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back to article Wikileaks regains relevance with Stratfor doc-drop

Wikileaks has announced a massive document dump of e-mails obtained from Stratfor, which it says demonstrates widespread corruption and even insider trading. As with its last major document release – the “diplomatic cables” – the organization is working with major press organisations to drip-feed the documents to the public. The …

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Anonymous Coward

Has Wikileaks actually ever released anything that most people didn't know was going on anyway? It's a serious question BTW, I'm not trolling.

Also, have they actually changed anything, concidering the impending war on Syria and Iran, which was planned way before 9/11 in the "Clean Break" report.

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Boffin

Most people suspected or believed this stuff was going on.

Suspecting < Believing < Knowing.

With the release of hard evidence, we now know. With specific details to boot.

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FAIL

Haha

There's always three phases of spin.

1) You can't prove anything.

2) <leak occurs>

3) Everyone already knew that.

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Facepalm

To the OP.

Why don't you have a read Wikileaks? If you then feel that you know something that you previously didn't, then the first answer is yes.

As to question/statement 2: How would anyone know if anything has changed? Geopolitics is hardly a test environment where you can run one scenario with Wikileaks and one without.

We will never know for certain, unless someone leaks a document detailing significant things that were canceled/prevented/changed due to Wikileaks material being available. (Hardly likely).

Perhaps you questions are better directed at Facebook? It seems to be more on par with your level of 'concideration'.

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Holmes

Media partners

Annoying lack of UK ones. Reg, keep an eye out, will ya?

I am looking forward to reading more of the releases, there will be a few people sweating tonight for sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Media partners

I wonder if the Guardian regret biting the hand that fed them.

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Holmes

Re: Re: Media partners

Read the Press Release here: http://pastebin.com/D7sR4zhT ..end of line 31.

I think there might be a bit of discussion happening amongst the Journos at the Guardian today.

...Given the history of a couple of their reporters, ahem, accidentally revealing the password to the US state department leaks. Although to their credit this story is already on the Guardians mainpage, I am very curious to see what Mr Murdoch decides is fit to publish. The BBC article has no links, only soundbites. And ends, as usual, by reminding us all that Assange is a potential sex offender.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Media partners

As far as I'm aware, there's a distinct pattern of Assange falling out with media partners - rather than his hand being bitten, maybe he's difficult to work with.

According to various reports, such as the one in Vanity Fair - and I've seen nothing to the contrary, not anything from Assange to specifically refute this, Assange told The Guardian that "he owned the information [on Wikileaks] and had a financial interest in how and when it was released". This was over the paper using Wikileaks information that had been provided by a ex-colleague of Assange. Assange also wasn't pleased with The Guardian reporting about his/Wikileaks' connection with Israel Shamir.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Media partners

@AC 1201

Don't forget the phoning up of people who report things he doesn't like and ranting at them. Ian Hislop reported a similar phone call to him at Private Eye, where Assange ranted about a Jewish conspiracy against him.

Balanced? Easy to deal with? Draw your own conclusions.

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Headmaster

Correction

It's the Yes *Men* not the yesman. Furthermore they're not purely "Bhopal activists", it just so happens that this was their most successful stunts. They're no single issue double-act in any case.

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Anonymous Coward

Trying to validate themselves thru hacking

Anon hasn't got a snowball chance in Hell of validating themselves or their hacking even by disclosing what people already know. Sure they can dupe the retarded 1% of the world and support worthless protests, but in the end, Anon members are being prosecuted and sent to jail every few weeks. Maybe a decade in the slammer will educate them how the real world functions and why hacking is a crime no matter what your justification?

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Trollface

Suggestion for improvement

Dear sir,

While I'm very happy with the your astroturfing services, I would suggest that instead of posting as AC, you post a few anti-Apple/Android rants first, thus building up a certain degree of credibility, and only then try to discount Wikileaks as a criminal enterprise using your nickname.

Yours sincerely,

Col. Awful Puppy, Ret.

Department of Shills and Astroturfers

Stratfor

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Stop

Freedom of Information

I am sure that information wanted to be free, so the hackers only 'liberated' the bits and bytes.

But seriously, it's not OK for private enterprise to obtain insider information through shady dealings and use it in the financial markets. Don't be blasé about it, it's the financial markets we talk about and your small-fish pension account will feed the sharks. If you already know about it, be outraged!

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Unhappy

Impressive list of newspapers

...not. Do mainstream newspapers refuse to talk to Wikileaks, or does Wikileaks refuse to talk with mainstream newspapers? I actually like my leaks with some professional journalism in it.

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WTF?

Re: Impressive list of newspapers

Profeshinul journalisam?

Like those pillars of credibility from News Of The World perhaps?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Impressive list of newspapers

@Goat Jam

No, like those pillars of credibility The Guardian and The New York Times.

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FAIL

So, Wikileaks have now sunk to the level of releasing information that wasn't obtained by someone with lawful access to it... meaning that this is not in fact a LEAK at all, but the publication of deliberately (and probably maliciously) stolen material. How the mighty have fallen - and no wonder the really big publications are apparently not interested in carrying it.

Otherwise:

"Stratfor’s informants are paid either through pre-paid credit cards or via Swiss bank accounts."

Well, how else would you recompense people who might find themselves jailed (or just 'disappeared') for talking to you? Briefcases full of banknotes?

"The aim of the fund was “to use [Stratfor’s] intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments” (such as, for example, government bonds)"

So like every other bond trader, they'd attempt to predict whether bonds would be a good investment; the only difference being the range of governmental sources available? This is not at all the same thing as insider trading, unless the documents contain far more than is indicated here.

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Big Brother

Everything is fine. There has been no wrongdoing here. Move along citizen. Nothing to see here.

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Data was obtained unlawfully

The hackers, who never owned up, actually deleted data, took down servers and tried to attack the backup servers. This was no secret, so Wikileaks once again knowingly receive and publish information obtained by unlawful means, but hey, its is all in the public interest, so that's OK.

As for StratCap, unless the information used to trade is restricted, that is not available as part of their normal geopolitical intelligence reports, then it is no different to any other informed gamble on government bonds, e.g. subscribing to Thomson-Reuters or Bloomberg data feeds and trading bonds.

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Thumb Down

Re: Data was obtained unlawfully

As far as I'm concerned, if the material shows a big financial company using inside knowledge to make gazillions (off the back of regular punters since this is a zero-sum game), then Wikipedia is perfectly justified in publishing even if it was obtained "unlawfully".

One of the reasons I condone this "unlawful" behaviour is that the law is already stacked in favour of the big guys with lobbying access who are part of the design process of the laws in the first place. Besides that, the application and enforcement of the law is selectively applied, and again, big interests are relatively immune. How many people who were part of the design, implementation, sales & marketing, rating, etc etc of credit default swaps were charged with fraud, even though the top levels of the banking industry knew they were dodgy? Exactly zero, they just claimed they had no idea, the stuff was too complex etc.

Mug a widow and steal her pension = 10+ years in jail. Defraud a few billions off pension funds investing in supposedly triple-A assets = all OK, another day at the office at the big boys' club. Here's your 7-digit bonus, my son

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Re: Data was obtained unlawfully

Whistleblowers don't generally have the approval of their bosses to release information so I guess you'd count them as dirty thieves too?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Data was obtained unlawfully

"As for StratCap, unless the information used to trade is restricted, that is not available as part of their normal geopolitical intelligence reports, then it is no different to any other informed gamble on government bonds"

Insider trading relates to non-public information. I think they intend on trading on it before they publish else there's not much point is there?

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Anonymous Coward

Amnesia

Dear Inland Revenue, I forgot to tell you that my Swiss bank account is stuffed full of cash. My dog ate the paperwork etc.

Yours, T. Axscam

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Not exactly the same quality of News organisations that they dealt with for the last major release of information, is it?

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Pint

TOO much too late.

I must have the brains of a snail on a motorway. I knew the Americans wanted Assange bad. I also knew about the corrupt way they chose Sweden as a stepping stone to make it happen. This though is something else, this is atomic. This is a subsidiary of the world’s largest intelligence agency breaking insider trading, tax avoidance, and money laundering laws in their own country. I doubt whether many had no knowledge of it happening in another persons back yard, but being caught doing it in their own is awesome. I would be very surprised if this doesn't hit every front page of every country, everywhere. Wikileaks, i think, have just done a Pearl Harbour.

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Re: TOO much too late.

Nope. Pearl Harbour made a difference. A tenner says that even with Prima Facie evidence of money laundering or insider trading, Stratfor won't even be investigated by the guvmint, let alone charged.

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Holmes

Of course not -

...likely because there's been a lot of plutocratic "words to the wise" going out from certain entities none too pleased with previous events.

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also...

here in the US we get the truth from comedians and BS from office-holding tragedians. Don't go looking for quality news 'round here!

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Anonymous Coward

there will have been an 'impact' meeting

to judge how far the curtain has been pulled back, (behind the scenes is somewhere that we're not supposed to look!) I'm writing here as a disinterested and not very important subscriber to Stratfor - so I suppose I should ego surf to see if I can find what Straftor thought of me, or not.

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Happy

Of course Stratfor loathe Wikileaks.

After all, Wikileaks does the same thing that Stratfor does: it produces "intelligence". The difference is that Wikileaks is far more competent at what it does. As Bernard Keane put it in "Crikey":

http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/02/29/the-filth-and-the-fury-and-the-catfood-stratfor-talks-wikileaks/

"The insight into Stratfor gained from the emails shows that a flimsy intelligence-gathering model can be the basis for generating significant revenue, as long as clients don’t suspect just how poor the information they are getting is. As revealed in its emails, like many consulting firms, Stratfor — bizarrely described by some journalists as a “shadow CIA” — relies heavily on the government contacts of former bureaucrats and pulling together publicly available information and putting a gloss on it."

"Fred Burton, for example, as a former Diplomatic Security Service chief in the State Department, is plainly plugged into information networks within his old department, or at least routinely boasts as much. But much of Stratfor’s operation is amateur-hour stuff, as Pratap Chatterjee showed in The Guardian — Stratfor analysts used Google Translate to read Arabic news articles and recycled blog posts for sale to clients..."

"What’s never said is that WikiLeaks is in fact a competitor to Stratfor, but one that refuses to play by the industry’s rules. Stratfor, like so many firms offering consulting and “strategic advisory” services, and not just in the intelligence or cyber security or foreign policy sectors, has a business model based not so much on offering real intelligence and high-quality analysis, as collating publicly available material, dressing it up with “strategic analysis” and preserving a mystique of secrecy around “intelligence” that impresses clients."

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