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How WikiLeaks Gags Its Own Staff

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do dept.

Businesses 236

robbyyy writes "The New Statesman has just revealed the extent of the legal eccentricity and paranoia that exists at the WikiLeaks organization. The magazine published a leaked copy of the draconian and extraordinary legal gag which WikiLeaks imposes on its own staff. Clause 5 of the Confidentiality Agreement (PDF) imposes a penalty of £12,000,000 (approximately $20,000,000) on anyone who breaches this legal gag. Sounds like they don't trust their own staff."

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236 comments

I like it! (3, Interesting)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100360)

I wonder how they like their documents being leaked. It would make my year if they sued over this.

Re:I like it! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100528)

Presumably, there are people out there who want to leak documents, but want to be sure that wikileaks will properly redact it so as to protect members of the armed services, etc. This policy is probably in place for their peace of mind. If leakers just wanted to dump stuff onto the internet, anyone could do that. This policy is to make sure that the leak is done right.

Psychological Warfare (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100594)

Discredit WikiLeaks, Shoot the Messenger, Covert Operation Game Plan - as we were warned.

Re:Psychological Warfare (3, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100838)

For what it's worth, I don't have a fundamental problem with the confidentiality agreement: There is no real conflict with Wikileak's mission here, despite what many other people might claim in a kneejerk reaction. Wikileaks doesn't advocate the indiscriminate release of all information, and with any organisation dedicated to releasing confidential resources while protecting whistleblowers, secrecy is obviously a central fact of live. More so with an organisation that must be under tremendous, even violent, pressure from the US. And while I found the commercial aspects of the agreement a bit odious -- they talk about the financial damages caused by breaking the agreement -- it makes sense since, even though Wikileaks is not for profit, their media partners (e.g. the NYT, the Guardian, der Spiegel) are.

All that said, Wikileaks is more secretive of their own organisation than is good for them, and it would not have hurt to simply be open about this confidentiality agreement: they could have posted it on their websites for potential volunteers to see, for instance. Of coure, if they had done that, everybody would have started shouting about the supposed paradoxical situation of a whistleblowing organisation having secrets themselves (hurr durr) -- ie. what's happening now.

Re:I like it! (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100654)

EXACTLY. Wikileaks can't seem to win. If they ever leak anything, people scream about how they are "endangering lives". If they do anything to control the level of detail in the leaking to address that issue, people (possibly the very same people) scream about how they limit leaking.

Re:I like it! (1, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100722)

So what you're saying is that Wikileaks is immune to criticism - above all, accusations of hypocrisy.

Re:I like it! (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100770)

No, I'm saying that much of the criticism they get is of limited merit and that they are unlikely to be able to do anything at all (including disband) that will satisfy all critics.

Re:I like it! (3, Interesting)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100962)

I'll agree with the "unable to satisfy all critics" part. If you're not pissing someone off, you're doing it wrong.

However, the criticism that they tend to get is actually rather important. It comes down to much larger questions of what happens when you have someone freely leaking information who are not even tangentially responsible to the greater community.

On one hand, there's no doubt that stuff gets hidden as classified for unacceptable reasons.

On the other hand, just because people haven't been hurt yet, doesn't mean it can't happen. Half the data that an intelligence analyst looks at would be considered to be mundane, boring, or even pointless by untrained and uninformed people. A detail that seems unimportant and not dangerous to you may actually be extremely important. Having that information thrown to a group of volunteer outsiders who have no responsibility to anyone but themselves means that there is a higher chance that adequate care will not be taken, or even *cannot* be taken with that data.

Don't get me wrong, I like seeing stuff like this, and I am not against seeing more leaks, but some of the criticism of what they have been doing is very spot on. The question is, can the leakers control themselves to a degree where the fact that people haven't been killed isn't just good luck, because that's what the low level of review of previously reviewed material has meant so far. As it stands, I imagine that some intelligence agencies are already quietly capitalizing on some of the things that came out in the diplomatic messages. You know that at least a few subjects of the candid reports are probably more than a little pissed at the US right now, and when world leaders get pissed, bad things happen.

Re:I like it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101060)

EXACTLY. Wikileaks can't seem to win. If they ever leak anything, people scream about how they are "endangering lives". If they do anything to control the level of detail in the leaking to address that issue, people (possibly the very same people) scream about how they limit leaking.

Welcome to Real Life!

You can't win, you can't breakeven and you can't quit the game!

Re:I like it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101114)

Why? They should be pissed if that happens. Because you don't pay them taxes at the penalty of jail time if you don't, because they don't corrode your privacy. It's a fundamental difference you failed to grab.

Re:I like it! (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101126)

Well, they seem also to handle pretty interesting stuff, you don't want your own people leaking information that was leaked to them. On that side, it's not about trust, it's about ensuring that your contacts/whistle-blowers will trust you because of that. And they're also supposed to help their whistle blowers censor proper parts so they won't be incriminated in further legal battles of stuff such as treason. There's a lot of legal concern in any part of their business and I think they're right to be concerned.

How Ironic (0)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100366)

You'd almost think they're the ones getting leaked...

Re:How Ironic (5, Insightful)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100760)

Oh great, here we go with the "Ironic" or "Hypocritical" comments again, another poster fails to realize the difference here.

I'll try to explain secrecy within wikileaks once more, hopefully before a hundred other comments spout the same nonsense. Wikileaks gets information from people within the organizations. These documents or memos they receive may have the submitters information on there. Maybe they have an IP, or email address, or mailing address or something that the submitter didn't hide. So wikileaks goes to the trouble of redacting this information from these documents so the submitter doesn't get identified.

Lets say Company A offers to bribe Country B's corrupt government to allow some dumping of chemical waste near some poor neighborhood in that country, but someone gets wind of this information floating around and submits it to wikileaks.

Now when these two entities find out their plan was leaked, they're going to be very pissed off. There may not be that many suspects for this leak, so they might start investigating to see who sent this information. Well guess who has this information? The wikileaks staff! Company A and Country B probably have deep deep pockets and wouldn't mind getting to the bottom of this, and who knows what the hell they'll do to the guy if they ever found out who it is (see : Bradley Manning detainment conditions).

Well the wikileaks staff are still human, and despite whatever moral integrity they have, maybe one of them can be tempted by large sums of money (as my dad used to say, Everyone has their price). So the best solution for the wikileaks organization at this point is to enforce a confidentiality agreement with an astronomical sum of money, as to potentially discourage any of their staff from leaking sensitive information that governments and organizations would love to get their hands on. Make it so whatever they might receive clearly isn't worth the 20M they'd have to pay back (assuming it was enforceable). This agreement isn't there to prevent the staff from disclosing the wikileaks budget, or to hide the fact that Julian assange uses Rogaine, or stays in 5 star hotels for conference visits. This is prevent the leakers from "mysteriously disappearing" because someone at their organization found out what they leaked.

Re:How Ironic (2)

NoAkai (2036200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100868)

Whilst I agree (and I'd mod you up if I could), I think it is also important to be cautious that the measures taken to "prevent the leakers from "mysteriously disappearing" because someone at their organization found out what they leaked." is not also used to cover up Mr. Assange's hotel expenses and other luxuries. Donators have a right to know if their money is being used to combat wrongdoings and expose corruption, or if it's being used to give Mr. Assange a yacuzzi in his hotel room.

Re:How Ironic (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100882)

Funny how that's the same argument, almost word for word, used by the people they're leaking files of. I'm going to have to extend it from "ironic" to "hypocritical".

Re:How Ironic (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100898)

While that makes perfect sense, you still can't deny that the whole idea of a "leak" is to expose information that someone wants secret. So it's a mind-bender to think that in order to promote "good" leaks (exposing scandals, scams, etc) Wikileaks must suppress "bad" leaks (info on who leaked). Us sheeple like things simple, so "Wikileaks loves leaks" works for us until we realize that Wikileaks does not, in fact, support all kinds of leaks.

Re:How Ironic (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100984)

Touche, good point

Re:How Ironic (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100902)

Nice summary, and I mostly agree with you. However - you seem to sympathize with Private Manning, and I do not. More, Manning's detention has been characterized as for his self protection. I'm not real sure how much I believe that, but it's out there, and it's reasonable.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I support Wikileaks, and I also support Assange. Some people might not understand, but I detest manning for violating his oaths, general orders, and a myriad of orders from his superiors. On the other hand, Wikileaks is not subject to US law, they have no reason to display any kind of loyalty to the US. Wikileaks is doing what they are supposed to do, while Manning did not do what he is supposed to do.

But, again, nice summary.

Re:How Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101380)

The wording of the confidentiality agreement does not agree with your theory. It is all about the monetary value of the leaked information. That's how I read it. Wikileaks wants to be compensated for the loss of a document that could be worth millions on the open market.

As opposed to the armed forces.. (4, Insightful)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100378)

Which threaten court martial and execution for breaching confidentiality, or a lifetime in prison. I'd take a $12 million fine which I can default on, any day of the week.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (4, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100482)

The Armed Forces, where one takes an legally binding oath after volunteering, then volunteers again for the security clearance while taking another legally binding oath.

Dude knew what he was getting into

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100498)

Ahhh volunteering, is that what you call creating desperate young men with no other option?

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100538)

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you saying the US armed forces should return to conscription?

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100618)

For how long have you been suffering from comprehension problems ?

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (1)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100692)

For how long have you been suffering from comprehension problems ?

Apparently for 7 minutes minus the few seconds it took to read your post? How does an all volunteer military create desperate young men with no other option?

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100774)

I suspect he's complaining about the socio-economic pressures that lead to lower class/poor people having a much higher representation rate in the armed forces.

Of course, the military still does have standards. Even the US military won't take *everyone*, and if you're going to do anything that actually requires clearance, there's a skills and IQ test you need to pass before they'll even consider you for it.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101350)

I have never served in the military however, I live near an army base, a number of my co-workers are either ex-military or military spouses, my ex-wife and all of her siblings and parents have served in the military, many of my friends growing up choose to join the military. Out of all of these people I don't know of any that had no other option, they may have seen the military as their best option (in retrospect for many it probably was) a way to learn a trade, something to belong to, etc. I am sure your desperate young man poster child does exist, but it is not the face of the army, instead the face of the army includes people with technical degrees, bright young people that graduated high school at the top of their class and choose military service over college scholarships, as well as many young people with no direction in their life that are searching for something.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100560)

Yes. I joined the military after graduating college and I had plenty of other options.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100926)

That's not terribly unfair a description. Yes, a lot of people join the military because they don't see any better options in life. No job, no scholarship, join the military, or go hungry, or stay in Mama's basement? And, corporate America is perfectly happy to push youngsters into that position, because the military, in almost all instances, is "protecting" corporate interests abroad.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100694)

You know what you're getting into in legal terms, but you can't possibly know if you can justify keeping quiet before seeing the confidential information. I can easily imagine someone signing a confidentiality agreement in good faith only to find out that the information does warrant whistleblowing, despite the possibility of dire personal consequences.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (0)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100492)

Ofcourse in the military you are part of a unit. You have brothers that can get hurt, so it's not just about your own life. Playing with other people's lives VS leaking info that could bankrupt some shady organization of it self. Ill take door number 3 hans!

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100562)

Well that's more enforceable and is a criminal offense - this one isn't (its breach of contract which is a civil offense) and as the NS journalist points out. it would be impossible to enforce.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (2, Informative)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100600)

As I noted later on (http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2146120&cid=36100472) it appears New Statesman made up the entire angle that staff would be fined £12,000,000. Read the entire agreement start to finish, and the only penality implied by the confidentiality agreement for a breach is employment termination. Employment termination IS enforceable. The £12,000,000 fine never existed. All smoke and mirrors from folks trying to muddy Wikileaks.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100720)

"Disinformation Wants to be FREE!"

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100940)

The 12M pounds would qualify as liquidated damages.

It's a contract issue. It's not a fine, but you could be liable for it and in theory Wikileaks could sue you over it.

However, since Wikileaks is almost universally deemed a criminal enterprise owing to the stuff they are usually involved in leaking, they would probably not have standing.

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101150)

Really? Can you list one nation which has listed Wikileaks as a criminal enterprise? (including the US).

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100590)

Right. So I guess you would be opposed to student loan debt offered by our welfare state that you can't default on.

please show me which regulation (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100628)

provides for execution for 'breaching confidentiality'.

my impression is that there are only a few things that get you executed, including

Aiding the enemy

Treason

Misprison of treason

bradley manning isnt even charged with treason, he is only charged with aiding the enemy.

every other charge against him about giving out information only provides for jail or fines. not death.

Re:please show me which regulation (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100874)

Leaking classified information *is* aiding the enemy. Depending on what information is leaked, and when, it can also be Treason.

uhm so if i told you Qadafi has a hot nurse (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101168)

would that be treason?

because that information is classified.

i mean, technically, im breaking the law RIGHT NOW telling it to you.

and unless you 'deliver' that information to a government agent 'entitled to receive it', you are breaking the law just by having this information in your computer memory.

i cannot get a foreign service job because of my discussing this fact with you... should i also be in prison?

Re:As opposed to the armed forces.. (3, Informative)

krizoitz (1856864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100716)

You're right, the military and government should just let anyone leak whatever confidential information they want without consequence, no matter how much that information harms anyone else. Anyone who thinks that governments don't have legitimate reasons to limit who knows what information is out of touch with reality. What if all the intel about tracking bin Laden had been made public? Would kind of defeat the purpose of hunting someone down if you were basically broadcasting how you were doing it so they could find out. There is an old saying, knowledge is power. Well giving away all your knowledge for free puts you in the position of being exploited and powerless. Do governments sometimes take secrecy too far? Absolutely. But indiscriminate leaking of information ala WikiLeaks isn't the solution. It undermines those times when information is legitimately leakworthy, such as the Watergate scandal.

duh, no kidding you IDIOT. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100386)

if the STAFF leaks the names of any contributors wikileaks will cease to exist. its fairly obvious why they would have that.
the other things they dont want leaked are also private crypto keys and the like which could compromise their security.

Re:duh, no kidding you IDIOT. (1, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100412)

Yet all other confidential info in the world is fair game?

*facepalm*

Re:duh, no kidding you IDIOT. (1)

geekpowa (916089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100526)

If Wikileaks positioned themselves as a whistleblower safe harbour; then there would be no contradiction.

But if people in Wikileaks and within the institution's orbit get preachy about the necessity of an open and free society then yeah; they are hypocrites.

I guess they could say their ultimate goal is open and free society and whistleblower support is a first tentative step along the way. (whether this is actually achievable is beyond my capacity to visualise, I suspect that it is impossible to construct a broad community that is completely open and transparent. Human institutions are inherently imperfect and there are some conditions, that seem to me at least, that they will never be able satisfy with any stability or longevity.)

Re:duh, no kidding you IDIOT. (0)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100642)

No. Not sure what gave you that idea. Wikileaks doesn't indiscriminately release confidential information, they release information in order to uncover injustices, or information that should have been freely available in the first place. That's a judgement call, no doubt, and I assume you don't agree with their politics, but it's hardly unprecedented; basically, it's journalism.

Re:duh, no kidding you IDIOT. (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100438)

Also allows them to retain some form of business model based on advanced previews to the media - probably their major source of funding to operate at all. The number is probably double the cost of an advanced preview or so, making it not financially viable sell off information on the side. There's also the element of making sure no pre-screened information slips out which could compromise integrity of the business and informants identities as stated above.

That's my take anyway.

Apparently the old adage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100390)

Apparently the old adage "What's good for the goose..." doesn't hold water with them.

I DEMAND to know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100394)

...who leaked out highly confidential employment terms???
--Julian

Re:I DEMAND to know... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100688)

This posting from Anonymous Coward makes the whole joke even better.

Wow (2)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100396)

How, er, ironic.

Well, I guess it's actually just hypocritical, but it sure smells like irony to me...

Re:Wow (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100510)

It's neither hypocritical nor ironic. They've never said that they would provide all the documents without redaction, in fact they've gone to great lengths to redact information that's not necessary and would be likely to reveal the sources.

But, given all the people around here that can't imagine that Wikileaks is anything other than a terrorist organization, I would think those sorts of idiots something to crow about.

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100634)

It's neither hypocritical nor ironic. They've never said that they would provide all the documents without redaction, in fact they've gone to great lengths to redact information that's not necessary and would be likely to reveal the sources.

Sounds like they want to be the only ones who determine when information is 'necessary'. Redaction to prevent source identification, that I can understand, but if one of their employees feels the redaction marker has been applied a bit too liberally? What recourse then...release it to Wikileaks? Oh, wait...

Re:Wow (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100918)

At least their identity would be kept secret if they release it to Wikileaks. Until another Wikileaks employee decides to leak that. And the circle of leaks continues...

Re:Wow (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100542)

Actually, it's just a standard confidentiality agreement. It nowhere states that anyone will be fined. The New Statesman just made that up. Sorry to disappoint. It does have a clause stating the agreed value of a significant breach, but the only penalty inferred in the agreement is employment termination.

Re:Wow (2)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100702)

Sorry, didn't read TFA. Just tickled my funny bone, is all.

It's nice to know that the leaker can 'only' be fired, if we infer correctly...leaving it up to whomever the leaked information was about to take it up in civil court with that handy 'value of a significant breach' number.

Why would they have a dollar value assigned if it weren't intended to be used somewhere? IA*definitely*NAL, so I'm honestly curious here.

Re:Wow (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100706)

It does have a clause stating the agreed value of a significant breach

Not even that - "The parties agree that a genuine and reasonable pre-estimate of the loss to WikiLeaks from a breach of this agreement based on a typical open market valuation for the information for a significant breach of the agreement is in the region of 12,000,000 pounds (12 million pounds sterling)."

So, it's just a "pre-estimate" - useless.

And "based on a typical open market valuation for the information" - good luck with that - especially since WikiLeaks doesn't sell information on the open market, but a CLOSED market. After all, only people and organizations invited to bid can buy the info.

Re:Wow (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100552)

Oh you have one of those old ironics. Use distilled water.

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100614)

Nah. Smells of the CIA spreading another round of disinformation to break them apart, just as they officially announced. (It was even here on Slashdot. Their goal, as they said, is to stir up shit, and start fights between members, while making them look so noncredible, that they break apart.)

I don't trust anything I hear in the "press" about them.
I only trust what I sense with my own senses, or get from people I personally trust on this issue. (And that's pretty much nobody.)

Still trust the press? Or wanna know why you instinctively don't? Read this: http://www.zpub.com/un/chomsky.html [zpub.com]

But of course, the cattle gobble it up like it's the hottest shit. Even here on /. How quickly they forget...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100796)

"Well, I guess it's actually just hypocritical, but it sure smells like irony to me..."

You are just too stupid to understand why Wikileaks needs such protections
in place. Read some of the other comments written by people who are smarter
than you are, for an explanation.

Do thieves trust other thieves? (1, Insightful)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100398)

Seems like normal business for them. I love the fact that they have been leaked themselves. Karma. Ain't it a bitch!

Smear Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100400)

Smells like it.

Is this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100410)

Is this to prevent the names of the informants being leaked? Just curious...

If I worked at wikileaks (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100416)

and found something damning (like Assange is a paid lackey of Putin), I sure as hell wouldn't hesitate to leak it to the press. Confidentiality agreement be damned.

Why do these groups think these things hold any power? It's just words on a page.

Re:If I worked at wikileaks (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100478)

words on a page backed by men with a guns.

Re:If I worked at wikileaks (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100508)

Their confidentiality agreement is backed by guns only if they can find a country who will enforce it for them. They don't currently seem to have a lot of countries in such a mood.

Re:If I worked at wikileaks (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100814)

>>>words on a page backed by men with a guns.

i.e. Fear the government men with the guns.

Re:If I worked at wikileaks (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100652)

This is a great way to owe someone 20 million dollars. Just agree to shit on paper because you think it doesn't mean anything.

Re:If I worked at wikileaks (5, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100728)

and found something damning (like Assange is a paid lackey of Putin), I sure as hell wouldn't hesitate to leak it to the press. Confidentiality agreement be damned.

Why do these groups think these things hold any power? It's just words on a page.

It isn't meant to stop really damning truth.
It's to stop "volunteers" from profiting immensely by pre-leaking the documents for a price.

A monetary fine is not a a deterrent for someone "doing the right thing".

It does deter people from profiting off the compromising of valuable data and the organization itself by altering the reward calculation.

Well (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100422)

Given that WL 'clean up' the documents before they leak them to the media, don't you think someone who'd leak the top secret information to the media, or the entire batch of uncleaned files... would be both dangerous and would ruin WL's credibility?

Re:Well (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100532)

That's a point that a lot of people here have missed completely. Wikileaks doesn't release material complete without redactions, the redactions might not be sufficient, but it's hard to say how much should be released when the party that doesn't want them released at all refuses to negotiate or participate.

The measures there are primarily to ensure that they are finished before they make it to the press. I doubt very much that it'll ever get to the point of legal proceedings.

And how do they plan (1)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100460)

on enforcing their fine? Take them to court? Ha.

Protecting sources? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100466)

I would presume that, in part, it's both for protecting their sources and the content they deem it would be unwise to leak.

Actually, that's not what it says... (5, Informative)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100472)

It appears nobody RTFPDF.

It nowhere states that anybody is going to be fined any amount of money.

E ... any breach by you is likely to cause loss and damage to Wikileaks including..
  d. loss of value of information
5. The parties agree that a genuine and reasonable pre-estimate loss to WikiLeaks from a breach of this agreement based on a typical open market valuation for the information for a significant breach of the agreement is in the region of £12,000,000.

Nowhere does it state that the signee will be liable to that value. Only that they agree they'll be terminated for a breach thereof. Agreeing to that value of a breach may open the path TO be sued for a figure in that region, however the summation that anyone who breaches will be fined £12,000,000 is a blatant falsehood.

Re:Actually, that's not what it says... (1)

Democritus the Minor (762206) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100650)

I'm REALLY not a lawyer, but I can't really see the penalty definied! This is all bullshit?

Re:Actually, that's not what it says... (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100714)

Indeed, the section E he refers to as saying that folks can be sued, never says anyone can be sued. Just that the parties agree as to what damages Wikileaks may suffer as a result of a breach. David Green simply made up the entire angle of staff being fined. Indeed, it is all bullshit. Thats why he stops 'quoting' directly, and starts saying stuff like:

The fifth recital paragraph, "E", is just as astonishing. It purports to extend what WikiLeaks can sue for beyond any direct loss that it might suffer if the gag is breached. WikiLeaks says it can sue for both "loss of opportunity to sell the information to other news broadcasters and publishers" and "loss of value of the information".

Well, if the agreement actually said that - he could quote it. Instead he puts his own words, and then inserts random quotations as to what folks can be "sued for". It's all a lie.

Re:Actually, that's not what it says... (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100800)

It does say that. It's not a lie, it's the truth.

Re:Actually, that's not what it says... (1, Informative)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100904)

No it doesn't.

8. You agree and accept that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you pursuant to this agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary information, the misuse or unauthorised disclosure of which would be likely to cause us considerable damage, and accordingly you concede that, without prejudice to any other rights and remedies that may be available to us in respect of Breach of this agreement, we are entitled to relief by way of injunction including any interim order available from any competent court having jurisdiction over its terms.

An injunction is not a £12,000,000 fine. It's an injunction. The injunction is the only legal remedy offered directly by the agreement. David Allen's (and New Stateman's claim) that "It purports to extend what WikiLeaks can sue for beyond any direct loss that it might suffer if the gag is breached." is completely false.

Re:Actually, that's not what it says... (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100862)

And we can't downvote stories anymore... Great.

So basically the entire submission is bullshit and there isn't a whole lot to be seen.

Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100488)

Google for "wikileaks itc ltd" and you will find... nothing. I say its part of the smear campaign.

Re:Fake? (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100624)

If it is, it's a bad one. The agreement never says anyone will be fined. New Statesman made that up.

Too bad (0, Flamebait)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100494)

Assange didn't gag those women he raped.

Re:Too bad (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100640)

allegedly raped. Just because someone says a crime was committed doesn't mean it was.

Hypocrites (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100518)

What a bunch of hypocrites.

It would be kinda funny (1)

thewils (463314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100536)

if the quoted figure of 12,000,000 was slightly different for each employee. Makes it easier to find out which one leaked the document then.

Re:It would be kinda funny (1)

asvravi (1236558) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100698)

What makes you think it wasn't? :P

Like it or not (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100566)

This is probably the only way for wikileaks to a. survive and b. get exposure through mainstream media. If information is not filtered to avoid imminent damage to life and limb of people on the ground, wikileaks and its sources will be subject to aggressive prosecution, not to mention seriously bad karma. And no newspaper will run a story without some kind of exclusive access agreement. If you truly want uncensored publication, there are millions of way to do so on Internet. You just will not get the same mainstream exposure and, if found, may find yourself a target of extradition or even covert ops.

Honor among thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100578)

These isn't any.

GNU is Not Unix? (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100620)

a legal document that states leaking our documents will subject you to a fine is leaked.....

If I were to leak to them.. (1)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100674)

knowing that legal framework is in place should one of their own rat me out would feel like added insurance.

Ohh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100696)

They deal with very sensitive information that they filter to protect people. It's not about trust it's about making sure some idiot doesn't release information that could get people killed.

I espect that this agreement exists... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100704)

...to be shown to whistleblowers who ask "How can I be sure one of your staff won't sell me out"?

Good thing they do (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100708)

If I had information I wanted to leak, I'd want them legally bound to secrecy too.

If it's true (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100732)

That's if the story is true.

It could be a plant. The FBI/CIA historically have planted stories in the US press. They were a year or two ago castigated for doing so in Iraq - purely fabricated stories making out things are improving, etc (which is a bit different, it's Iraq rather than the USA, but it's still flat out no-nonsense *lies* to the population, which we're supposed not to do) - so it's not like they can't.

Seems a bit odd, I think, that Wikileaks should have such a policy. Would be entirely against everything they stand for. Makes me think - hmm, I wonder... who'd like to make Wikileaks look real bad and who do I know who has the capability to plant stories in the press?

Basically, keep that little voice in your head going - the one which questions everything. Not paranoia, just making sure you're not falling prey to your own assumptions. Including the ones which say it's always the Gov, because the story *could* be true.

Ok, let the discussion begin (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100752)

Is Wikileaks hypocritical? Is it a false flag op to discredit them? If it's real, why is it there? If it's not, who would benefit from such a (pretty dumb, I have to add) attempt to destroy their credibility?

Personally, I won't make up my mind 'til I hear the other side. What does WL say 'bout it? I don't put one-sided trust into publications from a paper owned by a politician.

Wikileaks is no diff than evil multi-nationals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100788)

Wikileaks plays the same games "evil" multi-nationals and corrupt gov's play. They do it on purpose, but with a different intent. This is why they are effective; It is also why i support them. There is a reason they have this sort of agreement. Beyond that this is Wired. They are so pro weapons technology it is creepy. I would wager they are paid to promote the "coolness" of military weapons. Why? So many smart/informed people have ethical issue with working on military equip. I'm a soft. engineer and I wouldn't even think about working for Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon... i'm not the only one. Sure net-centric warfare is a cool problem, but it isn't for me. It isn't for me because of wikileaks and the internets in general

Wikileaks wants to retain the OPTION TO SELL (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100828)

Wikileaks expressly discusses the value of the leaked material as material to be sold to news organizations.

Assange's organization is EVIL.
Support open and free alternatives.

Am I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100910)

...that expected and article about corporate masturbation?

They can gag on their own bag of COCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100978)

F them!

Has anybody verified the source of the PDF...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101214)

Further to black3d's comment I would add that there is no way to check where this PDF came from. I've searched and cannot find the source of this document, so it may not even be a real document, just something somebody typed up. And even if it is a real document, from WL, how do we know that is the actual CA that employees sign? A bit more research is needed on this before we go calling this 'news'...

Goddamn hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101374)

Wikileaks is just a vehicle for Assange's ego.

He enjoys the notoriety, and it doesn't surprise me at all that the rules for confidentiality can be broken by him, but no-one else.

He's the biggest shit-stirrer of all time so far, but I'm pretty sure some-one bigger and better than him will surface eventually, and he will just be forgotten. In the meantime he's enjoying his moment in the spotlight immensely.

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