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The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Monday, Day 79 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Monday, Day 79

As I’ve done for more than 11 weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me at epic1934@aol.com, Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks, just updated, in print or as e-book.

UPDATE:  Go here for Tuesday's version of this blog.

8:55  The HBGary / Anonymous / U.S. Chamber of Commerce "dirty tricks" scandal has now made the Wash Post in big story by Dan Eggen.  Opens:  "A feud between a security contracting firm and a group of guerrilla computer hackers has spilled over onto K Street, as stolen e-mails reveal plans for a dirty-tricks-style campaign against critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce....The e-mails revealed, among other things, a series of often-dubious counterintelligence proposals aimed at enemies of Bank of America and the chamber. The proposals included distributing fake documents and launching cyber-attacks."

8:45  HBGary has posted response to the Anonymous email hacking (see below), threatening law enforcement action -- and announcing they had pulled their booths and canceled all talks at RSA conference due to alleged "threats."  More:  "A group of aggressive hackers known as 'Anonymous'  illegally broke into computer systems and stole proprietary and confidential information from HBGary, Inc. This breach was in violation of federal and state laws, and stolen information was publicly released without our consent.  In addition to the data theft, HBGary individuals have received numerous threats of violence including threats at our tradeshow booth.

"In an effort to protect our employees, customers and the RSA Conference community, HBGary has decided to remove our booth and cancel all talks.  HBGary is continuing to work intensely with law enforcement on this matter and hopes to bring those responsible to justice." 

7:25  Radio interview with me re: WIkiLeaks and why it's a "big deal."

7:20  If you're a media person or blogger likely to cover or review my new WikiLeaks book, drove me a line at email above and I might just gift you an e-book version (especially if you send along your Amazon or Kindle handle). 

7:05  Via Wired, "Spy Games: The Plot to Bring Down WikiLeaks."  Yes, it's Aaron Barr and friends.  Love the movie poster.

5:35  The fabled Alan Dershowitz joins Assange legal team for the U.S. vs. Twitter hearing tomorrow in Alexandria, VA.

5:30  Wired's Kim Zetter with a long piece on The Guardian's WikiLeaks books with some revelations that have not gotten all that much attention, including alleged email hacking at that paper and NYT.

5:24 In answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book not only in print but for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. And print version still here. Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and others.

4:20  Well-known columnist Ed Wasserman wonders what NYT ed Bill Keller really has against Assange. "What gives? Since when is an honest source pilloried? You would have thought Assange had deceived the paper, like the trusted U.S. officials who in 2002 fed The Times garbage about an Iraqi nuclear program and helped dupe the United States into a murderous and needless war. When will a top Times editor publish an account that even names those sources, let alone belittles them for their wardrobes?"

4:05  Important piece by Bill Moyers -- and he even gives me a shout out near the end.

3:30  Here's the ACLU's press release on the big court hearing tomorrow:  "The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will be in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday, February 15 at 10:30 a.m. EST for a hearing in a legal battle over the government’s demands for the records of several Twitter users in connection with an investigation related to WikiLeaks.

"The ACLU and EFF represent Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one of the Twitter users whose records were sought by the government. They have asked the court to unseal the still-secret court records of the government's attempts to collect private records from Twitter, Inc., as well as other companies who may have received demands for information from the government. The groups have also asked the court to overturn the December 14 court order requiring Twitter to provide information about its users.

"The motions were joined by attorneys from the law firm Keker & Van Nest LLP and the Law Office of John D. Cline on behalf of Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, respectively, as well as local counsel in Virginia. The government has also requested information concerning Appelbaum and Gonggrijp's Twitter accounts."

2:15 WikiLeaks issue press release on tomorrow’s big hearing in Alexandria, Va. in case of US prosecutors trying to get info out of Twitter. “It is understood that Twitter will resist the order, so as to protect the privacy of its customers. Assange said today, ‘This is an outrageous attack by the Obama administration on the privacy and free speech rights of Twitter’s customers—many of them American citizens. More shocking, at this time, is that it amounts to an attack on the right to freedom of association, a freedom that the people of Tunisia and Egypt, for example, spurred on by the information released by Wikileaks, have found so valuable.’ Wikileaks said it was confirmed that other service providers like Google and Facebook and Yahoo may also have been served with a production order back in December, at the same time as Twitter, and may already have provided information to the government by way of a deal under the secrecy provisions introduced by the Patriot Act.”

2:00 Tantalizing item on Swiss paper joining ranks of those with access to cables: “Le Temps will run a series of stories surrounding Wikileaks information. The Swiss newspaper focuses on the 6,000 or so confidential cables that involve Switzerland, notably Switzerland’s relationship with the United States post-9/11 and throughout the UBS banking ordeal. The newspaper says it expects hackers to hit the site after the articles run and is reinforcing its web security as such.”

1:50 Think Progress with latest scoop on US Chamber–gate. FireDogLake with major probe of HPGary affair or “Operation Ratfu$k.”

12:25 Andy Greenberg at Forbes with another valuable post: It seems that the HBGary e-mails (see below) reveal that they weren’t just interested in going after WikiLeaks and supporters like Glenn Greenwald—they also targeted donors. “The security firms ‘need to get people to understand that if they support the organization we will come after them,’ he [Aaron Barr] wrote in an e-mail. ‘Transaction records are easily identifiable.’ ”

11:00 Here’s site for those promised Anonymous hacked emails from HBGary—now 71,000 in number. It’s even searchable. And here’s a WL Central report.

10:50 The Guardian with a rather key correction on quote in its Palestine Papers coverage. Then blogger lays in to them.

10:35 Media in Finland got WikiLeaks cables a few days ago, and now a Peruvian paper got 4,000 pages. It has report on how it got the paper, possibly from Assange directly in England (in Spanish).

9:40: Latest, and longest, comment on WikiLeaks from Hillary Clinton comes via new Harper’s Bazaar of all places: “Clinton approached the issue the way she approaches everything: pragmatically. Over many ‘long days,’ she made call lists and methodically worked her way through them. ‘I told somebody, ‘You know how rock groups go on these global tours? I should have a jacket that says THE APOLOGY TOUR because everywhere I go, I’m apologizing for any embarrassment,” she says wryly.

“The real danger of WikiLeaks, Clinton argues, is ‘a third category where, because of what was exposed, people are physically at risk. They are sources for us, they are human-rights advocates, they are whistle-blowers around the world. So that’s been the most long-lasting damage, and it’s serious damage.’ ”

8:35 Interesting interview w/ social anthropologists who expects Assange to get extradited to Sweden—and in much more danger there of then ending up in USA. Swedish press, more conservative than one might think, less prone to back WikiLeaks and Assange. Gets into Karl Rove (“he has some Swedish roots”) advising political leaders there.

7:35 We mentioned that Four Corners program last night with much on Manning and related issues, now there’s a transcript. Lengthy report on the whole WikiLeaks saga, Manning and Assange, attempts to break him in prison, not a lot new but hits lot of points. Kevin Mitnick, famous hacker himself, raises issues about the Adrian Lamo “chat logs” with Manning: “I call into question the authenticity of those chat logs. Because I know his personality, then I call into question—well if he is the sole person that had access to these chat logs, could’ve he modified them so he would have a great story to tell, so he would attention? I don’t know.”

7:30 More cables show split in NATO between “Gang of 5” (plus Portugal) as allegedly pro-Russian vs. a US-led bloc.

7:20 The Guardian reviews cables on key military and government leader in Egypt now, Tantawi, and finds him wanting. “Nothing Egypt’s military council has done in its past suggests it has the capacity or inclination to introduce speedy and radical change. Guaranteed its $1.3bn (£812m) annual grant from the US.… it has gained the reputation as a hidebound institution with little appetite for reform. The frustration of the military’s American benefactors shines through in leaked US cables, where the criticism focuses mostly on the man at the top, 75-year-old Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi.”

7:15 Bloomberg: Will Assange legal team’s attack on Swedish justice and prosecutor backfire badly?

7:10 New cables reveal NATO’s view of Russian military as second-rate, relying on old equipment and so on. “Confidential cables from the U.S. mission to NATO released Monday by WikiLeaks said the Russian armed forces were able to respond only to a small to mid-sized local conflict in its western regions.”

12:10 We’ll mark Arcade Fire winning Grammy for best album, in upset, with link (apt for this blog) to them doing “Intervention” on SNL awhile back.

12:05 London’s Independent looks at Guardian and Assange—and is critical of both.

12:00 InfoWorld: 2011 as the year “hacking” goes mainstream. Hack or be hacked.

From late Sunday

@WikiLeaks tweets: “Almost all the important arguments for and against WikiLeaks are in the comments to this blog post at FAS http://is.gd/aMQeDZ.”

Four Corners program says White House trying to “break” Bradley Manning to implicate Assange. David House on Manning and “torture.” Also covers alleged “internal” debate at WikiLeaks over publishing the cables, as it might hurt Manning’s legal chances. Not sure if any of this is new.

Assange’s mum says US has a “fatwa” out against her son—and he has all kinds of “ticks” on his back, whatever that means.

BBC covers Guardian’s Luke Harding’s return to Moscow (we had reported below).

 

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