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China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack?

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the most-favored-DoS-nation dept.

Google 142

theodp writes "While Wikileaks itself is under a DoS attack, details about the US State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks are starting to come out via the mainstream media. Among the most newsworthy, reports Techcrunch's Erick Schonfeld, is one set which deals with the massive computer attack on Google and other companies which was first revealed last January. According to the NY Times, some of the new leaked cables point directly at China's Politburo for instigating the original attacks, which should shed some more light on why the White House and State Department backed Google so vociferously at the time. Developing, as Drudge likes to say."

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headline? (1, Insightful)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34367986)

Hrm... an alternate headline might be: "Is the United States behind the DDoS attack on WikiLeaks?"

Re:headline? (5, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368052)

So the USA suppresses information that china's government engaged in illegal hacking, and the USA is behind the DDOS attack on wikileaks. Why can't China be behind it after a US agent tells a chinese agent what is happening.

I know because China is good and the USA is bad.

Re:headline? (0, Troll)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368486)

So the USA suppresses information that china's government engaged in illegal hacking, and the USA is behind the DDOS attack on wikileaks. Why can't China be behind it after a US agent tells a chinese agent what is happening.

I know because China is good and the USA is bad.

Well it would take incompetence of monumental magnitude if the DDOS attacks came directly from government networks. The very logical choice would be to look at where has been a threat of cyber attacks recently in the news and pay some criminals from that country. Really the huge motive and endless press releases begging or emotionally blackmailing wikileaks not to release the documents sure makes it clear in most peoples minds who is really behind the DDOS attacks.

Re:headline? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368718)

so innuendo, is worth more than facts.

i am not saying the USA isn't behind the attacks, what i am saying is that there is zero proof. And right now if wikileaks pointed to proof it is not very credible unless backed up by multiple independent sources. Because assange was been begging, and telling people who is after him.

I don't believe the USA is behind it, simply because the government of the USA really isn't that technologically intelligent enough to do so. power mad and corrupt enough, you betcha. However the military, hates to use encryption on their datalinks, has so poor security that a demoted enlisted man had full access to all sorts of diplomatic, and covert records. Does this group sound capable of not only creating a DDOS but doing it in such a way that it can't be tracked back to them?

Re:headline? (2, Interesting)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368876)

all it takes is the b-tard kid of one G-man and suddenly they know how to ddos. it's not rocket science (and they are at least a little bit competent at that).

and considering the story's only just broken, innuendo is all anybody has. and usual suspects. and occam's razor.

i would be very surprised if the US didn't have some part in the ddos, though there are plenty of other governments that would gladly join in. ...or wikileaks hasn't got as robust a site as we all thought, and it's just been slashdotted by geeks and journalists the world over.

governments (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369174)

Well, western governments wouldn't reveal any DDoS capability they might happen to have with so trivial a project. Sure, these document leaks are somewhat embarrassing for the U.S. and potentially other governments, but they don't elevate the importance of wikileaks to that level. Western governments, at least, will pursue a variety of legal and other pressures, perhaps some unjustified, unjust, and even economically brutal. However, a DDoS capability would be considered a secret and important asset at this stage of the game, one worth protecting beyond the mid level bureaucratic machinations which are revealed in the State Department cables and emails.

Re:headline? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34369506)

[T]he military, hates to use encryption on their datalinks, has so poor security that a demoted enlisted man had full access to all sorts of diplomatic, and covert records. Does this group sound capable of not only creating a DDOS but doing it in such a way that it can't be tracked back to them?

Well the managed to arrange 911 and make it look like foreign terrorists were responsible. And that's never been traced back to them, has it?

At least that's what the dude on the train with 'TRUTH' on his tee-shirt was telling me ...

Re:headline? Who is on US, EU, and RU (-1, Offtopic)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34370134)

Interestingly, just as the Saudi Arabia royals' black-ops forces recruited from the madrases in the Saudi kingdom of assassins was never addressed in western media/news....

Why should western media/news identify N-Korea as a CN proxy state testing the will of the US/west to defend S-Korea, Taiwan, Japan... S-Pacific from CN Fascist domination. If S-Korea is not defended by US/EU..., then as Tibet went under CN oppression and exploitation, expect a WWII domino effect. If S-Korea stays secure then the domino effect is bogus western propaganda, but ... I think, it is all a CN test of western resolve and a prelude to expansionist war.

The crack-attacks could be a prelude to expansionist war by CN and/or others. How can we know "What'sUp" until we are fycked without an active draft to expand and train the US and EU military, in these dire economic times?

!HAVEFUN!

Re:headline? (1, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368058)

Hrm... an alternate headline might be: "Is the United States behind the DDoS attack on WikiLeaks?"

Naa, the US prefers the personal touch of hired goons. Either that or redirects to seizeddomains.com.

Re:headline? (2)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368152)

I'm very surprised Julian Assange is still alive.

Re:headline? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368204)

I'm very surprised Julian Assange is still alive.

He is smart enough not to leak Russian secrets.

Re:headline? (1)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368662)

My thoughts exactly. Americans seem to use a little more restraint in disappearing high(ish) profile folks.

Re:headline? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368234)

I'm very surprised Julian Assange is still alive.

Well, I gotta hand it to the guy for having some serious huevos. It's almost like they're all afraid to bump him off. Maybe they think he'll come back to haunt them by releasing his own death warrant on Wikileaks.

Re:headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368946)

huevos are eggs ... ?are you saying he's gay?
I think you meant cajones, gringo.

Re:headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34369130)

Callate chiquito, los adultos estan hablando.

Re:headline? (3, Insightful)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368466)

I'm very surprised Julian Assange is still alive.

The fact that he is still alive raises some questions, for me. WHY is he still alive if what he had to leak was as important as has been said? Was the information not as significant as we have been told? Is the CIA really off their game, and not capable of clandestine actions anymore?

The US government knows what Assange knows, they say him divulging it will endanger security, yet they don't stop him? Is he a necessary demon, needed for the future of their security theater? Something about this saga just doesn't add up.

Re:headline? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368706)

The US government has a known leaker who's talented at personally discrediting himself and deals primarily in proof of widely-known information that's humiliating (sometimes for our rivals rather than us, see this story!) but of low operational value. He also leaks to the public rather than foreign security services, and gives them a month or two for preemptive damage control.

I'm sure he's not exactly in great graces, but the terrible PR of him coming down with a sudden case of the dead would quite possibly outweigh that of everything he's leaked. And then who would they watch, and how would they be able to see leaks coming just by keeping a pet reporter or two at the Times and the Guardian?

the leaker (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369210)

The Leaker might not be a U.S. government employee, or even citizen. It might be a fifteen year old kid with a botnet that happened to get a few lucky strikes and upload stuff from a bunch of Pentagon and State Department hard drives.

Re:the leaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34369662)

No, no, reread that. Where Assange gets his information is irrelevant to this, he's the point where it leaks to the rest of the world, and is pretty much the best possible way it could if it's going to.

Re:headline? (3, Informative)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368858)

You can ask the same question of Fidel Castro.

---
"Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine, renounced his citizenship, defected to the Soviet union, married a soviet wife, came back to the USA with state department blessing ,and shot the president all during the hight of the cold war without any assistance from any outside agency whatsoever."
-U.S. Government publication

Re:headline? (3, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368940)

That would be an act of war.

Killing a citizen is just espionage and will get you in a big of hot water.

Re:headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34369548)

That would be an act of war.

When did that ever stop the CIA?

Re:headline? (3, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369108)

Or is the USA not as evil as everyone likes to make it out to be? If this happened to any of several dozen other countries Assange would be dead already, and there is no doubt that he would be dead if the CIA were ordered to make it so.

Actually, I'm surprised some other country hasn't had him killed just to place blame on the US.

Re:headline? (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369298)

What good would it be for them to kill him?

Would it stop people from leaking and divulging information? No.

Would it make people stop caring about the leaks? No, on the contrary.

You also don't know what kind of "dead man switches" Wikileaks may have implemented. Perhaps a barrage of damaging classified information could come out at once. Maybe something that really shouldn't / won't be revealed like the locations of CIA agents, etc.

Re:headline? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34370104)

If Assange were assassinated it would raise the stakes of leaks pretty substantially. I suspect it might cause at least some whistle-blowers to think twice.

Ultimately, if everyone's guess as to who leaked the documents is true, Wikileaks got very lucky in being in the right place at the right time. They probably won't get such a mother lode again any time soon.

Troll mods (3, Insightful)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369194)

I suspect I might disagree with a more detailed explanation of your viewpoint, but I vehemently disagree with the anonymous use of mod points to beat you down with a Troll mod, simply because the moderator disagrees with you.

Re:headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368376)

There's a guy on twitter [twitter.com] claiming to be behind it (as referenced by another poster in the last thread)

He claims to be a general activist going after 'general badguys' but his history seems to suggest that he's just going after anti-US viewpoints (in particular extremist muslims) and ignoring anything else. Cyber-vigilante type.

Re:headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368792)

just some douche with narcisstic personality disorder, he's got nothing to do with it. There's about 500 other "1337" fags trying to take credit too. Losers.

Re:headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368982)

Wouldn't surprise me if quite a lot of them actually are involved in the DoS. It wouldn't be the first time different individuals have attacked a given target independently.

Given it's maintained on donations, WL probably doesn't have the infrastructure to shrug off more than one or two simultaneous attacks... I wonder if any of the news sites directly reporting the leaks (Guardian, New York times, et al) are being attacked as well?
It's kind of pointless to attack WL alone at this point, given that they're no longer the sole data source.

Re:headline? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368446)

Can't get much more paranoid then that. Yep, the US is behind the evils of the entire world.

Re:headline? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368668)

To be perfectly honest, if you look at the flow of money and the financing and who has placed particular political groups in strategic positions of power around the globe, the mathematical conclusion is that, yes, the United States _is_ behind a good portion of the world's grief.

If, however, you do not like that option then you are free to conduct your own research and determine who is providing the United States with financial authority and pulling their strings to direct how that money is dispersed. Vicious cycle... yes. Do "we" know who is behind it? Well, that depends upon who you believe "we" to be. The people who are controlling the flow of world capital have a very logical interest in obscuring their play (and profit) from world conflicts and financial conquest of nations.

Re:headline? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368576)

I dont know who rated the comment above as "offtopic.' but you are a freakin moron. Just sayin.

Re:headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368686)

Aw. Are these dumps not damaging the US the way you'd like? Wrong headlines appearing?

Another you're not going to like:
    NK sold Russian ICBMs to Iran

Top Secret America (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369308)

Oh, it's unlikely that these leaks will much damage the U.S. Leaks of these types of mid level bureaucratic decision making processes were inevitable as soon as the federal government (and foreign governments) standardized on Microsoft Windows, and the accompanying plague of Windows-only viruses, trojans, botnets and worms. Frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't happened earlier.

The more interesting question is how the obsession with secrecy damages the national interests of the U.S. It's not at all clear that our current national obsession with secrecy is helping us. Notice that it has a certain "run amok" quality to it: Top Secret America [washingtonpost.com]

Re:headline? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368822)

Unlikely. The US government arn't complete idiots (At least not all of the time) and must be well aware that Wikileaks has backups all over the world, including I imagine quite a few that arn't publicly known. With their paranoia, they probably have volunteers sitting on backups with instructions to send them to every paper they can if anything happens. A DoS isn't going to do anything more than delay the release by an hour or two at most. It may be another government, or it could be some well-meaning patriots.

Re:headline? (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369142)

I know. I was trying to be funny, but I forgot the last line of the post, which should have been:

*ducks*

The U.S. government is very unlikely to be behind a DDoS attack of the wikileaks web site. These types of attacks typically reveal the political leanings of some 15 year old botmaster who happens to p0wn fifty or a hundred thousand unsuspecting zombie home PCs with cable internet access.

WikiLeaks actually CIA (1)

spynode (1377809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368042)

Well I guess then that the earlier mentioned possibility that CIA is behind WikiLeaks also could be true. It is extremely wild theory but these days nothing about how the U.S. government and it's intelligence agencies work couldn't surprise me.

Re:WikiLeaks actually CIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368784)

An "extremely wild theory" is called a hypothesis, not a theory. It "could be true", just as it could be true that Google is behind China and the Mossad is behind al-Qaeda. I wouldn't even call this one a hypothesis because its originator, John Young, doesn't even believe in it himself. He just launched it because he was pissed that Wikileaks is getting all the attention and money and his site cryptome.org isn't. Read anything Young wrote and you'll see that his narcissism makes Assange look sane in comparison. Of course that doesn't prove that Wikileaks isn't a CIA front, but why would the CIA leak documents that make themselves look bad?

China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368082)

Old news, folks!

Re:China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack? (3, Insightful)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368224)

There is always someone who, after something is relieved, says "told you!" Well, one thing is to speculate, another is to have some [more or less] solid proof. Or are your speculations "good enough"?

Re:China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack? (2, Insightful)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368462)

And you take a single email (cable) referencing hearsay as "solid proof"?

Re:China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack? (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368612)

And you take a single email (cable) referencing hearsay as "solid proof"?

  1. mind the "more or less". Fine, I should have said "evidence" instead;
  2. OP is making a point (as brief as it is), that conformation to suspicions are pointless. I am saying, that the more evidence the better. Because, you know, a lot of people don't believe all the crap that is said on the internet, and internal US intelligence is a nice second opinion.

Re:China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack? (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368678)

I understand what you're saying, but this is just another data point. This isn't "US Intelligence", it's Ambassador Bob saying Mr. Chu said "blah, blah, blah". Be careful how much weight you assign to individual data points.

Just because the American government says it (1, Insightful)

compucomp2 (1776668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368084)

means it's true?

So this means that Wikileaks is an evil organization jeopardizing lives and setting back the cause of freedom and democracy, since that's what the American government been saying? Just like how Osama and the Taliban were freedom fighters against the "evil empire" Soviets and Saddam was a moderate secular leader who was the bulwark against the evil Iranian mullahs back in the 1980's?

Accepting this as truth is Western/American hypocrisy at its finest. As usual, people here will believe something they want to be true, because they hate China and hate the fact that it is no longer an impoverished third-world country but instead is an emerging power capable of competing against the Americans on many fronts, logical consistency be damned.

Re:Just because the American government says it (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368272)

If it's said in a private communication between diplomats, the chances are they believe it to be true themselves. Not to say that makes it unquestionably true, of course, but it does make it an awful lot more credible than the PR they dish out to the public. I give these documents a lot more credit than I would to public statements made by the US government, and I see no hypocrisy in that; I'd be interested to hear if you think otherwise.

credible? (2, Insightful)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369192)

Diplomats are sometimes pawns or go pieces. Depends upon the game. Also what is at risk. It is better for diplomats to not be told something, or to be told a half truth or lie than factual information. Less security problems if the diplomat turns double agent, or is retained for questioning or the eventual human slip up. Reports from diplomats to their home country, may contain some factual information, but is usually spun and twisted. Again it would depend on the assignment. Negotiations usually contain good information. Reports on political activities and observations of others negotiations usually contain sparse data or outright misinformation from the other parties. So... I am really hesitant to accept these documents as credible. Diplomats are like politicians. I don't trust what politicians say.

In other questionable news... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368124)

Is 4chan exclusively populated by accountants?
Anonymous Coward a greater lover than Cassanova?
Will North Korea get the 2022 Olympics?
Lizard people secretly controlled by cabal of elected politicians?
Procrastination: the solution to all your problems?

Surprised? (4, Insightful)

JakFrost (139885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368140)

I think that hardly anyone is surprised that China's Politburo (a group of 24 people who oversee the Communist Party of China) was behind the hacking of the Chinese Google office computers. You can see the seriousness of the issue after reading Google's response to the hacking and their threat to pull out of China all together and also after reading the Department of the State's involvement in this issue. The Department of the State, and someone as high up as Hillary Clinton, getting involved in this issue shows how important this single hacking event was, and not just because Google is everyone's the current favorite company.

US asks China to explain Google hacking claims [guardian.co.uk]

Bobbie Johnson in San Francisco
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 January 2010 08.19 GMT

Hillary Clinton calls on Beijing to answer 'serious concerns' over internet security
Google pulls out of China: what the bloggers are saying

The US government is investigating allegations of a Chinese hacking attack on Google amid what Washington called "serious concerns" over internet security.

The strike, which the company said was aimed at uncovering information linked to political dissidents in the country, led Google to announce last night that it would no longer censor its search engine in China.

The move could result in Google being forced to pull out of China four years after it controversially announced its intention to launch a censored version of google.cn, the local version of its search engine.

Faced with a conflict between one of America's most powerful companies and the Chinese government, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, called on Beijing to discuss the situation.

And a likely candidate for the current DDoS (3, Insightful)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368148)

The Chinese government has proven that they'll do anything to stop distribution of negative information about them. If they're behind the DDoS the goal probably isn't blacking out WikiLeaks... just suppressing it long enough that they can configure the "Great Firewall" to block it (content filters, etc).

It makes sense for a few reasons:

1. The Chinese government has already proven they're not above this.
2. As inept as the US government can be I think they know they can't stop the spread of this information.
3. To public knowledge, the US government hasn't initiated a DDoS. Why show your hand and capabilities on something like this? It's a waste.

There's also a good chance it's another party or that WikiLeaks is just making it up b/c the guys are complete attention wh0res (don't think for a second they're doing it for a "greater good"... the founder _loves_ the spotlight.

Re:And a likely candidate for the current DDoS (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368278)

The only attention whore I see is you (don't think for a second you're writing this for a "greater good" ... the OP _loves_ to appear intelligent.

How the hell is this modded interesting? (1, Insightful)

compucomp2 (1776668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368302)

I know why. Because Slashdot is full of irrational China-haters.

This post asserts one of the silliest things I've ever heard. Why would we engineer a DDoS to block release of AMERICAN GOVERNMENT documents, which no matter what it says, we can easily explain away by saying it's just American propaganda, because that's exactly what these documents are? State Department communications are American propaganda directed toward other countries essentially. We welcome the release of these documents, because they make the Americans look worse, and thus us look better, and the Americans are taking heavy handed actions against Wikileaks and Assange, which makes them hypocrites if they then try to complain about our actions against say the Falun Gong.

But no, it's always China's fault. China is the new bogeyman. I suppose it makes the simpletons here on Slashdot feel better.

Re:How the hell is this modded interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368374)

We welcome the release of these documents, because they make the Americans look worse, and thus us look better.

From up here, you both look silly.

Re:How the hell is this modded interesting? (2, Insightful)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368416)

I'm not vindicating the American government in anyway. They (and by proxy I) do their fair share of very despicable things. That's all I'm going to say. The volumes of evidence against the Chinese government, from multiple sources outside the US, speaks for itself.

Re:How the hell is this modded interesting? (1, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368530)

"China is the new bogeyman."

China was also the old bogeyman, 2000-2001, before we went drooling and raving for 10 years about guys in caves who got off one lucky, unrepeatable shot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Team_%28U.S._politics%29
http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?us_military_specific_cases_and_issues=us_military_tmln_spy_plane_crash_in_china&timeline=us_military_tmln
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Asia/Revving_China_Threat.html

Re:How the hell is this modded interesting? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368878)

The bogeyman that manufacturers just about everything the rest of the world uses now.

Re:And a likely candidate for the current DDoS (2, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368434)

it's another party or that WikiLeaks is just making it up b/c the guys are complete attention wh0res (don't think for a second they're doing it for a "greater good"... the founder _loves_ the spotlight.

Uh huh, and what exactly are you basing this on? Not saying it's not true, but I've seen this opinion on /. pretty much every time there's a wikileaks related article, and I'm just trying to figure out what I missed ('cause I don't recall any incident that'd justify such an opinion about Assange).

Attention wh0re? (3, Interesting)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368522)

Everyone seems to dislike Assange's approach to public relations. But then again, how many people know/knew Anna Politkovskaya? Assange seems to be quite the media's darling and whatever, but that might be essential for his own safety.

Re:Attention wh0re? (3, Funny)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368620)

I don't take issue with him being in the lime light... but he purposefully stretches it out. He doesn't just release information... he announces the release ahead of time so he can create a sensation. If they were really concerned about access to the information and not publicity the would "soft release" to trusted groups on BitTorrent a few days/weeks before they announced it. That way the data is well seeded and a DDoS would be very difficult. That's why I'm accusing them of attention wh0ring... there are very easy ways of preventing this DDoS and they are smart enough to know that.

Re:Attention wh0re? (5, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369396)

I don't take issue with him being in the lime light... but he purposefully stretches it out.

I think this tactic is known as 'running cover'. Assange knows that someone has to be the focal point for the ogranisation, to make contact with media reps and various others in order to ensure the responsible dissemination of the data. Doing so allows a great many others to work quietly, undisturbed in the background. Say what you like about his motivation, he's chosen that role. I'd argue that, as someone who believes more in daylight than shadows, he's using the spotlight to keep himself out of harm's way.

he announces the release ahead of time so he can create a sensation

Sure. This actually is one of the largest leaks of information in modern history. It's sensational in its very essence. Given that wikileaks' reason for being is to disseminate leaked information as effectively as possible, advance press is perfectly understandable.

If they were really concerned about access to the information and not publicity the would "soft release" to trusted groups on BitTorrent a few days/weeks before they announced it.

Great idea. How about sharing it quietly with a number of the most reputable media organisations in the Western world? How about giving them months of prep time, so they could conduct analysis. How about -shocking, I know- even telling the affected agencies what was about to be released and offering them the opportunity to assist in the redaction process? That's exactly what they did.

Now, there's no way a government could be seen to be negotiating with them, so this might be seen as grandstanding, but who knows what contacts might have been made behind the scenes? (Well, wikileaks, of course, but... you get what I'm saying.)

That way the data is well seeded and a DDoS would be very difficult. That's why I'm accusing them of attention wh0ring... there are very easy ways of preventing this DDoS and they are smart enough to know that.

Indeed they are. And indeed they have.

You can characterise what they do as attention-whoring if you like. The fact is that their job is to get as much attention as possible on the data they're releasing. If you suffer from this process, you won't be glad about it. I can accept that.

I have friends who were directly affected by information divulged to wikileaks some years ago. While I'm still angry at those who so cynically used wikileaks to release context-free data that wrongly created some very nasty implications, I don't blame wikileaks for releasing the information. That's just what they do.

In fact, I'd rather see wikileaks do it than others. While they're occasionally guilty of editorialising about their data, at least they release all of it, providing others with the opportunity to draw their own conclusions. Most media organisations do not do this. They run with what they think will lead, and leave the rest by the roadside.

I don't always like the results of what wikileaks does, but at least they are exactly what the claim to be.

Re:Attention wh0re? (1)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369626)

I see your point... however:
"How about sharing it quietly with a number of the most reputable meia organisations in the Western world."
That's not exactly what they did. They withheld information from all sources so they would have a "bombshell" to deliver.
And, again, they didn't have to announce they had this information before release.
"The fact is that their job is to get as much attention as possible..."
That's not their stated mission... it's to release this information to as many people as possible. There is a *huge* difference.

Re:Attention wh0re? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369960)

The fact is that their job is to get as much attention as possible..."

That's not their stated mission... it's to release this information to as many people as possible. There is a *huge* difference.

I can see the distinction you're drawing; it's quite a fascinating one.

It would be really interesting, actually, to consider what other tactics and methods could achieve the same strategy (i.e. run a generic whistle-blower service).

It would certainly elevate the debate about the nature of wikileaks, something which I think everyone would applaud. And it's vastly preferable to probing the rather facile question of whether Assange is an attention-whore or not.

Re:Attention wh0re? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34370064)

"How about sharing it quietly with a number of the most reputable meia organisations in the Western world."

That's not exactly what they did. They withheld information from all sources so they would have a "bombshell" to deliver.

I don't know where you're getting that. In the last three dumps, Wikileaks has followed the same pattern: Share the data with a limited number of news agencies, one each in multiple countries. Here's how the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] described this round:

The electronic archive of embassy dispatches from around the world was allegedly downloaded by a US soldier earlier this year and passed to WikiLeaks. Assange made it available to the Guardian and four other news organisations: the New York Times, Der Spiegel in Germany, Le Monde in France and El País in Spain. All five plan to publish extracts from the most significant cables, but have decided neither to "dump" the entire dataset into the public domain, nor to publish names that would endanger innocent individuals. WikiLeaks says that, contrary to the state department's fears, it also initially intends to post only limited cable extracts, and to redact identities.

So yes, they did exactly what you accused them of failing to do: They quietly distributed the data to a few discreet (and discrete) sources prior to the initial launch.

The only difference this time is that they haven't dumped the whole dataset. I was wrong to say they always do.

Some may consider this newfound discretion to be a good thing....

Re:Attention wh0re? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34369872)

If he had stayed some anonymous guy that nobody knows the name of....

He'd be dead already.

Accidents happen everyday to anonymous people.

Re:And a likely candidate for the current DDoS (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368892)

The Chinese government has proven that they'll do anything to stop distribution of negative information about them.

the only difference in between the us government and chinese government, is how they approach the concept of 'doing anything' to stop distribution of negative information.

one does it directly, by arresting or killing those who distribute it, the other does it through underhanded, but improvable means.

Clashes with Europe over human rights: American officials sharply warned Germany in 2007 not to enforce arrest warrants for Central Intelligence Agency officers involved in a bungled operation in which an innocent German citizen with the same name as a suspected militant was mistakenly kidnapped and held for months in Afghanistan. A senior American diplomat told a German official “that our intention was not to threaten Germany, but rather to urge that the German government weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the U.S.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29cables.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp [nytimes.com]

Re:And a likely candidate for the current DDoS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34369804)

Yea right.

The U.S. and its allies have every reason to DDoS the site. It buys them time to try to clean up things diplomatically before the release and making it inaccessible will limit the excitement around it.

Re:And a likely candidate for the current DDoS (1)

eloki (29152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369816)

I feel a little surprised that China wouldn't have already had Wikileaks blocked.

Most newsworthy? (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368172)

Among the most newsworthy, reports Techcrunch's Erick Schonfeld, is one set which deals with the massive computer attack on Google and other companies
 
The most newsworthy item is that war with Iran is apparently inevitable. Who cares about Google hacking.

Re:Most newsworthy? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368432)

The most newsworthy item is that war with Iran is apparently inevitable. Who cares about Google hacking.

I find that a bit of an extraordinary claim, though not in itself unrealistic. Where's the evidence?

Re:Most newsworthy? (2, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368538)

Just search for cables about Iran: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cables-wikileaks [guardian.co.uk] It becomes clear pretty soon that most countries in the region are far most hostile to Iran that I ever knew before (including words like existential threat and direct urging by a number of countries for the US to strike, bunch of leaders call Iran evil and a fascist state) and that Israel will definitely not be willing to live with nuclear Iran and that apparently Iran is not negotiating in good faith and is only buying time until it has enough material for a bomb. Unless Iran backs down, I don't see how that does not lead to a war.

Re:Most newsworthy? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368918)

The US changes president every four years, and each time has a roughly 50% chance of a new party taking the office. It's approach to Iran is 'put it off until it becomes the other sides's problem.' There isn't any nice and tidy solution. The US doesn't have the manpower to occupy Iran now, not while holding Afganistan and Iraq, so there are really only two options: Precision attacks on military facilities and anywhere that works on the bomb program (likely to force Iran into a counterattack, this forcing the use of the second approach anyway) or just bombing every government structure back into the stone age - thus removing the military threat, at the expense of a massive humanitarian crisis. Either way, both major parties would rather the other one be in charge when the order goes out.

Re:Most newsworthy? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369104)

My, you are quite correct.

UAE prince fears 'logic of war' [guardian.co.uk] (February 9, 2010):

The UAE leadership sees Iran as its primary external threat, and one that is existential in nature. Like much of the international community, the UAE finds the idea of an Iran with nuclear weapons unacceptable and thinks this eventuality would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. At least as worrying to MbZ are Iran's aspirations for regional hegemony by support for terrorist proxies (Hizballah, HAMAS, possibly underground organizations in the Arab Gulf countries). MbZ is skeptical that Iran can be convinced to end its nuclear weapons program, and is not convinced that the international community will adopt tough sanctions. In other words, he sees the logic of war dominating the region, and this thinking explains his near obsessive efforts to build up the UAE's armed forces.

[...]

MbZ's main message to us during his September visit was that we needed to be better coordinated for Iran contingencies. High level engagement by CENTCOM planners have helped to address this concern, but he believes we have made less progress in addressing what he sees as the slow pace of deliveries of US security assistance and he is still worried that he does not have enough equipment in place to defend his people when war with Iran breaks out. (And for MbZ it is a matter of when, not if.) We have repeatedly presented to his staff the various explanations for what he perceives as delays, but he remains unconvinced that we are addressing his concerns as a matter of priority.

UAE fret over Iranian meddling [guardian.co.uk] (February 22, 2010):

The UAE views Iran as a huge problem that goes far beyond nuclear capabilities. Iranian support for terrorism is broader than just Hamas and Hizballah. Iran has influence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Eastern Province of KSA, and Africa (AbZ mentioned Nigeria specifically). Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have close, cooperative ties. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the expeditionary aspect of its foreign policy will become ever more challenging for neighboring states.

[...]

Lowey asked what AbZ thought about tougher sanctions against Iran and how the UAE can help with China. AbZ said the US and its allies "have to decide how to stop Iran" and that the UAE was surprised at the Chinese attitude. AbZ noted the Emiratis and the Saudis have spoken to the Chinese, and the UAE expressed a willingness to expand its energy ties (Note: AbZ seemed to be indicating that this was intended as a carrot, but he acknowledged the difficulty of supplanting an Iran-China trade relationship that reached $50 billion last year. End Note.)

[...]

In response to questions from members of Congress, AbZ said that if Iran goes nuclear others in the region will move forward on the same track and the nuclear nonproliferation treaty will completely break down. He said a crisis or confrontation in the region would create oil supply problems worldwide. 14 million barrels a day pass through the Strait of Hormuz. That said, he noted that the US and UAE militaries have plans to keep Hormuz clear.

US steps up pressure on Turkey over Iran [guardian.co.uk] (February 25, 2010):

Burns strongly urged Sinirlioglu to support action to convince the Iranian government it is on the wrong course. Sinirliolgu reaffirmed the GoT's opposition to a nuclear Iran; however, he registered fear about the collateral impact military action might have on Turkey and contended sanctions would unite Iranians behind the regime and harm the opposition. Burns acknowledged Turkey's exposure to the economic effects of sanctions as a neighbor to Iran, but reminded Sinirlioglu Turkish interests would suffer if Israel were to act militarily to forestall Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons or if Egypt and Saudi Arabia were to seek nuclear arsenals of their own. He said the international community's patience with Iran had been met with the Iranian refusal, since October, to work with the P5-plus-1, the clandestine enrichment facility near Qom and Tehran's recent decison to enrich its low-enriched uranium to 20%. The IAEA's creative proposal to fabricate new fuel assemblies for the Tehran Research Reactor had stumbled on a technically unfeasible Iranian counter-offer for a simultaneous exchange in Iran of Iranian fuel for fuel assemblies. Carefully constructed sanctions, Burns argued, targeting the increasingly pervasive economic power of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, would convey the international community's unity and determination. "We'll keep the door open to engagement," he stressed. A visibly disheartened Sinirlioglu conceded a unified message is important. He acknowledged the countries of the region perceive Iran as a growing threat: "Alarm bells are ringing even in Damascus."

Saudi king urges US strike on Iran [guardian.co.uk] (April 20, 2008):

The King, Foreign Minister, Prince Muqrin, and Prince Nayif all agreed that the Kingdom needs to cooperate with the US on resisting and rolling back Iranian influence and subversion in Iraq. The King was particularly adamant on this point, and it was echoed by the senior princes as well. Al-Jubeir recalled the King's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. "He told you to cut off the head of the snake," he recalled to the Charge', adding that working with the US to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government.

[...]

The Foreign Minister, on the other hand, called instead for much more severe US and international sanctions on Iran, including a travel ban and further restrictions on bank lending. Prince Muqrin echoed these views, emphasizing that some sanctions could be implemented without UN approval. The Foreign Minister also stated that the use of military pressure against Iran should not be ruled out.

I wouldn't call a military strike against Iran inevitable since some of these parties have been advocating it for several years without apparent result. However, it does strike me that if Iran's nuclear ambitions are not curbed, then we may be facing several new nuclear powers in the region over the next couple of decades, perhaps sooner if Pakistani nuclear knowledge is widespread (which to be honest, it probably is). That in turn will put pressure on the EU via Turkey and Russia, both which are substantial nuclear powers.

It appears to me that these are selected juicier bits from the mass of communications. I'd have to say that it is a major embarrassment for the US to have privileged communication with a head of state and other important officials released in this way.

A final remark is that few countries in the Middle East are capable of resisting an Iranian invasion. Iraq is no longer a military power. That leaves Turkey, Israel, and Egypt. There's been concern since the oil crisis of the 70s that some power would seize the Arabian peninsula. I recall a book from back then that had the Shah of Iran crossing the marshes of southern Iraq and invading Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Similarly, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, it was commonly thought that Kuwait was just a first step with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the peninsula being the real prize.

I think Saudi Arabia will attempt nuclear weapons, if Iran acquires them, and they won't be alone in this. That has to be putting a lot of pressure on US strategy for Iran.

Re:Most newsworthy? (2, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369310)

Interesting post, but hobbled by a lack of accounting for Syria.

I first heard rumor not about a Syrian program in 1994, it was emphasized by the CIA (2003), and the Israelis (2007).

The reason you aren't hearing about it is because Damascus is not the oldest continually occupied city on earth by chance. Furthermore, their Jordanian counterparts have a penchant for reaffirming covenants with the U.S. & Israel, performing economic due-diligence, sending their children to American Universities (even their presidents!!), and generally being sane and available to Western actors.

Any belief that Syria and Jordan aren't at least ready to go back-to-back if the Middle East disintegrates is unrealistic.

Re:Most newsworthy? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369784)

I first heard rumor not about a Syrian program in 1994, it was emphasized by the CIA (2003), and the Israelis (2007).

Keep in mind that the Israelis bombed it [newyorker.com] in 2007. And they did so by completely compromising one of Russia's most advanced air defense systems. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Syria is still working on its program, but evidence seems to indicate that they suffered a big set back. But yes, you do have a point about Syria being fairly sane by Middle East standards.

wikileaks (4, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368206)

For such an embarrassment these leaks do go some way to promoting the US world view, or is that just editing from the media outlets. Examples such as many middle eastern counties (Saudi, Jordan and Egypt etc) urging US to bomb Iran, as well as the links below
Iraq document leaks show US forces found WMD after invasion - http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/wikileaks-show-wmd-hunt-continued-in-iraq-with-surprising-results/ [wired.com]
Wikileaked documents normalise Iraq civilian death toll at 'massive' 66,000

Re:wikileaks (2, Interesting)

krou (1027572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368562)

John Young of Cyprome has claimed [cryptome.org] for some time that Wikileaks is a CIA front, almost right from the start.

Sure, everyone's paranoid when it comes to the world of intelligence, but still, it is an interesting thought. Selective "leaking" to Wikileaks, which disseminates it to key media outlets ... that would be a fantastic propaganda tool.

Re:wikileaks (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368730)

Conspiracy theories are fun but I wouldn't be surprised if that was true. Some day we'll find that Assange was a CIA agent all along, but of course that will be a leak too.

Re:wikileaks (1)

AndyBoot (1949176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368952)

And reading the Guardian's analysis of some of the anti-Iran stuff, it just screams out that Stuxnet is the US trying to bomb the Iranian facilities without using bombs.... "Any means possible..." and all that.

Re:wikileaks (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368796)

Promoting the US view? According to that article they found a few remnants. It's hard to get exact numbers out of that article with wikileaks being DoSed, but I don't think that some rusty artillery shells (it strikes me as a very bad idea to try to fire a round that's leaking) and the 10 rounds amount to anything significant and justify the war.

Re:wikileaks (4, Insightful)

Lakitu (136170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368904)

Are you really surprised that diplomatic cables between US diplomats express a "US world view"?

Re:wikileaks (1)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369178)

While the diplomats are (if they are doing their job) working to benefit the US, if they are doing their jobs competently, the information disclosed in working communications should represent their perception of reality more so than publicly disclosed information, which would obviously be said in a way to make the US look good. Hopefully the diplomats have a fairly accurate perception of reality.

Re:wikileaks (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34370084)

Based on Fictional books written by former Military Officers the US diplomats have only a slight connection to the real world. Tim S.

diplomatic discussion and world views (3, Informative)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369432)

Obviously you're not reading the discussion in which you've elected to participate, let alone source materials and fine articles. If you had, you would know that the surprises are the support for the "U.S. world view" coming from surprising sources, like other countries in the middle east, who agree that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is a very serious threat to world security.

Re:diplomatic discussion and world views (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34370128)

I'm honestly not that surprised that the Saudis are freaked out about Iran. Any way you look at it from the Saudi point of view, Iran is a scary place. If it carves out a chunk of southern Iraq, it represents a serious threat to Saudi territorial integrity. If Iran gets into a nuclear exchange with Israel, well, that represents a pretty huge threat to the Saudis too. Hell, maybe the Saudis are freaked that the military junta that is actually running Iran right now may represent a very direct threat to the Arabian Peninsula.

Re:wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34368998)

Or maybe it's just that the rabid over the top anti-US haters are delusional, insane, abysmally stupid, or evil?

Anyone older than 30 and remotely attached to the real world knows that's a rhetorical question.

Too bad those "anti-US" fuckers (who should simply all die of shame) make so much noise that the real serious issues where the US is actually wrong get completely drowned in noise.

It's a lose-lose situation and you're part of it aren't you... please kill yourself without killing anyone else (bet you can't even if you try).

tirade (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369658)

You appear to have directed a tirade against the wrong parent post, which appears to read (in full) as follows:

For such an embarrassment these leaks do go some way to promoting the US world view, or is that just editing from the media outlets. Examples such as many middle eastern counties (Saudi, Jordan and Egypt etc) urging US to bomb Iran, as well as the links below.

Iraq document leaks show US forces found WMD after invasion [wired.com]
Wikileaked documents normalise Iraq civilian death toll at 'massive' 66,000 [wired.com]

Your rant doesn't map (assuming the Slashdot system is showing me the parent post you actually replied to.)

No bias necessary (1)

EndoplasmicRidiculus (1181061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369144)

Examples such as many middle eastern counties (Saudi, Jordan and Egypt etc) urging US to bomb Iran

Not surprising, really. Relations between the majority Sunni Arab countries and Iran have always been tense and they would loathe the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran.

cyber war? (2, Interesting)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368222)

is that 3 ddos attacks going at once?
at this rate the whole idea of a cyberwar is much less idiotic?

Gosh! (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368594)

This is the most surprised I have been all year!

Sure, it's nice to have reliable confirmation, but still, this was kind of an obvious one.

note chinese news' silence (1)

hansguckindieluft (1228846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34368688)

unlike the last wikileak about Iraq, this one is not mentioned by china's own: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english2010/ [xinhuanet.com]
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