Sunday, August 18, 2013

Assange's latest op underway (updated)

On Friday I remember seeing this tweet. But, being terribly tech-impaired, I didn't know what it meant.

Well, I just found out and thought I'd share it with you.
Someone remind WikiLeaks that the U.S does not respond well to blackmail.

We'd think this was some kind of interactive Internet mystery if we didn't know better, but in fact WikiLeaks has released about 400 gigabytes' worth of mysterious data in a series of encrypted torrent files called "insurance." And no one can open it.

With nothing better to go on, the Internet has decided that "insurance" may be code for "back off" to the U.S. government...

File encryption means that the data is hidden and no one can see what's in the shared files without a key to unlock them—which, of course, hasn't been publicly released...

WikiLeaks abruptly released the files and asked the public to mirror them—on Facebook and Twitter, no less, hardly the place you go to drop off highly classified intelligence...

As long as the files are released without the keys that unlock them, it's impossible for anyone, even the government, to get inside.

But if WikiLeaks releases the keys to the public—and all the governments of the world at once—then it's possible that the war on unauthorized access to government secrets could get a lot more dangerous.
Of course people are speculating all over the place about what's in these files. Its possible that its all a hoax. But from what I've seen, Julian Assange is not the joking type. He obviously has copies of everything Snowden stole and has already hinted at doing one big data dump - the same way Wikileaks released the cablegate documents. Perhaps Mr. Assange grows tired of Greenwald being in the limelight and drib-drabbing the stories out. Who knows?

Whatever is going on, Assange is making a hardball power play. This should disabuse anyone who thinks any of this is about the privacy of ordinary Americans or that Assange is some kind of innocent bystander being needlessly surveilled by the US government. This is Mr. Assange's version of cyber war.

UPDATE: So this happened on Friday morning.  Early Sunday morning Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda was detained at the London Heathrow airport on his way home to Brazil after spending time in Germany with Laura Poitras and Jacob Applebaum (his Wikileaks collaborators) at the Guardian's expense. Its not real difficult to connect the dots.


  1. 400 Gigabytes? Is that all? That wouldn't even equal all the video I have on my hard drive right now. And big data dump? How'd that work out for him with the Diplomatic emails? Most of it got lost in the shuffle because there was so much of it, no one bothered to make any real sense of it.

    And from what does the King of DudeBros need the Government to back off? Sounds like a persecution complex to me.

    1. From the article I linked:

      The size of one of the files is 349 gigabytes, which means that there's either A) enough textual data inside to power a nationwide security crisis for the next 300 years or so, or B) a few very incriminating pieces of video footage.

  2. And your point is? 400gig is not a tiny amount of data, but the smallest, most obsolete USB powered pocket drive I have holds 500 gid and I have a dozen or more of just those. 400 gig is a few seconds of data-mining.

    I have no idea what Mr. Assange is doing nor do I care. Maybe he and GG should appear on the Sunday talk shows and debate who is greater.

    1. My point was that I was trying to help those who - like me - are technology challenged get an idea abt what 400 gigs means.

    2. and perhaps this is why they try to continue to intrigue the media...throw them a bone every now and then...because the public is losing interest in this story

  3. Assange is also asking a lot of people to take a risk. Apparently no one seems to grasp the concept that torrenting is not an "anonymous" protocol. As many video and music downloaders have found out to their dismay, when they get tagged for copyright violations.

    Having torrented various Linux distributions (runs about 1 to 2 GB for an image file), I can say that I can see every other peer's IP number as well as who is seeding. Now, yes, there are ways to hide/spoof that, but a large number of the people that might decide to do this are just putting themselves in the line of fire, and they may not realize this.

  4. No doubt David Sirota will write about GG's partner being stopped at the airport. It's an aphrodisiac for him. His headline will likely be "No Rights For Miranda."

  5. Someone needs to check their privilege.

  6. Remember when Assange said he had a trove of bank documents that would have brought the financial industry to its knees? Well, they claim to have deleted these very important documents. At this point, I don't believe a single word these people say.

    Oh yeah, and THIS:

    I've been saying that the NSA "scandal" (involving Libertarian Glenn Greenwald of Cato Intitute and Paulbot Snowden) is another RW fake scandal. It's not about privacy. It's about undermining government, specifically the democrat in the White House, for political purposes.

    "Assange's Emerging Politics: Rand Paul And Libertarian Wing of GOP Represent 'Only Hope'"

    Forbes (Page 2): UPDATE: Wikileaks Party under fire in Australia for what some are describing its “lurch to the right,” revealing in filings that “they want the fascist Australia First Party, the pro-shooting-in-National-Parks Shooters and Fishers Party , and the “mens rights activist” Non-Custodial Parents Party to win a seat instead of the Australian Greens. Maybe this really is an international conservative movement."

    NOTE THIS: "What’s fascinating is that Paul (the father, less so the son, who still has aspirations to actual head up the vast government he says he despises) largely rejects a modern view of democracy, claiming that “pure democracy is dangerous” and that the founders never intended actual democratic rule. “Democracy is majority rule at the expense of the minority,” wrote Paul last year. “Our system has certain democratic elements, but the founders never mentioned democracy in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence.”