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This incident is unfortunate in the extreme for multiple reasons: it’s possible that diplomatic sources identified in the cables (including whistleblowers and human rights activists) will be harmed; this will be used by enemies of transparency and WikiLeaks to disparage both and even fuel efforts to prosecute the group; it implicates a newspaper, The Guardian , that generally produces very good and responsible journalism; it likely increases political pressure to impose more severe punishment on Bradley Manning if he’s found guilty of having leaked these cables; and it will completely obscure the already-ignored, important revelations of serious wrongdoing from these documents. It’s a disaster from every angle. But as usual with any controversy involving WikiLeaks, there are numerous important points being willfully distorted that need clarification.
In the end, all the efforts at confidentiality came to naught. Everyone who knows a bit about computers can now have a look into the 250,000 US diplomatic dispatches that WikiLeaks made available to select news outlets late last year. All of them.
June 12, 2011 After weeks of internal debate about whether and how lawyers for Guantanamo prisoners should be permitted to access the thousands of U.S. government documents published by WikiLeaks, federal authorities have settled on a policy that critics say rests on a misunderstanding of how the Internet and modern computing work. In guidance issued Friday to so-called habeas lawyers , the federal government said attorneys for Guantanamo inmates can study the WikiLeaks documents online but can't store or save them in any fashion.
You may have heard that WikiLeaks is suing Visa and MasterCard for refusing to process donations to it. That’s not actually the case. Forbes has gotten a copy of the complaint , and as it lays out, an Icelandic company called DataCell is suing, and it’s suing in Europe, not the US. DataCell is basically a hosting service for WikiLeaks and “businesses, NGOs, humanitarian organisations and others.”
UPDATE: Following the arrest of five people in Britain in connection with the “Operation Payback” cyber-attacks in support of WikiLeaks, the FBI announced mass raids across the United States in connection with the case. “FBI agents today executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations,” a bureau press release states . Though the bureau did not say if any individuals were arrested during the raids, it did confirm a link between the US raids and the arrests in Britain. The bureau said suspects, if charged, could face up to 10 years in prison. The police actions indicate that governments on both sides of the Atlantic are determined to prevent hacktivists from taking revenge against companies that ceased to do business with WikiLeaks following the release of US State Department cables late last year.
Lifting the Lid on WikiLeaks: An Inside Look at Difficult Negotiations with Julian Assange - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - InternationalIn a statement, the White House has condemned the publication of "private diplomatic discussions" with foreign governments by SPIEGEL and four other international media on Sunday.
Constitutional law and national security scholars testified on the constitutionality of prosecuting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Among the topics addressed were the nature of journalism, .. Read More Constitutional law and national security scholars testified on the constitutionality of prosecuting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Among the topics addressed were the nature of journalism, the extent of constitutional protections of the press in protecting the divulgence of classified information, and the amount of information that is categorized as classified. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
This summer, when Wired.com reported that WikiLeaks was in possession of tens of thousands of State Department internal communiques, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, engaged in what might be called a small act of public diplomacy. Wired had identified one of his confidential sources, a low-level Army intelligence analyst named Bradley Manning, who had privately confessed to a hacker that he had given Assange “260,000 state department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world.” The revelation put WikiLeaks in a difficult position—as it would have for any news organization. How was Assange to respond to the story in a way that was truthful, but neither compromised his source nor confirmed the substance of a massively complex leak that he was not yet ready to publish? As Henry Kissinger once said, “Sometimes the art of diplomacy is to keep the obvious obscured.”