Using Twitter instead of actual detailed Press Releases is a public relations disaster for WikiLeakS.org

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We have criticised the WikiLeakS.org core activists for their abuse of the https://twitter.con/wikileaks Twitter feed before. They use it in broadcast mode, making allegations which cannot be backed up with any detail in a short 160 character tweet.

Twitter is clearly unsuitable for the accusations and counter-accusations between the Pentagon and WikiLeakS.org, about who did or did not contact whom over the Afghan War Diary messages.

Similarly the denials and media storm over the accusation and Arrest In Absentia over alleged rape in Sweden and the rapid about turn by the Swedish State Prosecutor was made worse by this "anonymous" twitter feed.

WikiLeakS.org have not shown any evidence that "the Pentagon" orchestrated the now dropped rape allegation, a claim which is specifically denied by the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

The WikiLeakS.org activists, who increasingly resemble a dodgy religious cult, have plenty of other enemies, not associated with the US Military, who could have been behind such allegations, or it could have simply a "normal" media celebrity / tabloid press "story" - where is the evidence that is must have been organised, only the US Military ? Judging from some of the malicious emails which we have received through the incompetence of some of the people who hate WikiLeakS.org, there are plenty of individuals who would be prepared to smear Julian Assange, without any prompting from any organization.

However that has not stopped the Twitter feed from being used to make that unfounded "Pentagon smear" allegation and also to to link it to the previously leaked document which the WikiLeakS.org team have prefaced with their own conspiracy theory propaganda interpretation

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/21822519941

Reminder: US intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeakS as far back as 2008 http://bit.ly Retweeted by 100+ people

Sun Aug 22 11:09:17 +0000 2010

U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks, 18 Mar 2008

http://file.wikileaks.org/file/us-intel-wikileaks.pdf

If you actually bother to read that document, it simply points out the obvious, that

(U//FOUO) Web sites such as Wikileaks.org use trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers. The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.

which is something which also applies equally to the Private Banking industry etc. as it does to the US Military.

This old intelligence risk analysis document does not provide evidence of an actual US military plan to "destroy Wikileaks" and it certainly makes no mention at all of any "dirty tricks" as a viable option to contain the problems which Wikileaks poses to the US Military.

It is stupid of the WikiLeakS.org people to spin such conspiracy theories via their "official" Twitter feed, as doing so loses them journalistic credibility.

Twitter could be used to point people to Digitally Signed Press Releases or web site published statements such as that on the misnamed "Official WikilLeakS,org blog" http://blog.wikileaks.org/ (which does not permit even moderated comments and so is not really a blog), which contains just 3 entries in the July / August 2010 time period, when there have been about 300 tweets.

The end result is that WIkiLeakS.org and / or Julian Assange give the impression of being secretive, arrogant, control freaks, every bit as bad as the government bureaucrats, politicians and media spin doctors who they claim to be trying to expose.

1 Comments

An example of what is not possible using Twitter in th way which WikiLeakS.org currently do::

Australian intel warned WikiLeaks of 'dirty tricks': Assange

August 24, 2010 - 12:19AM

STOCKHOLM, Aug 23, 2010 (AFP) - - Australian intelligence services had warned WikiLeaks of "dirty tricks" before Swedish authorities issued a short-lived arrest warrant for founder Julian Assange over a rape claim, he said Monday.

"We were warned on the 11th (of August) by Australian intelligence that we should expect this sort of thing," Assange said in a telephone interview with broadcaster Al-Jazeera from a secret location in Sweden.

Assange -- whose whistleblowing website is embroiled in a row with the Pentagon over the release of thousands of secret US documents on the Afghan war -- faced allegations from two women in Sweden of rape and molestation.

Prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest on Friday night on the rape claim but abruptly withdrew it the following day saying that new information had come to light.

"We were warned about dirty tricks and specifically that they would be of a type like this," the 39-year-old Australian said.

Swedish authorities are still investigating the claim of molestation, but Assange insisted that all the allegations against him were untrue.

"It is clearly a smear campaign ... the (rape) accusation was withdrawn six hours later. The only question is who was involved," he said in the interview which was posted on Al-Jazeera's website.

But while Assange had said at the weekend that he believed the Pentagon could be behind the claims, he was more circumspect on Monday, acknowledging that he could not say for sure.

"We don't have direct evidence that this is coming from a US or other intelligence" agency, he said. "We can have some suspicions about who will benefit, but without direct evidence I won't be making direct allegations."

The Pentagon said Sunday any allegation of dirty
tricks was "absurd".

[...]

The more reasonable and circumspect comments by Julian Assange are not what the Twitter feed spun to the media and to WikiLeakS.org observers and supporters.

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

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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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