Please mirror: WikiLeaks insurance 20130815-A: 3.6Gb http://t.co/WAXtszZl8E B: 49Gb http://t.co/Ca1Hqi1VCJ C: 349GB http://t.co/iu00DmfQ0A
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 16, 2013
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.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?
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.
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.