Archive for 2011/01/11
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of the Icelandic parliament who helped with WikiLeaks’ release of a classified U.S. military video, is being represented by the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier FoundationPosted: 2011/01/11 in Education / Awareness, Litigation
A Fine Gael spokesman said American internet firm ElectionMall, which reported the cyber attack to US authorities, informed the party the FBI were now involved.
The US Embassy to Iceland maintains that the US authorities’ inquiries into the MPs online communication via Twitter are legal.”We assured the Icelandic government that the investigation of the United States Department of Justice is in accordance with American law and follows all guidelines on court regulations and a fair trial affirmed in the United States Constitution and the appropriate federal law,” the embassy’s spokesperson Laura Gritz said in an announcement released after the meeting.
WikiLeaks will step up its publication schedule of secret documents, founder Julian Assange announced Tuesday, promising more revelations based on the group’s stash of confidential U.S. embassy cables and other leaks.
“We are stepping up our publishing for matters related to Cablegate and other materials,” Assange said. “Those will shortly be occurring through our newspaper partners around the world — big and small newspapers and some human rights organizations.”
Defense attorney Mark Stephens made the assertion in a 35-page document (.pdf) released Tuesday
An intriguing aspect of the WikiLeaks saga is the story behind the arrest and public unmasking of Private Bradley ManningPosted: 2011/01/11 in Education / Awareness
The public first learned about Manning’s arrest not from the New York Times or the Washington Post but from Wired.com, the sister website to the magazine Wired. The scoop came from reporters Kevin Poulsen and Kim Zetter. And here’s where the story gets interesting.
In the late 1980s, Poulsen was a computer hacker. Under the nom de guerre “Dark Dante,” Poulsen accomplished a number of inventive, if not strictly legal, feats. As a 17-year-old he allegedly hacked his way into the Defense Department’s ARPANET. He later hacked private corporations, such as Pacific Bell, and various federal systems, where he uncovered information about ongoing FBI investigations. This was enough to get the feds after him; he was indicted in 1989. At the time, the Department of Justice’s cybercrime unit, which rode herd on Poulsen’s case, was headed by a fellow named Mark Rasch.
With the FBI at his heels, Poulsen went on the lam for 17 months. During his run, he hacked into the phone system of a Los Angeles radio station, 102.7 KIIS-FM. He took control of their phone bank and used it to win various contests by arranging things so that he could always be the 102nd caller. His fabulous prizes included a Porsche 944 S2, a vacation to Hawaii, and $20,000 in cash. When Poulsen was featured on the true-crime TV program Unsolved Mysteries, the show’s 1-800 tip line was mysteriously disabled.
The fun ended in April 1991 when Poulsen was arrested at a supermarket in Sherman Oaks, at 10 o’clock at night. In 1994 he pled guilty to an array of charges, including wire and computer fraud. He served a total of five years in jail.
Upon his release, Poulsen became a journalist. He wrote first for Security¬Focus, a website dedicated to information and cybersecurity. Oddly enough, one of SecurityFocus’s other contributors was Mark Rasch, who by that time had left the Justice Department and gone into the private sector.
Poulsen has become an enterprising-and quite excellent-reporter. He occupies an unusual position in journalism, possessing not only an enormous amount of technical expertise, but also contacts in both the reformed and unreformed hacker worlds. In 2000, Poulsen was working on a piece about security issues at AOL when he interviewed a hacker named Adrian Lamo.
As Poulsen later explained, “Lamo was nearly unique among hackers of that period, in that he had no evident fear of discussing his unlawful access, regardless of the inevitable legal consequences. He cracked everyone from Microsoft to Yahoo, and from MCI to Excite@Home. And he freely discussed how he did it, and sometimes helped the victim companies close their security holes afterward.” Over the years, Poulsen and Lamo became friendly, with Poulsen frequently using Lamo as a source.
In May 2010, Poulsen wrote a story for Wired.com about Lamo’s having been institutionalized for Asperger’s syndrome. The piece was read by Private Manning in Iraq and it struck a chord; he immediately reached out to Lamo and initiated a series of online chats and emails. It was during the course of these conversations that Manning confessed to Lamo that he had given a mountain of classified material-including the “Collateral Murder” video-to WikiLeaks.
Lamo was a hacker who operated on the fringes of the law, but he knew the difference between computer crime and offenses like Manning’s that could get people killed. He was troubled by what Manning had told him and consulted some people in cybersecurity. One of them was Chet Uber, the head of a rag-tag volunteer group, Project Vigilant, which attempts to (legally) compile evidence of cybercrime and forward it to the authorities. Uber asked Lamo to talk with Rasch, who is listed as Project Vigilant’s general counsel. (There is some dispute as to how serious Project Vigilant is; Rasch demurely describes the group as mostly “aspirational.”) Both Uber and Rasch urged Lamo to give his chat logs to the FBI. On May 25, he met with FBI agents at a Starbucks near his house in Carmichael, California.
The entire affair lasted barely a week: Manning reached out to Lamo on May 21 and was arrested within days. Lamo told Poulsen about his contact with Manning, and Poulsen, after Manning was taken into custody, convinced Lamo to give Wired.com a copy of the chat logs and to go on the record.
WikiLeaks to U.S. Politicians & Media: “Stop Inciting Assange’s Murder” – Don’t Call for Our Murder, EitherPosted: 2011/01/11 in Education / Awareness
Is the Government Alleging Bradley Manning Loaded Encryption Software onto DOD Computers? (Timeline included)Posted: 2011/01/11 in Education / Awareness, Public Policy
If someone allegedly gave Manning encryption software that would help download documents to pass onto Wikileaks, then presumably Manning deployed that in Iraq. And if someone from Wikileaks allegedly gave Manning software that subsequently got loaded onto DOD computers in Iraq, then it might explain their current theory of prosecution for conspiracy to leak this information.
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange will appear in court in London today for a hearing on efforts by Swedish authorities to extradite him to face allegations of the rape and sexual assault of two womenPosted: 2011/01/11 in Education / Awareness, Litigation
Court authorities said yesterday, however, that a final decision will not be made until a two-day court hearing in February
Soghoian ponders why the Department of Justice did not appoint someone “more senior” to the case, as it is, “the most high-profile national security investigation of the decade”.
“It may simply be that Doherty-McCormick, through her experience in prosecuting pedophiles caught in online stings, may be the most tech savvy prosecutor in her office, and thus could have been brought in to help with the investigation on that basis alone,” he speculates. “However, the technical knowledge involved in tricking a pedophile into meeting what he believes is a 13 year-old girl isn’t quite the same as is required by someone investigating a sophisticated organization run by skilled computer security researchers.”
Soghoian also notes that Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp, and Julian Assange are all experts in computer security and likely would not have trusted Twitter with anything of a private nature, thus he expects little to come of the order.
Park Chan-wook, one of South Korea’s best directors, gets lots of attention when he introduces a new movie. About 100 reporters showed up Monday morning for a screening of his latest work, a 30-minute short called “Paranmanjang,” which is Korean for “Ups and Downs.”
Some were there because of the way Mr. Park made the movie: shooting it entirely on the latest version of Apple Inc.’s iPhone.