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WikiLeaks Sues the Guardian Over Leak

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the leaking-the-leakers dept.

The Courts 289

An anonymous reader writes "WikiLeaks complaining of a leak is hard to get one's head around. That it's suing The Guardian — its great ally — is even harder. That The Guardian did such a ridiculous thing to warrant litigation in the first place almost defies belief." Update: 09/01 04:59 GMT by S : Changed the first link to point to the statement on WikiLeaks' website. The Guardian has denied the allegations, saying, "Our book about WikiLeaks was published last February. It contained a password, but no details of the location of the files, and we were told it was a temporary password which would expire and be deleted in a matter of hours."

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Wikileaks should be happy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272114)

...this is a leak that can't be redacted or unleaked. Open world. That's what they wanted. Such is the nature of passwords, and basing a security policy on handing them to people you don't control and admonishing them not to divulge them. Cry me a river.

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (5, Insightful)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272170)

No this is a huge issue for Wikileaks. They got most of their documents from people on the inside who needed and WANTED the ASSURANCE that some of what they were handing wikileaks would be redacted, like operative names, and informant information. They wanted it to be a RESPONSIBLE release of information, one that doesn't have to be OK'd by the very people it would embarrass.

Now that wikileaks can't be trusted with keeping the UNREDACTED versions safe, they will lose a lot of sources.

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272316)

Assange is on record stating that he doesnt think there should be ANY secrets at all. A large number of slashdotters have reinforced that belief.

Why the hypocrisy all of a sudden?

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272342)

It's only hypocrisy if Aerorae is one of those that stated that there shouldn't be any secrets at all.

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (1)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272458)

Which, you will note, I didn't. :)

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272502)

I look at it from a different angle :

this proves a leak is possible within wikileaks itself, and as such , they should try to fix it.
It's better that the password is released to everyone, than to only a select few who would benefit from it.

I assume all wikileaks has to do is see the password, and change the password everywhere it was used.
However, their reaction seems to indicate it's not that simple.

But the fact that they bitch (and sue ) about it , rather than trying to fix the actual problem , is at least ironic.
A little self-reflection wouldn't hurt , it would only make them better.

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (3, Insightful)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272806)

How exactly do you propose they change a password in a file has already been downloaded by thousands of people?

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272508)

Why the hypocrisy all of a sudden?

We're not going to tell you. It's a secret.

Pragmatism (2)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272586)

This is eerily parallel to RMS with respect to copyright. Ideally, he would prefer that copyright not exist, but it is the basis for the GPL/copyleft model of enforced sharing.

Utilizing a resource which you would prefer not exist, but it does, to derive benefits in the meantime while you wait for it to be abolished, is not hypocrisy in my eyes --- providing that you do not claim that the resource is wholly bad, there is no problem with this. It only becomes hypocrisy if you add the additional logical error of "false dichotomy". Since I don't know anything about Assange's statement or its context, it's impossible for me to know whether it was absolute enough to warrant calling his position hypocritical.

Re:Pragmatism (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272658)

This is eerily parallel to RMS with respect to copyright. Ideally, he would prefer that copyright not exist, but it is the basis for the GPL/copyleft model of enforced sharing.

I think you make a valid point, but when I step back, I see Assange attempting to use governmental power (via the courts and associated governmental enforcement mechanisms) to keep secrets from the people.

Re:Wikileaks should be happy... (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272372)

If Wikileaks allowed a third party to have access to unredacted ANYTHING they are idiots.

Said third party might have government moles or spies looking to bust whoever leaked the stuff...or enemy moles looking to use the sensitive stuff to inflict damage.

Can't even try to read the fucking article (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272144)

Message not found

Message does not exist. Either you've got a bad link or the poster has deleted the message.

Lovely!

Re:Can't even try to read the fucking article (4, Funny)

xmark (177899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272154)

Sorry, it's been redacted.

Re:Can't even try to read the fucking article (2)

Soulskill (1459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272200)

I swapped out the original link with one pointing to the statement on their website, so it should work now.

Re:Can't even try to read the fucking article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272224)

Thanks for being so responsive.

Re:Can't even try to read the fucking article (-1, Troll)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272520)

Stop being a brown-noser. He just had nothing else to do while he waited for the grits to get warm.

yo dawg (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272150)

yo dawg, I heard you like leaks, so I leaked your leak, so you could sue while you get sued

Thed saying holds true... (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272160)

There is no honor amongst thieves.

Either you support leaks or you do not. Selective leaking is simply propaganda dressed up to look pretty.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272180)

It's going to get even funnier when we find out that the US State Department leaked it to The Guardian as payback for all the diplomatic cable leaks...

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272190)

There is no honor amongst thieves.

Either you support leaks or you do not. Selective leaking is simply propaganda dressed up to look pretty.

Just from curiosity: is the identity of the original leakers also subject to your postulate on selective leaking? (i.e. is there any category of information that should not leak?)

Re:Thed saying holds true... (3, Insightful)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272260)

is the identity of the original leakers also subject to your postulate on selective leaking?

It certainly is part of Assange's. I can only ever assume that it was the papers that heald him back. His redactions are a joke after all.

 

is there any category of information that should not leak?

Many say no. But claiming special dispensation on a leak .. that is just delicious.

-Seraphim

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272344)

is there any category of information that should not leak?

Many say no. But claiming special dispensation on a leak .. that is just delicious.

-Seraphim

I wonder what you understand on the difference between "secrecy in governance" and "personal privacy"/"anonymity"/"pseudonimity"?

Re:Thed saying holds true... (3, Insightful)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272618)

I understand them well. I would never cede their understanding to Julien Assange however. His *version* of them never involves himself, or perhaps always or only involves himself. If your life blood is "leaks" then you had best be squeaky clean yourself, and open. He is not. At least Robin Hood admitted he was a thief.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272646)

I understand them well. I would never cede their understanding to Julien Assange however. His *version* of them never involves himself, or perhaps always or only involves himself. If your life blood is "leaks" then you had best be squeaky clean yourself, and open. He is not. At least Robin Hood admitted he was a thief.

So, you don't deny the right of the "innocent" people to have their identity protected, you just deny Assange's right to complain that actions of The Guardian allegedly breached the rights to anonymity for these people?

Would it matter for you if I'm pointing that the complaint is actually issued by WikiLeaks as an organisation?

Why not? (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272364)

Just from curiosity: is the identity of the original leakers also subject to your postulate on selective leaking?

The names of many people who would not have like to have been named were in the documents leaked and released. I do not see why the person leaking should expect any special treatment in that regard; of course an organization that leaks that would see fewer leaks come in to be sure, but it is fair game if someone ELSE can extract it from the site data is leaked to...

You have to figure as a leaker it is more likely than not someone will figure out it is you, and be prepared for that eventuality. If the leak is truly important enough, that will not matter.

Re:Why not? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272460)

"would not have like to have been named " is very different to "were unfairly harmed by being named."

Yes sir, we have that in the back (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272512)

"would not have like to have been named " is very different to "were unfairly harmed by being named."

There were at least a few tribal leaders in Afghanistan named who were in fact worried about being killed, far worse than anything the leaker faces.

There is no difference at all, and in fact in many of these documents people are being named that are worried about being killed - also exact positions of military bases useful for mortars, etc.

Re:Why not? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272546)

Just from curiosity: is the identity of the original leakers also subject to your postulate on selective leaking?

The names of many people who would not have like to have been named were in the documents leaked and released.

Well, the devil in the details. It's not about what the people want or not, it's the difference between what one is doing (which is important) and the identity/position of the person doing it (which may be important - if that person has chances of persisting in doing it. e.g. Hillary asking for private data on UN officials - or may be not important - I didn't care to know who is the blonde nurse Gaddafi hold dear, she wasn't doing anything of consequence to Libyan people).

With the CableGate leak, WL seems to try protecting the identity of the people that are not of any consequence in the action.

I do not see why the person leaking should expect any special treatment in that regard; of course an organization that leaks that would see fewer leaks come in to be sure, but it is fair game if someone ELSE can extract it from the site data is leaked to...

Difference between expectations and risks. Would I be a leaker, I'd expect the leak destination to do everything possible to protect my identity (even if I would also be prepared for the risk of this not happening, I consider the expectation of anonymity as legitimate).

From this "generalized" angle (i.e. "category of info that should not leak") , I'm not seeing in any way as paradoxical the current WL action against Guardian. If WL is right, that's a breach in the agreement the two parties had, agreement by which WL were doing "their best" to keep the "innocent's identities" covered.

To put it in short: the fact that two actions share a common mean to reach a goal does not make the two actions equivalent.
I still don't see publishing facts and publishing person identities as being two similar actions only because both are done by "leaking".

Re:Thed saying holds true... (5, Insightful)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272210)

The point of leaking is to expose malfeasance. The point of redacting the leaked material was to limit collateral damage to those who had not acted poorly. You only leak what you need to leak in order to expose the bad acts and bad actors, but no more than that.

WikiLeaks' act of leaking the original (redacted) leaks and their suit against this new (non-redacted) leak are a consistent stance from the point of doing the most good while avoiding the most damage. But oh, to live in your simple world...

Re:Thed saying holds true... (4, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272322)

The point of leaking is to expose malfeasance. The point of redacting the leaked material was to limit collateral damage to those who had not acted poorly. You only leak what you need to leak in order to expose the bad acts and bad actors, but no more than that.

WikiLeaks' act of leaking the original (redacted) leaks and their suit against this new (non-redacted) leak are a consistent stance from the point of doing the most good while avoiding the most damage. But oh, to live in your simple world...

From the New York Times, August 30: "WASHINGTON — In a shift of tactics that has alarmed American officials, the antisecrecy organization WikiLeaks has published on the Web nearly 134,000 leaked diplomatic cables in recent days, more than six times the total disclosed publicly since the posting of the leaked State Department documents began last November. A sampling of the documents showed that the newly published cables included the names of some people who had spoken confidentially to American diplomats and whose identities were marked in the cables with the warning “strictly protect.” State Department officials and human rights activists have been concerned that such diplomatic sources, including activists, journalists and academics in authoritarian countries, could face reprisals, including dismissal from their jobs, prosecution or violence."

In other words, Wikileaks no longer gives a s*** about protecting peoples' identity as long as they can get some media attention, and probably never have. As soon as Wikileaks stopped being front-page news, they increased the volume of the leaks and stopped editing them. Headlines, after all, are far more important than people's heads. But oh, to live in your simple world...

Re:Thed saying holds true... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272456)

>s***

You can say "shit" here, Einstein.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272612)

In other words, it is the belief of the New York Times that Wikileaks no longer gives a s*** about protecting peoples' identity as long as they can get some media attention, and probably never have. The inference made was that as soon as Wikileaks stopped being front-page news, they increased the volume of the leaks and stopped editing them. One could draw the conclusion that headlines, after all, are far more important than people's heads. But oh, to live in your simple world...

There, I fixed it for you.
 
The New York Times (being a media organisation) is definitely interested in generating hype. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt and you'll eventually get the truth or, at the very least, you won't have an out-and-out lie.

NYT: Nixonian henchmen of today (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272798)

Ah yes, the NYTimes - The Nixonian henchmen of today [salon.com]

Apparently, faced with hundreds of thousands of documents vividly highlighting stomach-turning war crimes and abuses -- death squads and widespread torture and civilian slaughter all as part of a war he admired for years and which his newspaper did more than any other single media outlet to enable -- John Burns and his NYT editors decided that the most pressing question from this leak is this: what's Julian Assange really like?

Re:Thed saying holds true... (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272878)

"In other words, Wikileaks no longer gives a s*** about protecting peoples' identity"

Well it's about weighing the dangers against the benefits, and as the dangers to date have seemed to be completely negligible I'm not sure I can blame them. When they did it last time, no harm came from it, even the Pentagon agreed.

This time, when they worked with media organisations they got nothing but shit off them. The old school media being pissed off that they'd been shown up in terms of their lack of journalistic capability by a bunch of upstarts and their falling hook line and sinker for Domscheit-Berg's FUD, Domscheit-Berg being someone who, for all his talk has yet to actually achieve anything worthwhile whatsoever, and on the contrary has achieved plenty of things that frankly make him a dick.

If Wikileaks is going back to just leaking raw data then I don't blame them, they were better off that way not getting fucked by a media that wanted to pick and choose what to release and what to redact so it could pursue it's own political agenda, and then launch rabid attacks against Wikileaks when it was done.

I don't believe Wikileaks is anything like perfect, it has many problems, but they were better off just leaking data and not really doing anything beyond that. Everything more they have done, even when they've tried to do so because people are telling them it's more "ethical" has just blown up in their faces. So again, it's no surprise they've gone back to their original ways- things worked out much better for them back then. Even if you don't agree with what they do it's not hard to see why they're now doing what they're doing, and it's easy to see that an irresponsible media shares some of the blame because when it was given a chance to do things a bit better, it turned round and stabbed it's partner in the back.

Old school media is to blame for many Western problems due to the fact it's more interested in politics than news, this is yet another demonstration of that, and is why Wikileaks is sensible in just sticking to real actual news than wasting time playing the media's political games.

Of course, if you care about protecting people's identities and think it's important, Wikileaks have asked for volunteers to help do redactions themselves because otherwise they wouldn't have the manpower to do it, and leaking with minimal chance of harm has arguably demonstrated itself better than not leaking at all as it has exposed the likes of the corrupt Tunisian and Egyptian regimes giving more weight to the revolutions in those countries. Of course, if you're like most Slashdotters I'm sure rather than volunteering to do something about it you'll just sit bitching and moaning revelling in your inaction instead though.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272888)

Your opinion exactly mirrors the propaganda from the US government earlier. Brainwashed sheep.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272334)

The point of leaking is to expose malfeasance

So every one of those diplomatic cables exposed malfeasance? Tsvingarai is guilty of malfeasance?

WikiLeaks' act of leaking the original (redacted) leaks and their suit against this new (non-redacted) leak are a consistent stance from the point of doing the most good while avoiding the most damage.

Assange doesnt think there should be any secrets, and has a known axe to grind with the US. There may be other reasons for why he leaks the way he does, but one only has to see the edits that he did to "collateral murder" (or even the title he gave it) to see that hes hardly some noble unbiased source.

Leaking can be entirely political ... (4, Informative)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272348)

The point of leaking is to expose malfeasance.

Not necessarily. Leaking is also a tool of embarrassment, harassment, political manipulation, etc. When leaking selectively, one side and not the other, the point may be entirely political.

Re:Leaking can be entirely political ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272734)

When leaking selectively, one side and not the other, the point may be entirely political.

But to say that it is wrong to leak selectively is a pretty big step from it being political.

If you don't want people to leak bad stuff about you the solution is to not do bad stuff, not to hide it better.
To say that it should be OK to do bad stuff just because others are just as bad or worse is a pretty bad excuse and is pretty much an admission that you have no lower boundary to what you would do if you thought that you got away with it.

So if wikileaks is releasing US-only data the best thing to do would be if the US government only did things (with the taxpayers money) that they didn't mind if their population found out about. Pointing at WW2 Germany and saying "Hey, you should focus on those guys because they are worse than us!" is not really a good argument against wikileaks.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272398)

deciding "good" should not be wikileaks motive unless they want to be an old school political movement.

that just makes them users of power, instead of a tool for people(unable to do it themself) to publish things anonymously. when they decide what's good or bad, they're taking active part in politics of what's good or bad, deciding what's immoral and whats moral, deciding who is guilty and who is innocent, what's true and what's not - and by that way they get responsibility as well as they're no longer a carrier but also a censorship authority.

Luther wouldn't have had much liberating effect on the world if he had decided what's a good thing to have in the bible and what's not, only whole translation done as well as he could was worthwhile.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272408)

If you really believe that Wikileaks has no political agenda besides exposing malfeasance I have some documents I would like to sell you.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272410)

But oh, to live in your simple world...

Can't tell if you're serious or not.

You're calling him simple for saying that WIkileaks complaining about leaks of their redacted information (which you argue are for a good purpose) is hypocrisy. However you declare that their redaction was positive, that in fact hiding their data "for the greater good' or whatnot was a positive.

And yet you appear to support the idea of Wikileaks leaking data that a DIFFERENT area declared necessary to be hidden "for the greater good" to be perfectly fine.

If, however, you argue that it's the fact they're being *consistent* that makes them right, then the idea of the government continuing to hide things shouldn't be painful for you. Yes, politicians have called for greater transparency. But I don't recall many calling for absolute transparency.

How is declaring the side you support to be right, then declaring that the OTHER side is wrong in the *same exact situation* to be anything but hypocritical?

Oh, yes, of course. Some *minor subtleties* mean this is right and that is wrong. After all No TRUE Scotsman [wikipedia.org] would do that.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272562)

The purpose of accepting leaks as declared by Wikileaks is to expose malfeasance.

There, FTFY (otherwise "leaking" may a mean to various ends). Otherwise, all's well.

Assange's morality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272884)

is mighty flexible. There is no way to play this game without innocent casualties, knowing the nature of the regimes involved. I read Assange as a self promoting thief who has now lost the hole card. You may well expect an unfortunate accident in his near future, it is only a pity that his selfish actions have caused much death and suffering to the innocent who, it is inevitable, always get sucked into the meat grinder of history. Wikileaks has now joined that majority of political organizations who have innocent blood on their hands.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272228)

There is no honor amongst thieves.

Either you support leaks or you do not. Selective leaking is simply propaganda dressed up to look pretty.

Of course there is; they honor each other by stealing from each other.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272622)

There is no honor amongst thieves.

Either you support leaks or you do not. Selective leaking is simply propaganda dressed up to look pretty.

To me, this issue emphasizes one thing that's always bothered me about wikileaks.org: It's not actually a Wiki. Wikis are about maximum user freedom, but I don't think that's ever been true of wikileaks.org.

Re:Thed saying holds true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272664)

There is no honor amongst thieves.

Either you support leaks or you do not. Selective leaking is simply propaganda dressed up to look pretty.

Are you that stupid or are you trolling? Do you say to the police "Either you support hitting people on the head or you do not" if you read about them arresting someone for beating someone up?

"[Americans] learned in Earth's final century..." (4, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272162)

"...Free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master. "

Re:"[Americans] learned in Earth's final century.. (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272230)

We must dissent!

Re:"[Americans] learned in Earth's final century.. (1)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272264)

Yes, but if you believe the words that you are coming out of your typewritter, you are classified as a terrorist or a pedophile, by the lawfully elected government. I don't want to be a terrorist or a pedophile, so I must choose not to believe what you type.

-Right thinking is just as important as right actions.
-Minitruth.

Re:"[Americans] learned in Earth's final century.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272692)

You have denied access to information by your selective redaction of the original quote.

Urgent Message (1)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272188)

ASCII Art is dead on ./, and you are a Faggot.

Password (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272208)

The supposed password, as it appears on page 148 of the pdf [googlecode.com] version of the book, is ACollectionOfDiplomaticHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay#

Supposedly applies to "cables.csv" but not to the insurance.aes torrent released last year by Wikileaks.

Re:Password (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272386)

To me it shows a great lack of discretion by the Guardian or at least David Leigh. Even if passwords are temporary you do not leak them to the public. It potentially provides clues to others on how passwords are constructed, and the security systems used (it might not apply to wikileaks, but it certainly applies to many organizations).

Journalists change names of sources/interviewees/places all the time, the same should apply for passwords.

Re:Password (2)

Adayse (1983650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272684)

To me it shows a great lack of discretion by the Guardian or at least David Leigh.

I agree. The Guardian is one of my favourite publications but they shouldn't be claiming that their publishing the password was reasonable as they are doing. They undeniably and stupidly broke half the security making it likely that they are dumb enough to be the source of the file leak as well.

Re:Password (0)

Swave An deBwoner (907414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272480)

Unbelievable. Who believes that any government, tyrant, or thug that may have been interested in reading this "password protected file" would have been strongly deterred by a relatively short plaintext English language phrase (that even contains reference to the content of the file)?

Those spy guys have access to "lophtcrack" too, y'know; it's not just for wizards.

Who watches the watchmen? (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272234)

The coastguard?

I'm starting a new website, to be called 'Open-Wiki-Leaks-Leaks'.

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272254)

The coastguard?

I'm starting a new website, to be called 'Open-Wiki-Leaks-Leaks'.

...And then I'm going to start a website to publish the leaks on your website.

It's leaky turtles all the way down!!!

Re:Who watches the watchmen? (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272292)

...And then I'm going to start a website to publish the leaks on your website.

I take your leak and raise you a leak!

In saying that, I now really need to pee.

Food for thought (5, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272240)

FTFA:

Wikileaks complaining of a leak?

Yes, and damned well they should unless your moral views are very shallow.

How many US politicians are laughing at the Wikileaks/Guardian partnership exploding so spectacularly?

I'd say it's the CIA laughing. This is incredibly valuable for them. They lose some secrets, but they discredit the messenger (And anyone who tries to replace them) to prevent future leaks. If I was running the CIA, I'd certainly run a program to discredit Wikileaks. A few rape allegations here, an ideological schism in the organization alleging untrustworthiness, some unveiling of sources to make future sources afraid...

Does Wikileaks finally realise there's a need for secrecy/privacy in the world?

Finally? They've said that all along. That's why they were redacting the documents in the first place.

Does privacy/secrecy all boil down to where someone draws an arbitrary line in the sand?

Yes. The world is a fuzzy place and doesn't lend itself to simple morals where you can divide things into the dark side and the light side. At some point it just comes down to someone looking at the situation and doing what they feel is right.

Should a lack of privacy/secrecy be all or nothing?

Of course not. In general, I believe that the larger an entity is, the less privacy they deserve.

Is Wikileaks cementing views that it is or isn't an organisation of journalists who are guided by traditional journalistic ethics?

They publish the truth and protect sources who need protection. They've pretty much always been in that camp.

Re:Food for thought (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272280)

And the other side can use all the same arguments. Face it, you and wikileaks are engaging in pure hypocrisy here.

Re:Food for thought (2)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272352)

Speaking of people with black and white morals...

Sometimes exposing a secret is the right thing to do, sometimes not. That's not hypocrisy; that's just admitting that the subject is too complicated to boil down to "secrets should [not] be exposed".

Addendum (2)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272406)

After I wrote this, a great quote came to mind:

There it is. That's the ten word answer my staff's been looking for for two weeks. There it is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They're the tip of the sword. Here's my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it? Give me ten after that, I'll drop out of the race right now. Every once in a while... every once in a while, there's a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts. Other than that, there aren't very many unnuanced moments in leading a country that's way too big for ten words. I'm the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me. And by the way, if the left has a problem with that, they should vote for somebody else.

--President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet, from The West Wing

Re:Food for thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272428)

Oh, so wikileaks is judge, jury and executioner. Fuck that, I like people in those positions to at least pretend to be elected.

Re:Food for thought (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272550)

Really?

Elected juries? That sounds like a world of hurt to me.

Elected executioners? I guess you could, but surely that's just a standard job - it's not like the executioner chooses whom to execute or anything.

Elected judges? Well some US states seem too - but pretty much everywhere else thinks that's a great way to produce a biased judiciary that makes popular decisions rather than correct decisions.

Why the black and white morals? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272438)

Finally? They've said that all along. That's why they were redacting the documents in the first place.

You are attempting to claim Wikileaks is 100% pure here.

The reality is no-one can truly judge what should be redacted over thousands of documents. A lot of REALLY bad information was released and not redacted in the documents Wikileaks released. Names were named. Why you are trying to paint WikiLeaks as wholly noble when they are the same shade of grey is a mystery to me.

Yes they tried to redact some stuff, but you also cannot know WHY they redacted what they did - you can never know what ulterior motive Wkileaks might have had for redaction. Michelangelo once famously said when asked how he carved David that "It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn't look like David.". Well given enough documents you can tell whwatever story you like through redaction - and don't forget there are two levels at work, the leakers redactions in addition to WikiLeaks.

Re:Why the black and white morals? (2, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272644)

You are attempting to claim Wikileaks is 100% pure here.

No, I'm claiming that "Wikileaks [ ... ] realizes there's a need for secrecy/privacy in the world", and providing evidence to support that claim.

And yes, the job's too big for one person... that's why they were farming it out to reasonably respectable news organizations which are (well, should have been) capable of handling this level of journalistic ethics.

Have a look at the actual leaks. The redactions aren't like the black pages you get back on an FOIA request. They're omitting names and other specifics, but leaving the intention of the documents perfectly well intact. Sure, that can still be used to hide an agenda on WL's part, but that just calls for critical thinking skills.

I'm not giving them a free pass, but it does appear that they're trying to do the right thing. How could they even cheat at this? Tell their press partners "hey, we need to redact these documents but, uh, could you do it with this other agenda in mind?"

For better or worse, we'll find out: since the raw information is now available, we can see what was redacted and if it was done with an agenda.

Re:Food for thought (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272628)

FTFA:

Wikileaks complaining of a leak?

Yes, and damned well they should unless your moral views are very shallow.

Yes and damned well they should.

Because two actions use the same mean doesn't make the actions equivalent.
To put it into perspective: self-defense and premeditated murder may use a firearm. Are they equivalent?

Quote from the book listing password (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272270)

Eventually, Assange capitulated. Late at night, after a two-hour debate, he started the process on one of his little netbooks that would enable Leigh to download the entire tranche of cables. The Guardian journalist had to set up the PGP encryption system on his laptop at home across the other side of London. Then he could feed in a password. Assange wrote down on a scrap of paper: CollectionOfHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay# “That’s the password,” he said. “But you have to add one extra word when you type it in. You have to put in the word ‘Diplomatic’ before the word ‘History’ Can you remember that?” “I can remember that.” Leigh set off home, and successfully installed the PGP software.

Password listed: CollectionOfDiplomaticHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay#

Re:Quote from the book listing password (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272324)

So much for "don't use words, and especially not words in your field of interest".

And not taking the server down a few hours later as promised, but depending on others believing it was taken down so you could re-use it, is just "insecurity through obscurity."

Re:Quote from the book listing password (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272412)

I think you're missing a prefixed 'A' there.

Blow the.. (0)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272288)

Blow em all up, let God sort it out.

Re:Blow the.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272382)

God, if ever there was a sign that Slashdot was dead, this is it. Congratulations, sir or madam. You were the final straw.

Wikileaks change of position? (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272318)

Leaking unredacted documents is exactly what wikileaks was widely criticized for in their first big release (~70k cables). In that case, they staunchly defended the practice. Now they're complaining, and even suing over the exact same thing, only they weren't the ones to expose them this time. When did they change their position on this issue? And if they have changed it, are they now prepared to apologize for their prior behavior?

Re:Wikileaks change of position? (5, Informative)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272374)

Your post basically answers itself. They did change their position on the issue because they got a lot of heat for not redacting the cables. That is why for the past year (with the Cablegate cables) they have been working with news organisations to carefully redact them before releasing, and releasing them in small batches a few at a time. That has consistently been WL's position for the past year. Complaining that The Guardian released the cables that were supposedly sent to them for the sole purpose of redacting them is not inconsistent with their recent position.

(I have often said that one is not a hypocrite for changing one's beliefs, only for simultaneously saying one thing and doing another.)

Re:Wikileaks change of position? (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272498)

As I said in my initial post, changing position is fine. However, when you change your (in this case very public) position, you should publicly acknowledge that you have done so, and take responsibility for any issues your prior position caused. To my knowledge, they have done none of that. Last I heard from them is that they were "right" to release the unredacted cables in the past, and "it didn't matter because no harm was done". That's an irresponsible position to take. If they have apologized or accepted responsibility for their earlier irresponsibility, please direct me to it, because I not seen it. Until then, I still consider them to be irresponsible hypocrites.

Re:Wikileaks change of position? (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272554)

Ok, I didn't actually say it's ok to change positions in my initial post, but it was implied by my comments about apologizing for any issues caused by their previous position.

Idiots. (5, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272328)

Who in their right mind would think it okay to publish a password and publish the correct one? They could have published the same book with a fake password all the same, yet obviously it was the password.

As for it being temporary, it wasn't an access password, but a decryption password. And in the eyes of the law, why would what Wikileaks said even matter if non-disclosure was part of their arrangement?

Re:Idiots. (2)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272402)

Yes -- very well put about the access password vs decryption password. To put it another way, there was no point in having the password at all if the password was eventually to be made public.

JA sent a file over the network, then deleted it afterwards. There are two scenarios: we can either a) assume that nobody did or ever will get their hands on the data being sent, or b) assume that someone might have or might in the future get their hands on the data. If we're going with (a), then we don't need a password at all -- it could have been sent in the clear. Obviously, that isn't the assumption we are operating under. So it must be (b), and therefore, we should assume that that password is a highly sensitive secret for the rest of time. It should have been destroyed.

Perhaps the mistake was trusting this complicated logic to a man who didn't know how to use 7-zip.

Re:Idiots. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272866)

> Perhaps the mistake was trusting this complicated logic to a man who didn't know how to use 7-zip. The fact that journalists in this age and day do not know how to manipulate encrypted files still bewilders me.

Re:Idiots. (3, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272466)

Who in their right mind would think it okay to publish a password and publish the correct one?

I am guessing that the choice of password played into this. Had it been random, nonsensical and dull it probably wouldn't have been published, but "CollectionOfDiplomaticHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay#" has descriptive value.

I remember hearing or reading about an idea that involved identifying a leaker by seeding different people with documents that contained juicy, unique phrases to tempt journalists into quoting them directly, thereby identifying the source of the document.

This isn't the same, but having a password that has meaning in relation to the contents of the documents certainly adds some risk. A pass phrase should be context free.

Only in the USA... (1)

solanum (80810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272340)

...can someone who illegally obtained classified documents and released them into the public domain then sue someone else for stealing their illegally obtained documents and releasing them into the public domain.

For what it's worth it seems much more likely to me that someone within WikiLeaks who was disaffected them stole the data/password and release them than the Guardian did it. Just because it was the (supposedly) time limited password given to the Guardian doesn't mean no one else had access to it.

Re:Only in the USA... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272470)

Name one law Wikileaks has broken - and here's a clue, it's zero. Said documents pass the public interest test and thence Wikileaks DOES NOT HAVE ILLEGAL DOCUMENTS

Re:Only in the USA... (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272472)

...can someone who illegally obtained classified documents and released them into the public domain then sue someone else for stealing their illegally obtained documents and releasing them into the public domain.

The two situations are totally different. The very reason that nobody can sue Julian Assange (or any other newspaper that has ever leaked something) is because they did not "illegally [obtain] classified documents". There is a deliberate asymmetry in the law here: it is illegal to disseminate classified information, but it is not illegal to receive or publish it. That is why Bradley Manning is locked up, but Julian Assange is not (well, not relating to the cables anyway).

On the other hand, WikiLeaks and The Guardian had a contractual obligation not to divulge the contents of those cables. Nobody at WikiLeaks "leaked" the cables to The Guardian -- they were transferred to The Guardian under contract. This is a case of breach of contract, nothing else.

For what it's worth it seems much more likely to me that someone within WikiLeaks who was disaffected them stole the data/password and release them than the Guardian did it. Just because it was the (supposedly) time limited password given to the Guardian doesn't mean no one else had access to it.

Maybe cut back on the conspiracy theories. Nobody is denying the facts here (the only thing that's in contention is where the blame lies). The story comes straight from the book written by The Guardian editors -- Julian Assange gave the password to Leigh, and he published the password in his book. The problem is that Leigh thought it was a time limited password, when it wasn't. (If he knew anything about cryptography, it would have been obvious that it wasn't, because it was a decryption password, not an access password.)

Re:Only in the USA... (2)

solanum (80810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272566)

Sorry, the first part was meant to be funny... As for the second, according to the Guardian at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/01/unredacted-us-embassy-cables-online [guardian.co.uk]

"The embassy cables were shared with the Guardian through a secure server for a period of hours, after which the server was taken offline and all files removed, as was previously agreed by both parties. This is considered a basic security precaution when handling sensitive files. But unknown to anyone at the Guardian, the same file with the same password was republished later on BitTorrent, a network typically used to distribute films and music. This file's contents were never publicised, nor was it linked online to WikiLeaks in any way.

"Our book about WikiLeaks was published last February. It contained a password, but no details of the location of the files, and we were told it was a temporary password which would expire and be deleted in a matter of hours.

So 1) WikiLeaks knew the password was out there many months ago, 2) if they were TOLD the password was temporary they didn't misunderstand anything...

Re:Only in the USA... (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272730)

Yes but this is what I meant by "Nobody is denying the facts here (the only thing that's in contention is where the blame lies)." -- I accept that there is a debate going on as to who said what was temporary and who should or shouldn't have disclosed what. But the following facts are not in dispute: (1) WikiLeaks provided the documents (encrypted) and passphrase to Guardian, (2) Guardian editors revealed passphrase in book. So there is no need for a theory that someone else got hold of the password: Leigh published it. I'm not sure who published the encrypted data, but I believe it was WL themselves. Following cryptographic principles, WL was not at fault to publish the encrypted data, because that isn't the part that was supposed to be secret; the passphrase was.

To your points: (1) Yes, WikiLeaks did know the password was out there many months ago. They did not make a public statement about it until today, because they didn't want to draw attention to it. At the time of the book's publishing, the encrypted files were already available online, and there was nothing that anybody could have done to keep it from getting out (besides not saying anything). WikiLeaks had no power to change the password or revoke the file by that time.
I wrote a full post [tumblr.com] on this issue.
(2) I find it very hard to believe that WL would have told the guardian that the password was temporary, since it clearly wasn't (it was PGP). I imagine there was a misunderstanding which went something along these lines:
1. JA hosts a file on a private server. The connection to the server itself is over SSL. However, JA knows that SSL is not sufficient to prevent others from downloading the file, since it doesn't require authentication on the part of the client. So he also encrypts the file itself.
2. JA explains to DL that the connection to the server is encrypted and the file will only be temporarily hosted. DL, by his own admission a non-technical person (he needed JA's help to use 7-zip) misunderstands this as "the password on the file is temporary."
3. JA separately hands DL a piece of paper containing the password to decrypt the file.
4. DL downloads and decrypts the file using the password.
5. JA is operating under the assumption that the encrypted file is public (since it was available on an open network, via SSL, but still available to the public). Therefore, it is safe to distribute the same file on another date (I'm not exactly sure how this encrypted file eventually got out, but suffice to say that it is now public, and this is cryptographically not to be unexpected or a problem).
6. DL, not realising the importance of the password (he figures that now that the file has been taken off JA's server, the password is no longer valid) writes it down into his book.
7. The editors, under pressure to release, do not vet the contents of the book, and publish it.
8. JA reads the book and finds the password. By this point, it is too late to do anything other than keep silent about it as long as possible.

Re:Only in the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272766)

Manning is in jail because he violated his Oath and abused his position and access credentials in an attempt to smear the US Military in retaliation for their (admittedly draconian) policies regarding homosexuals.

Julian is not in jail because he's not a US citizen and anything he did which is illegal under US law was done outside our country's jurisdiction... so he can't legally be held to account for them.
Now there's a little murkiness surrounding the circumstances of how exactly Manning sent the documents to Assange- if Assange or Wikileaks asked Manning to do it, then they are actually committing Espionage and the entire story changes.

Re:Only in the USA... (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272552)

Anybody can sue anybody about anything almost anywhere. Frivolous crap like this gets thrown out of court pretty fast.

A lawsuit exposes Wikileaks to civil discovery. Civil discovery is very broad. Think about the story that the Guardian could write with what they learn about Wikileaks personnel in the civil discovery process. Think about the secrecy that Wikileaks gives up by prosecuting a lawsuit.

This is posing. Assange is a nauseating individual. While Bradley Manning sits his ass in jail, that scumbag Assange fritters away the donations of true believers in a frivolous lawsuit that will never go anywhere.

Re:Only in the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272772)

Illegally obtained? No, not really.

If I rob a bank, then hire a taxi and pay him out of some of the money I stole, that does not directly implicate the cabby in my crime.

You were fine when the subjects of the leaks were the President back in 72, what's changed?

OT: Thank you Samzenpus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272404)

I didn't see the original submission. And I don't know if he saw my plea on this blatantly self-serving post [slashdot.org] which got modded down to oblivion (only to be followed my many more from other people). But if you actually shouldered your editorial burden and edited out a middle-man indirection link page, I whole-heartedly applaud you and forgive you one dupe*.

*Some limitations apply. See store for details.

Re:OT: Thank you Samzenpus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272500)

AC: here. Actually, it was Soulskill. And actually, it was because the link was broken, not because of any realization that link indirection is a plague. So, business as usual.

Which part is secret? (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272436)

It has often been said in security that the first law of security is being clear about what is a secret and what is not. Once we have decided that, we can safely distribute the non-secrets as long as we hide the secrets. This is, for example, why I am perfectly comfortable revealing my public key to everybody on the planet.

So who is to blame? In one corner, WikiLeaks (allegedly... I'm not clear on the details) released this encrypted file to the public. In the other corner, The Guardian released the passphrase. WikiLeaks blames The Guardian for releasing the passphrase, while The Guardian blames WikiLeaks for releasing the enciphered data (it claims that it was a one-time password that should have been safe to give out).

Clearly, from a cryptographic standpoint, WikiLeaks is right here, and The Guardian is at fault. We must be operating under the assumption that the encrypted data file is non-secret, and the passphrase is secret. That is why it was safe to transmit the encrypted data file over the Internet, but Julian wrote the passphrase down on a piece of paper and handed it directly, as well as verbally giving Leigh an unwritten salt.

Re:Which part is secret? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272898)

Why is wikileaks in the right?

What kind of security policy is this, giving trust to outsiders, hoping that they will do the right thing? You may have the contract on your side, but litigation will not put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Really it's just shoddy security practices by Wikileaks. They could have managed this in a way where they did not have to trust the reporter to do the right thing.

The Guardian.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272462)

...is as dodgy as a 9 dollar note.

The password is: (1)

Reality Master 301 (1462839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272476)

ACollectionOfDiplomaticHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay#

Irony? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272558)

I think not. Alanis Morrissette never mentioned Wikileaks.

Is this a circle jerk . . . (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272636)

. . . performed by lawyers on behalf of their clients?

only confirms (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37272814)

This only confirms what kind of hypocrits the wikileaks guys are.. Leaking other people's secrets is ok, but if you leak theirs.... All they wanted was some fame, it never was about really doing something right..

we need to go deeper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37272868)

so now we have a leak inside a leak. We need to go deeper. We need to have a leak inside a leak inside a leak.

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