senior level has swung against the prosecutor’s position. Anne Ramberg, head of Sweden’s Bar Association, said on Friday she welcomed the decision to go to London, but added: “It should have been taken long before.”
Karin Rosander, Ny’s spokeswoman, said the decision to go to London was entirely her own. She said: “Swedish prosecutors are independent in their decision-making and nobody, not even the prosecutor-general, can order a prosecutor what steps to take.”
Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a lawyer for one of the women in the case, said she had changed her mind on questioning Assange in London, and her client had also requested the move. “If Swedish investigators and prosecutors are present when Assange is interviewed, then it will be a good interrogation of high quality,” she said.
Last year, Fritz dismissed as “empty and ill-informed speculation” calls by Swedish politicians and top legal figures to do go to London.
Questioning the prosecutor’s reluctance to travel to London, several Swedish legal figures have pointed to the occasion in 2012 when the entire Stockholm district court moved to Kigali for several weeks to interview witnesses to the Rwandan genocide, with more witnesses heard in Stockholm by video link from Kigali.
The proposed interviews in London will be conducted by the deputy prosecutor in the case, Ingrid Isgren, and a police investigator. The statute of limitations on the rape accusations against Assange expires in August 2020.
Sweden’s supreme court is due to rule on the case later this month or next.
The prosecutor’s change of heart was “demonstrably cynical” in waiting until shortly before the statute of limitations expired to keep Assange “trapped in the UK”, said journalist John Pilger for the Julian Assange Legal Defense Fund.
quote:This Google legal disclosure is 306 pages long. Holy cow.
Fri, Jun 19 2015 00:56:33
quote:Ten pages into this legal document and I'm convinced that I'm never going to return to my home country. What the actual fuck.
Fri, Jun 19 2015 01:04:49
quote:Google says government forced it to hand over Jacob Appelbaum's data for WikiLeaks grand jury - Boing Boing
“Google released another legal disclosure notice related to the United States government’s ongoing grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks,” Kevin Gosztola writes at Firedoglake.
Google recently told Jacob Appelbaum, who has worked with WikiLeaks, that Google was ordered by the U.S. government to provide data from his account to federal investigators.
. Google’s full legal disclosure to Appelbaum consisted of 306 pages of documents. He did not post the disclosure in its entirety but shared screen shots of parts of the disclosure through his Twitter account.
. On April 1, the government apparently determined there was some information that could be disclosed to Appelbaum.
. The government seems to confirm in legal documents that it does not consider WikiLeaks to be a journalistic enterprise. It also writes, “The government does not concede that the [redacted] subscriber is a journalist,” referring to Appelbaum.
. Nevertheless, the government broaches the issue and insists “newsmen” may be subject to grand jury investigations of this intrusive nature.
“Google Reveals It Was Forced to Hand Over Journalist’s Data for WikiLeaks Grand Jury Investigation” [Firedoglake]
Applebaum's tweets on Google's disclosure follow:
quote:SaoediŰrs waarschuwen voor ‘nepdocumenten’ na Wikileaks
Een rekening van een paar miljoen dollar voor een limo van een lid van de Saoedische koninklijke familie in GenŔve, manipulatie van media wereldwijd en zoveel mogelijk Iran dwarsbomen. Dat zijn tot nu toe enkele van de verhalen die zijn voortgekomen uit de ruim 61.000 Saoedische documenten die klokkenluidersite Wikileaks gisteren heeft gepubliceerd. Nu waarschuwt de regering in Saoedi-ArabiŰ haar burgers tegen verspreiding van ‘documenten die mogelijk vervalst zijn’, meldt persbureau Reuters.
De waarschuwing lijkt een reactie op ‘The Saudi Cables’, in het kader waarvan Wikileaks zegt de vertrouwelijke diplomatieke boodschappen van het Saoedische ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken te publiceren. De authenticiteit van de documenten is niet in die woorden door de autoriteiten ontkend. Het is onduidelijk of op verspreiding van nepdocumenten een straf staat of komt te staan.
Wie op de zoekterm ‘Netherlands’ zoekt, krijgt achttien resultaten. Een brief van de Nederlandse ambassade in Riad bijvoorbeeld, en een formulier van de luchtvaartautoriteit waarop een militair transportvliegtuig, onderdeel van ISAF, vermeld staat met kennelijk ‘gevaarlijke goederen’ aan boord.
Hoe Wikileaks aan de gevoelige informatie komt, maakte de organisatie niet bekend. Maar in een persbericht werd verwezen naar een Saoedische verklaring in mei, waarin stond dat er een schending was geweest van de computernetwerken van de overheid. De cyberaanval werd ‘opgeŰist’ door een groep die zichzelf Yemeni Cyber Army noemt.
Saoedi-ArabiŰ, de grootste olie-exporteur en een absolute monarchie met amper persvrijheid, staat bekend om de harde aanpak van activisten en critici. Zo werd de Saoedische mensenrechtenadvocaat Walid Abu al-Khair (35) veroordeeld tot vijftien jaar cel wegens ‘opruiing’. autoriteiten. Blogger Raif Badawi kreeg duizend zweepslagen opgelegd alsmede tien jaar celstraf en een boete van 220.000 euro wegens belediging van de Islam.
quote:Assange: Wikileaks heeft meer documenten over NSA-spionage
Klokkenluidersite Wikileaks heeft documenten in bezit die van groter politiek belang zijn dan de onthullingen, gisteren, over spionage van Franse presidenten door de Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst NSA. De economische en politieke belangen van Frankrijk alsook zijn soevereiniteit staan op het spel, zo waarschuwde Wikileaks-oprichter Julian Assange vanavond in een interview met de Franse tv-zender TF1.
Assange roept de Franse regering op nu in te grijpen. De “tijd is gekomen” voor Frankrijk om een parlementaire enquŕte in te stellen om de spionagepraktijken te onderzoeken en de schuldigen te vervolgen, zei hij. Uit de documenten zou onder meer blijken dat er sprake is geweest van economische spionage.
Volgens de documenten die via Mediapart en LibÚration werden gepubliceerd, werden Jacques Chirac (1995-2007), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012) en Franšois Hollande (2012-heden) gedurende zes jaar bespioneerd. Dit gebeurde tussen 2006 en mei 2012. Voor zover bekend stopte het afluisteren na de eerste maand dat Hollande als president was ingezworen. Welke informatie de NSA precies heeft verkregen is onduidelijk, maar het betrof in ieder geval geen staatsgeheimen.
Assange, die sinds 2012 schuilt in de Ecuadoraanse ambassade in Londen om uitlevering aan Zweden te vermijden, gaf zijn interview met TF1 vanuit de ambassade. Afgelopen vrijdag publiceerde Wikileaks al een reeks van tienduizenden vertrouwelijke Saoedische documenten. Daaruit bleek onder meer dat Nederland tevergeefs op het hoogste niveau heeft geprobeerd de immuniteit te laten opheffen van een Saoedische ex-ambassadeur die werd verdacht van mensenhandel.
quote:WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that leaked documents from Saudi ministries show that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey had a secret deal in 2012 to topple the Syrian government.
In an interview given to Rossiya-1 (Russia 1) TV channel published on Sunday, Assange said that the United States, France, and Britain had been involved in that deal, noting that the documents show an increasing degree of autonomy among the allies of the U.S. in the region, with these allies acting in a more aggressive manner and even going against the directives of the U.S. in some instances, despite the fact that in the past, Saudi Arabia had been considered a loyal servant of the U.S. in the Middle East.
WikiLeaks had begun releasing around half a million official Saudi documents and cables, including classified correspondence between Saudi Embassies and the Saudi Foriegn Ministries, in addition to Interior Ministry and General Intelligence Agency documents and reports.
quote:Sweden and Ecuador edge closer to end of Julian Assange standoff | Media | The Guardian
Swedish government agrees to direct talks with Ecuador which may lead to WikiLeaks founder being interviewed in London
Sweden has offered to negotiate an agreement with Ecuador to enable Swedish prosecutors to interview Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, potentially ending the standoff between the two countries but almost certainly too late to prevent some allegations against the WikiLeaks founder from expiring.
Sweden’s government had agreed to open direct talks with Ecuador to explore the possibility of “a general agreement” on legal assistance in criminal matters, the Swedish justice ministry said.
“The coming discussions will show if this is a way forward,” said Cecilia Riddselius, the senior justice ministry official responsible for the case.
The move marks an apparent concession by Sweden after sharp official exchanges between the two countries in which each accused the other of blocking progress. On Friday, Riddselius said demands by Ecuador were “in complete violation of our principles of justice”.
Related: Julian Assange: Ecuador and Sweden in tense standoff over interview
Meanwhile, the British government has grown increasingly irked by the stalemate, which has cost the Metropolitan police more than ú10m in policing the embassy in Kensington.
“We are frustrated that the interview has not yet taken place,” the Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire said. “This remains a deeply unsatisfactory and costly situation.”
Sweden’s justice ministry said it welcomed Ecuador’s acceptance of its offer of negotiations, but the Guardian understands the ministry rejected a proposal by Quito to meet this week because officials were on holiday, and because it would take more than a few days to prepare the negotiations.
Assange is wanted for questioning over allegations of sex crimes in Stockholm in August 2010, but has resisted extradition to Sweden citing fears that he could be transferred to the US to face espionage charges. He has repeatedly requested that he be questioned in London. He has not been charged with any offence.
Sweden’s prosecutor has faced pressure to interview Assange in London to make progress in the case, which has been deadlocked since Assange sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012. In March she dropped her objections, citing the impending expiry of the statute of limitations on most of the allegations as a reason for renewed urgency.
In April, Assange consented to the prosecutor’s conditions for an interview. But as this month’s deadline under the statute of limitations drew closer, progress towards a London interview was slow. Sweden formally requested permission from Ecuador to enter the embassy only two months later, and an agreed date of 17 June to begin the questioning had to be cancelled at the last minute amid mutual accusations of blame for the delay.
The statute of limitations on allegations of unlawful coercion and one count of sexual molestation, made against Assange by two Swedish women, expires on Thursday, and on one count of sexual molestation next Tuesday.
Sweden made the offer last Thursday to negotiate with Ecuador, and Ecuador accepted it on Monday, Riddselius said. “I do not know when the discussions will begin. Undertaking a general agreement takes time and is normally a longer procedure.”
Ecuador had insisted on negotiating a specific agreement with Sweden over the conditions for questioning Assange in the embassy, which would be contrary to the Swedish constitution, Riddselius said last week.
She said Quito had also demanded that Sweden confer upon Assange the same status of political refugee bestowed on him by Ecuador, which had created a fresh obstacle to agreement. This appeared to prompt a statement by the Ecuadorian embassy on Monday: “At no point has the Republic of Ecuador asked the Kingdom of Sweden to grant Mr Assange asylum”.
Riddselius said on Tuesday that Sweden had not altered its understanding of Ecuador’s requests.
Ecuador had noted a “positive change on the Swedish side” during the last few weeks, according to a senior official at the country’s foreign ministry. Quito had therefore been surprised and disappointed by the rebuff it received from Sweden last week, according to people familiar with the situation.
“After the initial official correspondence from Sweden seemed to discard any possibility of maintaining an official dialogue on the matter, Sweden’s current inclination towards negotiating an agreement is perceived with optimism from our side, along with the hope that we can find a well overdue resolution to the Assange case,” the foreign ministry official said.
“It’s unfortunate that those authorities haven’t responded favorably to our requests to meet during the nearly three years of Julian Assange’s asylum”.
An outstanding allegation against Assange of “rape, less serious crime” remains current under Swedish law until August 2020.
quote:Wikileaks Offering $50,000 Bounty for Kunduz Bombing Footage
Transparency activist group Wikileaks is offering a $50,000 reward for any footage of the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders facility in Kunduz or cockpit audio from the plane.
“The AC-130 records its attacks with high resolution gun cameras,” says the post on Wikileaks, the website founded by Julian Assange that publishes news leaks and classified information. “According to military procedure, this footage should have been retained along with the cockpit audio. A post-massacre inquiry report referred to as an ‘AR 15-6’ should have also been commissioned. We are raising a U.S. $50,000 bounty to obtain the footage, the cockpit audio, the inquiry report and other relevant materials.”
Read More: Obama Apologizes for Air Strike That Hit Doctors Without Borders Hospital
On Oct. 3, a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan was bombed, killing 22 staff and patients. U.S. officials have admitted the bombing was a mistake and apologized; leader from Doctors Without Borders have called for a United Nations investigation into the attack.
Read Next: Doctors Without Borders Releases Post-Bombing Footage and Calls for Investigation
quote:Wikileaks has released what it claims is the full intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the controversial agreement between 12 countries that was signed off on Monday.
TPP was negotiated in secret and details have yet to be published. But critics including Democrat presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, unions and privacy activists have lined up to attack what they have seen of it. Wikileaks’ latest disclosures are unlikely to reassure them.
One chapter appears to give the signatory countries (referred to as “parties”) greater power to stop embarrassing information going public. The treaty would give signatories the ability to curtail legal proceedings if the theft of information is “detrimental to a party’s economic interests, international relations, or national defense or national security” – in other words, presumably, if a trial would cause the information to spread.
A drafter’s note says that every participating country’s individual laws about whistleblowing would still apply.
“The text of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter confirms advocates warnings that this deal poses a grave threat to global freedom of expression and basic access to things like medicine and information,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of internet activist group Fight for the Future. “But the sad part is that no one should be surprised by this. It should have been obvious to anyone observing the process, where appointed government bureaucrats and monopolistic companies were given more access to the text than elected officials and journalists, that this would be the result.”
Among the provisions in the chapter (which may or may not be the most recent version) are rules that say that each country in the agreement has the authority to compel anyone accused of violating intellectual property law to provide “relevant information [...] that the infringer or alleged infringer possesses or controls” as provided for in that country’s own laws.
The rules also state that every country has the authority to immediately give the name and address of anyone importing detained goods to whoever owns the intellectual property.
quote:De Britse politie patrouileert niet meer rond de klok bij de ambassade van Ecuador om Julian Assange direct op te kunnen pakken als hij een voet buiten de deur zet. De politie verklaarde maandag dat de kosten 'niet meer proportioneel' zijn. Ze zullen wel hun best blijven doen om de oprichter van WikiLeaks te arresteren, laat de politie in een verklaring weten.
quote:Five years confined: New Foia documents shed light on the Julian Assange case
The role of the Crown Prosecution Service lawyers in advising the Swedish prosecutors, their comments on the extradition case as not being handled as just another extradition request, the questioning in the embassy that never took place. Files obtained by l'Espresso under the Freedom of Information Act provide a five-year account of the Swedish case against the WikiLeaks founder
19 ottobre 2015
The Scotland Yard agents encircling the embassy and guarding Julian Assange night and day have been removed. But the police siege which is estimated to have cost 12 million pounds over the last three years is far from over, as the Metropolitan police admits in its press release: Scotland Yard źwill make every effort to arrest him╗, deploying źa number of overt and covert tactics╗.
He has been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge since June 19th, 2012. Next December 7th will mark five years since the founder of WikiLeaks lost his freedom, ending up first under house arrest and then confined in the embassy in a roughly 20 square-meter room. źDespite the efforts of many people╗, wrote Scotland Yard last week, źthere is no imminent prospect of a diplomatic or legal resolution to this issue╗. A clear admission that the judiciary case against Julian Assange has become a legal and diplomatic quagmire.
L'Espresso has filed two comprehensive Freedom of Information Act (Foia) requests in Sweden and Britain to access the Assange file and reconstruct the case. We have requested documents from the Swedish Prosecution Authority in Stockholm – which has been conducting a criminal investigation for the last five years on Assange, still in its preliminary phase - and from the "Crown Prosecution Service" in London, the principal prosecuting authority for England and Wales, which has provided support to the Swedish Prosecution Authority on the Assange case. While the British have rejected all of our Foia requests, the Swedish released 226 pages of documents to l'Espresso.
Whether these pages represent a major portion of the Assange file or only a small set of documents is hard to say. To our request on the exact number of pages held by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, the Swedish replied that it was impossible to say, as many documents only exist as individual electronic documents, requiring too many resources to count all the pages. Instead the Crown Prosecution Service replied that the task was not possible for the opposite reason: the information is voluminous and mostly held in paper format, hence ascertaining the exact number of pages would be too time-consuming and expensive.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:The files obtained under Foia reveal that from the very beginning, the "Crown Prosecution Service" in London advised the Swedish prosecutors against the investigative strategy that could have led to a quick closure of the preliminary investigation: questioning Assange in London – as he has requested on many occasions - rather than extraditing him to Stockholm, as the Swedish prosecutors have always tried to do.
quote:WikiLeaks releases documents from CIA director's personal email account | Media | The Guardian
Publication follows the hacking of John Brennan’s email account on Monday, allegedly by high school students who call themselves Crackas With Attitude
WikiLeaks has released documents it said had been collected from CIA director John Brennan’s personal AOL account, the first in what the group said would be a series of publications.
The personal email account of the US’s top spy was compromised by hackers who claimed to be high school students. Those hackers had threatened on Twitter to release the same documents.
The embarrassing leaks include a questionnaire for the official’s security clearance marked: “Review copy – Do not retain.”
Other documents included an early version of the Limitations on Interrogations Techniques Act of 2008, a bill defining the limits of interrogation methods. Also released was a letter from Missouri Republican senator Christopher Bond, then a member of the Senate select committee on intelligence.
All the documents in the WikiLeaks cache are from 2008 and before. Brennan assumed office in 2013.
The hack is an embarrassment not just for Brennan and for the CIA, but also for AOL and parent company Verizon. The sensitivity of the material in the account notwithstanding, the hackers have said that they were able to obtain a Verizon employee ID number and, with that, the last four digits of Brennan’s credit card on file, which was all that was needed to reset the email password for the US’s top intelligence official.
The leak arrived one day before former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton was scheduled to testify about her own personal email accounts before a congressional panel established to investigate the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but has grown increasingly focused on the vulnerability of government information on her communications.
The people behind the breach, who call themselves CWA (Crackas With Attitude), said they had breached Brennan’s account and followed up with screenshots containing social security numbers, cellphone numbers and email addresses. The cell numbers and email addresses appeared to be genuine.
Authorities told CNN that Brennan’s account did not contain any classified information.
Multiple Twitter accounts associated with CWA have been deleted or suspended. Another account, used by a member calling him or herself PHPhax, is still live, but has not been active for 13 hours after a near-constant stream of information, teasers about the kind of data in the account and jokes about how the account’s user would soon be “v&” (“vanned”) – taken away in a van. His last tweet was: “What are those flashing lights.”
One hacker, who first spoke to the New York Post, claimed to be “American high school student who is not Muslim and was motivated by opposition to US foreign policy and support for Palestine”. The Twitter timeline for PHPhax includes many references to the UK. It’s not clear which members of CWA are using any of the accounts at a given time.
Nee, maar het staat je vrij om daarover een topic te openen in BNW.quote:
quote:Evidence that Wikileaks is not what it seems to be has mounted over the years. Assange’s RT show didn’t help matters, neither did the fact that, despite having claimed to possess secret Russian intelligence files, Wikileaks has never exposed anything sensitive, as they have done with the purloined files of many other countries. To say nothing of Assange & Co. taking unmistakably pro-Russian positions on a host of controversial issues. Questions logically followed.
quote:Especially interesting is the revelation that, while holed up in London, Assange “requested that he be able to chose his own Security Service inside the embassy, suggesting the use of Russian operatives.” It is, to say the least, surpassingly strange that a Western “privacy advocate” wants Russian secret police protection while hiding out in a Western country. The original Spanish is clear: Assange “habrÝa sido la elecciˇn de su propio Servicio de Seguridad en el interior de la embajada, llegando a proponer la participaciˇn de operadores de nacionalidad rusa.”
http://20committee.com/2015/08/31/wikileaks-is-a-front-for-russian-intelligence/quote:Why Assange wants FSB bodyguards is a question every journalist who encounters Julian henceforth should ask. Until he explains that, Wikileaks should be treated as the front and cut-out for Russian intelligence that it has become, while those who get in bed with Wikileaks — many Western “privacy advocates” are in that group — should be asked their feelings about their own at least indirect ties with Putin’s spy services.
Jouw bron is iemand van de US Navy en NSA. Dat zie ik niet als een neutrale en betrouwbare bron.quote:Op zaterdag 2 januari 2016 12:19 schreef Nintex het volgende:
[ afbeelding ]
[ afbeelding ]
Wikileaks gebruikt 90% bronnen van RT/Sputnik, komen altijd met pro-Russische verhaaltjes aan zetten. Hebben nog nooit iets schadelijks over Rusland gepubliceerd. Assange wilde FSB beveiliging, vertelde Snowden dat hij alleen in Rusland veilig was. Rusland verliest een jet boven Turkije en plots begint Wikileaks anti-Turkse propaganda te verspreiden.
En frontman Assange heeft een talkshow op Russia Today. Ze zijn niet meer zo subtiel de laatste tijd.
Toch lijkt hij een punt te hebben de laatste tijd.quote:
quote:Why did Julian Assange receive an Interpol Red Notice, but Gaddafi only an Orange? Tess Lawrence investigates the murky world of Interpol exclusively for IA, asking some troubling questions and uncovering some startling facts.
quote:* The paperwork for the Assange Red Notice failed to comply with Interpol's own regulations.
* Sweden revised its requests on several more occasions.
* The documents were incorrectly filed.
* The Assange Red Notice was designed to compromise and damage the personal reputation of Julian Assange and cause him to be held in disrepute.
* That there was a serious internal dispute between Interpol staff and Interpol Executives over the posting of the Assange Red Notice.
* That the Assange Red Notice may, in fact, be defamatory because it breaches Interpol's guidelines.
Further, that the tenuous and spurious requests made by Sweden to Interpol could be used as supportive evidence that Sweden and Interpol (and others) deliberately colluded to inhibit Assange's chances of a fair trial and diminish his international public standing.
* That Interpol has email correspondence, text and communication notes/recordings that confirm such discussion and collusion between Sweden, Australia, the United States and Interpol Executives and these materials attest to political interference by these countries and their representatives, in contravention and violation of Interpol's own regulations.
* That the current Secretary-General of Interpol, Ronald K. Noble is "too close" to US intelligence and remains partisan to preserving and protecting the legacy of the George W. Bush administration and that, despite his formidable qualifications, he has been in the position too long--he is now in his 11th year as Secretary General and his third term. Some of the other 188 member nations understandably want a stint in the high chair.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:De Verenigde Naties vinden dat Julian Assange niet moet worden opgepakt als hij de ambassade van Ecuador in Londen verlaat. Er zou sprake zijn van willekeurige gevangenhouding. Dat zal een speciale werkgroep van de VN volgens de BBC bekend gaan maken. Toch ziet het er niet meteen rooskleurig uit voor de WikiLeaks-oprichter.
Wanneer hij zich dit keer wel aan zijn woord houdt, zal Assange vrijdag rond het middaguur na een vrijwillige gevangenschap van ruim 3.5 jaar de Ecuadoriaanse ambassade in Londen verlaten. Bobby's zullen klaarstaan om hem in de boeien te slaan, ongeacht de beslissing, eveneens morgen, van de Verenigde Naties-werkgroep van 'Arbitraire Gevangenhouding'.
Hij zou geestelijk en fysiek uitgeput zijn, de gezochte Wikileaks-oprichter die op 19 juni 2012 de ambassade van binnengetreden om daar met succes politiek asiel te vragen. Vanaf dat moment stond het gebouw nabij Harrods onder toezicht van de politie. Er was geen uitgang voor Assange, temeer alle juridische procedures voorbij waren. Justitie in Zweden wil hem ondervragen met betrekking tot seksueel misbruik van twee vrouwen en het Verenigd Koninkrijk is verplicht om mee te werken aan dit Europese uitleveringsverzoek.
quote:De Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst NSA heeft in 2008 naar verluidt telefoongesprekken tussen de Duitse bondskanselier Angela Merkel en secretaris-generaal van de Verenigde Naties Ban Ki-moon afgeluisterd. Dit blijkt uit de meest recente onthullingen op de klokkenluiderwebsite WikiLeaks.
quote:Tspiras wil opheldering IMF over Wikileaks-lek - rtlz.nl
Griekenland eist tekst en uitleg van het Internationaal Monetair Fonds (IMF) over de door Wikileaks gelekte notulen over het Griekse steunpakket.
Daarin zou staan dat het IMF een Grieks staatsbankroet overweegt om de Europese Unie te bewegen de aan Griekenland voorwaarden voor de noodsteun te versoepelen. Premier Alexis Tsipras vraagt IMF-directeur Christine Lagarde om opheldering, schrijft de Griekse krant Kathimerini.
Discussie tussen topfunctionarissen
In de notulen komen Poul Thomsen, de hoofd van de afdeling Europa van het fonds, en de leider van de IMF-missie in Griekenland, Delia Velculescu, aan het woord. Uit het verslag zou onder meer blijken dat de beide topfunctionarissen gefrustreerd zijn doordat er weinig schot zit in de gesprekken over de hervormingen die de Grieken beloofden door te voeren. Ze hebben het over een 'event', een de default, waardoor Europa wel op dezelfde lijn zou moeten komen als het IMF: soepelere voorwaarden, waaronder schuldverlichting.
Het IMF weigert te reageren op het vermeende lek. De komende week staan nieuwe gesprekken op de agenda tussen Athene en de internationale geldschieters van de Grieken.
quote:Government Docs Reveal White House Efforts To Stop The Next Whistleblower
WASHINGTON — Memos and documents revealed by Freedom of Information Act requests shine light on the extreme lengths the U.S. government took to try to stop whistleblowers in the wake of Chelsea Manning’s massive leak of army reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.
The documents, released on Sunday by national security journalist Alexa O’Brien on her website and Twitter account, are the results of several FOIA requests pertaining to the U.S. government’s response to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents.
Manning, who served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in Iraq, gave WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of classified files in 2010, which the website published online. In 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison, which she is currently serving at a military facility at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
O’Brien’s investigation shows that every government agency that handles classified information was directed to form “mitigation teams” to examine any current security risks and try to forestall future whistleblowers.
The 2010 memo that called for these teams, written by Jacob Lew, director of the Executive Office of Management and Budget, claims that “the recent irresponsible disclosure by WikiLeaks has resulted in significant damage to our national security.”
The following year, mitigation teams were gathered under a single umbrella by an executive order which formed the Insider Threat Task Force, an anti-whistleblower team spanning multiple government departments and agencies.
At one point, the administration’s panic over its loss of control of classified material reached such a fever pitch that individual government employees reportedly faced police investigations just for visiting the WikiLeaks website. O’Brien’s FOIA requests revealed a 2012 investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, a U.S. government law enforcement agency, into the conduct of a linguist stationed at Camp Dwyer, a Marine Corps base in Afghanistan.
— Alexa O'Brien (@carwinb) May 15, 2016
In a letter included in the documents, the linguist, whose name has been redacted, pleads for leniency from the investigators: “I am writing this letter to inform you that I have gone through a incident that was not my fault translating classified file in my personal computer.”
Under the heading “Wiki leaks explanation,” the linguist continues, recounting the single visit to the WikiLeaks website which landed them in hot water:
One of the files leaked by Manning, which has come to be known as the “Collateral Murder” video, revealed a series of airstrikes in 2007 by U.S. Army helicopters in Iraq which killed dozens of civilians, including Reuters journalists, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen.
After the deaths of Chmagh and Noor-Eldeen, the military repeatedly refused to release key details of the incident to Reuters until Manning blew the whistle on the killings. O’Brien’s FOIA requests revealed repeated attempts by Reuters to obtain information through FOIA requests. In response to one 2007 request, the U.S. government charged Reuters $352 for the privilege of obtaining information on the deaths of the company’s own employees.
Six years after Manning’s leaks and three years after her conviction, the U.S. government’s criminal investigation of WikiLeaks continues. WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, has spent the last four years living in Ecuador’s Embassy in London on asylum out of fear of extradition to the United States. In March, the U.S. government refused Manning’s FOIA request for details of the Justice Department and FBI investigations into her actions and those of her “alleged civilian co-conspirators” like Assange.
Despite the formation of the Insider Threat Task Force, government leaks have continued, including the 2013 leak of NSA files by Edward Snowden. Although the leak has not been publicly released in full, the Intercept offered expanded access to dozens of these files on Monday.
quote:WikiLeaks belaagd rond publicatie Turkse documenten | NOS
De site van WikiLeaks is gisteravond aangevallen. De organisatie zelf denkt dat het te maken heeft met de aanstaande publicatie van 300.000 e-mails en 500.000 documenten afkomstig van de Turkse AKP, de partij van president Erdogan.
Het is de bedoeling dat de informatie vandaag online komt.
In een Twitter-bericht schrijft de klokkenluidersorganisatie dat zijn "infrastructuur constant wordt aangevallen". WikiLeaks lijkt zelf niet zeker te weten uit welke hoek de aanval komt, maar denkt vanwege de timing dat de Turkse overheid er mogelijk mee te maken heeft.
Het is onduidelijk om wat voor aanval het gaat. Op Twitter wordt gesuggereerd dat het een DDoS-aanval is, waarbij servers worden bestookt met heel veel verkeer waardoor deze tijdelijk offline gaat. WikiLeaks heeft daar zelf nog niets over gezegd.
Het is onduidelijk in hoeverre in de e-mails en documenten informatie staat over de staatsgreep van afgelopen vrijdag. In een tweet zegt de organisatie dat er wel informatie in staat over ontwikkelingen die tot de coup hebben geleid. WikiLeaks zegt daarnaast dat de informatie de AK-partij kan schaden, maar ook kan helpen.
quote:DNC emails: Wasserman Schultz furiously pressured MSNBC after it criticized her “unfair” treatment of Sanders - Salon.com
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, was furious when she was criticized by MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski.
Wasserman Schultz called for Brzezinski to “apologize” and told her co-worker Chuck Todd “this must stop.” The DNC chair even complained to MSNBC’s president.
In May, Brzezinski held a segment on the program “Morning Joe” in which she condemned Wasserman Schultz’s “unfair” treatment of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.
“This has been very poorly handled from the start. It has been unfair, and they haven’t taken him seriously, and it starts, quite frankly, with the person that we just heard speaking,” Brzezinski said, referring to Wasserman Schultz.
“She should step down,” Brzezinski added.
In a May 18 email, Kate Houghton, the director of the DNC chair’s office, forwarded a report on Brzezinski’s segment to Wasserman Schultz.
“This is the LAST straw,” Wasserman Schultz replied, enraged. “This is outrageous. She needs to apologize.”
Wasserman Schultz asked DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda to call Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC.
Miranda responded noting that Wasserman Schultz “already went to Chuck,” a reference to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press.”
Wasserman Schultz sent another angry message to Todd titled, “Chuck, this must stop.” She included the link to the report on Brzezinski’s segment and wrote, “I would like to discuss this with you today.”
Todd replied noting he was available to speak with her. She thanked him and said Miranda would schedule a time to talk.
Wasserman Schultz was insistent: “I think we need to speak to both of them,” she wrote, referring to Chuck Todd and Phil Griffin, the MSNBC president.
She added, “I’ve been talking to Phil about this since our breakfast.”
WikiLeaks released approximately 20,000 DNC emails on Friday. Another email shows that Wasserman Schultz called the attempt by the Sanders campaign to moderate the party’s stance on Israel “disturbing.”
The DNC chair has long been criticized for anti-Sanders bias. Wasserman Schultz served as co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and is a longtime Clinton ally.
Nee, dit komt van de Equadorianen.quote:
quote:Assange belooft nieuwe onthullingen over Clinton | Nieuwsuur
De klokkenluiderssite WikiLeaks zal de komende tijd nog veel meer vertrouwelijke informatie over de campagne van Hillary Clinton naar buiten brengen. Dat zegt WikiLeaks-oprichter Julian Assange in een interview met Nieuwsuur.
"We hebben belangrijke informatie over de campagne van Hillary Clinton, de Clinton Foundation en het Democratisch Nationaal ComitÚ. Dat gaan we de komende weken in delen naar buiten brengen."
Eind vorige maand onthulde de klokkenluiderssite al 19.000 e-mails waaruit bleek dat de partijleiding van de Democratische partij systematisch heeft geprobeerd de campagne van Bernie Sanders te dwarsbomen. Uit de mails van zeven prominente partijleden blijkt dat de leiding van de Democratische Partij de kandidatuur van Clinton steunde.
Volgens Hillary Clinton zitten de Russische inlichtingendiensten achter de hack die bedoeld zou zijn om Donald Trump te steunen. Assange noemt dat onzin. "Het hoofd van de Amerikaanse veiligheidsdiensten zegt niet te weten wie er achter de hack zit."
Met het beschuldigen van de Russen probeert Clinton volgens Assange de aandacht af te leiden van wat er daadwerkelijk is gebeurd; het manipuleren van het kiessysteem. "Ik vind het nogal een serieuze aantijging om Donald Trump een Russische spion te noemen, net als sommige journalisten en WikiLeaks."
"Dat brengt ons terug naar grimmige tijden waarin politieke tegenstanders worden afgeschilderd als buitenlandse spionnen. Clinton is nu de veiligheidskandidaat, en iedereen die tegen haar is een Russische spion."
Assange wil niet onthullen wie de mails heeft gelekt, maar suggereert dat het een staflid van de Democratische partij zou kunnen zijn. "Onze klokkenluiders nemen serieuze risico's om aan materiaal te komen. Er is een 27-jarige man, Seth Rich, die werkte voor de DNC. Hij is twee weken geleden in zijn rug geschoten en vermoord om onbekende redenen."
Er werd in Amerikaanse media gezegd dat het om een overval zou gaan, maar volgens Assange is daar geen bewijs voor. "Wij zijn dat aan het onderzoeken."
Vlak na het interview loofde Wikileaks op Twitter een beloning van 20.000 dollar uit voor informatie over de moord op het staflid Seth Rich.
Cool!quote:Op dinsdag 16 augustus 2016 23:53 schreef Tyr80 het volgende:
In dat geval (had je wellicht al gevonden) nog een direct link naar de text / plaatjes van de hackers: http://webcache.googleuse(...)OyV8eCNMa-0gTIh5O4Cgquote:
quote:Renowned lawyer who represented Julian Assange died after being struck by train in West Hampstead - News - Hampstead Highgate Express
One of the UK’s most respected international criminal lawyers who was representing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has died after being hit by a train in West Hampstead.
Married father of two John Jones, QC, worked at renowned legal chambers, Doughty Street and died last Monday morning. Police say they are not treating the death as suspicious.
The 48-year-old barrister has been described as “a giant in his field” by colleagues, who said that his death is “a monumental loss to the cause of international justice and human rights.”
Oxford graduate Mr Jones, who took silk in 2013, specialised in extradition, war crimes and counter-terrorism, representing clients from around the world in high profile cases.
He was part of a team of lawyers acting to prevent the extradition of Julian Assange - holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy for four years - whose case is currently being heard by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Mr Jones was also working with his colleague Amal Clooney to try and halt the execution of Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saif and Libyan spy chief Abdullah-al Senussi.
Earlier in his career, he helped bring to justice some of those responsible for genocide in the former Yugoslavia as part of the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal, working to establish procedures that were used in the historic trials.
As well as his criminal law work, Mr Jones acted as a human rights lawyer, saving a 19-year old from the death penalty in Singapore, fighting on behalf of journalists for free speech in Africa, and making representations to the UN to prevent torture.
He joined Doughty Street in 2005, where he worked alongside some of the UK’s top barristers, including Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, who remains an associate tenant there.
Mr Starmer, who knew Mr Jones well, said: “John made a huge contribution to international justice. His loss is felt deeply by all his friends and colleagues, and all our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Doughty Street Chambers said in a statement: “The passing of John Jones QC is a monumental loss to the cause of international justice and human rights worldwide. He was a pioneer, at the forefront of establishing our modern system of international criminal justice, and a giant in the field.
“John was a good friend, great colleague and a brilliant and creative lawyer.
“John was admired and appreciated for his amazing sense of humour, his professionalism and his deep commitment to justice and the rule of law.
“His death is a huge loss for all of us in Chambers, for the British and international legal profession, but mostly for his family to whom we offer our sincerest and deepest condolences.”
The statement also praised Mr Jones for his wit, eloquence and benevolence. His colleagues said: “John prepared humbler cases with a rigour equal to his higher profile ones. He constantly gave his services for free, and his generous spirit and selfless devotion came at some cost.”
Mr Jones lived in Kentish Town with his wife and two young children.
A statement from British Transport Police said officers attended West Hampstead rail station at 7.07 on Monday morning after a man was struck by a train.
It said: “He was pronounced dead at the scene. The man’s death is not being treated as suspicious. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”
Messages of support can be sent to [email protected] and cards or letters can be sent to Chambers (53-54 Doughty Street, WC1N 2LS) to be forwarded to the family.
A fund has been set up for his family, and donations can be made to the Doughty Street John Jones QC Memorial Fund (sort code 20-77-67, account no. 93017451.
Iedereen in de zaal moest er om lachen, maar ze meende het serieusquote:
thanksquote:Op dinsdag 4 oktober 2016 10:34 schreef BarryOSeven het volgende:
HD Ruptly stream