November 2008 Archives

WikiLeaskS.org has issued a request for feedback to their press release list:

Sunshine Press seeks your advice.

Over the last year, Wikileaks has catalyzed thousands of investigative reports in the mainstream press, over 60,000 blog posts and millions of web pages. We have changed national electoral outcomes and political platforms, exposed hundreds of assassinations, arms sales, many significant human rights abuses and billions of dollars worth of corruption. And we have "uncensored" numerous books and newspaper articles from around the world, taking on the legal risks that others would not, or could not.

We have never lost a source, never lost a case and have never been successfully censored.

More through luck, than by design.

It is too early to tell if some of the leaked document analyst / commentator or WikiLeakS.org readers anonymity has been betrayed or not.

Yet the project is still in its infancy and has yet to officially launch. We hit the ground running because we knew that the only way to understand how to approach our difficult goal, was to try. We now know our scale of operations must be increased thousands of
times before we can keep up with whistleblowers and world-wide censorship of other publications. And we know the fourth estate, and the "4.0" estate can not keep up with us already due their own limitations, which we are, in part, tasked to reform.

We have radical ideas on what kind of economic, technical and organizational structures might be needed.We've learned a lot. And we want to change a lot.

But before we tell you our ideas in detail, we want you to tell us your ideas.


Tell us what we're doing right, what we're doing wrong, and how we can improve.

Tell us your most radical ideas for our vision of justice and how they might be economically, politically, legally, technically and socially sustained.

From an offshore escrow center which economically sustains hundreds of "public policy paparazzi", to a series of investigative books called "Ban this Book", to extending the Wikileaks submission process to every newspaper in the world, to forming a private intelligence agency to subsidise investigative journalism, to betting markets on disclosed
documents, to moving our servers to satellite linked ocean going boats to storing classified embargoed documents in interplanetary radio bounces, to fomenting a quasi-religious movement of door-to-door source acquisition teams, to a substantial deployment of servers inside the Chinese censorwall, to exporting New York's new anti-"libel tourism" laws to the world via jurisdictional tricks, give us your most radical ideas and alliances.

  1. Would it really be too difficult to run the existing infrastructure properly, before launching any "radical ideas" ?
  2. Where is the high level public overview of the WikiLeakS.org security and anonymity systems architecture ? How do we know that either WikiLeakS.org own systems enhancements, or any "radical new ideas" are not simply re-inventing the wheel ?
  3. What is so difficult about publishing a new PGP Public Encryption Key or two , and using them for both the Digital Signature of official WikiLeakS.org press releases, and for postal encryption of files on removable media and for encrypting email file attachments ?
  4. How about a WikiLeakS.org system status page and RSS / XML syndication feed, Tor Hidden Service, Twitter, BitTorrent, email etc. (with Digitally Signed status reports) , which can reassure people when WikiLeakS.org is only suffering a temporary capacity problem, rather than having been censored ? This would need to be run from a completely different webserver from those of the the main systems.


Wikileaks is overloaded by readers

Judging by the media coverage in the United Kingdom, and by the large number of fruitless searches of this blog, the most popular WikiLeakS.org "leak" is currently that of about 12,800 names and addresses, and quite a few phone numbers, and email addresses of members of the British National Party.

This is a political party, which has various extremist left wing / right wing and xenophobic and racist policies, but which is not an illegal proscribed organisation.

Some public sector organisations e.g. the Police and Local Councils, discriminate politically against BNP members, simply on the basis of membership, rather than because of any actual racist or intolerant behavior during working hours.

The list was apparently leaked by a former senior official of the party, thereby breaking a High Court Injunction. The BNP have, it seems, been careful, in the past, to ensure that local copies of their membership list have been properly encrypted, something which many other organisations still do not bother to do. - see - Encryption and the BNP membership list - does your political party or campaign group protect your personal details with encryption ?

The list (which may contain some fake entries, and sneaky omissions) can be found on the WikiLeakS.org website, when it is working again, but not here on this blog.N.B. this list may contain details of thousands of former members, as there have been lots of splits and scandals in the last year or so.

Will other "hate lists" also appear on WikiLeakS.org ?

In the United Kingdom, as well as in many other parts of the world, lists of actual or alleged political opponents have been used for discrimination and political violence, so by publishing this data, WikiLeaks.org are morally complicit in any such crimes.

At the same time, they are also giving the BNP the "oxygen of publicity", and the chance to play the innocent.

Will other political party and organisation membership lists also now be leaked and published on WikiLeakS.org ?


About this blog

This blog here at WikiLeak.org (no "S") discusses the ethical and technical issues raised by the WikiLeakS.org project, which is trying to be a resource for whistleblower leaks, by providing "untraceable mass document leaking and analysis".

These are bold and controversial aims and claims, with both pros and cons, especially for something which crosses international boundaries and legal jurisdictions.

This blog is not part of the WikiLeakS.org project, and there really are no copies of leaked documents or files being mirrored here.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

email: blog@WikiLeak[dot]org

Before you send an email to this address, remember that this blog is independent of the WikiLeakS.org project.

If you have confidential information that you want to share with us, please make use of our PGP public encryption key or an email account based overseas e.g. Hushmail

LeakDirectory.org

Now that the WikiLeakS.org project is defunct, so far as new whistleblower are concerned, what are the alternatives ?

The LeakDirectory.org wiki page lists links and anonymity analyses of some of the many post-wikileaks projects.

There are also links to better funded "official" whistlblowing crime or national security reporting tip off websites or mainstream media websites. These should, in theory, be even better at protecting the anonymity and security of their informants, than wikileaks, but that is not always so.

New whistleblower website operators or new potential whistleblowers should carefully evaluate the best techniques (or common mistakes) from around the world and make their personal risk assessments accordingly.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

The WikiLeakS.org Submissions web page provides some methods for sending them leaked documents, with varying degrees of anonymity and security. Anybody planning to do this for real, should also read some of the other guides and advice to political activists and dissidents:

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

WikiLeakS Links

The WikiLeakS.org Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

WikiLeakS Twitter feeds

The WikiLeakS.org website does not stay online all of the time, especially when there is a surge of traffic caused by mainstream media coverage of a particularly newsworthy leak.

Recently, they have been using their new Twitter feeds, to selectively publicise leaked documents to the media, and also to report on the status of routing or traffic congestion problems affecting the main website in Stockholm, Sweden.

N.B.the words "security" or "anonymity" and "Twitter" are mutually exclusive:

WikiLeakS.org Twitter feed via SSL encrypted session: https://twitter.com/wikileaks

WikiLeakS.org unencrypted Twitter feed http://twitter.com/wikileaks

Internet Censorship

OpenNet Initiative - researches and measures the extent of actual state level censorship of the internet. Features a blocked web URL checker and censorship map.

Temporary Autonomous Zone

Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) by Hakim Bey (Peter Lambourn Wilson)

Cyberpunk author William Gibson

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Wikileaks.org - the controversial "uncensorable, anonymous whistleblowing" website based currently in Sweden.

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Recent Comments

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