Notes on the Wikileaks case10/12/2010 Written by Minor
First of all, we would like to emphasize that Zone-H is not related to any party in the Wikileaks case. We are do not agree nor disagree with any action happened, we just want to share our opinion on the forthcomming events. Already many news media released information about the cables, sources, how it happened etc.
But now, it is clear that the Wikileaks will not stop to publish the cables. There are plenty of the mirrors all around the globe and information are shared over the Facebook and Twitter. Also the arrest of Julian Assange can’t stop the day-by-day publishing of the cables. Whole case raises more questions, some cannot be answered. Like first one: how is it possible that Bradley Manning was able to get 250k of cables? As from the Guardian article, he had “unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7days a week for 8+ months”.
But definitely we should speak about the content of the cables. The most of the cables are just boring reports and many of you have probably asked why these are classified. It is the media that is taking the juicy grapes from it and unveils to all the hungry folks.
Because of one of the cables containing the information about the corruption and power misuse by Mr. Kharzai in Afghanistan, Canada’s ambassador William Crosbie wants to resign. To get the full overview read the article in the National Post. Then think. Why this cable was considered as confidential or secret? Many countries are investing in this country in the good will that they help to rise the social level of the Afghan citizens. In this case making the corruption and the power misuse hidden from the public looks like a bad move. And Mr. Crosbie does not need to apologize for the leakage and fear of diplomatic troubles in the relationship between Afghanistan and Canada.
Definitely — we have to take the lesson from the cable leakage — it is time to play with the open cards everywhere. Only on such way we can achieve good relationships between the countries around the world. And we have also to learn another lesson — there is not enough security. By the way, do you remember Dan Egerstad? He’s the young man that became famous through releasing a set of information acquired on TOR network. These data were already compromised, when he acquired it. We were interested on his point of view, since he’s from Sweden. As he wrote: “I’m trying to stay objective myself in this whole dispute and just be logic and look atfacts”.
Zone-H: 3 years ago you were the one releasing sensitive info from the TOR network. Do you think the agencies and government institutions have learned something from that lesson? It seems that internal security is still on the low level. What they will learn from this new and pretty hard lesson?
Dan Egerstad: Security is actually pretty good in SIPRNet where cablegate was stolen from. The military balances the chance of leaks against the advantage of having the ability to share information between different people, offices and organisations. I assume they also have logs on who is accessing what and therefore already know since long what is in all of the cablegate documents. However I feel that you might have to lock it down a bit more, an analyst in Iraq probably doesn’t need access to embassy mails even if he had the correct security clearance level. I saw some FBI-agent claiming that Wikileaks could have stopped 9⁄11 as the warnings would have been made public. However, SIPRNet was build just for that, to share information so the different organisations can work together and nothing is lost in translation. Wikileaks publishing could backfire and make the US go back to sharing less information with less people — a big step back.
Zone-H: In your opinion, what is the impact of the disclosed information?
Dan: I haven’t read all the documents, about 200 of the 1269 published so far and most of it is pretty boring, non-sensitive and 100% correct ambassador work (except killer ninjas!). Media all over the world is taking the minority questionable sentences and making it into big news. For media this is a goldmine and 99,99% of the everyday people won’t read any of these documents, therefore most people think everything is like the stuff that makes the headlines. The impact of the information? Almost none as there won’t be much of high value in it. The apache video was high impact and much worse than what we see now, it’s the amount of documents that made it what it is today. The impact of the publishing? Well, this will have impact. Many systems and polices will be rebuild and governments will become even more closed. Routines and thinking will change everywhere.
Zone-H: In your opinion, what will be the next steps in the case? As we see, the volunteers are mirroring the Wikileaks cables (even Bolivia’s Vice-President), Wikileaks Facebook group has more than one million of users, hackers are attacking organisations that make the survival of the Wikileaks harder…
Dan:I’ve been following the “hackers” performing DDoS against Paypal, VISA, MasterCard, PostFinance, Borgstrom Law Firm and the Prosecutor of Sweden. From the beginning it was about taking a stand for Wikileaks but it has turned into most being kids thinking it’s cool to be a part of something that is covered in large media. Kind of like football hooligans, it’s about the fight, not the team. Watching the attackers channels the discussion isn’t about wikileaks or its enemies at all anymore. A few minutes talk from “Anonymous” IRC-channels:
<***>“SWEDISH RADIO says if we attack VISA the damage will be much worse then mastercard as visa share servers with massive important websites!!!!!”
<***> Anonymous vs mastercard story coming up on DC news radio
<***> so what’s the next target?
<***> this is the best time of my life
<***> I’m not into the politics much, I just feel as if they’re doing something legitimately wrong and it needs to be corrected.
<***> If there is any media/press that has questions please message ***
<***> WE ARE ON BBC WORLD TV YEAH… I LOVE THIS JOB… IT MAKE ME HORNY…
After a while the attackers will get tired and everything goes back to normal. In the meantime US will do what they can do stop future leaks and Wikileaks will continue what they do. Wikileaks got the people on its side, according to Datacell who was managing the donations earlier it is 7-digits /week.
We would like to know your opinion on the Wikileaks case, if you have something to say, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.