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Secret Plan To Kill Wikileaks With FUD Leaked

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the cyber-plumbers dept.

Businesses 246

An anonymous reader writes "Three information security consultancies with links to US spy agencies cooked up a dirty tricks campaign late last year to destroy Wikileaks by exploiting its perceived weaknesses, reads a presentation released by the whistleblowers' (pdf) organization that it claimed to be from the conspirators. Consultants at US defense contractors Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary proposed to lawyers for a desperate Bank of America an alliance that would work to discredit the whistleblowers' website using a divide and conquer approach. Since the plan was hatched, disgruntled volunteers mentioned in the PDF broke away from Wikileaks, financial institutions withdrew services, [Jacob ] Appelbaum was harassed by the US government, and Amazon denied service to Wikileaks' website."

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Possibly from the HBGary Federal Hack? (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161316)

There was a really good article at Ars Technica this morning [arstechnica.com] that covers chronologically the events relative to HBGary Federal's tangle with Anonymous [slashdot.org] . I know it's against Wikileak policy to release the source of the leak but I'm guessing that the accessing of large amounts of HBGary Federal's servers might be a potential source of this plan.

Of course the motivation for infiltrating Anonymous was profit as Arron Barr said in an e-mail:

Step 1 : Gather all the data

Step 2 : ???

Step 3 : Profit

Sort of an amusing story and very easy to see where Mr. Barr made the error of becoming part of this event (demonstration or debacle depending on your views) and seeking media attention. Pretty clear he was in over his head and doing his own thing thinking he was dealing with three individuals who were two bit morons. It almost deserves the cheesy "hunters have become the hunted" movie tag line. Well, the soft hack of HBGary Federal appears to be providing more than enough material for this to be a focus of media attention, congratulations are in order for Mr. Barr and let's all wish him the best of luck with step three. He's gonna need it!

Re:Possibly from the HBGary Federal Hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161436)

real example of "Enemy of The State"............. Just as scary!!

Re:Possibly from the HBGary Federal Hack? (2)

netrangerrr (455862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161540)

Enema of the state might be more appropriate here!

Re:Possibly from the HBGary Federal Hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162028)

I know the CIA would say, what you hear is all hearsay. Wish someone would tell me what was right.

Re:Possibly from the HBGary Federal Hack? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161440)

I know it's against Wikileak policy to release the source of the leak but I'm guessing that the accessing of large amounts of HBGary Federal's servers might be a potential source of this plan.

That's actually what TFA says:

SC Magazine understood the document came into the hands of Wikileaks sympathisers Anonymous following a successful raid on HBGary, which saw its secrets recently scattered to the Twittersphere.

You misunderstood. (5, Informative)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161686)

You're right that Aaron Barr was hoping to profit from this, but he didn't write the quote you attributed to him. His coder wrote that, making fun of him because he thought of no way to profit from the dumb information that Aaron was making his coder collect. What is written before the quote you provided is:

His programmer had doubts, saying that the scraping and linking work he was doing was of limited value and had no commercial prospects. As he wrote in an e-mail:

Re:You misunderstood. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162012)

Commercial prospects are whatever you convince the customer they are.

What, do you think business is about providing a timely and useful product and/or service?

Re:Possibly from the HBGary Federal Hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162506)

Arron Barr must have attended the Underwear Gnomes School of Business.

Secret Plan? (4, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161340)

Oh so this was a secret plan was it?

Was it commissioned by the ministry for the bloody obvious?

Re:Secret Plan? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161450)

Small problem, for anyone but a idiot :
Wikileaks likely has more credibly than any lawmaker , politician or US based news agency or anything the government might say.or write

Re:Secret Plan? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161600)

Wikileaks likely has more credibly than any lawmaker , politician or US based news agency or anything the government might say.or write

Only to morons. Unfortunately, there are a lot of you.

Re:Secret Plan? (0, Troll)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161862)

Credibility with who? College Sophomore, standing at a lit table in the Student Center? Certainly!

Anybody else? Possibly.

Re:Secret Plan? (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162082)

unlike journalism in the US and well known US propaganda, wikileaks actually validates information before they put it up.

Re:Secret Plan? (-1, Troll)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162208)

Wikileaks doesn't compete with journalists. Wikileaks is a primary source, it's the long version. Journalism is what takes all that huge information and summarizes it into digestible bits that make it into news articles or on TV. The fact of the matter is that without journalists spreading the news for whatever tidbits journalists think are "sellable" no one in the general populace would have ever even heard of wikileaks.

Re:Secret Plan? (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162314)

Credibility with who? College Sophomore, standing at a lit table in the Student Center? Certainly!

Anybody else? Possibly.

Credibility with major newspapers across the world, who (re)publish content from wikileaks, and their readership.

Re:Secret Plan? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162060)

The only problem with wikileaks that I have is that they have quite a lot of media exposure, skipping the "first they ignore you" part. I do not believe they are just diversion/disinformation, but I think that some powerful parties are going to try exploiting their work: possibly to show internet is dangerous so it must be censored (that will happen if leaks cause tangible damage). Possibly to show that a centralized system (twitter, the net itself) can be an instrument of revolt (until it becomes so pervasive that nobody can do without it, then we`ll see how much freedom will be allowed in here).

Of course all of this is irrelevant in practice. One should take leaks with a grain of salt and official reports with a couple kilos of salt, always ;)

Re:Secret Plan? (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162344)

wikileaks has been around for years. They were pretty roundly ignored up until they allegedly got the windfall from Manning.

Re:Secret Plan? (4, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161548)

It's seems that ways of countering access to information are on the minds of many.

We certainly heard a few things about the significance of and attempts to control the flow in Egypt. We don't hear so much about Cuba. It got my attention when someone posted that the events in Egypt weren't getting covered there.

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/national_world/stories/2011/02/07/u-s-attacking-cuba-through-wi-fi-hot-spots.html [dispatch.com]

(translated text of video)
http://translatingcuba.com/?p=7111#more-7111 [translatingcuba.com]

(the video, in Spanish)
http://vimeo.com/19402730 [vimeo.com]

Re:Secret Plan? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162098)

"...someone posted that the events in Egypt weren't getting covered [in Cuba]."

O Rly?
Granma [granma.cu] seems [granma.cu] to [granma.cu] be [granma.cu] covering [granma.cu] Egypt fairly extensively. Mind you, Granma's only the official state newspaper - it's not like it has any official status or anything...

Re:Secret Plan? (4, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161700)

It was obvious what to do. It was not that obvious that this was being implemented.
It is nice to sometime have a reminder that there ARE conspiracies happening out there. Not all of them are crackpot theories.

Re:Secret Plan? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162374)

It also shows a major flaw in conspiracies: they tend to be exposed. Or maybe that's just what they want us to think ;-)

Gandhi (5, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161342)

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
  Mahatma Gandhi

Looks like were at part 3 now.

Re:Gandhi (-1, Offtopic)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161380)

>>>Looks like [wikileaks] is at part 3 now.

Not sure how accurate that quote is, since Glenn Beck is also at step 3 (the republicans are fighting him), but he appears doomed to lose, not win.

Re:Gandhi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161772)

Glenn Beck IS lose.

Re:Gandhi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162358)

Glenn Beck IS lose.

That statement doesn't make sense. Here are a couple of suggested corrections

Glenn Beck IS loose (Quick lock him up back in the asylum)
Glenn Beck IS a loser
Glenn Beck IS a loose cannon

Re:Gandhi (1, Flamebait)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161526)

As much as I respect Gandhi, I wouldn't take this bit of wisdom as an absolute.

His fight was a much different cause in the nature of defined sides, lines and goals. A war of information can not be as easily defined and the goals in this case are so numerous and with so many different outcomes that I really can't see anyone claiming victory conclusively. I guess that means all involved will claim some kind of victory but even in that case most of them will be wrong.

Re:Gandhi (5, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161666)

At its root, though, Gandhi's fight was a fight over ideas (Indian sovereignty and all that that encompasses vs. British imperialism). He also was not the only leader of the Indian revolution, there were others and not always with fully-compatible goals in mind (which, in some cases, eventually led to the creations of Burma and Pakistan). So his quote may be more on the mark regarding Anonymous and Wikileaks vs. the established powers than you might be giving credit for.

Re:Gandhi (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162406)

Deposing a foreign government is much different than having masses of people believe in a certain set of ideas or ideals. Again one is clearly defined, either Britain is occupying or they are not. The other is much more difficult in that it will breed all levels of skepticism and the contempt people will feel in using this ideology as a deception to a greater goal. That's what I'm talking about. You see it all the time in conspiracy theory circles and this will be no different.

Re:Gandhi (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161658)

and they shot gandhi.

just sayin...

Re:Gandhi (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161836)

Yeah, but he did get a movie made about him.

Re:Gandhi (3, Interesting)

mhelander (1307061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162448)

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then they shoot you.”

Fixed.

Re:Gandhi (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162454)

Mmmm... So, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then they shoot you?

Re:Gandhi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162488)

and [he] shot gandhi.

just sayin...

While it's true that he shot Gandhi, it wasn't 'They' who did it. Gandhi's struggles did defeat the British. It was a Hindu who shot Bapu, and he did it because he disagreed with Gandhi's handling of Pakistan.

Re:Gandhi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161776)

In the case of Wikileaks that saying should be read in reverse order.

Re:Gandhi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161832)

Tell that to the Carthaginians, Mr. Gandhi. Sometimes you lose.

Re:Gandhi (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162172)

I can think of a lot of examples where someone was ignored, laughed at, fought, and they lost. I've never been a believer in Godwin's Law, so the most obvious example I can point out is Hitler. If you want to limit it to ideas, most examples are by definition going to be ones you never heard of (since if you heard of it, it probably won), but I haven't heard much about the Arian Heresy recently.

Dear Wikileaks, (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161384)

It would appear that a variety of groups, representing a de-facto merger of state and corporate power, are allied to destroy you.

On a scale from "1" to "highly ironic" how would you describe this confirmation of your assertion that the "representative" goverments actually pend a lot of time doing dirty deeds in the shadows?

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161400)

It's not ironic. They ARE representative governments. Grow the fuck up and wear a hat made of wool or cotton like normal people.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161498)

Even the parts that are classified right down to their budgets, and don't even bother filling out their statutorially required reports on what they are doing to congress?

I apologize if this doesn't fit with the Boy Scouts' Patriotic History of America; but the US has been accumulating dubiously-accountable spook shops like its a hobby at least since the cold war, if not earlier.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161732)

I apologize if this doesn't fit with the Boy Scouts' Patriotic History of America

That seems to bother you a whole lot more than it bothers me. Congratulations on realizing that the world is not quite the way it was described to you as a child. Could you please face your disillusion without the hysterical starlet routine?

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (4, Informative)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162508)

I doubt the major issue is that it's different than you were told as a child. It's that a vast majority of the citizens in the country _still_ believe actively that "their party" will represent them because that's what they're consistantly told.

George Carlin put it well enough:

"You don't need a formal conspiracy when interests converge. The owners of this country went to the same universities and fraternities, there on the same boards of directors, they belong to the same country clubs, they have like interests, they don't need to call a meeting because they know what is good for them...and they are getting it. There used to be seven oil companies, there are now three...it will soon be two. The things that matter in this country have been reduced in choice, there are two political parties, there are a handful insurance companies, there are six or seven information centers...but if you want a bagel there are 23 flavors because you have the illusion of choice. You don't get the real important choices, you have no freedom of choice."
- George Carlin on Politically Incorrect

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (2, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161812)

And if Congress passed a law saying "You can't do that" and the President signed it, they would have to stop. The money they use for black ops comes from Congress. They could probably self fund for a little while using dirty tricks, but without Congressional backing they'd be in the same boat as the rest of the government. That won't happen though, becasue Congress, like the majority of people they represent, believe that having our own little secret "dirty tricks" division is a worthwhile risk. There's noting unrepresentative about the CIA. Their mandate and funding came from and continue to come from our representatives. Most of whom are doing exactly what the majority of their constituents would want in continuing that mandate and funding.

The fact that you don't think those types of organizations should exist, or be as secretive as they are, is immaterial to the general question of representative democracy. I often disagree with what the government does. So I try to vote different people into office. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but in all cases the guy in Congress represents the majority of people in his district's choice. Everything he does will almost certainly *not* represent the views and priorities of any one particular individual in his district.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162182)

So I try to vote different people into office. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't [...]

Maybe it would work more often if you knew exactly what is going on?
If you're OK with a system where the government can act behind your back, that's your right. But please don't call that system a Democracy.

If you don't know what I mean by that, I'll explain:
Secrets can be used to control how people vote. Even when secrets are not used that way on purpose, people will still vote in a way that won't have the consequences they expect because they don't see all the pieces of the puzzle (some are kept secret). In effect, secrecy bypasses the purpose of Democracy and we're left with only the illusion of Democracy.

Also, you'll find that most supporters of Wikileaks and critics of government secrecy are OK with a bit of secrecy. The real problem is how secrecy is abused: things are kept secret longer than necessary or things that don't need/should not be kept secret are kept secret. And in some cases the need for secrecy is the own fault of the secret holder.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162480)

I didn't say I was OK with it, I said it was representative. You're conflating two ideas here. The requirement of a representative government is that it represents the will of the people. The requirement of an open government (and possibly a "free" government) is that we know what's going on. It's pretty clear at this point that super secret agencies with little or no accountability fall within the will the of the people. If we (as a group, not me or you personally) were really outraged about them, they'd be forced to change. If Congressmen were routinely being voted out of office becasue black ops organization exist and are funded, then they wouldn't be. I'm willing to bet that if you conducted a poll and asked something along the lines of: Do you think that black budget organizations should exist, or should there be some level of transparency to at least the highers echelons of the people's representatives? You'd get a range of responses, but the most common, maybe even the majority would be along the lines of: "I don't like them, but I feel they are necessary to defend our country".

Now do I, personally, feel that these organizations should exist and be accountable to essentially no one? No. I completely understand the need for secrecy in operational situations, but I think that at a minimum our elected representatives should have full access to budgets and transparency on requested information. As long as the President and Congress know, or can find out, what going on I'm content that I can't necessarily in certain circumstances. I also agree that things should be opened up when the need for secrecy has passed; though as someone who has dealt with secret information, I think you might be surprised at how long things do need to be kept secret in order to be effective in a lot of cases.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162516)

The record of history tells us that mass-market intelligence as a driver of wartime decisions came into vogue in WWII. The lessons of history suggest that it was probably true somewhat earlier.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161598)

Representative of whom?

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161902)

The U.S. government is *not*, and likely never will be, representative of the American people.

I'm pretty sure that 75%+ of Americans would be appalled if they knew the full extent and truth of some of the hideous things their government was doing behind closed doors. I think one leaked video of a "rendered" prisoner being tortured would have way more an impact on U.S. intelligence practices than any meaningless U.S. election ever has.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161984)

True, I doubt that anyone has ever masturbated to electoral footage. Real live torture, on the other hand, could probably attract a decent slice of late-night pay-per-view traffic...

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162308)

I'm pretty sure that 75%+ of Americans would be appalled...

No, chances are they will slip further into denial. People don't want to know. Plausible deniability is a valuable resource. If people "know", then they must accept responsibility. Best keep it under wraps and watch some professional wrestling.

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (3, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161556)

I would be worried about the 'state power thing'

as far as "corporate security researchers" go, they are, apparently, using Microsoft Bob to do their "hacking"...

No, really, see the Ars Technica link up there:

"They think I have nothing but a heirarchy based on IRC [Internet Relay Chat] aliases!" he wrote. "As 1337 as these guys are suppsed to be they don't get it. I have pwned them! :)"

And that's the 'security researcher' mixing sys admins with 'hackers'

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161682)

We're really only seeing the doofuses that get burned though. How likely is it that we'll see the competent ones written up in Ars?

Re:Dear Wikileaks, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161908)

Anyone who wants to destroy WikiLeaks absolutely represents me.

Obvious name (4, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161418)

Palantir [wikipedia.org] Technologies? Really?

Was "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall Inc" already taken?

Re:Obvious name (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161608)

Doesn't the Tolkein estate take exception to this? If not, please excuse me while I head down to Companies House to found General Products...

Re:Obvious name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162532)

Doesn't the Tolkein estate take exception to this?

Fine, we'll rename it to Butthead Fantasy Author's Crystal Ball Like Thing.

Re:Obvious name (2)

KalgarThrax (984520) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161708)

Actually this is a real company that has been around for a while. They are into data visualization technology which also sucks. The kind of thing where you can tell 4 Pentagon generals "You can find Osama Bin-Laden from your office by buying our bloat." And they all buy it. All part of the military industrial complex. Good stuff.

Re:Obvious name (0)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162160)

That's it. Obama is Sauron and Biden is Saruman.

I knew it.

For further information (5, Interesting)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161426)

http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/201106/6798/Data-intelligence-firms-proposed-a-systematic-attack-against-WikiLeaks [thetechherald.com]

Can't say I'm surprised but the tactics and manipulation they discuss but I find it outrageous all the same.

However, the fact that they felt the need to present such a teach-yourself-how-to-destroy-wikileaks-in-21-days presentation in such a dumb manner is somewhat encouraging.

Re:For further information (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161544)

They are trying to sell themselves to the people who want to see Wikileaks die. I imagine that companies like Palantir do not really care about Wikileaks, except that Wikileaks is a great marketing point for them. Look at the tone of the second half of the presentation: everything people have tried to do to protect themselves from Wikileaks has not worked, but we are experts with experience in intelligence and counter-intelligence; we can save you (just pay us)!

Correlation does not imply causation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161480)

The people who submitted materials to Wikileaks broke the law, probably multiple laws. The fact that banks and ISPs withdrew services to Wikileaks does not indicate that they did so in response to the alleged CIA campaign.

How do we know .... (1)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161558)

How do we know that this isn't disinformation from the intelligence firms to make genuine future leaks look like they might be 'planted' to make competing governments and corporations look bad?

Re:How do we know .... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161672)

We don't, that's why we have to critically evaluate new information in light of its purported origins, its content, and the interested parties' reactions to it.

Re:How do we know .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161684)

Dude's site was taken down by SQL injection and poor password and account policy gave them access to the rest of the network, including 1TB of data backups and the entire mail server.
 
I don't think they're bright enough for a double bluff.

Re:How do we know .... (1)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162138)

I don't think they're bright enough for a double bluff.

Yeah, yeah, for sure, Mr Anonymous Coward.

If that's your real name.

Re:How do we know .... (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162114)

Because these firms are anything but "intelligent". They are too stooopid to secure their own systems.

Didn't take a genius to know (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161580)

The sudden appearance of rape charges, schisms and turmoil within the organization, etc. were pretty obviously concerted efforts to discredit the organization and Assange. Didn't take a genius to see it all coming after his big leaks started, or to know who was behind it. I knew [slashdot.org] a discrediting campaign was coming down back before Assange even met his "rape victims" or faced a schism.

Re:Didn't take a genius to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161802)

props on the "almost child molester accusation" guess, you were pretty darn close.

Re:Didn't take a genius to know (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161988)

Actually, it's become fairly obvious from Assange's personal record as a chauvinist that the charges against the women came from them and not some hair-brained government op like you people want to believe.

Do I believe it's rape? No.

Do I believe it's some government FUD OP? No.

You're being manipulated by the man trying to fight the manipulators.

Re:Didn't take a genius to know (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162486)

Maybe I'm just psychic.

Re:Didn't take a genius to know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162126)

doesn't take a genius to see that 9/11 was an inside job. first suspicions are always right.

The world loves a martyr (1)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161624)

You can't win, .... If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. -- Obiwan Kenobi

Literally the best part. (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161630)

– WikiLeaks has since turned to Swedish internet
host Bahnhof AB, which is literally located in a
Cold War bomb shelter

Re:Literally the best part. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162402)

A literal Cold War bomb shelter?

Sales Pitch... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161634)

Oh boy, that PDF is nothing more than a sales pitch written by someone who probably believes the hype of "cyber-warfare" as portrayed in movies, and is trying to excite some clueless bank executives into getting involved in the action as portrayed.

It does sound exciting with talk of "global networks, movement between countries", although in reality such movement would just be scp -r /var/www/wikileaks user@server-in-foreign-country:/var/www/.

Of course, as a sales presentation it's well done, I could imagine the bank executive getting excited that he could initiate a "cyber-hunt" to kill the organization.

Re:Sales Pitch... (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161738)

that PDF is nothing more than a sales pitch written for someone who probably believes the hype of "cyber-warfare" as portrayed in movies

FTFY

Just because disgruntled volunteers broke away... (2, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161636)

Does not mean they were following some sinister plan.
Julian Assange has already proven he is hard to get along with and has his own agenda which may not prove compatible
with other people who want a wikileaks without Assange's anti-us agenda.

Wrong move? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35161660)

Wouldnt a better move be to prevent further leaks than to kill the messenger? Offing Wikileaks wont solve the problem at all.

Even better would be going to the source of the problem, America meddling in other states internal affairs through very shoddy practices. Killing politicians, supporting torturing dictators, pressuring, lying, stealing and toppling democratic states are not something a superpower should have to succumb to, thats for banana republics.

Lawsuit anyone? (4, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161662)

If this document is genuine, this company "Palantir" has suggested and supports activities that are not only criminal in Europa but also in the US. We're talking about libel and slander, "cyber-terrorist" attacks on foreign it business and infrastructure (servers hosted in Sweden, France), and so on.

I don't know whether the document itself gives enough grounds for a lawsuits, probably not, but if these guys do anything of what they suggest or even aid in it, and it can be traced back to them, I feel a lawsuit coming in 3...2...1...

By the way, how are the investigations of the DoS attacks against Wikileaks server going? Any news on that?

Re:Lawsuit anyone? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162108)

I feel a lawsuit coming in 3...2...1...

Retroactive immunity in 2...1...in b4 lawsuit!

Damn that sucks for those guys (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161674)

Talk about a role-reversal...the discreditors become the discredited. Alas, this is a great blow to the future of the Wikileaks conversation. Now all critics legitimate and otherwise can be lumped together as part of a coordinated effort against Wikileaks. It's now easier than ever to accuse someone who demands more self-scrutiny from WL and its supporters as a "shill" or "operative". And this time we have these 3 companies to blame.

This is not America (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161678)

This is not America....
shalalalala

A little piece of you,
the little piece in me,
will die
(this is not a miracle)
For this is not America

Blossom fails to bloom this season,
promise not to stare,
too long
(this is not America)
For this is not the miracle

There was a time,
a storm that blew, so pure
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America

shalalalala
shalalalala
shalalalala

This is not America (No)
This is not....
shalalalala

Snowman melting from the inside
Falcon spirals to,
the ground
(this could be the biggest sky)
So bloody red, tomorrow's clouds

A little piece of you,
the little piece in me
will die
(this could be a miracle)
For this is not America

There was a time,
a wind that blew, so young
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America

shalalalala
shalalalala
shalalalala

This is not America (No)
This is not,
shalalalala
This is not America (No)
This is not,
shalalalala
This is not America (No)
This is not,
shalalalala

From Falcon and the Snowman.

Not really linked perhaps, but what else can you say when movie plots become really but to think of a movie based on reality?

December 3rd? (5, Informative)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161712)

The plan was pitched to Bank of America on the 3rd. Amazon and EveryDNS already had withdrawn services so I think it's a stretch to try to insinuate that Paypal doing the same on the 4th is somehow related to a proposal submitted to a separate financial institution on the 3rd. It's also not entirely surprising that people pointed out to be weak links and ready to leave Wikileaks turned out to be weak leaks and decided to leave Wikileaks. This sounds like a case of some defense companies ever looking to scrape up some profits pointing out the blindingly obvious and now when a couple of the obvious things happen on their own people trying to attribute it to a successful implementation of said plot.

Ah, a fool (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162036)

Government and the control of society is about more then absolute evidence, it is about state of mind.

There are those in society who wish for private industry to have greater control of society without an elected body having the right to control them. So be it, but do we then just accept this without questioning what kind of mentality these self appointed power brokers posses?

This is not a criminal trial, it is a hiring process and during such a process I want to see from your past and current behavior how you are going to act in the future. So, if people propose banks like Bank of America should have LESS regulation and LESS government oversight shouldn't we first examine whether that is a good idea?

No, them telling us it is a good idea is NOT good enough fool. And THIS leak shows exactly what the mentality of the Bank of America is. No, not because there is proof they did this but because they EVEN considered it.

That requires some advanced thinking but basically goes that for some thought crimes are indeed crimes. Some people/institutions should NOT even be allowed to consider certain things.

The Kenedy assassination is a prime example of this. Was the CIA behind it or not? Doesn't really matter, it has been proven beyond a doubt that senior CIA officials had plans to assassinate the president of their own country. THAT is enough of a crime in itself. If the protector of democracy even dares thinking of killing a democratically elected leader the crime has been done.

The Bank of America by even being involved in this have shown that banks can not be trusted to be open and that private businesses will fall all over themselves to supply services to lie to the people. That means we have once again been shown that banks and private industry need strict government supervision.

That is what this leak shows.

Not some timeline of crime to be fought over in court to sentence some individuals but the whole sale condemnation of private business as being unworthy of trust.

But of course, you are a fool and trust the bank because merely considering lying isn't bad at all... no no, let them work without oversight I am sure that when something really bad happens they will tell us honestly...

Spurious relationship - chronology (5, Informative)

tmk (712144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161778)

Since the plan was hatched, disgruntled volunteers mentioned in the PDF broke away from Wikileaks, financial institutions withdrew services, Apelbaum was harassed by the US Government and Amazon denied service to Wikileaks' website."

It's always nice to have a good conspiracy - but chronology is a bitch. Even before the plan was hatched, Paypal has canceled Wikileaks accounts twice, disgruntled volunteers were gruntling very publicly, Wikileaks had to change providers several times and Julian Assange reported harrassment from every government he had to deal with.

Re:Spurious relationship - chronology (2)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162044)

There is a difference between when a plan is set in motion and when a plan is being made public or shared with others to get them to join the fight on your side. The presentation was most likely made to get others on board but they were already doing it well before (maybe not documented or in documents we'll never get to see).

It was obvious that there was US pressure against PayPal, Amazon and EveryDNS since Wikileaks hadn't broken any laws (and hasn't yet) and only a few days/weeks later Amazon gets a huge US Government contract for their cloud? The only people publicly complaining was Fox News and the Teabaggers.

Re:Spurious relationship - chronology (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162202)

The presentation was most likely made to get others on board but they were already doing it well before (maybe not documented or in documents we'll never get to see).

Why do you think this is "most likely"? Are there any leads to support this assumption?

Huh. (1)

Dogun (7502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161800)

The interesting thing here is not the PDF, but the backstory - it may suggest the US Govt believes BoA is the target of the next Wikileaks leak.

The PDF appears to mostly be a "You can trust us to protect you against future leaks" sideshow. Presumably Palantir/etc want to build some smarts into BoA.

Attacking Glenn Greenwald (2)

berbo (671598) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161880)

These guys are idiots

what the fuck are they thinking by claiming that Glenn [Greenwald] weighs “professional preservation” against “cause”? Could they be more wrong, painting Glenn as a squeamish careerist whose loud support for WikiLeaks (which dates back far longer than these security firms seem to understand) is secondary to “professional preservation”?

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/02/09/security-firms-pitching-bank-of-america-proposed-targeting-glenn-greenwald/ [firedoglake.com]

If you've read anything that blogger Greenwald has written, you'd know how true this.

Pfft. (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161884)

I'll say it again.

If US intelligence agencies and their actions, security, political connections and control of information are *REALLY* this bad, the US has a much bigger problem than a website.

If this is how a genuine intelligence agency acts and gets caught doing so by the equivalent of a back-bedroom UFO hunter, then the first ever *real* cyberwar will see them wiped off the planet.

The UK, in the middle of a war, infiltrated by spies, managed to capture, analyse, decrypt, monitor and intercept German communications for YEARS, to the extent that they could literally direct the enemy to move their defences to cover false "threats" while watching them do that. And most of exactly what happened took 50+ years to come out and we still don't know *all* of it.

The US, in peacetime (so no major distractions, counter-incentive, etc.), can't stop their own soldiers putting documents into the public domain, with HUGE fanfare, then "rubber-stamp" those documents as official by "hunting down" a civilian not really related to the leak, when the guy handed himself into a police station in an allied country and told the newspapers about it. If the US "anti-cyber-warfare" campaign is anywhere near as ineffective, you better hope nobody tech-savvy *bothers* to go to war with the US.

Re:Pfft. (4, Informative)

will_die (586523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162236)

Summary is just bad. The 3 companies have/had contracts with the Department of Defense but they were tring to get business with the Bank of America.
This was not something done by the DoD or any US intelligence agency.
Frankly it would be hard to find many business that do not do some type of business with the US government, the DoD or some intelligence agency. Looking at just one of the companies it looks like it was setup as a 8(a)(female or minority owned) so can smaller contracts or small portions of larger contracts.

Word salad (4, Informative)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161916)

"Consultants at US defense contractors Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary proposed to lawyers for a desperate Bank of America an alliance that would work to discredit the whistleblowers' website using a divide and conquer approach."

I had to read this sentence several times before it made any sense. The first few times it sounded like the defense contractor consultants asked some lawyers to marry them in order to obtain the Bank of America, who was inexplicably desperate -- all of which would discredit Wikileaks.

I think what was attempting to be conveyed was the following:

"Consultants at US defense contractors Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary proposed an alliance with a desperate Bank of America which would work to discredit the whistleblowers' website using a divide and conquer approach."

Wait a minute (5, Funny)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35161954)

Wait a minute. Isn't Wikileaks reporting a leaked report that there was a conspiracy against them a little bit like saying God exists, because the Bible says so?

Re:Wait a minute (3, Funny)

Rand Race (110288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162134)

Not a leaked report per se. This was Anonymous eating the brains of HBGary.

More like saying God exists because Cthulhu hacked Satan's servers and uploaded the Secret Bible to Pirates Bay.

Re:Wait a minute (1)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162342)

Very good point, but if that were true it would mean someone or some group like Anon made this document up. However, I actually expect someone pretending to be a security professional to create a far more technical and competent looking presentation than what we see here, which is classic real "professional" work. A pretender from 4chan would probably pay more attention to details -- like not using Firefox icon for IE8, haha.

Variant of the Streisand Effect (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162118)

The more one attempts to discredit an institution or individual, the more weight it gives to the information or ideas that they have. And the more interested I am in hearing it.

Come on, folks. The cliques in high school have this figured out. The heads of our intelligence agencies must have been home schooled.

Sympathy for the Devil (4, Insightful)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162140)

It's hardly surprising that there is a market for plans in how to manipulate public perception. There's a whole industry that exists specifically for this. People who find themselves in that industry have to set aside their conscience to do the job and put food on the table. They rationalize it as a game or a competition or just business. Some are probably reading slashdot right now.

It's the sad nature of civilization that we are a huge crowd of people just trying to put one foot in front of the other. It's hard to imagine that our small push forward on the person in front of us is really contributing to the squeeze that is crushing people to death somewhere else in the crowd.

Atrocious Presentation Content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35162284)

Did anyone read that presentation? It was pathetic. It was simply a miss-mash of infosec buzzwords and poorly formatted screenshots. It had no new or useful information. And man, those 'credentialing' slides at the end were simply atrocious. I'm in consulting and I can't believe that this kind of content actually sells work to the federal government. Remind me again why I'm pitching to private companies that actually expect some value?

Man, these people make me hate myself for sharing a job title.

What did you expect? (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162302)

What did you expect he'd get for attacking the government? A good conduct ribbon? Toss him in Gitmo, and throw the key away!

Re:What did you expect? (1)

Brannoncyll (894648) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162520)

What did you expect he'd get for attacking the government? A good conduct ribbon? Toss him in Gitmo, and throw the key away!

In an alternate history: "What did you expect [The Founding Fathers of The United States to] get for attacking the government? A good conduct ribbon? Toss [them] in [The Tower of London], and throw the key away!

Mind Control? (4, Funny)

LastGunslinger (1976776) | more than 3 years ago | (#35162418)

Don't forget that they made Julian Assange a pompous douchebag by drugging his food. A side effect, perhaps intended, is the paranoia that makes him think he'll be imprisoned at Guantanamo. They also slipped a defective condom into his wallet so they could trump up rape charges.
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