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Wikileaks Plans To Make the Web Leakier

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the assuming-the-risk dept.

Censorship 94

itwbennett writes "At the Hack In The Box conference in Kuala Lumpur, Wikileaks.org announced a plan to enable newspapers, human rights organizations, criminal investigators, and others to embed an 'upload a disclosure to me via Wikileaks' form onto their Web sites that would give potential whistleblowers the ability to leak sensitive documents to an organization or journalist they trust over a secure connection. The news or NGO site would then get an embargo period in which to analyze the material and write the story, after which Wikileaks would make the leaked material public. At the same time, the receiver would have greater legal protection, says Julien Assange, an advisory board member at Wikileaks 'We will take the burden of protecting the source and the legal risks associated with publishing the document,' said Assange. 'We want to get as much substantive information as possible into the historical record, keep it accessible, and provide incentives for people to turn it into something that will achieve political reform.'"

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94 comments

Awesome! (5, Insightful)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693939)

Screw my last mod point for the day, this sounds really fucking cool.

Re:Awesome! (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694095)

Anyone using the redundant mod on the first post should lose modding privileges for a week or two.

Re:Awesome! (0, Redundant)

Kagura (843695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696581)

I think there should be a one or two week loss of mod points for those who decide to mod the first post as "redundant".

Re:Awesome! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29694377)

I think it's a horrible idea.

You see, the internet is like a series of tubes. If you make them leak, then a plumber will have to go patch the holes. It would take a dump-truck of equipment to do so!

meme++

Re:Awesome! (-1, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694573)

One day, someone is going to get killed because of a leak on Wikileaks.

I hope that if it ever happens they find a way to hold Wikileaks and the leaker accountable.

Re:Awesome! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29694619)

One day, someone is going to get killed because of a leak on Wikileaks.

I hope that if it ever happens they find a way to hold the killer accountable.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Awesome! (5, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694737)

Because *clearly* the whistleblower is at fault for bringing nefarious information to light. *rolls eyes*

Re:Awesome! (5, Insightful)

ITMagic (683618) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694923)

Yes - quite probably. some*one* will.

However, as it stands at the moment, it is quite probable that *many* people are already dying because of corporate or government activities or negligence; and that the reason why any situation goes unchallenged by the democratic voters is often because that they are unaware that the situation is occurring.

Lets face it - when there is a cock-up, and the person or organisation responsible is 'shielded' by corporate cover-up, do you really think that anyone is held truly accountable then?

If you want to live in a world where 'reality' is dictated to you, then I'm sure you can go and find a country that will pander to your requirements. If you choose to bury your head in the sand, and deny that it is in fact *you* as a voter, that are responsible for the actions of your government, and prefer instead to abrogate your democratic role, and instead to put blame on anyone you can point a finger at, then I suppose that is your choice. I hope you are happy with it, and the consequences that could ensue.

Unfortunately, Wikileaks is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary. Yes, someone, somewhere will end up being harmed by information released through the process. But the alternative is far, far more dangerous.

Re:Awesome! (0, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695241)

If all that you say is true, then why bother having any kind of system for the classification of any information.

Everything should be published. Obama's travel schedule/routes, secret codes, locations, troop movements, etc. Everything. Because if someone can decide to leak something, for any reason at all, then anyone can leak anything.

But then, it's all for the greater good eh?

Re:Awesome! (-1, Offtopic)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695515)

Troll moderators should try answering the question instead of suppressing them.

I modded you down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29696905)

Idiot trolls should stop telling their betters how to use their mod points... lest they wish to be modded down in other threads, too ^_^

Re:I modded you down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29697493)

Cock suckers such as yourself should stick to sucking cocks.

Re:Awesome! (2, Insightful)

hmar (1203398) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695547)

Which has always been the crux of the issue. Who gets to decide what should and what should not be public knowledge? You can easily go wrong by being to open or too closed, where is the balance?

Re:Awesome! (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695659)

So the question is, should someone who is accountable to no one make the decision, or should it be someone who is accountable to the political system and/or the legal authorities?

Re:Awesome! (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700797)

Quite frankly, being accountable to the political system and / or legal authorities is exactly why important information never sees the light of day.

Corruption is not just a river in Egypt.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695561)

Military secrets are different from corporate cover-ups.

Re:Awesome! (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695629)

Wikileaks make no distinctions.

If you think they do, please tell us about the mechanism they use to decide.

Re:Awesome! (2, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696199)

Even military secrets which violate international treaties?

And in the U.S., even Michelle Obama's favorite brand of tampon is classified Top Secret on the grounds of "national security" - you'd never know when those terrorists would infiltrate the Tampax factory and replace all the tampons with M-80's.

Re:Awesome! (2, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#29697669)

Michelle Obama's favorite brand of tampon is classified Top Secret

Weeeeelllll, it's a known leak.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29698283)

... on one hand I'm pretty sure you made that up, but on the other hand I really wouldn't put it past our media to ask that question.. and if the latter is the case I actually applaud the obamas for that style of STFU.

Re:Awesome! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696913)

Military secrets are different from corporate cover-ups.

Only until being leaked by Wikileaks.

Straw Man (5, Informative)

ITMagic (683618) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695779)

Everything should be published. Obama's travel schedule/routes, secret codes, locations, troop movements, etc. Everything...

This is a straw man [wikipedia.org] fallacy, and completely irrelevant to the discussion, or to the purpose of Wikileaks.

Go to the about wikileaks [wikileaks.org] and have a read. Look at the slashdot article itself. Both use the work 'embargo'. The Advisory Board [wikileaks.org] , and the staff of Wikileaks, are not going to release the information you are suggesting. It's not the purpose to reveal future troop movements, travel plans or secret codes. They reveal what has happened in the past, and how it was ignored, or hushed up, and allowed to continue.

Re:Straw Man (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696947)

They say that, but there is no enforcement mechanism. Further, it is entirely possible that information about past events could cause problems in the current time frame.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Phantom_of_the_Opera (111341) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696345)

If all that you say is true, then why bother having any kind of system for the classification of any information.

Everything should be published. Obama's travel schedule/routes, secret codes, locations, troop movements, etc. Everything. Because if someone can decide to leak something, for any reason at all, then anyone can leak anything.

But then, it's all for the greater good eh?

What you seem to be saying is that, if there is an opportunity to make an information leak and be published, most people would leak information and an organization would publish anything.

I think what you are trying to say is that sensitive information about important people and events should not always be published.

Lets assume that it would for the moment. What happens then, both good and bad?
- The information is in a centralized, publicly known place and the leak is known.
          * A general would realize that there is a leak - a potential security breach - and tighten security
          * The secret service might change plans
          * Codes would be changed.
          * Execs could know someone is on to them, and destroy documents.
          * Interal organization witch hunts to route out the leaker

If you are going to badmouth one solution to the problem of high level corruption, it is incumbent on you to propose a better solution. Or maybe, you simply don't consider it a problem. I happen to.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29697997)

So you then are advocating security through obscurity?

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29695717)

And someday, someone will die from eating their breakfast cereal to fast. People die, get over it. Good of the many > good of the few, so on so forth.

Re:Awesome! (2, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696969)

Moa thought this too. 30 million die now so 100 million can live later.

Nice.

Re:Awesome! (2, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696989)

*Mao*

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29703597)

And through natural selection and evolution, humans that do not breakfast cereal fast will thrive and in the long term, the human race will be much better and more adapted.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695877)

One day, someone is going to get killed because of a leak on Wikileaks.

I hope that if it ever happens they find a way to hold Wikileaks and the leaker accountable.

What about when many people die because the whistleblower bit their tongue and decided not to leak the information? Should we also hold that person accountable? This is starting to sound like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation for someone privy to secrets.

Re:Awesome! (2, Informative)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696407)

It's exactly the opposite : wikileaks protects the identity of the whistleblower.

When the whistleblower can't do it anonymously , then he actually risks his life ( or , more likely , his job , depending on the situation ).

So wikileaks is actually saving lifes this way.

That is offcourse , if they can ensure everything is anonymous. The problem is that wikileaks is a single point, where all the information is, so it's a big target.
If wikileaks is compromised, that means information on a lot of whistleblowers gets out.

Re:Awesome! (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700669)

Screw my last mod point for the day, this sounds really fucking cool.

No, you're right. Don't worry, I'll just mod you up.

This is cool (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693963)

What if the news outlet doesn't do anything with the story for a few weeks though? I think it sounds cool and I doubt that would happen, but still.

Re:This is cool (5, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694339)

That would indicate that the recipient isn't interested. After it's made public domain, it might be picked up by someone that IS interested. This is also the elegent solution against collusive or untrustworthy recipinents.

The main roadblock, at least for newspapers, is that there is no longer be a trusted or verifiable source. That might mean that leaked documents aren't taken as seriously as they would have been otherwise.

Re:This is cool (5, Insightful)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694645)

The main roadblock, at least for newspapers, is that there is no longer be a trusted or verifiable source. That might mean that leaked documents aren't taken as seriously as they would have been otherwise.

That is why there would be an embargo period, to give the journalist time to verify the claims, and do his own little inquiry into the matter to check the facts. I know it's kinda weird asking journalists to actually check facts, but hey, it's worth a try.

Political reform? (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693997)

The leakiest of organizations in any country is the government. Anything leaked is leaked deliberately with a concrete reasoning behind it. Most of the time it is used to float trial balloons, but sometimes it's used to mislead the public for purposes of control.

The American government is particularly good at this.

Up to this point Wikileaks has been an unbiased (as far as a left-wing org can be) third party. However reporters are typically not so neutral. By giving leakers the ability to target specific reporters simply means that the leaks will lose credibility. We know Olbermann and Matthews love Obama, so anti-neocon leaks are most likely to be reported there. OTOH, Drudge and Hannity will be much more likely to report anti-democrat leaks. Since the same old same old is reported by these guys, the leaks themselves lose a lot of their steam.

I don't think this is a good idea at all.

Re:Political reform? (5, Insightful)

LitelySalted (1348425) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694243)

The leakiest of organizations in any country is the government. Anything leaked is leaked deliberately with a concrete reasoning behind it.

This implies that the government is competent, which in turn implies that the members of the government are competent.

I don't mean to come across as flame bait, but have you read the news in the last couple years? Political corruption or scandals happen all the time. You don't honestly believe that people each time our government reveals one of these occurrences it was done on purpose, do you? There isn't a conspiracy at every turn, people just do stupid things. That is the nature of government and of humanity.

But I do have to agree with you on the reporters; they tend of have an agenda.

Re:Political reform? (4, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694329)

In some cases, yeah. Millions of people have affairs across the country every year, many of them never get caught.

How is it that every other time a politician cheats on his wife we hear about it? Leverage for their opponents. When they don't get what they want, they leak the news about their opponents. Information is the ultimate weapon in the struggle for power.

Re:Political reform? (3, Insightful)

LitelySalted (1348425) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694601)

But once again, you're buying into the conspiracy theory that all information is controlled.

I don't doubt there are cases where scandals are revealed as means of political assassination, but I seriously doubt that ALL cases fall into this category.

I wish I had specific examples to show that people come forward of their own volition, but I imagine that even that would be undermined with the notion "it was X who made him/her come forward."

The reality of the situation is that the government WANTS you to think they're in control of every situation and all news. It gives the guise that they are competent. But as I mentioned above, that just isn't the case.

Re:Political reform? (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695099)

How is it that every other time a politician cheats on his wife we hear about it?

I doubt we hear about more than 2 or 3 percent. Most politicians are in way too large a glass house to be playing with rocks. While I'm sure some leaks have been for power manipulation, I would think the bulk of them come from people close to a situation that is morally appalling to them. I think that letting something leak is a way of clearing cognitive dissonance brought on by working for the type of people that run the system.

Re:Political reform? (1)

heyitsgogi (959280) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695127)

OTOH, if the "shock" of the affair happens often enough, it will finally get to the point where no one actually cares (this is starting to happen, I think) and then hopefully, people will remember that being faithful to your spouse isn't actually a necessary job qualification for being a politician. At least, we can hope.

Re:Political reform? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696573)

I don't think that's ever going to happen. This country obsesses with sexual scandal the way only a puritan can. It'd be nice that actual important leaks were spotlighted (like KBR building deathtrap showers) than the latest Ensign/Edwards/Spitzer/Clinton/Craig affair.

Re:Political reform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29696957)

hopefully, people will remember that being faithful to your spouse isn't actually a necessary job qualification for being a politician.

I've always seen it as a litmus test. If you can't stay faithful to your spouse, why should I trust you to stay faithful to your constituents?

Re:Political reform? (1)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29699147)

I've always seen it as a litmus test. If you can't stay faithful to your spouse, why should I trust you to stay faithful to your constituents?

Ow. Brain asplode.

Ow

Ow ow ow ow ow...

Re:Political reform? (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702529)

Well , if you don't cheat on your wife , your opponents can't 'politically' assassinate you with that.
So they will assassinate you for real instead.

So , the reason so many politicians cheat their wives , might just be out of fear for their lives :-)

Re:Political reform? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695325)

Why do you think you hear about it every time it happens to a politician? The incidence of cheating could be much higher than what is reported.

You don't hear about regular people getting caught, because for the most part unrelated people don't care.

Another thing to consider is that most politicians are narcissistic. Essentially they think they are above being caught, or if caught can get away with it. A normal, private person that cheats will be more careful.

Re:Political reform? (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696605)

...Because they do it more?

Re:Political reform? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694421)

A lot of the "leaks" are intentional by one side trying to discredit the other.

A news report of a man looking for sex in an airport bathroom harms the credibility of the man, according to this philosophy. What they are missing is it also discredits the organization that he belongs to.

The expectation of the leakers and the people enabling them is that the public will see only the first level. Anyone paying attention can clearly see the entire process being corrupted from within and nobody in Congress having any credibility whatsoever.

Re:Political reform? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695365)

Some of those are like that. However, if you're in the airport bathroom, and a fairly well known Senator propositions you for sex, what would you do? Would you tell people, especially if you disliked this Senator and his policies? Or would you keep it under your hat?

Re:Political reform? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696685)

If your boy scout master or your priest propositions you for sex, what do you do? Would you tell people, or keep it under your hat?

Burn 'em at the stake, I say. There is nothing worse than a pontificating hypocrite in a position of authority, especially with regard to homosexuality - you know, the assholes who preach about "family values" and vote against equal-rights legislation as they solicit men and boys through IM and in public restrooms.

Realistically, if you're not a cop (or a kid) of some sort and there was no recording of the action, then nobody would believe you anyway. You may get an out-of-court settlement of you're lucky.

Re:Political reform? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700877)

Not to sound too... anti-conspiratorial, but Larry Craig was arrested in that airport bathroom on June 11th and entered a guilty plea between August 1st and 8th. That then enters public records and databases, and can be freely searched. It wasn't until August 27th that Roll Call brought the then public information to the forefront.

Which is to say, anyone doing background searches on members of congress could have found this information and brought it to the public's eye. To say that it was some nefarious plot to take down a particular target seems ill-placed. It's just as likely (if not moreso) that some reporter was looking for dirt with automated searches. Pardon the pun, but if you're a public figure that is *arrested* and *convicted* of something these days, it's coming out. It's just a fact.

Re:Political reform? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701125)

But I do have to agree with you on the reporters; they tend of have an agenda.

FWIW, people Olberman and Limbaugh aren't reporters - they are entertainers.
Just as much as John Stewart is an entertainer. They may be a little less honest about their status, but what they do now is not reporting, at best it is commenting.

Re:Political reform? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694291)

The leakiest of organizations in any country is the government. Anything leaked is leaked deliberately with a concrete reasoning behind it. Most of the time it is used to float trial balloons, but sometimes it's used to mislead the public for purposes of control.

From the article:

"At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive's hard drives," he said. "Now how do we present that? It's a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it."

What does a Bank of America CEO's hard drive have to do with the government? Leaks happen all the time that are not "trial balloons" by the government--whether it be to the public or another country. Look at Aldrich Ames [wikipedia.org] , do you think he was a trial balloon?

I don't think this is a good idea at all.

You're turning this into a partisan issue when it's just about getting things out there. Most of the world doesn't care about our petty political differences here in the United States. I have learned a lot about Scientology [slashdot.org] and even things that are supposed to be available to me [slashdot.org] through Wikileaks. When these guys have a new idea, I would listen up and give them a chance.

Re:Political reform? (5, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694415)

"Anything leaked is leaked deliberately with a concrete reasoning behind it. " - This is not true at all [nytimes.com]

Re:Political reform? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29694487)

The problem is that there is a ton of stuff leaked to WL, but WL lacks the resources to publicize or analyze the contents of those leaks. A leak does its best good when it's contents is known by the people with the ability to act on it.... and publicizing the contents is the way to get the existence of those contents know to the most people. The system works best when a leaked document falls into the hand of a person who has incentive to publicize it. A leak will get the most exposure by giving it to an opponent, which enhances the public's knowledge the most.

borderline paranoid schizophrenia (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694743)

"Anything leaked is leaked deliberately with a concrete reasoning behind it."

sometimes, mistakes just happen. but some people have to see secret plots and cabals around every turn. you sound dangerously close to this unfortunate psychological state. secret plots exist, yes. but they are rare and few between, and they usually get revealed. most leaks are just that: oops, i screwed up

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/09/bob-quick-terror-raids-leak [guardian.co.uk]

Bob Quick, Britain's most senior counterterrorism officer, was forced to stand down today after an embarrassing security leak resulted in a major anti-terror operation, designed to foil an alleged al-Qaida plot to bomb Britain, being rushed forward.

The London mayor and chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, Boris Johnson, announced the resignation this morning, saying it had been accepted with "great reluctance and sadness".

Assistant Commissioner John Yates, the high-profile Met officer who headed the 19-month "cash for peerages" inquiry, will replace Quick as the head of counterterrorism, Johnson said.

Police were forced to carry out raids on addresses in the north-west of England in broad daylight yesterday, earlier than planned, after Quick, the Metropolitan police's assistant commissioner, was photographed carrying sensitive documents as he arrived for a meeting in Downing Street.

A white document marked "secret", which carried details of the operation being planned by MI5 and several police forces, was clearly visible to press photographers equipped with telephoto lenses.

Re:borderline paranoid schizophrenia (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694847)

I'm not saying that there aren't genuine mistakes and leaks.

I'm saying that "leaked" information is always deliberately leaked. There is no transitive conjugation of the word "leak" except to indicate intent.

Re:borderline paranoid schizophrenia (1)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29699229)

There is no transitive conjugation of the word "leak" except to indicate intent.

If the transitive verb "leak" is taken to mean "to take extra steps to make public, such as by posting to WikiLeaks or submitting as a press release", sure. But that argument is both semantic and circular.

Re:Political reform? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695907)

The problem started when we started calling Olbermann, Matthews, and Hannity reporters. They're not. They're commentators.

I know that politicization of the media is nothing new (see: the Washington Globe under Andrew Jackson), but the dearth of good straight reporting is the clearest sign of the declining relevance of the old-school media. The other problem is that the few institutions that still do good investigative reporting are widely disparaged as the "liberal media."

Re:Political reform? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696569)

I don't think this is a good idea at all.

That's ok, what you think doesn't affect them. People with actual credibility will make use of this, which is a good thing.

Re:Political reform? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700609)

The American government is particularly good at this.

Hollywood, creator of perceptions.

Up to this point Wikileaks has been an unbiased (as far as a left-wing org can be) third party.

This is, always has been and should be (I'd like to say remain) an apolitical issue. Proper functioning of goverment (everywhere) and information control has *always* been an apolitical issue. Even if political parties manipulate it to their short-term gain, it's always our long-term loss.

Who verifies the source? (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694019)

One of the benefits of the current system is that the journalist verifies the source. Think Deep Throat and Watergate. The journalist then aims to protect their source but the validity of that source is bound up in how much you trust the journalist.

In this new approach the problem is that Wikileaks are unlikely to verify the validity of the source and the journalist will not know who they are. This makes it more open to subversion and political manipulation as the original source now feels protected even if what they are saying is completely and utterly wrong.

This might be a good step but a very important check and balance has just been removed.

Re:Who verifies the source? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29694171)

Veryify the facts no the source

Re:Who verifies the source? (3, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694187)

Investigating the source is just one part of the verification of the information provided. Presumably a lot of information can be verified independently by a journalist once he's been made aware of it regardless of where it came from. Only a fool would publish that which could not be verified and might be slanderous.

Re:Who verifies the source? (2, Interesting)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695397)

I'm guessing there are several news organizations on TV that would be willing to do that.

Re:Who verifies the source? (1)

cyberstealth1024 (860459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700069)

I'm guessing there are several news organizations on TV that would be willing to do that.

oh, you mean CBS [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who verifies the source? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694195)

true, but there's nothing to stop the journalist verifying the leaker, and then using the 'published' documents directly from the wikileak site. If the leaker doesn't want to be known to the journalist, I suspect every reputable one would have nothing to do with the leak - they want to be protected against being manipulated themselves (or their editors do!)

Re:Who verifies the source? (4, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694201)

generally journalists spend significantly more time trying to verify the information rather than verifying the source. Even in your example, Woodward and Bernstein spent their investigation verifying Deep Throat's information, not his personal credibility, since his any information about him obviously couldn't be used in the article.

Re:Who verifies the source? (3, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694331)

Sometimes you simply cannot risk exposing yourself as the source of a leak.

While a random leak about how a bank's managing board essentially granted themselves free loans [wikileaks.org] might raise investigative pressure, the most they can do is use the justice system to get at the journalist, and they have quite iron clad protections in a lot of countries.

Now imagine a leak about how a government's covert espionage agency has been conducting kidnappings, torture and murder on its country's own soil and against its country's own citizens, and it becomes easy to imagine that the journalist won't have any kind of protection other than the fact that it was leaked via Wikileaks.

While torture is problematic at best, I sincerely doubt that any kind of journalist would keep their mouth shut about who their sources are, once their kneecaps are being slowly crushed by a vice. And if Wikileaks have no records of who uploaded this information either, then that also protects the source.

Once you have uploaded the information to Wikileaks you then either have to wait for someone else to stumble upon it and notify the relevant media OR you contact them yourself. The latter risks exposing you - having a "leak through Wikileaks" contact form will be more secure.

I just hope it isn't implemented as a trackable link on the journalist's website. Then the offended parties can "just" get their hands on a list of IPs and other info that used that link.

Re:Who verifies the source? (5, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694357)

I cannot imagine anyone worrying about verification in today's climate.

If it is a good story, it is going to make it out on the Internet. Period. If the "newstainment" on TV wants to pick it up, they will do so. If it is a good story, it is going to get lots and lots of exposure.

Truth? Has almost nothing to do with it. Truth today is in the eye of the beholder and it is all relative. If you believe that the World Trade Center towers were demolished by Israeli agents working for George Bush, nothing is going to deter you, and you will only listen to "news" that confirms this. If you believe that Obama is "the One" and can do no wrong, nothing is going to deter that opinion. There are believers for everything, no matter how wrong-headed it might seem.

Truth? Wikipedia might actually have a good idea. Truth is whatever the majority believes at the moment, and the majority can always edit the story to make it fit the latest fad.

Re:Who verifies the source? (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695033)

Truth? Has almost nothing to do with it. Truth today is in the eye of the beholder and it is all relative. If you believe that the World Trade Center towers were demolished by Israeli agents working for George Bush, nothing is going to deter you, and you will only listen to "news" that confirms this. If you believe that Obama is "the One" and can do no wrong, nothing is going to deter that opinion. There are believers for everything, no matter how wrong-headed it might seem.

Truth? Wikipedia might actually have a good idea. Truth is whatever the majority believes at the moment, and the majority can always edit the story to make it fit the latest fad.

If that was true, we wouldn't need Wikileaks.

Re:Who verifies the source? (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695149)

I cannot imagine anyone worrying about verification in today's climate. If it is a good story, it is going to make it out on the Internet. Period. If the "newstainment" on TV wants to pick it up, they will do so.

Implying (correctly) that the 'net is no more interested in verification (and thus no better than) than the "newstainment" channels.

Re:Who verifies the source? (3, Insightful)

cnvandev (1538055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695199)

Truth? Wikipedia might actually have a good idea. Truth is whatever the majority believes at the moment, and the majority can always edit the story to make it fit the latest fad.

Thrasymachus, is that you? [mit.edu]

That's an awfully short summary of a pretty big field of philosophy [wikipedia.org] , right there. Sure, there's a spin on it and we will always see what we want to see, but 100 years later, when people have had time to dissect leaked documents with the benefit of hindsight, things will surface. The majority may believe something at the moment, but it's not the truth.

Re:Who verifies the source? (0)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695327)

That's incredible! Thank you sir! By juxtaposing that ridiculous 9/11 conspiracy theory with my opinion of Obama, you have successfully demonstrated to me just how ridiculous my opinion was. I now no longer hold that opinion, and I see the truth: that it was, quite obviously, Obama who perpetrated 9/11.

Re:Who verifies the source? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695595)

...nothing is going to deter that opinion. There are believers for everything, no matter how wrong-headed it might seem.

Some of us swamp ourselves with information via the internet and other sources specifically so that our beliefs will get deterred. While I agree that most people don't like hearing people scathe their personal beliefs with rebuttal, criticism, wit, and/or stupidity, there are others among us that actually enjoy the experience...if for no other reason than to seek 'knowledge' for its own sake.

Wikileaks is a wonderful source for those of us who have made a hobby out of inundating ourselves with contradicting information and evidence.

Re:Who verifies the source? (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 4 years ago | (#29696523)

I cannot imagine anyone worrying about verification in today's climate.

Truth? Wikipedia might actually have a good idea. Truth is whatever the majority believes at the moment, and the majority can always edit the story to make it fit the latest fad.

The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth [wikipedia.org] . In cases where multiple sources dispute the truth they're usually presented together, and even fringe theories with no conclusive proof are at least mentioned [wikipedia.org] .

Quis custodiet? (was: Re:Who verifies the source?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29695195)

And who verifies the verifiers?

On the whole, Wikilieaks is a fine thing. I have in particular the utmost regard for Assange's abilities as an investigator, and consider his ethics beyond reproach. However, consider this statement of his in TFA:

""It's counterintuitive," he said. "You'd think the bigger and more important the document is, the more likely it will be reported on but that's absolutely not true. It's about supply and demand. Zero supply equals high demand, it has value. As soon as we release the material, the supply goes to infinity, so the perceived value goes to zero."

This may be merely an unfortunately worded analogy, as it seems to be resigning leaks to some economic or political market rather than merely being a means to objective reporting of the truth. Say it ain't so, Juli[ae]n. I realize Wikileaks wants deperately to be taken seriously by the mainstream, but given what I know of the way established media outlets sit on the truth and hard-sell total bullshit, I wonder if they shouldn't maybe rexamine their priorities here. As far as I'm concerned, they're definitely going down the wrong road giving interested 3rd parties any kind of proprietary interest, however temporary, Looks an awful lot like making a deal with the devil, to me,. On the other hand, the Lord works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. Just doesn't seem to bear any resemblance to journalism, is all.

Like it even matters in the grand scheme of things...

Re:Who verifies the source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29695817)

From TFA:

Once Wikileaks confirms the uploaded material is real

If you want to know more about how they do this, visit Wikileak's website where they explain in much more detail. See http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Wikileaks:About in the section "How does Wikileaks test document authenticity?"

Not sure how your comment got modded Insightful. Perhaps /. needs a "Misinformed" option?

Re:Who verifies the source? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700973)

At this point, the credibility of traditional journalists is stretched pretty thin. I feel for the real journalists who have to crank out stories as fast as possible with no time to do much more than re-write a press release and merge in a commentary from the first person who answered the phone. But saying that modern journalists investigate all of their sources, verify their facts, and an probe for weeks is... ideallic at best, and out of step with public perception.

We're in a Gannett / Murdoch news world now. Wikipedia has a lot more credibility than USA Today, because at least *someone* looked it over at Wikipedia.

It's the leakiest! (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694583)

Hey, Mickey, he leaks it!

Re:It's the leakiest! (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695123)

Did you mean Mickey Mouse, or Mikey the guy from the cereal commercial?

Re:It's the leakiest! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29698769)

Mikey from the commercial. Bit of a typo here.

Wikileaks Leaked (1)

aoheno (645574) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694631)

This has caused me to wonder what will happen if Wikileaks itself has a leak of it's own. Would that be a recursive leak? Will they treat it just like any other leak or zero out the bits?

Who verifies Wikileaks? (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694651)

If I were in charge of the Ministry of Truth, I'd give a promotion to the guy who developed a central system for detecting whistleblowers and spreading misinformation. Throw enough plausible information up there to buy the confidence of readers and would-be contributors, then sit back and wait for the benefits to roll in.

Re:Who verifies Wikileaks? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29698147)

If I were in charge of the Ministry of Truth, I'd give a promotion to the guy who developed a central system for detecting whistleblowers and spreading misinformation.

And if I were in charge of MiniTru, I'd give the guy a promotion to highly secret position, and then quietly have him killed. He's obviously too clever to be trusted.

Re:Who verifies Wikileaks? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29698411)

People who post on wikileaks tend to be smart enough to post from something like tor or a public terminal.

Re:Who verifies Wikileaks? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700281)

People who post on wikileaks tend to be smart enough to post from something like tor or a public terminal.

<paranoid>That does nothing against watermarks. Suppose you're a suspected leak, and your boss "accidentally" gives you access to a doctored financial spreadsheet with a specific value in a specific cell. If it shows up on Wikileaks a week later, you've got some splainin' to do, regardless of how you posted it. If you work for Amalgamated Widgets, you're probably fired (at best). If you work for a TLA, it could get ugly.</paranoid>

Re:Who verifies Wikileaks? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701265)

Create twenty USB drives with "CEO sex scandal" scribbled on it, with upload viruses inside (which also forward it to a competitor/China), and be stupid enough to put one in your computer. As a bonus, a few other people might get it on their machines as well. It would at least mitigate the attention focused on you.

can i use it to upload my anal leaks? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29694875)

just wondering

Plumbing? (1)

KitFox (712780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695041)

Well, we already know the internet is a series of tubes... So now we're going to have leaky tubes? Blah... More dripping information out there.

If too much information drips out, something horrible might happen, like crashing things into the moon, or some president somewhere making 400 illegal copies of a DVD and putting himself at strike two of three before his own law gets him banned from the internet.

*Hides from the leaky nets*

The **AA supports this. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29695227)

The **AA's top technical advisers have informed them that making the web leakier will sink all those pesky pirates.

Phishing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29695539)

The worst thing that could happen is that phishers put up their own icon and intercept the content AND identity of the whistle-blower. I could see corporations making mock websites to catch their own leaked materials if this becomes a big thing.

New dangerous phishing method? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29695957)

I can think of only one bad thing with this.

I could setup such a website, make it look like an ex-employee of my company that rants about such, and put a totally fake but identical looking 'embedded' section.

If a true whistle blower didn't realize it was a man in the middle type attack, or the end result was submitted to my own server, then I basically have their credentials, and potentially have the methods to find who it really is.

Now, in a corporation situation, that could range from anywhere between 'possibly embarrassing' to 'fired and being taken to court', but other such leaks like regarding government, military, or other possibly 'dangerous' groups, giving them a method to find the persons true identity could result in prison time or even death.

Extreme situations I know, but that is the point of wikileaks after all.
 

Good and Bad (1)

exabrial (818005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29698197)

This is a cool feature, i'll be waiting to see it come out. I think things like consumer safety issues, un-warranted wiretapping, dirty dealings should all be exposed without mercy. Wikileaks provides that forum. People that do dirty deeds, or put consumers at risk need their reputations destroyed.

I wish they would use discretion however, I remember a leak last year where they leaked the frequencies from an IED jammer. NATO troops from all countries were put in danger because of this...

It also reminds me of the kidnapping Jimmy Whales kept from going public and generating media attention. If it had gone public, the insurgents would have demanded ransom and possibly put the man's life in further danger.
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