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back to article Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info

WikiLeaks has released a massive encrypted cache of documents as an “insurance policy” to be opened if its leaders come to harm. Julian Assange's rebel army published torrent links to about 400GB of data on its Facebook page, but have not yet explained how to access the files containing the sensitive material. It is likely that …

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, blackmail as a bargaining chip against arrest for legitimate questioning for rape accusations.

We all know that Wikileaks won't give two cacks about Snowden, it's all about Assange.

Anyway, my opinion is that they've put up 400 gigs of random numbers which will look like an encrypted file, rather than any actual data. Why? Because they're Wikileaks, their whole point is to release data, why would they keep any back, unless it shows them in a bad light?

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Anonymous Coward

"Ah, blackmail as a bargaining chip against arrest for legitimate questioning for rape accusations"

Probably cheaper than a lawyer who'll try to paint Assange as a saint not someone wanted for questioning over serious sexual offences. Oh, hang on, he's already tried that approach and lost ...

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Holmes

> Ah, blackmail as a bargaining chip against arrest for legitimate questioning for rape accusations.

Reductio ad absurdum.

This is nothing more than spy vs spy Mexican standoff. Or MAD, if you prefer.

What's the old saying? "Don't dish it out if you can't take it."

Neither Snowden nor Assange started spying on everyone.

I'm still waiting for Murdoch to so some jail time.

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Anonymous Coward

"Reductio ad absurdum." You keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

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The one way this could work properly

Assange has always asserted that he can't turn himself in for the rape charges because he will then get spirited away by USA.

Right now that looks to many like a smokescreen to escape the rape charges. To get his credentials back, Assange needs to face those charges to clear his name.

The one way this could all work well is:

* They send out their 400 gigs of backmail data.

* Assange turns himself to face the rape charges.

* If Assange gets spirited away, then they crack the lid on the data.

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> What's the old saying? "Don't dish it out if you can't take it."

Yeah, becaues it totally makes sense to release US military secrets in retaliation for Sweden wanting Assange on charges of rape and sexual assault. Totally.

And WTF is Wikileaks doing holding back leaks anyway? Isn't their whole point to release stuff? So release.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The one way this could work properly

Indeed. The UK police arrest people for writing news articles, so Assange is screwed.

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The Whole Point

"Isn't their whole point to release stuff?"

No, WikiLeaks point is to make money. Recall that John Young considers WikiLeaks a criminal organization whose primary purpose is commercial.

See "Wikileaks are for-hire mercenaries - Cryptome" http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/07/cryptome_on_wikileaks/ from where I cite: "From the earliest discussions, Young alleges, Wikileaks intended to pimp out the information for funds. 'Well, it only came up in the topic of raising $5 million the first year. That was the first red flag that I heard about. I thought that they were actually a public interest group up until then, but as soon as I heard that, I know that they were a criminal organisation.'"

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Re: The one way this could work properly

... he can't turn himself in for the rape charges because he will then get spirited away by USA

Um, there haven't been charges. Accusations, but no charges. Your recollection of the details may be hazy. He's already been interviewed once by the Swedish Police. At the time, they decided that there was no case. See here:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

The article is longish, but worth the read.

There's a question that Assange (among lots of other folk) has asked, over and over: "Why won't the Swedish Police come to the UK and interview him there?" This is allowed by Swedish law. Because of the cost? The UK government could save millions by paying the Swedish Police's expenses, no?

I think that Assange's suspicions are entirely reasonable.

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No charges have been filed

There are no charges against Assange in Sweden or elsewhere (except maybe in the US). He is only wanted for questioning, and there are many who believe that it is a ploy to get him where he can be extradited or renditioned by the US government.

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Re: No charges have been filed

What was it obama said about snowden? Something along the line of hes only one man and we wont make too much effort? Then the week after a head of states plane was detained! I dont fancy assanges chances much if he had gone to sweden.

Even if im not keen on assange or his rhetoric, it seems his fears are quite founded

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Devil

Julian should have been reading El Reg...

It seems that the encrypted files are not as difficult to break as once thought...

(There was an article to that effect sometime in the past couple of weeks)

So you can bet the NSA probably has already decrypted them... ;-)

But to the AC's point...

Yeah, its all about Julian.

Its not just the rape charges, but the fact that if the evidence presented in the Article 32 hearing was presented at Court Martial, it could mean future problems for Julian. (Which is why he hired a lawyer to sit in the court room and monitor the trial...)

Wikileaks isn't just about releasing data and exposing corruption and illegal activities. Oh no, its to promote Julian and to capitalize on others sekrets.

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Stop

Re: The one way this could work properly

The reason that there have not been charges is because of the way Swedish law works. Assange has been questioned by Swedish police and is now " required to surrender for interrogation before any charges can be made and prosecution brought". They intend to charge him but cannot do so until he is arrested, hence the European Arrest Warrant.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/media/2012/09/legal-mythology-extradition-julian-assange

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Re: The one way this could work properly

"The reason that there have not been charges is because of the way Swedish law works."

As the people going on about the lack of charges know very well, given how throughly the UK courts went into the issue.

You really don't help your own case by making misrepresentations of this sort people. You've got a good case, given recent events, that there is a lot of stuff going on that shouldn't. Stick to the truth, it is considerably more convincing.

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Re: No charges have been filed

BECAUSE THAT'S NOT HOW SWEDISH LAW WORKS.

Seriously, why do you guys keep parroting this, it's a red herring: in the US and UK which use Common Law, charges are filed before the investigation is concluded. In countries like Sweden which use Civil Law, charges are filed after the conclusion of investigation, right before the trial starts. A quick googling will show you this.

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Re: No charges have been filed

Defendants can also be tried in absentia I believe.

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FAIL

Re: Julian should have been reading El Reg...

In the event that Mr Assange feels the need for lessons in self-promotion, he'd be advised to contact one Ian Michael Gumby....

Henri

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Boffin

Re: No charges have been filed

A quick google would also show, «Vociferous», that Swedish law permits the taking of depositions abroad, a procedure which has been carried out previously. Mr Assange has offered to be be subjected to an interview in his refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK, after which charges could be filed if sufficient evidence were forthcoming, but the Prosecutor's Office in Göteborg (which, by the way, is not the jurisdiction in which the alleged offenses took place) has refused. My conclusion is that the case, which was dismissed by a Chief Prosecutor in Stockholm, where, in contradistinction to Göteborg, the offenses are alleged to have taken place, is simply a means for our (in)justice system here to get its hands on Mr Assange, in order to send him to the United States, thereby demonstrating once again our total loyalty to the Empire....

Henri

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"Reductio ad absurdum."

Employing an argument to extreme forms to demonstrate its absurdity? Certainly not; this is indeed blackmail, as in if you try to do me for my involvement of the theft of your state secrets, why, I'll publish them.

Silly billy. Attend Logic 101 this autumn.

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Re: The one way this could work properly

"Um, there haven't been charges. Accusations, but no charges."

As has been pointed out multiply, Assange's Swedish counsel was advised by the Swedish police that they wished - as per the legal process in their jurisdiction - to interview him prior to charging him; almost the next day Assange appeared in the UK; Assange's lawyer claimed he'd never heard from the Swedish police, but had to recant in a UK court, on perusing his mobile phone logs.

That's it, that's all; the Swedish police would have charged Assange had he not absconded.

That he has now repeatedly absconded - the second time obviously being his bail, coughed up by many worthies who are a few spons the lighter - makes me inclined to believe that he is a tad rapey. Since the case of, e.g., Nadja Benaissa in Germany and others throughout the EU there's no excuse for claiming that you meant no harm, that you thought the woman was 'in a tizzy' and nothing more, because you fucked them without wearing a condom, when they'd said no condom=no sex, and CJS officials in the UK have said they'd charge such an individual with rape.

Interestingly the posters who see no problem with Assange allegedly having bareback sex are all men, and AFAICT in the UK, where sexual hygiene standards leave a lot to be desired.

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Re: No charges have been filed

" there are many who believe that it is a ploy to get him where he can be extradited or renditioned by the US government."

Beliefs, are like opinions, which are like arseholes; everyone has one. However, the Swedes have made a number of things quite clear; 1) under EAW terms they cannot extradite without UK permission; 2) they would not extradite for capital offences; 3) they are willing to let the US have first go at extraditing Assange from the UK if they wish to charge Assange: Given that the last Labour government signed a 'we bend over for Uncle Sam whenever they tell us to" treaty, such that we ship suspects back to the US as soon as Uncle Barak flutters his eyelashes at the British PM, it is the case that your claim is completely irrelevant, fictional, a phantasm, not connected with reality, ignores the easy way to do things which would be to inform Sweden that they want first go, with Assange in the barrel in a UK court.

Pah.

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Re: Julian should have been reading El Reg...

"Wikileaks isn't just about releasing data and exposing corruption and illegal activities. Oh no, its to promote Julian and to capitalize on others sekrets."

Indeed; Julie's found a lot of ways to make money; take massive advances from publishing houses wanting his autobiog, then withdraw; pay wall; demand a million for an interview... ...oh, I forget all of the clever devices that greedy St Julie has invented. Quite soon he'll be as rich as St Tonibler, and people will wake up to what a fake it has been.

I mean, stealing a state's secrets and selling them. The King is completely, absofuckinglootly naked.

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Thumb Up

"Reductio ad absurdum." You keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

It's a Hogwarts 1st years practice spell to make their schoolbooks smaller for carrying from class to class.

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Mushroom

"Yeah, becaues it totally makes sense to release US military secrets in retaliation for Sweden wanting Assange on charges of rape and sexual assault. Totally."

Actually, yes, it does. They have a stick to beat the biggest boy in class with so as to get him to do the dirty on the smaller boy over there --->

A bit like Iceland threatening NATO and therefore the US with closure of a NATO base in Iceland because the UK didn't agree with Icelands fishing policy in the middle of the Cold War.

The Iceland/UK fishing policy was brokered (to the cost of the UK) by a US NATO general. See how it all works now?

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Re: The one way this could work properly

A warning to anyone. Please be weary whenever anyone mentions the phrase "rape charges" please take their comment with a grain of salt. They are not "rape charges" they are "rape allegations". Assange has not been charged with anything, he has been accused and is wanted for questioning. Either they are attempting to mislead you, or they do not know enough about the topic and should not be commenting about it.

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Facepalm

Re: Julian should have been reading El Reg...

| So you can bet the NSA probably has already decrypted them |

??? why

they have the clear text already.

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Anonymous Coward

Let me get this right

They took all the data from the pure hapless Manning and complain about free speech while they hold back 400Gb of data.

Does any of the files contain a definition of irony for them to read ?

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Coat

Re: Let me get this right

Nah they don't but meanwhile...

100's if not thousands of NSA computers are trying to break the encryption.

I guess that we could save them the trouble. The contents will just be a single text file that contains the words

Fourty Two.

Ok, coat....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Let me get this right

Sorry, but if it's AES-256 like the last bundle they released then it will be ONE NSA computer for about ten seconds.

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Re: Let me get this right

> Sorry, but if it's AES-256 like the last bundle they released then it will be ONE NSA computer for about ten seconds.

I don't understand the whole Rijndael NSA backdoor concept. The NSA didn't touch Rijndael until a very long time after it was proposed, and the creators have no affiliation with the US at all. As a matter of fact, despite the whole ridiculous 'cryptosystems are munitions, ban them outside the US' nonsense, the NSA has a history of strengthening public cryptosystems at least as often as weakening them. Sure they demanded DES be limited in keylength, but remember the changes to the DES s-boxes? Everyone was oh so convinced that it was an NSA backdoor, and it turns out that they just had differential cryptanalysis before everyone else and the old s-boxes would have been helpless against it.

Their backdoors have historically been bypassing encryption with stuff like key escrow in clipper chips or by limiting foreign key lengths to things they knew they could brute force, not putting inherently weak encryption out there. And they've usually been flagrant about what they were doing. That's simply because the NSA is smart enough to understand that only they can access explicit backdoors, but anybody could potentially uncover inherent cipher weakness. And they don't want American interests using encryption that someone else could crack, they want to have the monopoly on that.

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Re: Let me get this right

> Does any of the files contain a definition of irony for them to read ?

Wouldn't help, Assange is utterly blind to irony. We're talking about a guy who operates a leak-site, but (when asked by the New York Times) refused to redact the names of afghans who had cooperated with the US, with the words: "Well, they're informants. So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it."

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WTF?

Re: Let me get this right

Why would it need to be hard for the NSA to decrypt ? Assuming it's something sensitive, they already have it.

The threat comes from revealiing it to us, not to the NSA. While the threat of revealing something unknown but possibly damning is useful, the threat of revealing something specific is far stronger. And if the warning allows them to be ready for that specific disclosure, it doesn't mean there isn't more.

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Anonymous Coward

Torrent it anyway

It's good cover for downloading dvds and games.

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Why can't they leak...

Something about Al Qaeda that would be revealing in what they do?

It would be helpful to show that WikiLeaks is "unbiased" in their actions!

p.s. I hope this doesn't get flagged for some bad reason, nor the lookup I did to find a reasonable spelling. Honest, I don't mean to be a bad boy!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why can't they leak...

I guess because Wikileaks wouldn't look particularly impressive when the headline was "Islamist terrorist organisation intend to blow up Zionist something or other." That and, if they had this kind of information and didn't send it to the law enforcement authorities they'd make themselves look like an organisation who are happy to interfere with law enforcement's legitimate attempts to prevent atrocities and bring those who commit them to justice.

Basically wikileaks is only really going to go after western governments, military and companies. They may go for, say, Russia, but I doubt it. Assange seems to think that his enemy's (US Gov) enemy (Russian Gov)is his friend.

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Facepalm

Re: Why can't they leak...

> Something about Al Qaeda that would be revealing in what they do?

Just how much access to the Internet do you think goat herders have?

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Unhappy

Re: Why can't they leak...

I have said it here many times, Asange and company are what the Soviets called during the cold war:

"Useful idiots"

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Happy

Re: Why can't they leak...

"Assange seems to think that his enemy's (US Gov) enemy (Russian Gov)is his friend." I have some doubts about "whistleblowing" having anything to with "unbiased" or "biased". And perhaps it would be nice with a "Russange" living on some sofa in Moscow or London. And quite frankly we are not killed by too much information, TV ads being the exception, but rather the lack of it. This is of course mad, but a result of reporters having lost their freedom of speech years ago. Do not kill the messenger, as they said, years ago, if not to day.

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Re: Why can't they leak...

There is a russian "wikileaks". It's operated by the FSB.

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Re: Why can't they leak...

But then, how do they post their Jihad Magazine?

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Re: Why can't they leak...

"They may go for, say, Russia, but I doubt it. Assange seems to think that his enemy's (US Gov) enemy (Russian Gov)is his friend."

Plus the Russians don't fuck about where this sort of thing is concerned; ask the families of hundreds of murdered Russian/Russian commonwealth journalists. Anna Politkovskya springs to mind, plus also it is the case that a certain former Russian KGB Lt Col. had to die because he wrote a very frank, revealing and damaging assessment of another former Russian KGB Lt Col. whom he in the line of duty some years back investigated for fraud and other criminal activity; yes, if you hadn't guessed it, the latter former KGB senior officer was in fact the very one responsible for industrial espionage against the west, grandson of Stalin's former cook, the very macho Vladimir Vladimorovich Putin, aka 'Voro', to use kindergarten Russki.

No. I don't think they want to fuck with Russia, because Russia will fuck them back good and to hell with political correctness, yuman rights and any other western 6th form debating point; they'll do it and not even discuss it, never mind the denial bit. Why? Look at the Russian state duma; it's almost completely filled with Voro's former colleagues, that is to say former KGB placemen.

To these people the burden of thinking morally, or of treating people like Brazilian information couriers, Guardian journos and the like with anything resembling respect is not a priority; no use being a faux naif 'partner' of a Graniad journo, claiming you did nuffink wrong, later only to say in the midst of a hissy fit that you will reveal lots of interesting things about (UK in the current instance) Russian int & sy services, that'll pop you straight in line with the crosshair, no problemo.

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Happy

Plod - deploy quality burger van!

Sounds like he may try and make a run for it? Game on - circa 70's good luck etc

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Anonymous Coward

Instead of an elected Government ...

... deciding what we can and can not see we now have a bunch of unelected activists deciding what we can and can not see.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Instead of an elected Government ...

Yes, that's the problem with vigilantism, starts off with good intentions and unfortunately doesn't last.

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Re: Instead of an elected Government ...

In the case of Assange and Anonymous, it's pretty much the other way around.

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Re: Instead of an elected Government ...

One day, you're BFF's with the vigilantes, next day they're riding you out of town on a rail...

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Re: Instead of an elected Government ...

"Yes, that's the problem with vigilantism, starts off with good intentions and unfortunately doesn't last."

Yeah, but it's a profitable business; look at Julie's £80,000 salary for starters, never mind the other clever scams this scallywag has. The hell with ethics, this is big business, and it's gonna get bigga if we kun git eeeeelected (background music of Alice Cooper singing 'I wanna be elected').

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understandable

Given the detention of David Miranda by our finest whilst transiting through a UK airport I can't really blame them...Do peeps really think that the septics play fair? remember the video of the helicopter murdering (and I use the word intentionally) innocent civilians that the US Generals denied existing ? Personally I think that would never have been seen otherwise. Oh and was not an official sovereign state plane forced to land in France just after Snowdon was in Moscow!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: understandable

You will note that the independent reviewer of the anti-terrorism legislation in the UK has done his nut about the arrest and demanded an explanation.

You will also note that giving your partner a memory stick to move documents around isn't beyond the imagination.

No, I don't think he should have been held for 9 hours, it's appalling, but I also think that there is at least a reason to ask if it's possible that he may have had documents that he shouldn't have had.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: understandable

"...remember the video of the helicopter murdering ..."

Yes, I do, do you remember that Wikileaks edited the video and removed a whole load of footage from the start. They then editorialised about it being murder.

Wikileaks could serve an important purpose, but if the edit information (other than to protect the innocent) and if they editorialise they trivialise what they are doing and become a sensationalist newpaper, not a leaks site.

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