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Baby Face Snowden Meets the Cyber-Wandervogel

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

” . . . . sort of Jew­ish . . . .” Julian Assange’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the BBC.  [Assange was charg­ing that British news out­let with fronting for an inter­na­tion­al Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy against him.]

“. . . they’re act­ing like a cult. They’re act­ing like a reli­gion. They’re act­ing like a gov­ern­ment. They’re act­ing like a bunch of spies. They’re hid­ing their iden­tity. They don’t account for the mon­ey. They promise all sorts of good things. They sel­dom let you know what they’re real­ly up to. . . There was sus­pi­cion from day one that this was entrap­ment run by some­one unknown to suck a num­ber of peo­ple into a trap. So we actu­ally don’t know. But it’s cer­tainly a stan­dard coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence tech­nique. . . .” John Young, an orig­i­nal Wik­iLeaks founder on why he broke with the group.

COMMENT: It comes as no sur­prise that the milieu of Wik­iLeaks and that of Baby Face Snow­den are now pro­fes­sion­al­ly over­lapped. (Snow­den’s leak­er of choice, Glenn Green­wald, was also involved with the Wik­iLeaks affair.)

One of Wik­iLeaks’ finan­cial assis­tants has offered to fly Snow­den to Ice­land, in order to receive polit­i­cal Asy­lum. Ola­fur Vig­nir Sig­urvins­son, head of Dat­a­Cell (which has been accept­ing funds for Wik­iLeaks), is pony­ing up for the air­craft.

Sig­urvinsson’s Dat­a­Cell is presided over by Andreas Fink, a mem­ber of the Swiss Pirate Party–see text excerpt below. (The “Pirate Vor­tex,” as we call the Pirate Bay/Pirate Par­ty crowd, are of “anarcho/Utopian” polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion, but have been maneu­vered into back­ing hard-core fas­cist insti­tu­tions and under­tak­ings. Hell, they haven’t even come to terms with their Nazi finan­cial angel Carl Lund­strom’s activ­i­ties. Ger­many’s Pirate Par­ty has tak­en stock of the Nazi infil­tra­tion of its ranks.)

Is this Julian Assange?

Our lengthy dis­cus­sions about Wik­iLeaks and the Snow­den oper­a­tion are beyond the scope of this indi­vid­ual post.

(For an overview of Wik­iLeaks, we rec­om­mend that readers/listeners stretch take time to peruse FTR #‘s 724, 725, 732, 745.)

Suf­fice it to say that Wik­iLeaks, as well as the U‑2 Inci­dent-like activ­i­ties of Snow­den, give every indi­ca­tion of being far-right, Nazi-linked spook oper­a­tions.

When one fol­lows the oblig­a­tory pro­fes­sion­al eth­ic of “fol­low­ing the mon­ey,” both Wik­iLeaks and the indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions involved with the Snow­den “op” track back to far right and overt­ly fas­cist ele­ments.

It is inter­est­ing and depress­ing­ly sig­nif­i­cant that Wik­iLeaks and its asso­ci­at­ed Pirate Bay/Pirate Party/Anonymous milieu have suc­cess­ful­ly attract­ed and uti­lized the efforts of ide­al­is­tic young peo­ple of “anarcho/Utopian” polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion. Those mis­guid­ed indi­vid­u­als have, in turn been mis­lead into assist­ing with the fas­cist covert-oper­a­tion that man­i­fest­ed as the “Arab Spring.”

Snow­den is a polit­i­cal sup­port­er of  Ron Paul, whose pro-mar­i­jua­na, anti-sur­veil­lance cam­paign themes have attract­ed naifs to the polit­i­cal camp of a hard-core fas­cist of long-stand­ing. Many of those enmeshed in the spi­der webs of Wik­iLeaks and/or Ron Paul might be called “Cyber-Wan­der­vo­gel,” after the young ide­al­ists who were, ulti­mate­ly, drawn into Adolf Hitler’s polit­i­cal vor­tex. (See text excerpt below.)

A career spook, Snow­den him­self must be held to a more rig­or­ous ana­lyt­ic stan­dard than the “cyber-wan­der­vo­gel,” how­ev­er. Snow­den’s polit­i­cal sup­port for the same Nazi/white suprema­cist whose cam­paign was finan­cial­ly under­writ­ten by Peter Thiel is cen­tral to the analy­sis we have been devel­op­ing.

(Thiel’s Palan­tir firm can be safe­ly assumed to have devel­oped the PRISM soft­ware (denials to the con­trary notwith­stand­ing. The notion that NSA/intelligence com­mu­ni­ty would be using two data ana­lyt­ics soft­ware pro­grams with iden­ti­cal names defies log­ic. There would have been  lit­i­ga­tion and Thiel could cer­tain­ly have afford­ed the legal bills.)

David Duke is one of the fig­ures net­worked with both the fascist/white suprema­cist milieu with which Ron Paul has asso­ci­at­ed him­self, as well as the inter­na­tion­al fas­cist mileiu incor­po­rat­ing Pirate Bay’s fas­cist finan­cial angel Carl Lund­strom and Assange’s Holo­caust-deny­ing polit­i­cal ally Joran Jer­mas, aka “Israel Shamir.” (Wik­iLeaks’ oper­a­tions moved to Pirate Bay’s servers through the efforts of Jer­mas. See excerpts below.)

Updat­ing our inquiry, Assange’s Aus­tralian Wik­iLeaks Par­ty appears to have delib­er­ate­ly under­mined its biggest leg­isla­tive sup­port­er, in favor of far-right, fas­cist par­ties Down Under. (See text excerpts below.)

 In pass­ing, we also note that Ecuador and the Cor­rea gov­ern­ment, which has shel­tered Assange and is appar­ent­ly mov­ing to shel­ter Snow­den as well, have strong links to Ger­many and the EU. In a recent vis­it, Merkel was nego­ti­at­ing with Cor­rea for clos­er ties between Ger­many, Ecuador and the EU. (See text excerpt below. In this regard, we must remem­ber that the Ger­man econ­o­my is gov­erned by the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.)

“Ice­landic Busi­ness­man Says Plane Ready to Take Snow­den to Ice­land” by  Robert Roberts­son; and Alis­tair Scrut­ton; Reuters; 6/21/2013.

EXCERPT: An Ice­landic busi­ness­man linked to Wik­iLeaks said he has read­ied a pri­vate plane to take Edward Snow­den, the for­mer Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency con­trac­tor who exposed secret U.S. sur­veil­lance pro­grams, to Ice­land if the gov­ern­ment grants him asy­lum.

“We have made every­thing ready at our end now we only have to wait for con­fir­ma­tion from the (Ice­landic) Inte­ri­or Min­istry,” Ola­fur Vig­nir Sig­urvins­son told Reuters. He is a for­mer direc­tor of Dat­a­Cell, a com­pa­ny which processed pay­ments for Wik­iLeaks.

“A pri­vate jet is in place in Chi­na and we could fly Snow­den over tomor­row if we get pos­i­tive reac­tion from the Inte­ri­or Min­istry. We need to get con­fir­ma­tion of asy­lum and that he will not be extra­dit­ed to the U.S. We would most want him to get a cit­i­zen­ship as well,” Sig­urvins­son said.

Nei­ther a Wik­iLeaks spokesman nor the Ice­landic gov­ern­ment were imme­di­ate­ly avail­able for com­ment. . . .

“Wik­iLeaks Party’s ‘Admin­is­tra­tive Errors’ Incense Greens” by Bernard Keane;  Crikey.com.au; 8/19/2013.

EXCERPT: A deci­sion by the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty to direct pref­er­ences away from Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­porter has incensed sup­port­ers. They should have known bet­ter.

The fledg­ling Wik­iLeaks Par­ty has inflict­ed major dam­age on itself after a dis­as­trous pref­er­ence allo­ca­tion that saw it pref­er­enc­ing far-right par­ties, apol­o­gis­ing for an “admin­is­tra­tive error” and pref­er­enc­ing the WA Nation­als ahead of Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­porter, Greens Sen­a­tor Scott Lud­lam.

The Sen­ate pref­er­ence allo­ca­tions revealed yes­ter­day showed, in New South Wales, Wik­iLeaks had pref­er­enced the right-wing Shoot­ers and Fish­ers Par­ty and the extreme-right Aus­tralia First Par­ty, run by con­victed crim­i­nal and for­mer neo-Nazi Jim Saleam, ahead of the Greens and the major par­ties. Aus­tralia First wants to end all immi­gra­tion and to restore the death penal­ty.

Soon after the release of the pref­er­ences and a firestorm of crit­i­cism erupt­ed on social media, the par­ty issued a state­ment on its Face­book page blam­ing the pref­er­enc­ing on “some admin­is­tra­tive errors”.

The “error”, the exact nature of which remains unex­plained, appears to have par­tic­u­larly incensed pro­gres­sive vot­ers who had assumed Wik­iLeaks would be a left-wing, Greens-style par­ty. How­ever, Julian Assange has already crit­i­cised the Greens’ totemic asy­lum seek­er pol­icy as “sim­plis­tic and fool­ish” dur­ing the cam­paign and backed off­shore pro­cess­ing, while crit­i­cis­ing both the major par­ties on the issue. On the week­end, Assange said he admired US lib­er­tar­ian Repub­li­cans Ron and Rand Paul, though he expressed con­cern about their posi­tion on issues like abor­tion. Swap­ping pref­er­ences with minor par­ties of very dif­fer­ent ori­en­ta­tions is also stan­dard prac­tice for all par­ties. One par­ty source told Crikey the “admin­is­tra­tive error” in NSW was quite inten­tional and aimed at the Greens. . . .

. . . . Lud­lam has been Assange’s strongest sup­porter inside fed­eral Par­lia­ment, hound­ing the gov­ern­ment over its lack of sup­port for him and its deal­ings with the US over its cam­paign against Assange and Wik­iLeaks. Lud­lam trav­elled to Europe at his own expense in 2011 to talk to Swedish author­i­ties and Aus­tralian offi­cials in the UK about the case.

The deci­sion to pref­er­ence the Nation­als’ David Wirrpan­da ahead of Lud­lam, strength­en­ing the chances of the Nation­als snar­ing the sixth Sen­ate spot ahead of the Greens, is thus an extra­or­di­nary betray­al. . . .

“Wik­ileaks Par­ty Sen­ate Can­di­date: NSW Pref­er­ences a ‘Poor Judge­ment Call’, not Admin Error” by Ter­ence Huynh; Techgeek.com;  8/26/2013.

EXCERPT: Ger­ry Geor­gatos, the num­ber one Sen­ate can­di­date for the Wik­ileaks Par­ty in West­ern Aus­tralia, has said that the Wik­ileaks Party’s New South Wales pref­er­ences fias­co was a “poor judge­ment call” and not an admin­is­tra­tive error.

It was not an admin­is­tra­tive error, it was a poor judge­ment call. I’m not [going to come out] here and bull­shit the audi­ence,” he told the Indy­media pro­gramme (24 min­utes into the pro­gramme) on Perth’s RTR yes­ter­day. His state­ment appears to con­tra­dicts the offi­cial posi­tion giv­en by the Wik­ileaks Par­ty that the pref­er­ences were an “admin­is­tra­tive error”.

In New South Wales, the Wik­ileaks Par­ty pref­er­enced the Shoot­ers and Fish­ers and far-right Aus­tralia First par­ty above the Greens – in direct con­tra­dic­tion to the deci­sions made by the Nation­al Coun­cil. The fias­co, in addi­tion to the West­ern Aus­tralian pref­er­ences, saw Leslie Can­nold, four Nation­al Coun­cil mem­bers and sev­eral vol­un­teers left the par­ty. . . . .

Eco­fas­cism: Lessons from the Ger­man Expe­ri­ence; by Janet Biehl and Peter Stau­den­maier; AK Press [SC] 1995; Copy­right 1995 by Janet Biehl and Peter Stau­den­maier; ISBN 1–873176–73–2; pp. 9–10.

EXCERPT:  . . . The chief vehi­cle for car­ry­ing this ide­o­log­i­cal con­stel­la­tion to promi­nence was the youth move­ment, an amor­phous phe­nom­e­non which played a deci­sive but high­ly ambiva­lent role in shap­ing Ger­man pop­u­lar cul­ture dur­ing the first three tumul­tuous decades of the cen­tury. Also known as the Wan­der­vo­gel, (which trans­lates rough­ly as ‘wan­der­ing free spir­its’), the youth move­ment was a hodge-podge of counter-cul­tur­al ele­ments, blend­ing neo-Roman­ti­cism, East­ern philoso­phies, nature mys­ti­cism, hos­til­ity to rea­son, and a strong com­mu­nal impulse in a con­fused but no less ardent search for authen­tic, non-alien­at­ed social rela­tions.

Their back-to-the-land empha­sis spurred a pas­sion­ate sen­si­tiv­ity to the nat­ural world and the dam­age it suf­fered. They have been accu­rately char­ac­ter­ized as ‘right-wing hip­pies,’ for although some sec­tors of the move­ment grav­i­tated toward var­i­ous forms of eman­ci­pa­tory pol­i­tics (though usu­ally shed­ding their envi­ron­men­tal trap­pings in the process), most of the Wan­der­vo­gel were even­tu­ally absorbed by the Nazis. This shift from nature wor­ship to fuhrer wor­ship is worth exam­in­ing. . . .

“Revealed: Anti­semite was key to Wik­iLeaks Oper­a­tion” by Mar­tin Bright; Jew­ish Chron­i­cle; 6/2/2011.

EXCERPT: The noto­ri­ous anti­se­mitic jour­nal­ist Israel Shamir was active­ly involved in devel­op­ing the Wik­iLeaks net­work — and was not just anoth­er free­lance writer who hap­pened to strike up a work­ing rela­tion­ship with the website’s founder Julian Assange, accord­ing to new­ly-revealed cor­re­spon­dence. [Empha­sis added.]

Emails seen by the Swedish anti-racist mag­a­zine, Expo, demon­strate that the two men co-oper­at­ed for sev­eral years. As ear­ly as 2008 Mr Shamir was asked to rec­om­mend poten­tial asso­ciates in Swe­den. [Empha­sis added.] He sug­gested his own son, Johannes Wahlström: “He is a Swedish cit­i­zen, and lives in Swe­den. Prob­a­bly, he’ll be able to give advice about press free­dom.”

Like his father, Mr Wahlström has devel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for stri­dent anti­se­mitic views. In 2005, left-wing mag­a­zine Ord­front was forced to with­draw one of his arti­cles, which argued that Israel con­trolled the Swedish media.

An email from June 2010 shows that Mr Shamir was still play­ing a part in the Swedish Wik­iLeaks net­work at that point. “I have a lot of good guys who can help to ana­lyze the trea­sure and it would be good to start spread­ing the news,” he told Mr Assange. “I am now in Paris, and peo­ple want to know more! Tues­day I go to Swe­den, and there is a whole oper­a­tion for your ben­e­fit!” Mr Assange replied: “There cer­tainly is! Tell the team to get ready. Give them my best. We have a lot of work to do.” . . . [Empha­sis added.]

“Israeli Writer Is Swedish Anti-Semi­te” by Tor Bach, Sven Johansen and Lise Apfel­bum; The Search­light; May/2004.

EXCERPT: A man who claims to be one of Israel’s lead­ing intel­lec­tu­als is also a Swedish anti-Semit­ic writer. Israel Shamir presents him­self on his web­site as a lead­ing Russ­ian-Israeli intel­lec­tu­al and a writer, trans­la­tor and jour­nal­ist. But in 2001 he changed his name to Jöran Jer­mas and has sur­round­ed him­self in Swe­den and Nor­way with anti-Semi­tes and strange con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists. . . .. . . Jermas’s trans­la­tor in Nor­way is Hans Olav Brend­berg, a teacher, who was recent­ly asked to leave the exec­u­tive com­mit­tee of a branch of the Red Elec­toral Alliance (RV). The left-wing RV, which took 1.2% of the vote in the gen­er­al elec­tion in 2001 and has over 80 local coun­cil­lors, accused Brend­berg of mak­ing anti-Jew­ish state­ments on the inter­net and in his work as Jermas’s trans­la­tor.

Brend­berg, 35, stirred up con­tro­ver­sy after writ­ing arti­cles for the left-wing dai­ly Klassekam­p­en in which he charged the Jews with killing Christ and hat­ing all non-Jews. But it is through the KK-forum, Klassekampen’s semi-offi­cial web-based dis­cus­sion forum, that Brend­berg has gained most noto­ri­ety for state­ments such as: “Mil­lions of nice Ger­mans have always exist­ed but not one of them is men­tioned in Anne Frank’s Diaries. As for the broad­er pic­ture: is not the world big­ger than the attic of a Dutch city apart­ment block?”

On sev­er­al occa­sions, Brend­berg has referred to Kevin Mac­Don­ald, an extreme right-wing Amer­i­can, as an author­i­ty on Jew­ish mat­ters. Mac­Don­ald, a pro­fes­sor at an obscure Cal­i­forn­ian uni­ver­si­ty, is a white racist, anti­se­mit­ic, anti-black, anti-left apol­o­gist for Hitler’s geno­cide and an invet­er­ate fas­cist.

Mac­Don­ald is per­haps most infa­mous for his claim that the Jews have effect­ed a breed­ing pro­gramme to con­quer oth­er “races”. He appeared in court as a wit­ness on behalf of David Irv­ing, the British qua­si-his­to­ri­an and Hitler admir­er, in his libel case against Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt. . . .

. . . Shamir has found oth­er, even more extreme friends in Swe­den. One of his Swedish trans­la­tors, Lars Adel­skog, is not only a lead­ing fig­ure in the Swedish UFO move­ment but can also be found in the jun­gle of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries where the Illu­mi­nati, the Freema­sons and lizards in human form are sup­pos­ed­ly work­ing togeth­er to end civil­i­sa­tion as we know it.

Adelskog’s last book bore the pro­found title En tom säck kan inte stå (An emp­ty bag can­not stand) and was pub­lished by the open­ly nazi pub­lish­er Nordiska För­laget. [NB–Carl Lund­strom patron­izes this same pub­lish­ing out­fit, as seen below.) This orga­ni­za­tion also sells books by Mac­Don­ald, Hitler and Irv­ing. In his lat­est book, Adel­skog tries in typ­i­cal nazi style to “prove” that the Nazi geno­cide of the Jews nev­er took place.

Adel­skog was pre­vi­ous­ly the edi­tor of the Swedish “alter­na­tive” mag­a­zine Nexus, where he also spread his pet con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. The Nation­al­so­cial­is­tisk Front lat­er tout­ed unsold issues of Nexus through its web­site.

Jermas/Shamir him­self is no stranger to con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. When he vis­it­ed Nor­way in 2001, he made the laugh­able claim in the main­stream news­pa­per Adresseav­isa that many Jews received text mes­sages warn­ing them to get out of the World Trade Cen­tre in New York before the ter­ror attacks of 11 Sep­tem­ber.

Anoth­er out­let that eager­ly pro­motes anti­se­mit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries is the Russ­ian mag­a­zine Zav­tra and its edi­tor Alexan­der Prokhanov. While in Moscow, Jer­mas worked as a jour­nal­ist for Zav­tra, which has been described as Russia’s most anti­se­mit­ic rag. When the noto­ri­ous racist and for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke went to Rus­sia to pro­mote his new book, Jew­ish Suprema­cism, and his Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of White Peo­ple, it was on Prokhanov’s invi­ta­tion.

Despite the dogs with which he is will­ing to lie down, Jer­mas does not seem afraid of catch­ing fleas. In the USA, Alex Lin­der of Kirksville, Mis­souri, who has seem­ing­ly fall­en from grace in the Nazi Nation­al Alliance (NA), has set up his own out­fit called the Van­guard News Net­work. Lind­ner [sic] is eager­ly pro­mot­ing a forth­com­ing con­gress of Holo­caust liars in Sacra­men­to this year and pub­lished parts of a pecu­liar email cor­re­spon­dence with Jer­mas, pos­ing under his old name of Shamir. . . .

“The Goal: Take over all Pira­cy” by Peter Karls­son; realtid.se; 3/10/2006.

TRANSLATED EXCERPT: . . . Lund­ström har inte gjort någon hem­lighet av sina sym­pa­ti­er för främ­lings­fientli­ga grup­per, och för­ra året fanns hans namn med på kun­dreg­istret hos det nazis­tiska bok­för­laget Nordiska För­laget. Lund­strom has made no secret of his sym­pa­thy for the xeno­pho­bic groups, and last year was his name with the cus­tomer code of the Nazi pub­lish­ing house Nordic Pub­lish­ers.

– Jag stöder dem genom att köpa böck­er och musik. - I sup­port them by buy­ing books and music. Ni i media vill bara spri­da mis­sak­t­ning om oli­ka per­son­er. You in the media just want to spread con­tempt for dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Ni i media är fyll­da av hat till Pirate Bay, avs­lu­tar en myck­et upprörd Carl Lund­ström. You in the media is full of hatred to the Pirate Bay, fin­ish­ing a very upset Carl Lund­ström.

Nordiska För­laget säl­jer vit makt musik och böck­er som hyl­lar rasis­tiska våld­shan­dlin­gar. Nordic pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny sells white pow­er music and books that cel­e­brates the racist vio­lence. För­laget stöder nazis­ter­nas demon­stra­tion i Salem och bjöd in Ku Klux Klan ledaren till en före­drag­turné i Sverige. Pub­lish­er sup­ports the Nazi demon­stra­tion in Salem and invit­ed the Ku Klux Klan leader [David Duke] for a lec­ture tour in Swe­den. . . .

“Ron Paul Was Impli­cat­ed In Failed White Suprema­cist Island Inva­sion” by Casey Gane-McCalla; newsone.com; 1/20/2012.

EXCERPT: In 1981, a lawyer tried to sub­poe­na Ron Paul to tes­ti­fy in the tri­al of Don Black, a Grand Wiz­ard for the Ku Klux Klan who would lat­er go on to found the white suprema­cist, neo-Nazi web­site, Storm­front. Black was charged along with two oth­er Klans­men with plan­ning to vio­lent­ly over­throw the small Caribbean coun­try of Domini­ca in what they called “Oper­a­tion Red Dog.” While a judge refused to sub­poe­na Paul, Don Black would come back to haunt him many years lat­er.

In 1981 a group of Amer­i­can and Cana­di­an white suprema­cists lead by Klans­man and mer­ce­nary, Michael (Mike) Per­due planned on tak­ing over a small West Indi­an coun­try called Domini­ca by over­throw­ing the gov­ern­ment and Prime Min­is­ter Euge­nia Charles and restor­ing its pre­vi­ous prime min­is­ter, Patrick Johns into pow­er. The group planned to cre­ate an Aryan par­adise in Domini­ca and make mon­ey through casi­nos, cocaine and broth­els.

On the day the group of white suprema­cists were sup­posed to trav­el to Domini­ca, they were arrest­ed by ATF agents and were found with over thir­ty auto­mat­ic weapons, shot­guns, rifles, hand­guns, dyna­mite, ammu­ni­tion, a con­fed­er­ate flag and a Nazi flag. The plan would be dubbed “The Bay­ou Of Pigs” after the failed inva­sion of Cuba.

The leader of the group, Michael Per­due, would plead guilty to plan­ning the coup and turned state’s evi­dence. Per­due would tes­ti­fy that sev­er­al oth­er peo­ple helped orga­nize and fund the coup and that two Texas politi­cians were aware of the plan. Among those Per­due impli­cat­ed were infa­mous white suprema­cist, David Duke, for­mer Texas Gov­er­nor, John Con­nal­ly and Con­gress­man, Ron Paul whom he claimed knew about the plot. Con­nal­ly was cred­it­ed with help­ing Paul win his first con­gres­sion­al elec­tion. . . .

“Ger­many aims to be a good part­ner”; bundesregierung.de; 4/17/2013.

EXCERPT: After their talks the Chan­cel­lor report­ed on the issues that are cur­rent­ly of par­tic­u­lar polit­i­cal impor­tance: a free trade agree­ment, an invest­ment pro­tec­tion agree­ment and voca­tion­al train­ing.

Angela Merkel and Rafael Cor­rea dis­cussed the sit­u­a­tion in Latin Amer­i­ca as a whole. Bilat­er­al rela­tions and also the rela­tions with Latin Amer­i­ca are “emi­nent­ly inter­est­ing”. “Ger­many would like to be an increas­ing­ly good part­ner,” said the Chan­cel­lor.

EU free trade agree­ment with Ecuador

Ecuador is inter­est­ed in join­ing the exist­ing free trade agree­ment between the Euro­pean Union and Colom­bia and Peru. Ger­many, said Angela Merkel, could help sup­port the pos­i­tive devel­op­ment of rela­tions between the EU and Ecuador. “I have said that we will once again be speak­ing with the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in order to gen­er­ate an impe­tus to bring these nego­ti­a­tions to a suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion,” she said.

A sta­ble legal frame­work for eco­nom­ic agree­ment

The talks also touched on the legal con­di­tions for improved eco­nom­ic coop­er­a­tion, and thus the con­clu­sion of a Ger­man-Ecuado­ri­an invest­ment pro­tec­tion agree­ment. “We need a sta­ble legal frame­work,” said the Chan­cel­lor. More talks are to be held between Ger­many and Ecuador on this point.
The Ger­man econ­o­my is also inter­est­ed in expand­ing infra­struc­ture, includ­ing air­ports and roads, said Angela Merkel. She made spe­cial men­tion of coop­er­a­tion in the field of voca­tion­al train­ing, and gave the exam­ple of the voca­tion­al school in Quito, which is attached to the city’s Ger­man school.

Suc­cess­ful devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion

One focus of bilat­er­al rela­tions is devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion. On the basis of inter­na­tion­al agree­ments, the two sides have been coop­er­at­ing close­ly for some 50 years. In the face of glob­al cli­mate change, it is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant to con­serve trop­i­cal rain­forests. Ger­many is one of Ecuador’s largest bilat­er­al donors in the field of devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion.

In Octo­ber 2012 gov­ern­ment nego­ti­a­tions took place in Quito to decide on coop­er­a­tion over the next three years. For the pri­or­i­ty areas of envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and con­ser­va­tion of nat­ur­al resources and state decen­tral­i­sa­tion and mod­erni­sa­tion, a total of 60.9 mil­lion euros was pledged, i.e. 20.3 mil­lion euros a year. Total assis­tance already stands at some 600 mil­lion euros.

Andreas Fink

EXCERPT: . . . . I’m a mem­ber of the pirate par­ty in the sec­Tion of Basel where I live.

My com­pa­ny Dat­a­Cell oper­ates a dat­a­cen­ter in Reyk­javik, Ice­land and has been the cred­it card proces­sor of Wik­ileaks in 2010 with all kinds of con­se­quences. . .



20 comments for “Baby Face Snowden Meets the Cyber-Wandervogel”

  1. And now we’re going to get the treat of end­less sto­ries talk­ing about how there’s just no fea­si­ble way the gov­ern­ment can remove pri­vate con­trac­tors from key intel­li­gence and defense roles because, you know, it just makes fis­cal sense to hire tem­po­rary con­trac­tors instead of hir­ing fed­er­al employ­ees and they pro­vide spe­cial skills that you just can’t find amongst gov­ern­ment work­ers. Even if those fed­er­al con­trac­tors tend to be for­mer gov­ern­ment employ­ees and have an eco­nom­ic incen­tive to be wild­ly more expen­sive for as long as pos­si­ble with­out actu­al­ly pro­duc­ing results:

    Booz Allen, the World’s Most Prof­itable Spy Orga­ni­za­tion
    By Drake Ben­nett and Michael Riley on June 20, 2013

    In 1940, a year before the attack on Pearl Har­bor, the U.S. Navy began to think about what a war with Ger­many would look like. The admi­rals wor­ried in par­tic­u­lar about the Kriegsmarine’s fleet of U‑boats, which were prey­ing on Allied ship­ping and prov­ing impos­si­ble to find, much less sink. Stymied, Sec­re­tary of the Navy Frank Knox turned to Booz, Fry, Allen & Hamil­ton, a con­sult­ing firm in Chica­go whose best-known clients were Goodyear Tire & Rub­ber (GT) and Mont­gomery Ward. The firm had effec­tive­ly invent­ed man­age­ment con­sult­ing, deploy­ing whiz kids from top schools as ana­lysts and acu­men-for-hire to cor­po­rate clients. Work­ing with the Navy’s own plan­ners, Booz con­sul­tants devel­oped a spe­cial sen­sor sys­tem that could track the U‑boats’ brief-burst radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions and helped design an attack strat­e­gy around it. With its aid, the Allies by war’s end had sunk or crip­pled most of the Ger­man sub­ma­rine fleet.

    That project was the start of a long col­lab­o­ra­tion. As the Cold War set in, inten­si­fied, thawed, and was sup­plant­ed by glob­al ter­ror­ism in the minds of nation­al secu­ri­ty strate­gists, the firm, now called Booz Allen Hamil­ton (BAH), focused more and more on gov­ern­ment work. In 2008 it split off its less lucra­tive com­mer­cial con­sult­ing arm—under the name Booz & Co.—and became a pure gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor, pub­licly trad­ed and major­i­ty-owned by pri­vate equi­ty firm Car­lyle Group (CG). In the fis­cal year end­ed in March 2013, Booz Allen Hamil­ton report­ed $5.76 bil­lion in rev­enue, 99 per­cent of which came from gov­ern­ment con­tracts, and $219 mil­lion in net income. Almost a quar­ter of its revenue—$1.3 billion—was from major U.S. intel­li­gence agen­cies. Along with com­peti­tors such as Sci­ence Appli­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al Corp. (SAIC), CACI, and BAE Sys­tems (BAESY), the McLean (Va.)-based firm is a prime ben­e­fi­cia­ry of an explo­sion in gov­ern­ment spend­ing on intel­li­gence con­trac­tors over the past decade. About 70 per­cent of the 2013 U.S. intel­li­gence bud­get is con­tract­ed out, accord­ing to a Bloomberg Indus­tries analy­sis; the Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence (ODNI) says almost a fifth of intel­li­gence per­son­nel work in the pri­vate sec­tor.

    It’s safe to say that most Amer­i­cans, if they’d heard of Booz Allen at all, had no idea how huge a role it plays in the U.S. intel­li­gence infra­struc­ture. They do now. On June 9, a 29-year-old Booz Allen com­put­er tech­ni­cian, Edward Snow­den, revealed him­self to be the source of news sto­ries show­ing the extent of phone and Inter­net eaves­drop­ping by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency. Snow­den leaked clas­si­fied doc­u­ments he loaded onto a thumb dri­ve while work­ing for Booz Allen at an NSA lis­ten­ing post in Hawaii, and he’s promised to leak many more. After flee­ing to Hong Kong, he’s been in hid­ing. (He didn’t respond to a request for com­ment relayed by an inter­me­di­ary.)

    The atten­tion has been bad for Booz Allen’s stock, which fell more than 4 per­cent the morn­ing after Snow­den went pub­lic and still hasn’t recov­ered. Sen­a­tor Dianne Fein­stein (D‑Calif.), who chairs the Select Com­mit­tee on Intel­li­gence, has called for a reex­am­i­na­tion of the role of pri­vate con­trac­tors in intel­li­gence work and announced she’ll seek to restrict their access to clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion. Booz Allen declined to com­ment on Snow­den beyond its ini­tial pub­lic state­ment announc­ing his ter­mi­na­tion.

    The firm has long kept a low profile—with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment as prac­ti­cal­ly its sole client, there’s no need for pub­lic­i­ty. It does lit­tle, if any, lob­by­ing. Its abil­i­ty to win con­tracts is ensured by the ros­ter of intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty heavy­weights who work there. The direc­tor of nation­al intel­li­gence, James Clapper—President Obama’s top intel­li­gence adviser—is a for­mer Booz Allen exec­u­tive. The firm’s vice chair­man, Mike McConnell, was Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s direc­tor of nation­al intel­li­gence and, before that, direc­tor of the NSA. Of Booz Allen’s 25,000 employ­ees, 76 per­cent have clas­si­fied clear­ances, and almost half have top-secret clear­ances. In a 2003 speech, Joan Dempsey, a for­mer CIA deputy direc­tor, referred to Booz Allen as the “shad­ow IC” (for intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty) because of the pro­fu­sion of “for­mer sec­re­taries of this and direc­tors of that,” accord­ing to a 2008 book, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intel­li­gence Out­sourc­ing. Today Dempsey works for Booz Allen.

    It’s pos­si­ble that fall­out from the Snow­den rev­e­la­tions will lead to sig­nif­i­cant changes in intel­li­gence con­tract­ing. The Sen­ate intel­li­gence com­mit­tee has been pres­sur­ing spy agen­cies for years to reduce their reliance on con­trac­tors. And in the age of the sequester, even once untouch­able line items such as defense and intel­li­gence spend­ing are vul­ner­a­ble to cuts.

    Yet con­ver­sa­tions with cur­rent and for­mer employ­ees of Booz Allen and U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cials sug­gest that these con­trac­tors aren’t going any­where soon. Even if Snow­den ends up cost­ing his for­mer employ­er busi­ness, the work will prob­a­bly just go to its rivals. Although Booz Allen and the rest of the shad­ow intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty arose as stop­gap solutions—meant to buy time as shrunk­en, post-Cold War agen­cies tried to rebuild after Sept. 11—they’ve become the vine that sup­ports the wall. As much as con­trac­tors such as Booz Allen have come to rely on the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, the gov­ern­ment relies on them even more.

    Edward Snow­den was not hired as a spy. He’s a most­ly self-taught com­put­er tech­ni­cian who nev­er com­plet­ed high school, and his first intel­li­gence job was as a secu­ri­ty guard at an NSA facil­i­ty. In an inter­view in the Guardian, he says he was hired by the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency for his com­put­er skills to work on net­work secu­ri­ty. In 2009 he left for the pri­vate sec­tor, even­tu­al­ly end­ing up at Booz Allen. The job he did as a con­trac­tor for the NSA appears to have been basic tech sup­port and trou­bleshoot­ing. He was the IT guy.


    The large-scale hir­ing of intel­li­gence con­trac­tors can be traced direct­ly to Sept. 11. The al-Qae­da attacks trig­gered a bipar­ti­san cho­rus on Capi­tol Hill for more and bet­ter intelligence—and cor­re­spond­ing­ly mas­sive increas­es in the fed­er­al bud­get to pay for it. There’s plen­ty of evi­dence that the effort has dis­rupt­ed ter­ror­ist plots. It has also cre­at­ed a lot more con­trac­tor work. The intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty had been shrink­ing through­out the 1990s; with the Sovi­et Union gone, intel­li­gence didn’t seem as impor­tant to politi­cians, and there were bud­get cuts and a wave of retire­ments at the CIA, NSA, and DIA. In late 2001 the only way to get enough expe­ri­enced peo­ple to meet demand was with con­trac­tors, many of them the same experts the gov­ern­ment had trained decades before and then let go. “We were able to expand very, very quick­ly by using con­tract per­son­nel,” said Ronald Sanders, then ODNI’s asso­ciate direc­tor for human cap­i­tal, in a 2008 call with reporters. “They were able to come in quick­ly and per­form the mis­sion even as we were busy recov­er­ing the IC’s mil­i­tary and civil­ian work­force.”

    Con­trac­tors such as Booz Allen were seen as a tem­po­rary measure—surge capacity—to give the gov­ern­ment time to hire and train its own employ­ees. Michael Brown, a retired rear admi­ral, tells about try­ing to devel­op the Navy’s cyber­war­fare pro­grams in 2001. None of his per­son­nel were cyber­se­cu­ri­ty experts, so he trained Navy linguists—traditionally con­sid­ered some of the brainier sailors—for the job. “The Navy was able to use con­trac­tors to aug­ment those trainees while it devel­oped a per­ma­nent pro­gram,” Brown says. He him­self now works for RSA Secu­ri­ty (EMC), a Bed­ford (Mass.) cyber­se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­ny that does a lot of busi­ness with the gov­ern­ment.

    As the gov­ern­ment intel­li­gence work­force has grown, how­ev­er, con­trac­tor head count hasn’t returned to pre-Sept. 11 lev­els. In the 2008 inter­view, Sanders said only 5 per­cent of con­trac­tors work­ing for var­i­ous intel­li­gence agen­cies were for “surge require­ments.” In a report pub­lished this March, the Sen­ate intel­li­gence com­mit­tee com­plained that “some ele­ments of the IC have been hir­ing addi­tion­al con­trac­tors after they have con­vert­ed or oth­er­wise removed oth­er con­trac­tors, result­ing in an over­all work­force that con­tin­ues to grow.” The ODNI’s pub­lic affairs office dis­putes this, say­ing “core con­trac­tor per­son­nel” has been cut by 36 per­cent since 2007.

    Pro­po­nents of intel­li­gence con­tract­ing say there are good rea­sons pri­vate firms have become a per­ma­nent part of the land­scape. Not every task requires a full-time fed­er­al employ­ee. Build­ing a clas­si­fied facil­i­ty or a new data­base is a short-term project that’s ide­al for con­tract labor—the job takes a few months or a cou­ple years, and it doesn’t make sense to hire and train new employ­ees just for that. In the­o­ry, con­tract labor is cheap­er, since the gov­ern­ment isn’t on the hook for the worker’s salary after the job is over, much less his health care or pen­sion. For the mil­i­tary, it’s often the only way to get addi­tion­al work done with­out vio­lat­ing the caps on man­pow­er writ­ten into leg­is­la­tion. And it’s abet­ted by the dys­func­tion­al fund­ing envi­ron­ment in Wash­ing­ton, where mon­ey even for long-term projects is increas­ing­ly appro­pri­at­ed in year-to-year emer­gency sup­ple­men­tal spend­ing bills, cre­at­ing a sense of uncer­tain­ty that makes it hard­er to hire per­ma­nent employ­ees.

    Senior intel­li­gence offi­cials also say con­trac­tors are a pipeline to inno­va­tion in the pri­vate sec­tor. The con­tem­po­rary ver­sion of Q’s laboratory—that sto­ried incu­ba­tor for James Bond’s spy toys—is Sil­i­con Val­ley, where star­tups are devel­op­ing tech­nol­o­gy that can dis­cern pat­terns and con­nec­tions in oceans of raw data, among oth­er feats of com­put­er sci­ence. In an inter­view with Bloomberg Busi­ness­week, Vice Chair­man McConnell points out that while Booz Allen is well-known for hir­ing for­mer spies like him­self, the com­pa­ny also recruits heav­i­ly from tech. A 2008 study by the ODNI report­ed that 56 per­cent of intel­li­gence con­trac­tors pro­vid­ed unique exper­tise not found among gov­ern­ment intel­li­gence offi­cers.

    “As DNI, I absolute­ly want­ed the lift and cre­ativ­i­ty and the pow­er of the pri­vate sec­tor,” says McConnell, using the ini­tials for his old job. “Because I’d become irrel­e­vant if I didn’t stay in tune with tech­nol­o­gy and its evo­lu­tion. The most inno­v­a­tive, cre­ative, dom­i­nant coun­try in the world is the Unit­ed States, and it’s most­ly because of the effi­cien­cy of the free mar­ket.” Some intel­li­gence con­trac­tors, such as Palo Alto (Calif.)-based Palan­tir Tech­nolo­gies, have gone so far as to locate in com­mer­cial tech hubs rather than the tra­di­tion­al intel­li­gence cor­ri­dor that stretch­es 50 miles from Reston, Va., to the Fort Meade (Md.) head­quar­ters of the NSA.

    Even so, spend­ing can spin way out of con­trol. Accord­ing to the ODNI, a typ­i­cal con­trac­tor employ­ee costs $207,000 a year, while a gov­ern­ment coun­ter­part costs $125,000, includ­ing ben­e­fits and pen­sion. One of the most noto­ri­ous projects was the NSA’s Trail­blaz­er. Intend­ed as an advanced pro­gram to sort and ana­lyze the vast vol­ume of phone and Web traf­fic that the NSA col­lects hourly, Trail­blaz­er was orig­i­nal­ly set to cost $280 mil­lion and take 26 months. Booz Allen was part of a five-com­pa­ny con­sor­tium work­ing on the project. (SAIC was the lead con­trac­tor.) “In Trail­blaz­er, NSA is cap­tur­ing the best of indus­try tech­nol­o­gy and expe­ri­ence to fur­ther their mis­sion,” Booz Allen Vice Pres­i­dent Mar­ty Hill said in a 2002 press release. In 2006, when the pro­gram shut down, it had failed to meet any of its goals, and its cost had run into the bil­lions of dol­lars. An NSA inspec­tor gen­er­al report found “exces­sive labor rates for con­trac­tor per­son­nel,” with­out nam­ing the con­trac­tors. Sev­er­al NSA employ­ees who denounced the waste were fired; one, a senior exec­u­tive named Thomas Andrews Drake, was charged under the Espi­onage Act after he spoke to a reporter. (The charges were even­tu­al­ly dropped.)

    A U.S. Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty com­put­er sys­tems con­tract award­ed to Booz Allen around the same time had sim­i­lar issues. Over the course of three years, costs explod­ed from the orig­i­nal $2 mil­lion to $124 mil­lion, in large part, audi­tors at the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Office would lat­er report, because of poor plan­ning and over­sight. But even when the prob­lems came to light, as the Wash­ing­ton Post report­ed, DHS con­tin­ued to renew the con­tract and even give Booz Allen new ones, because the agency deter­mined it couldn’t build, or even run, the sys­tem on its own.

    Booz Allen spokesman James Fish­er and NSA spokes­woman Vaneé Vines both declined to com­ment on Trail­blaz­er. (For­mer NSA Direc­tor Michael Hay­den has since said pub­licly that the project failed because the spy agency’s plan for it was unre­al­is­tic.) Fish­er also declined to com­ment on the DHS con­tract; Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for that agency, did not imme­di­ate­ly return a call for com­ment.

    Booz Allen and its com­peti­tors are able to keep land­ing con­tracts and keep grow­ing, crit­ics charge, not because their exper­tise is irre­place­able but because their Rolodex­es are. Name a retired senior offi­cial from the NSA or the CIA or the var­i­ous mil­i­tary intel­li­gence branch­es, and there’s a good chance he works for a contractor—most like­ly Booz Allen. Name a senior intel­li­gence offi­cial serv­ing in the gov­ern­ment, and there’s a good chance he used to work for Booz Allen. (ODNI’s Sanders, who made the case for con­trac­tors, is now a vice pres­i­dent at the firm, which declined to make him avail­able for an inter­view.) McConnell and oth­ers at Booz Allen are quick to point out that the con­tract­ing process has safe­guards and over­sight built in and that it has matured since the fren­zied years just after Sept. 11. At the same time, the firm’s ten­den­cy to scoop up—and lav­ish­ly pay—high-ranking intel­li­gence offi­cers once they retire sug­gests the val­ue it places on their address books and in hav­ing their suc­ces­sors inside gov­ern­ment con­sid­er Booz Allen as part of their own retire­ment plans.

    Rich con­trac­tor salaries cre­ate a clas­sic pub­lic-pri­vate revolv­ing door. They pull peo­ple from gov­ern­ment intel­li­gence, deplete the ranks, and put more expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge in the pri­vate sec­tor, which makes con­trac­tors even more vital to the gov­ern­ment. “Now you go into gov­ern­ment for two or three years, get a clear­ance, and migrate to one of the high-pay­ing con­trac­tors,” says Steven After­good, who heads the Project on Gov­ern­ment Secre­cy at the Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Sci­en­tists. That’s what Snow­den did. “You have to have a well-devel­oped sense of patri­o­tism to turn that mon­ey down,” After­good says.

    As a result, says Gold­en, the head­hunter, a com­mon com­plaint in spy agen­cies is that “the damn con­trac­tors know more than we do.” That could have been a fac­tor in the Snow­den leak—his com­put­er pro­fi­cien­cy may have allowed him to access infor­ma­tion he shouldn’t have been allowed to see. Snow­den is an anom­aly, though. What he did with that information—copying it, get­ting it to the press, and pub­licly iden­ti­fy­ing him­self as the leaker—cost him his job and poten­tial­ly his free­dom, all for what appear so far to be ide­al­is­tic motives. The more com­mon temp­ta­tion would be to use knowl­edge, legal­ly and per­haps not even con­scious­ly, to gen­er­ate more busi­ness.

    In the wake of the Snow­den leak, Con­gress is pay­ing more atten­tion to con­trac­tors like Booz Allen and the role they play in intel­li­gence gath­er­ing. Law­mak­ers on both sides of the aisle say that the ease with which Snow­den was able to gain access to and divulge clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion high­lights the need for greater over­sight of con­trac­tors’ activ­i­ties. “I’m just stunned that an indi­vid­ual who did not even have a high school diplo­ma, who did not suc­cess­ful­ly com­plete his mil­i­tary ser­vice, and who is only age 29 had access to some of the most high­ly clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion in our gov­ern­ment,” Sen­a­tor Susan Collins (R‑Me.) told reporters on Capi­tol Hill on June 11. “That’s aston­ish­ing to me, and it sug­gests real prob­lems with the vet­ting process. The rules are not being applied well or they need to be more strict.”

    Chang­ing them, how­ev­er, may be eas­i­er said than done. “At the very high­est lev­el, whether at the White House or the Pen­ta­gon, there will always be a con­trac­tor in the room,” says Gold­en. “And the pow­ers that be will turn around and say, ‘That’s a bril­liant plan, how do we make that work?’ And a con­trac­tor will say, ‘I can do that.’?”

    So is all of this jus­ti­fied in the minds of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers along the lines of “gov­ern­ment is bad so loot­ing it is good”? Or are their inter­nal excus­es even more crass?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 22, 2013, 7:21 pm
  2. Your arti­cles offer the most com­pre­hen­sive analy­sis of the Snow-Wald dynam­ics. What do you think the end game is? Also, thank you, Pterir­rafractyl for the arti­cle.

    Posted by Kathleen | June 23, 2013, 7:10 am
  3. Dave, Joseph Can­non does­n’t seem to care much for your evi­dence that Wik­ileaks and Snow­den might be tied to the far right, evi­dence be damned. He is lec­tur­ing his read­ers about “laws of physics” and tin­foil hat con­spir­a­cies he does­n’t like. While at the same time try­ing to warm up the left to some more Wik­ileaks and Snow­den love. Snow­den aligned him­self with Chi­na which is not help­ful to the left­’s cause. Rus­sell Tice would seem to be a bet­ter exam­ple of how to do legit whistle­blow­ing that the left can get behind. An Amer­i­can move­ment to sup­port a guy (Snow­den) doing deals with the Com­mu­nist Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is doomed from the start. And all of the fake left know bet­ter.

    In his post on Michael Hast­ings at the top of the page, Can­non ties CIA Direc­tor Richard M. Helms into a 2005 vice.com sto­ry about Trap­wire. What is Trap­wire? Go google it and read up on some of the tons of Rus­sia Today arti­cles on it. Russ­ian run Rus­sia Today was all over that par­tic­u­lar sto­ry. And it was Wik­ileaks that first leaked it. I myself am not against whistle­blow­ing, espe­cial­ly when it serves to fight cor­rup­tion but I’m still wait­ing to see the Wik­ileaks data dump that expos­es the details of the transna­tion­al group of play­ers involved with trick­ing the USA and its allies into war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obvi­ous­ly, that bit of sleuthing is nev­er going to come from Ger­man Wau Hol­land Foun­da­tion con­nect­ed Wik­ileaks. Go google Pay­pal and see who’s behind it (Ger­man, Ukrain­ian, South African, Pol­ish). Is that an align­ment that might look famil­iar? Wik­ileaks seems to have spent a lot of focus trash­ing the USA and cor­rupt mid-east sec­u­lar gov­ern­ments tar­get­ed by the Arab spring which then became cor­rupt Mus­lim broth­er­hood gov­ern­ments. And Assange seems to be a believ­er in the “Offi­cial The­o­ry” of 9/11. All of this should be a bright red flash­ing warn­ing sign for any­one tru­ly on the left.

    Can­non seems to think the Helms in the Trap­wire relat­ed quote from 2005 is the same as CIA Direc­tor Richard Helms, if so that that would make CIA Direc­tor Helms 92 in 2005 (Helms died in 2002). You would think that would be an easy one for Joe to fig­ure out but he can’t even get that right. But appar­ent­ly he thinks he has the author­i­ty to lec­ture read­ers on physics and which con­spir­a­cies are valid to dis­cuss. This from the guy who some­how thinks that if only Hillary Clin­ton were pres­i­dent she would be some­how immune to the PTB and fix every­thing Oba­ma can’t seem to fix. (Remem­ber Joseph Can­non was feed­ing his left­wing read­ers a boat­load of anti-Oba­ma bull­shit from Repub­li­can spook Lar­ry John­son in 2008).

    The Richard Helms he meant to tie into this par­tic­u­lar con­spir­a­cy is Richard “Hol­lis” Helms, CEO of Trap­wire. Who the hell is Richard H.Helms? Who knows? oth­er than a few ref­er­ences to him from Wik­ileaks, Rus­sia Today and Birchers, I don’t see a lot of info on this par­tic­u­lar Richard Helms. I don’t seem him described in the main­stream media.

    Boil­ing Frogs Blog says it has an audio inter­view of Rus­sell Tice nam­ing names of offi­cial “cul­prits” involved with ille­gal spy­ing on every­one! Good, we are get­ting to the bot­tom of this mess! Except, this is slight­ly mis­lead­ing... Tice in his interview(which was good) most­ly names the names of all of the Amer­i­can politi­cians that he claims are being TARGETED for spy­ing and black­mail, not those real­ly behind all of this. I am sure that was just anoth­er over­sight on the part of the edi­tors at Boil­ing Frogs. But this would­n’t be the first time I have been dis­ap­point­ed by Sibel Edmond’s claim­ing to “name names” and then get­ting only a bunch of Neo­cons, Democ­rats, Jews and Low Hang­ing Fruit Repub­li­cans. So many stuck in their own lit­tle bub­bles appar­ent­ly unaware of how trans­par­ent those bub­bles are to the rest look­ing in.


    Posted by Patternizer | June 23, 2013, 1:38 pm
  4. Inter­est­ing turn of events...
    Hong Kong has allowed Snow­den to escape U.S. extra­di­tion by going to Rus­sia. Looks like he will then be head­ing to Ecuador:

    Posted by Patternizer | June 23, 2013, 2:13 pm
  5. @Patternizer–

    At least Can­non spelled my name right.



    Posted by Dave Emory | June 23, 2013, 4:54 pm
  6. Worth not­ing....

    South Chi­na Morn­ing Post
    EXCLUSIVE: Snow­den sought Booz Allen job to gath­er evi­dence on NSA sur­veil­lance

    Tue Jun 25, 2013, Updat­ed: 12:55am

    Edward Snow­den tells the Post he took a job at NSA con­trac­tor Booz Allen Hamil­ton to col­lect proof of sur­veil­lance pro­gramme.

    Edward Snow­den secured a job with a US gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor for one rea­son alone – to obtain evi­dence on Washington’s cyber­spy­ing net­works, the South Chi­na Morn­ing Post can reveal.

    For the first time, Snow­den has admit­ted he sought a posi­tion at Booz Allen Hamil­ton so he could col­lect proof about the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency’s secret sur­veil­lance pro­grammes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

    “My posi­tion with Booz Allen Hamil­ton grant­ed me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he told the Post on June 12. “That is why I accept­ed that posi­tion about three months ago.”


    Snow­den is under­stood to be head­ing for Ecuador to seek polit­i­cal asy­lum with the help of Wik­iLeaks, which claimed to have secured his safe pas­sage to the South Amer­i­can coun­try.

    Snow­den, who arrived in Hong Kong on May 20, first con­tact­ed doc­u­men­tary mak­er Lau­ra Poitras in Jan­u­ary, claim­ing to have infor­ma­tion about the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. But it was sev­er­al months lat­er before Snow­den met Poitras and two British reporters in the city.

    He spent the time col­lect­ing a cache of clas­si­fied doc­u­ments as a com­put­er sys­tems admin­is­tra­tor at Booz Allen Hamil­ton.

    In his inter­view with the Post, Snow­den divulged infor­ma­tion that he claimed showed hack­ing by the NSA into com­put­ers in Hong Kong and main­land Chi­na.

    “I did not release them ear­li­er because I don’t want to sim­ply dump huge amounts of doc­u­ments with­out regard to their con­tent,” he said.

    “I have to screen every­thing before releas­ing it to jour­nal­ists.”

    Asked if he specif­i­cal­ly went to Booz Allen Hamil­ton to gath­er evi­dence of sur­veil­lance, he replied: “Cor­rect on Booz.”

    His inten­tion was to col­lect infor­ma­tion about the NSA hack­ing into “the whole world” and “not specif­i­cal­ly Hong Kong and Chi­na”.

    The doc­u­ments he divulged to the Post were obtained dur­ing his tenure at Booz Allen Hamil­ton in April, he said.

    He also sig­nalled his inten­tion to leak more of those doc­u­ments at a lat­er date.

    If I have time to go through this infor­ma­tion, I would like to make it avail­able to jour­nal­ists in each coun­try to make their own assess­ment, inde­pen­dent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowl­edge of US net­work oper­a­tions against their peo­ple should be pub­lished.

    Two days after Snow­den broke cov­er in Hong Kong as the source of the NSA leaks, Booz Allen Hamil­ton sacked him.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 24, 2013, 9:55 am
  7. http://allthingsd.com/20130413/computer-security-legend-mudge-leaves-darpa-for-google-job/

    Peit­er Zatko, of Cult of the Dead Cow fame, leaves DARPA and now works for google.

    Posted by You can delete this | June 29, 2013, 2:13 pm
  8. http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/13795

    Com­pe­ti­tion time! Who said it: Julian Assange or David Icke?

    See if you can allo­cate each nut­ty quote to the right nut­ty dude.

    9 July 2013

    Julian Assange and David Icke become more alike every day. Both are white-haired blokes with a mes­si­ah com­plex who love noth­ing more than wag­ging an erect index fin­ger at the hid­den con­spir­a­cies of evil men who con­trol world affairs and stu­pid people’s minds. Can you tell Assange’s rav­ings from Icke’s bol­locks? It’s time to find out. See if you can guess which of Britain’s two best-loved bonkers spec­tres said the fol­low­ing. (The answers come direct­ly after each quo­ta­tion, but, like the Illu­mi­nati, they are hid­den – click ‘Answer’ to see them revealed. Don’t cheat. We are watch­ing. We are always watch­ing.)

    1) ‘Infor­ma­tion flows from con­spir­a­tor to con­spir­a­tor. Not every con­spir­a­tor trusts or knows every oth­er con­spir­a­tor even though all are con­nect­ed.’


    2) ‘[My rela­tion­ship with the UK media] is not that great, par­tic­u­lar­ly the BBC. They are going to broad­cast a show… we final­ly found out that the producer’s wife for this show was part of the Zion­ist move­ment.’


    3) ‘Zion­ism is a sub­ject that all but a few are either too igno­rant or too fright­ened to tack­le and expose, but it must be made pub­lic.’


    4) ‘We saw the smirk­ing Amer­i­can politi­cians yes­ter­day. The hon­ey-trap has been sprung. Dark forces are at work. After what we’ve seen so far, you can rea­son­ably con­clude this is [all] part of a greater plan.’


    Posted by Vanfield | July 10, 2013, 9:34 pm
  9. The Wik­iLeaks Par­ty is offi­cial­ly here:

    The New York Times
    Wik­iLeaks Founder to Run for Aus­tralian Sen­ate
    Pub­lished: July 25, 2013

    SYDNEY, Aus­tralia — Julian Assange, the founder of Wik­iLeaks, for­mal­ly inau­gu­rat­ed a new polit­i­cal par­ty bear­ing the name of his anti­se­cre­cy orga­ni­za­tion on Thurs­day and declared his own unortho­dox can­di­da­cy for a seat in the Aus­tralian Sen­ate in nation­al elec­tions to be held lat­er this year.

    In a tele­phone inter­view, Mr. Assange said he had every con­fi­dence in his abil­i­ty to run a cam­paign from the Ecuadore­an Embassy in Lon­don, where he has been liv­ing under asy­lum for more than a year to avoid being extra­dit­ed to Swe­den, where he is want­ed for ques­tion­ing on sex­u­al assault accu­sa­tions.

    “It’s not unlike run­ning the Wik­iLeaks orga­ni­za­tion,” he said. “We have peo­ple on every con­ti­nent. We have to deal with over a dozen legal cas­es at once.”

    “How­ev­er, it’s nice to be polit­i­cal­ly engaged in my home coun­try,” he added.

    Mr. Assange, 42, an Aus­tralian com­put­er hack­er who rose to promi­nence as an evan­ge­list for rad­i­cal gov­ern­ment trans­paren­cy and a crit­ic of Unit­ed States for­eign pol­i­cy, is a deeply polar­iz­ing fig­ure. Many believe that the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty is sim­ply a van­i­ty project for Mr. Assange, although sev­er­al polls con­duct­ed since plans to estab­lish the par­ty emerged ear­li­er this year sug­gest that it could fare bet­ter than expect­ed.

    The Aus­tralian Sen­ate has a long his­to­ry of suc­cess­ful protest can­di­dates, John Wan­na, a polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor at Aus­tralian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty in Can­ber­ra, said in an inter­view. Mr. Assange is prob­a­bly hop­ing to trade on his name recog­ni­tion and fol­low in the foot­steps of oth­er rab­ble-rous­ing, sin­gle-issue sen­a­tors, Pro­fes­sor Wan­na said.

    “He’s basi­cal­ly a nui­sance can­di­date who may attract a bit of atten­tion, because he’s not real­ly about gov­ern­ing and sit­ting in Par­lia­ment,” Pro­fes­sor Wan­na said. “He’s not stand­ing to do the work, he’s stand­ing for the nui­sance val­ue.”

    If elect­ed, Mr. Assange said, his par­ty will work to advance “trans­paren­cy, jus­tice and account­abil­i­ty.”

    “My plans are to essen­tial­ly para­chute in a crack troop of inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists into the Sen­ate and to do what we have done with Wik­iLeaks, in hold­ing banks and gov­ern­ment and intel­li­gence agen­cies to account,” Mr. Assange said.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 25, 2013, 11:52 am
  10. We’re now learn­ing that Snow­den start­ed down­load­ing doc­u­ments in April 2012, short­ly after he moved to Hawaii and a year ear­li­er than was pre­vi­ous stat­ed:

    Snow­den down­loaded NSA secrets while work­ing for Dell, sources say

    Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:50pm EDT

    * Snow­den worked for Dell from 2009 until ear­li­er this year

    * Assigned as con­trac­tor to NSA facil­i­ties in U.S., Japan

    * Dell declines com­ment on any aspect of his employ­ment

    By Mark Hosen­ball

    WASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) — For­mer intel­li­gence con­trac­tor Edward Snow­den began down­load­ing doc­u­ments describ­ing the U.S. gov­ern­men­t’s elec­tron­ic spy­ing pro­grams while he was work­ing for Dell Inc in April 2012, almost a year ear­li­er than pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, accord­ing to U.S. offi­cials and oth­er sources famil­iar with the mat­ter.

    Snow­den, who was grant­ed a year’s asy­lum by Rus­sia on Aug. 1, worked for Dell from 2009 until ear­li­er this year, assigned as a con­trac­tor to U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency facil­i­ties in the Unit­ed States and Japan.

    Snow­den down­loaded infor­ma­tion while employed by Dell about eaves­drop­ping pro­grams run by the NSA and Britain’s Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Head­quar­ters, and left an elec­tron­ic foot­print indi­cat­ing when he accessed the doc­u­ments, said the sources, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty.

    David Frink, a spokesman for Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, declined to com­ment on any aspect of Snow­den’s employ­ment with the com­pa­ny, say­ing Del­l’s “cus­tomer” — pre­sum­ably the NSA — had asked Dell not to talk pub­licly about him.

    Since Snow­den dis­closed doc­u­ments on pre­vi­ous­ly secret U.S. inter­net and phone sur­veil­lance pro­grams in June, his three-month tenure with U.S. con­trac­tor Booz Allen Hamil­ton Hold­ing Corp start­ing in late March of this year has been the focus of con­sid­er­able atten­tion. His time at Dell has received lit­tle atten­tion.

    Law­mak­ers have ques­tioned how a rel­a­tive­ly low-lev­el sys­tems admin­is­tra­tor was able to gain access to so many top-secret doc­u­ments with­out rais­ing red flags. Some law­mak­ers have called the leaks one of the worst secu­ri­ty breach­es in U.S. his­to­ry.

    News that Snow­den was down­load­ing doc­u­ments while he worked at Dell could increase pres­sure on U.S. intel­li­gence agen­cies to tight­en secu­ri­ty pro­to­cols to pre­vent future leaks. The NSA has said it would tight­en access to clas­si­fied mate­r­i­al and put in place stricter con­trols for access­ing and down­load­ing such infor­ma­tion.


    Some of the mate­r­i­al Snow­den down­loaded in April 2012 while a Dell employ­ee relat­ed to NSA col­lec­tion from fiber-optic cables, includ­ing transocean­ic cables, of large quan­ti­ties of inter­net traf­fic and oth­er com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the sources said.

    Snow­den has said he left Dell for a job at Booz Allen Hamil­ton in Hawaii around March of this year, specif­i­cal­ly to gain access to addi­tion­al top-secret doc­u­ments that could be leaked to the media.


    In Feb­ru­ary 2010, while work­ing for Dell, Snow­den wrote in an inter­net tech­nol­o­gy forum, Ars Tech­ni­ca, that he was both­ered by tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies alleged­ly giv­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment access to pri­vate com­put­er servers.

    “It real­ly con­cerns me how lit­tle this sort of cor­po­rate behav­ior both­ers those out­side of tech­nol­o­gy cir­cles,” Snow­den wrote under the screen name “The True HooHA.” “Soci­ety real­ly seems to have devel­oped an unques­tion­ing obe­di­ence towards spooky types.”

    In addi­tion to a Jus­tice Depart­ment inves­ti­ga­tion, which has pro­duced crim­i­nal charges against Snow­den, U.S. intel­li­gence agen­cies are con­duct­ing an exten­sive inquiry to deter­mine pre­cise­ly what doc­u­ments Snow­den had access to, what he down­loaded and how much dam­age his actions have caused.

    Jacob Appel­baum, one of the Wik­ileaks-affil­i­at­ed hack­ers who has worked with Lau­ra Poitras in inter­view­ing Snow­den, also had a birth­day cel­e­bra­tion in Hawaii in ear­ly April 2012 with 20 friends, so this is like­ly to raise a lot more ques­tions about the over­all time­line of who Snow­den was work­ing with.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 16, 2013, 1:33 pm
  11. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it seems that few in the main­stream media have lit­tle inter­est in ask­ing, much less answer­ing, ques­tions about Snow­den’s activ­i­ties. Dave and Joshua Foust are the only peo­ple I’ve seen who are putting their ener­gies into ask­ing ques­tions and try­ing to con­nect dots.

    Posted by Kathleen | August 16, 2013, 5:34 pm
  12. Julian Assange gave an inter­view with some right-wing col­lege cam­pus reform group, where he praised Matt Drudge as a media inno­va­tor, called him­self a “big admir­er” of Ron and Rand Paul, and said that Lib­er­tar­i­an­ism is “the only hope” for US elec­toral pol­i­tics. Check out the video:

    Julian Assange Prais­es ‘Inno­va­tor’ Matt Drudge, ‘Prin­ci­pled’ Rand Paul
    by Matt Wilstein | 5:43 pm, August 16th, 2013

    Fri­day morn­ing, Wik­iLeaks founder Julian Assange par­tic­i­pat­ed in an online chat ses­sion host­ed by Cam­pus Reform, in which he offered up some spe­cial praise for con­ser­v­a­tives Matt Drudge and Sen. Rand Paul (R‑KY). Assange applaud­ed The Drudge Report for dis­rupt­ing the “self-cen­sor­ship of the estab­lish­ment press” and held up Paul as one of the most “prin­ci­pled” mem­bers of the U.S. Con­gress.

    Respond­ing to ques­tions from Cam­pus Reform edi­tor-in-chief Josi­ah Ryan, Assange began by call­ing Drudge a “news media inno­va­tor” who has been on the rise since the Mon­i­ca Lewin­sky scan­dal. “It is as a result of the self-cen­sor­ship of the estab­lish­ment press in the Unit­ed States that gave Matt Drudge such a plat­form,” Assange said, “and so of course he should be applaud­ed for break­ing a lot of that cen­sor­ship.”

    He also not­ed that social media has sup­plant­ed much of what Drudge is known for, which he described as “col­lect­ing inter­est­ing rumors that looked like they might be true and pub­lish­ing them.” Assange said he only agrees with “some” of Drudge’s polit­i­cal opin­ions.

    “I am a big admir­er of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very prin­ci­pled posi­tions in the U.S. Con­gress on a num­ber of issues,” Assange said, say­ing they have been some of his “strongest sup­port­ers” when it comes to attacks on Wik­iLeaks. He called the posi­tion of the “lib­er­tar­i­an Repub­li­can right” an “inter­est­ing phe­nom­e­non.” He point­ed out that they prin­ci­ple of “non-vio­lence” could include being against both drone war­fare and abor­tion.

    Watch video below, via Cam­pus Reform:
    [see video]

    The longer video of the inter­view is avail­able here.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 17, 2013, 3:09 pm
  13. @Pterrafractyl–

    It comes as no sur­prise that Cit­i­zen Assange would be part of the “Paulis­tin­ian Lib­er­tar­i­an Orga­ni­za­tion.”

    Amaz­ing to watch all these so-called pro­gres­sives lin­ing up behind this piece of garbage–Assange, that is.

    The whole of Snow­den’s Ride, as I call it, is a goodamn Under­ground Reich/Nazi psy-op!

    How depress­ing to watch all of these pro­gres­sive lint heads get­ting co-opt­ed.

    Not real­ly all that sur­pris­ing, but depress­ing nonethe­less.

    Keep up the great work!



    Posted by Dave Emory | August 17, 2013, 4:22 pm
  14. It sounds like this “admin­is­tra­tive error” might end up unseat­ing a Green Par­ty Sen­a­tor that was also Assange’s biggest sup­port­er in the Aus­tralian Sen­ate:

    Wik­iLeaks Party’s ‘admin­is­tra­tive errors’ incense Greens
    Bernard Keane | Aug 19, 2013 11:59AM

    A deci­sion by the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty to direct pref­er­ences away from Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­port­er has incensed sup­port­ers. They should have known bet­ter.

    The fledg­ling Wik­iLeaks Par­ty has inflict­ed major dam­age on itself after a dis­as­trous pref­er­ence allo­ca­tion that saw it pref­er­enc­ing far-right par­ties, apol­o­gis­ing for an “admin­is­tra­tive error” and pref­er­enc­ing the WA Nation­als ahead of Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­port­er, Greens Sen­a­tor Scott Lud­lam.

    The Sen­ate pref­er­ence allo­ca­tions revealed yes­ter­day showed, in New South Wales, Wik­iLeaks had pref­er­enced the right-wing Shoot­ers and Fish­ers Par­ty and the extreme-right Aus­tralia First Par­ty, run by con­vict­ed crim­i­nal and for­mer neo-Nazi Jim Saleam, ahead of the Greens and the major par­ties. Aus­tralia First wants to end all immi­gra­tion and to restore the death penal­ty.

    Soon after the release of the pref­er­ences and a firestorm of crit­i­cism erupt­ed on social media, the par­ty issued a state­ment on its Face­book page blam­ing the pref­er­enc­ing on “some admin­is­tra­tive errors”.

    The “error”, the exact nature of which remains unex­plained, appears to have par­tic­u­lar­ly incensed pro­gres­sive vot­ers who had assumed Wik­iLeaks would be a left-wing, Greens-style par­ty. How­ev­er, Julian Assange has already crit­i­cised the Greens’ totemic asy­lum seek­er pol­i­cy as “sim­plis­tic and fool­ish” dur­ing the cam­paign and backed off­shore pro­cess­ing, while crit­i­cis­ing both the major par­ties on the issue. On the week­end, Assange said he admired US lib­er­tar­i­an Repub­li­cans Ron and Rand Paul, though he expressed con­cern about their posi­tion on issues like abor­tion. Swap­ping pref­er­ences with minor par­ties of very dif­fer­ent ori­en­ta­tions is also stan­dard prac­tice for all par­ties. One par­ty source told Crikey the “admin­is­tra­tive error” in NSW was quite inten­tion­al and aimed at the Greens.

    How­ev­er, the fury over the party’s deci­sion to pref­er­ence the Nation­als ahead of the Greens in West­ern Aus­tralia is unre­lat­ed to ide­ol­o­gy: the deci­sion reduces the chances of the Greens’ Scott Lud­lam, who faces a chal­lenge to hang onto his Sen­ate spot, being re-elect­ed.

    Lud­lam has been Assange’s strongest sup­port­er inside fed­er­al Par­lia­ment, hound­ing the gov­ern­ment over its lack of sup­port for him and its deal­ings with the US over its cam­paign against Assange and Wik­iLeaks. Lud­lam trav­elled to Europe at his own expense in 2011 to talk to Swedish author­i­ties and Aus­tralian offi­cials in the UK about the case.

    The deci­sion to pref­er­ence the Nation­als’ David Wirrpan­da ahead of Lud­lam, strength­en­ing the chances of the Nation­als snar­ing the sixth Sen­ate spot ahead of the Greens, is thus an extra­or­di­nary betray­al. The party’s WA Vol­un­teer Coor­di­na­tor, jour­nal­ist and for­mer polit­i­cal staffer Natal­ie Banks, announced her res­ig­na­tion after the allo­ca­tion was revealed.

    Accord­ing to the party’s cam­paign direc­tor Greg Barns, the deci­sion to pref­er­ence the Nation­als ahead of the Greens was made by the party’s main Sen­ate can­di­date in West­ern Aus­tralia, Ger­ry Geor­gatos. Geor­gatos is an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist and for­mer Greens mem­ber who broke with the par­ty and sought to estab­lish a par­ty called “the Real Greens” in 2009.

    Geor­gatos told Crikey he under­stood the Aus­tralian polit­i­cal land­scape and had his “fin­ger on the pulse”: “I’m a con­vic­tion politi­cian and we haven’t done any deals for pref­er­ences. It’s all mer­it-based. Scott Lud­lam will get all these votes. Wirrpan­da won’t get any more than 3–4%.”

    Lud­lam, Geor­gatos claimed, was a “shoo-in” for the sixth spot and might even get the fifth Sen­ate spot; it was, he said, “disin­gen­u­ous” and “bull­shit” to sug­gest Wirrpan­da — a “good human being” — was a seri­ous threat to Lud­lam. “He’s our effec­tive first pref­er­ence. The work he’s done with Julian Assange is to be com­mend­ed. All pow­er to him,” he said.


    Georgatos’s con­fi­dence in Ludlam’s chances is shared by pre­cise­ly no one else either with­in the Greens or else­where; Antony Green has explained in detail why the Nation­als are a seri­ous con­tender for a fourth con­ser­v­a­tive Sen­ate spot in the west. If it’s the Nation­als, the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty will have helped dri­ve from the Sen­ate the Aus­tralian politi­cian who has done more for Assange than any oth­er.

    Lud­lam him­self sees the pref­er­enc­ing deci­sions as clear­ly hos­tile, but he’s get­ting on with his “day job” of cam­paign­ing. “We’ve all got jobs to do,” he said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 18, 2013, 7:13 pm
  15. @Pterrafractyl–

    Still more evi­dence of the fas­cist nature of Wik­iLeaks.

    Tru­ly, the Cyber-Wan­der­vo­gel in action.

    I won­der if that orga­ni­za­tion’s sup­port­ers will ever learn.

    Assange is such a prick, and more than a lit­tle obvi­ous, when one takes the time to check him out.

    Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde is liv­ing in Ger­many and had begun PB while in the employ of Siemens (inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Ger­man intel­li­gence).

    PB a major sup­port­er of WL.

    Note that Wik­iLeaks’ Aussie sup­port­ers expect­ed a Green Par­ty to be “left.” Such an analy­sis fails to take into account the Bruderschaft/SS/Nazi roots of the orig­i­nal Green Par­ty in Ger­many.

    See FTR #‘s 628, 629.



    Keep up the good work!


    Posted by Dave Emory | August 18, 2013, 8:00 pm
  16. Ouch, it looks like the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty’s inter­nal review of the process that led to the endorse­ment of far-right can­di­dates over the Greens will, itself, be delayed until after the elec­tion and not be inde­pen­dent. That has­n’t gone over well with some of the par­ty mem­bers:

    Leslie Can­nold quits as Wik­iLeaks par­ty can­di­date

    Vic­to­ria Sen­ate can­di­date resigns after par­ty lodged pref­er­ences plac­ing rightwingers over Greens

    Gabrielle Chan, polit­i­cal cor­re­spon­dent
    theguardian.com, Wednes­day 21 August 2013 04.10 EDT

    The Wik­iLeaks par­ty’s num­ber two Vic­to­ria Sen­ate can­di­date, Leslie Can­nold, has resigned amid a storm over the par­ty’s pref­er­ences, which favoured rightwing extrem­ists ahead of the Greens.

    Can­nold’s deci­sion came as Julian Assange’s par­ty declared it would issue a how-to-vote card to its sup­port­ers to over­ride the lodged pref­er­ences.

    The par­ty also announced an inde­pen­dent review into the com­mu­ni­ca­tions and deci­sion-mak­ing process around pref­er­ences, though it has claimed it was an “admin­is­tra­tive error”.

    Can­nold said she dis­cov­ered the review, promised imme­di­ate­ly, would be delayed until after the elec­tion and would not be inde­pen­dent. She said it reflect­ed prob­lems with the “capac­i­ty of the par­ty”.

    “This is the final straw,” Can­nold said.

    “As long as I believed there was a chance that democ­ra­cy, trans­paren­cy and account­abil­i­ty could pre­vail in the par­ty I was will­ing to stay on and fight for it.

    “But where a par­ty mem­ber makes a bid to sub­vert the par­ty’s own process­es, ask­ing oth­ers to join in a secret, alter­na­tive pow­er cen­tre that sub­verts the prop­er­ly con­sti­tut­ed one, noth­ing makes sense any more. This is an unac­cept­able mode of oper­a­tion for any organ­i­sa­tion but even more so for an organ­i­sa­tion explic­it­ly com­mit­ted to democ­ra­cy, trans­paren­cy and account­abil­i­ty.

    “Even if I stop cam­paign­ing this minute, remain­ing in my role implic­it­ly invites vot­ers to trust the Wik­iLeaks par­ty. By stay­ing in this role I am implic­it­ly vouch­ing for the wor­thi­ness of this par­ty to receive the votes of the Aus­tralian peo­ple. I can no longer do this because I no longer believe it is true, and so I must resign.”

    Ear­li­er in the day, Wik­iLeaks had promised a how-to-vote card but for for it to take effect, it would require Wik­iLeaks vot­ers to num­ber every box below the line.

    Wik­iLeaks released part of an email on Wednes­day to try to stem the dam­age of the pref­er­ence storm, which broke at the week­end after the close of lodge­ment of par­ty pref­er­ences with the Aus­tralian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion.

    Wik­iLeaks said it was in dis­cus­sions with the Aus­tralian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (AEC) over the pref­er­ences. How­ev­er, an AEC spokesman, Phil Diak, said the com­mis­sion was bound by the dead­line.

    “The dead­line for lodge­ment group vot­ing tick­ets was Sat­ur­day mid­day, 17 August and that is a leg­is­lat­ed dead­line so AEC has pub­lished and lodged group vot­ing tick­ets.”

    Diak said once the dead­line pass­es, “the basis for the pref­er­ences are allo­cat­ed”.

    The Wik­iLeaks par­ty (WLP) email sug­gests in New South Wales the par­ty placed the Greens above Fam­i­ly First, Shoot­ers and Fish­ers and and Chris­t­ian Right. In West­ern Aus­tralia, the email says: “WLP puts Greens first of major par­ties and above Chris­t­ian Right and Shoot­ers.”

    But the group vot­ing tick­et actu­al­ly lodged had pref­er­ences going to par­ties includ­ing the rightwing nation­al­ist Aus­tralia First and the Shoot­ers and Fish­ers ahead of the Greens on its NSW Sen­ate tick­et.


    Lud­lam said he had spo­ken at many forums with Chris­tine Assange and appre­ci­at­ed her sup­port. He said the inde­pen­dent review into the Wik­iLeaks pref­er­ences and the how-to-vote cards was “bet­ter than noth­ing”, even though many found it oner­ous to fill out every box on the Sen­ate paper.

    Also, regard­ing the asser­tion that it was mere­ly an “admin­is­tra­tive error” that some­how hap­pened at the last minute, Scott Lud­lam — the Green sen­a­tor and long-time Assange sup­port­er betrayed by this move — says that the Greens were told well before the final deci­sion that the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty was plan­ning on sup­port­ing the far-right over the Greens. That might be an error in judg­ment, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call that an “admin­is­tra­tive error”:

    Greens slam Wik­iLeaks Par­ty’s ‘hos­tile’ vot­ing pref­er­ences

    Sum­ma­ry: Greens com­mu­ni­ca­tions spokesper­son Scott Lud­lam has slammed the deci­sion of the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty to pref­er­ence Nation­als Sen­ate can­di­dates over the Greens in West­ern Aus­tralia.
    By Josh Tay­lor | August 19, 2013 — 07:22 GMT (00:22 PDT)

    After defend­ing the actions of Wik­iLeaks and its founder Julian Assange in par­lia­ment, a deci­sion by the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty to pref­er­ence WA Nation­als Sen­ate can­di­dates over sit­ting West­ern Aus­tralian Greens Sen­a­tor Scott Lud­lam could cost the sen­a­tor his seat in the par­lia­ment.

    Lud­lam, who has been one of the most vocal par­lia­men­tar­i­ans on the impor­tance of Wik­iLeaks and the rise of the sur­veil­lance state, faces a dif­fi­cult re-elec­tion con­test for his Sen­ate spot in West­ern Aus­tralia. He told ZDNet that the last WA slot in the Sen­ate will come down to either a Nation­als or Greens can­di­date.

    Aus­trali­a’s com­pul­so­ry pref­er­en­tial vot­ing sys­tem ensures that every vote cast ulti­mate­ly ends up for a par­tic­u­lar can­di­date who is vot­ed in. This means that a vote for a can­di­date who does­n’t meet the required quo­ta to be elect­ed is trans­ferred to the next pre­ferred can­di­date. In vot­ing for Sen­ate can­di­dates, a per­son can decide to vote for a par­tic­u­lar par­ty rather than a par­tic­u­lar order of can­di­dates, in which case the allo­ca­tion of vot­ing pref­er­ences from that vote is deter­mined by the par­ty.

    Alter­na­tive­ly, a vot­er can num­ber all of their can­di­date pref­er­ences indi­vid­u­al­ly, but, as this elec­tion’s Sen­ate bal­lot in New South Wales shows, it can be more time con­sum­ing and prone to error, with 110 can­di­dates up for elec­tion in that state.

    The Sen­ate group vot­ing tick­ets released yes­ter­day indi­cate how those pref­er­ences will flow if a vot­er does choose to vote for a par­ty. It revealed that in West­ern Aus­tralia, the new­ly formed Wik­iLeaks par­ty has pref­er­enced the con­ser­v­a­tive-lean­ing Nation­als above the pro­gres­sive Greens can­di­dates, includ­ing Lud­lam.

    Lud­lam said that the Greens posi­tion in WA is on a knife’s edge, and Wik­iLeaks did not help the sit­u­a­tion.

    “It’s pret­ty poor. It’s an unex­pect­ed and hos­tile deci­sion which I can’t pre­tend to under­stand,” Lud­lam said. “What we do know is that the last Sen­ate spot is like­ly to come down to the Greens or the Nation­als, so to have Wik­iLeaks pref­er­ence that way is pro­found­ly unhelp­ful.”

    Wik­iLeaks has not com­ment­ed on the sit­u­a­tion in WA, but a sim­i­lar pref­er­enc­ing arrange­ment in NSW that sees the extreme right-wing par­ties of The Shoot­ers & Fish­ers and Aus­tralia First pref­er­enced above the Greens was labelled as an “admin­is­tra­tive error” by the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty yes­ter­day. Lud­lam said that the Greens had known the Wik­iLeaks Par­ty was plan­ning to pref­er­ence that way last week.

    “There’s no admin­is­tra­tive error. One of our guys was told last week well before this deci­sion got locked away that that was what they were going to do,” Lud­lam said.

    Lud­lam said that if he fails to get back in, the oth­er Greens sen­a­tors will be there to ensure that either the Labor or Coali­tion gov­ern­ment is held to account.

    “I think it has been mis­char­ac­terised, as I’m the only one in par­lia­ment who cares about or works on these issues, but we’ve got a strong Greens team who will con­tin­ue to take on these issues no mat­ter what. I’m hop­ing that I’m part of it, but even if I’m not, we’ll con­tin­ue to do that work,” he said.

    If the Coali­tion wins, and con­trols both hous­es of par­lia­ment, Lud­lam warned that the abil­i­ty of the Sen­ate Esti­mates com­mit­tees and par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees to do over­sight work would be reduced.

    “A lot of the account­abil­i­ty mech­a­nisms we’ve been able to put to good effect in the last few years [will] get closed down,” he said.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 21, 2013, 2:17 pm
  17. The Wik­ileaks Par­ty’s claims that the far-right endorse­ments were an “admin­is­tra­tive error” have now been refut­ed by one of the par­ty’s own Sen­ate can­di­dates:

    Wik­ileaks Par­ty Sen­ate can­di­date: NSW pref­er­ences a “poor judge­ment call”, not admin error

    By Ter­ence Huynh on August 26, 2013

    Ger­ry Geor­gatos, the num­ber one Sen­ate can­di­date for the Wik­ileaks Par­ty in West­ern Aus­tralia, has said that the Wik­ileaks Party’s New South Wales pref­er­ences fias­co was a “poor judge­ment call” and not an admin­is­tra­tive error.

    “It was not an admin­is­tra­tive error, it was a poor judge­ment call. I’m not [going to come out] here and bull­shit the audi­ence,” he told the Indy­media pro­gramme (24 min­utes into the pro­gramme) on Perth’s RTR yes­ter­day. His state­ment appears to con­tra­dicts the offi­cial posi­tion giv­en by the Wik­ileaks Par­ty that the pref­er­ences were an “admin­is­tra­tive error”.

    In New South Wales, the Wik­ileaks Par­ty pref­er­enced the Shoot­ers and Fish­ers and far-right Aus­tralia First par­ty above the Greens – in direct con­tra­dic­tion to the deci­sions made by the Nation­al Coun­cil. The fias­co, in addi­tion to the West­ern Aus­tralian pref­er­ences, saw Leslie Can­nold, four Nation­al Coun­cil mem­bers and sev­er­al vol­un­teers left the par­ty.

    In response to those leav­ing the par­ty, Geor­gatos said that he has con­tact­ed them to get them back and said that the par­ty should not be “held hostage to their mis­takes” and be “above these things”.

    “If we blow this oppor­tu­ni­ty away – what’s every­body want, to blow the oppor­tu­ni­ty of Wik­ileaks, Julian Assange, Wik­ileaks sen­a­tors into the Sen­ate? This is mad­ness,” Geor­gatos told the pro­gramme. He also told the pro­gramme that he was dis­ap­point­ed by the move but did not leave the par­ty.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 28, 2013, 10:55 am
  18. Jacob Appel­baum’s apart­ment in Berlin appears to have been bro­ken into and his com­put­er was turned off and on. Appel­baum spec­u­lat­ed that this was the US gov­ern­men­t’s way of say­ing “we’re watch­ing you”. Sounds very pos­si­ble:

    Snow­den ally Apple­baum says his Berlin apart­ment sub­ject to raids
    Pub­lished time: Decem­ber 21, 2013 19:44

    Jacob Appel­baum, a Berlin-based US jour­nal­ist with access to some of Edward Snowden’s doc­u­ments, claims there have been a series of raids on his apart­ment, say­ing he sus­pects pos­si­ble US involve­ment.

    In an inter­view with “Berlin­er Zeitung” pub­lished on Sat­ur­day he described strange sce­nar­ios which have been haunt­ing him. “When I flew away for an appoint­ment, I installed four alarm sys­tems in my apart­ment,” Appel­baum said.

    “When I returned, three of them had been turned off. The fourth, how­ev­er, had reg­is­tered that some­body was in my flat — although I’m the only one with a key. Some of my effects — the posi­tions of which I care­ful­ly note — were indeed askew. My com­put­ers had been turned on and off,” he added.

    “The mon­i­tor­ing pres­sure has ulti­mate­ly destroyed my rela­tion­ship with my girl­friend,” he mourned. The inter­net activist, jour­nal­ist and cyber­se­cu­ri­ty spe­cial­ist is a core mem­ber of the Tor encrypt­ed net­work and has well-doc­u­ment­ed ties to Wik­iLeaks.

    dHis deci­sion to move to Berlin was made because he con­sid­ered Ger­many to have bet­ter pri­va­cy pro­tec­tion, and because he felt unsafe in the US after repeat­ed deten­tions at Amer­i­can air­ports fol­low­ing his trips abroad.

    How­ev­er, he sus­pects that he remains the sub­ject of inves­ti­ga­tion. “When one begins to keep a reg­is­ter, then the grow­ing fre­quen­cy falls on you,” he told the paper.

    “On 10 Octo­ber, for exam­ple, there were two women try­ing to get into my apart­ment. They pre­tend­ed that the prop­er­ty man­age­ment had giv­en them a key to enter because they want­ed to rent the apart­ment. I called the prop­er­ty man­age­ment — they knew noth­ing about it and had not issued a key”

    Appel­baum believes that the inten­tion behind the inci­dents is to make him feel uncom­fort­able — so that he knows they “care” about him “while leav­ing no pos­si­ble evi­dence.”

    Appel­baum is one of the few peo­ple with access to some of the data obtained by Snow­den. Since June, Snow­den has been releas­ing scan­dalous infor­ma­tion about the extent of NSA sur­veil­lance prac­tices, and in August in Berlin, Appel­baum read out Snow­den’s accep­tance speech when he received the Whistle­blow­er Prize from a group of NGOs.

    He has been no stranger to prob­lems with the law, hav­ing been detained by US Cus­toms mul­ti­ple times and has had cell phones and lap­tops seized and searched. His affil­i­a­tion with hack­ing col­lec­tives and Wik­iLeaks has made him a fre­quent tar­get of fed­er­al probes, often with­out any real reper­cus­sions.


    Appel­baum could eas­i­ly be cor­rect when he spec­u­lates that the US gov­ern­ment is track­ing him and maybe even break­ing into his apart­ment. At least, it’s a pret­ty rea­son­ably assump­tion that the US and UK would be very inter­est­ed in what’s sit­ting on Appel­baum’s com­put­ers giv­en that he’s one of the few peo­ple has access to some of the Snow­den doc­u­ments and we still don’t know who has Snow­den’s “Dead Man’s Switch”. And who knows just how inter­est­ed the BND might be in get­ting their hands on those doc­u­ments (assum­ing Appel­baum has­n’t already hand­ed them over to the BND...just imag­ine how many hack­ers in Berlin are get­ting court­ed by the BND and oth­er intel­li­gence agen­cies these days).

    But, like the theft of Green­wald’s lap­top short­ly after the Snow­den affair began, Appel­baum claims also raise the inter­est­ing ques­tion of just how many oth­er gov­ern­ments and pri­vate groups around the globe might be inter­est­ed in what’s sit­ting on their com­put­ers? The whole world knows these guys have A LOT of secret infor­ma­tion, but nobody real­ly knows what all is sit­ting in there. That makes it a pret­ty tempt­ing trea­sure trove for a wide vari­ety of par­ties. So, obvi­ous­ly, gov­ern­ments would be curi­ous about what’s on Appel­baum’s com­put­ers and might be tempt­ed to either access his com­put­er or at least send a “we’re watch­ing you” mes­sage if they’re fear­ing what could be released. But what pri­vate inter­est groups might also be will­ing to risk a break to get a peak at Appel­baum’s com­put­ers? For instance, how much crim­i­nal hack­ing is done by the mob nowa­days and how much mon­ey could you make with infor­ma­tion about the NSA’s back­doors? Could com­pe­tent hack­ers hack with impuni­ty if they had the NSA’s “blue­print”? In oth­er words, Appel­baum is prob­a­bly right to be para­noid about the gov­ern­ments spy­ing on him but he might need to be wor­ried about more than just gov­ern­ments at this point all things con­sid­ered.

    For­tu­nate­ly for Appel­baum, if he has to live off the grid and anony­mous­ly to stay safe he’s prob­a­bly pret­ty good at it by now:

    Rolling Stone
    The Amer­i­can Wik­ileaks Hack­er
    Jacob Appel­baum fights repres­sive regimes around the world — includ­ing his own.

    By Nathaniel Rich
    Decem­ber 1, 2010 6:34 PM ET

    On July 29th, return­ing from a trip to Europe, Jacob Appel­baum, a lanky, unas­sum­ing 27-year-old wear­ing a black T‑shirt with the slo­gan “Be the trou­ble you want to see in the world,” was detained at cus­toms by a posse of fed­er­al agents. In an inter­ro­ga­tion room at Newark Lib­er­ty air­port, he was grilled about his role in Wik­ileaks, the whis­tle-blow­er group that has exposed the gov­ern­men­t’s most close­ly guard­ed intel­li­gence reports about the war in Afghanistan. The agents pho­to­copied his receipts, seized three of his cell­phones — he owns more than a dozen — and con­fis­cat­ed his com­put­er. They informed him that he was under gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance. They ques­tioned him about the trove of 91,000 clas­si­fied mil­i­tary doc­u­ments that Wik­ileaks had released the week before, a leak that Viet­nam-era activist Daniel Ells­berg called “the largest unau­tho­rized dis­clo­sure since the Pen­ta­gon Papers.” They demand­ed to know where Julian Assange, the founder of Wik­ileaks, was hid­ing. They pressed him on his opin­ions about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Appel­baum refused to answer. Final­ly, after three hours, he was released.

    Appel­baum is the only known Amer­i­can mem­ber of Wik­ileaks and the lead­ing evan­ge­list for the soft­ware pro­gram that helped make the leak pos­si­ble. In a sense, he’s a bizarro ver­sion of Mark Zucker­berg: If Face­book’s ambi­tion is to “make the world more open and con­nect­ed,” Appel­baum has ded­i­cat­ed his life to fight­ing for anonymi­ty and pri­va­cy. An anar­chist street kid raised by a hero­in- addict father, he dropped out of high school, taught him­self the intri­ca­cies of code and devel­oped a healthy para­noia along the way. “I don’t want to live in a world where every­one is watched all the time,” he says. “I want to be left alone as much as pos­si­ble. I don’t want a data trail to tell a sto­ry that isn’t true.” We have trans­ferred our most inti­mate and per­son­al infor­ma­tion — our bank accounts, e‑mails, pho­tographs, phone con­ver­sa­tions, med­ical records — to dig­i­tal net­works, trust­ing that it’s all locked away in some secret crypt. But Appel­baum knows that this infor­ma­tion is not safe. He knows, because he can find it.


    No one has done more to spread the gospel of anonymi­ty than Appel­baum, whose day job is to serve as the pub­lic face of the Tor Project, a group that pro­motes Inter­net pri­va­cy through a soft­ware pro­gram invent­ed 15 years ago by the U.S. Naval Research Lab­o­ra­to­ry. He trav­els the world teach­ing spooks, polit­i­cal dis­si­dents and human rights activists how to use Tor to pre­vent some of the world’s most repres­sive regimes from track­ing their move­ments online. He con­sid­ers him­self a free­dom-of-speech abso­lutist. “The only way we’ll make progress in the human race is if we have dia­logue,” he says. “Every­one should hon­or the Unit­ed Nations human rights char­ter that says access to free­dom of speech is a uni­ver­sal right. Anony­mous com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a good way for this to hap­pen. Tor is just an imple­men­ta­tion that helps spread that idea.”

    In the past year alone, Tor has been down­loaded more than 36 mil­lion times. A sus­pect­ed high-lev­el mem­ber of the Iran­ian mil­i­tary used Tor to leak infor­ma­tion about Tehran’s cen­sor­ship appa­ra­tus. An exiled Tunisian blog­ger liv­ing in the Nether­lands relies on Tor to get past state cen­sors. Dur­ing the Bei­jing Olympics, Chi­nese pro­test­ers used Tor to hide their iden­ti­ties from the gov­ern­ment.

    The Tor Project has received fund­ing not only from major cor­po­ra­tions like Google and activist groups like Human Rights Watch but also from the U.S. mil­i­tary, which sees Tor as an impor­tant tool in intel­li­gence work. The Pen­ta­gon was not par­tic­u­lar­ly pleased, how­ev­er, when Tor was used to reveal its secrets. Wik­ileaks runs on Tor, which helps to pre­serve the anonymi­ty of its infor­mants. Though Appel­baum is a Tor employ­ee, he vol­un­teers for Wik­ileaks and works close­ly with Julian Assange, the group’s founder. “Tor’s impor­tance to Wik­ileaks can­not be under­stat­ed,” Assange says. “Jake has been a tire­less pro­mot­er behind the scenes of our cause.”

    In July, short­ly before Wik­ileaks released the clas­si­fied Afghanistan war doc­u­ments, Assange had been sched­uled to give the keynote speech at Hack­ers on Plan­et Earth (HOPE), a major con­fer­ence held at a hotel in New York. Fed­er­al agents were spot­ted in the audi­ence, pre­sum­ably wait­ing for Assange to appear. Yet as the lights dark­ened in the audi­to­ri­um, it was not Assange who took the stage but Appel­baum.

    “Hel­lo to all my friends and fans in domes­tic and inter­na­tion­al sur­veil­lance,” Appel­baum began. “I am here today because I believe we can make a bet­ter world. Julian, unfor­tu­nate­ly, can’t make it, because we don’t live in that bet­ter world right now, because we haven’t yet made it. I want­ed to make a lit­tle dec­la­ra­tion for the fed­er­al agents that are stand­ing in the back of the room and the ones that are stand­ing in the front of the room, and to be very clear about this: I have, on me, in my pock­et, some mon­ey, the Bill of Rights and a dri­ver’s license, and that’s it. I have no com­put­er sys­tem, I have no tele­phone, I have no keys, no access to any­thing. There’s absolute­ly no rea­son that you should arrest me or both­er me. And just in case you were won­der­ing, I’m an Amer­i­can, born and raised, who’s unhap­py. I’m unhap­py with how things are going.” He paused, inter­rupt­ed by rau­cous applause. “To quote from Tron,” he added, “ ‘I fight for the user.’ ”

    For the next 75 min­utes, Appel­baum spoke about Wik­ileaks, urg­ing the hack­ers in the audi­ence to vol­un­teer for the cause. Then the lights went out, and Appel­baum, his black hood­ie pulled down over his face, appeared to be escort­ed out of the audi­to­ri­um by a group of vol­un­teers. In the lob­by, how­ev­er, the hood was lift­ed, reveal­ing a young man who was not, in fact, Appel­baum. The real Appel­baum had slipped away back­stage and left the hotel through a secu­ri­ty door. Two hours lat­er, he was on a flight to Berlin

    By the time Appel­baum returned to Amer­i­ca 12 days lat­er and was detained at Newark, news­pa­pers were report­ing that the war doc­u­ments iden­ti­fied dozens of Afghan infor­mants and poten­tial defec­tors who were coop­er­at­ing with Amer­i­can troops. (When asked why Wik­ileaks did­n’t redact these doc­u­ments before releas­ing them, a spokesman for the orga­ni­za­tion blamed the sheer vol­ume of infor­ma­tion: “I just can’t imag­ine that some­one could go through 76,000 doc­u­ments.”) Marc Thiessen, a for­mer Bush speech­writer, called the group “a crim­i­nal enter­prise” and urged the U.S. mil­i­tary to hunt them down like Al Qae­da. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Repub­li­can from Michi­gan, said that the sol­dier who alleged­ly pro­vid­ed the doc­u­ments to Wik­ileaks should be exe­cut­ed.

    Two days lat­er, after speak­ing at a hack­ers con­fer­ence in Las Vegas, Appel­baum was approached by a pair of under­cov­er FBI agents. “We’d like to chat for a few min­utes,” one of them said. “We thought you might not want to. But some­times it’s nice to have a con­ver­sa­tion to flesh things out.”

    Appel­baum has been off the grid ever since — avoid­ing air­ports, friends, strangers and unse­cure loca­tions, trav­el­ing through the coun­try by car. He’s spent the past five years of his life work­ing to pro­tect activists around the world from repres­sive gov­ern­ments. Now he is on the run from his own.


    He explains that we have to take a cab to pick up his mail. Like being a strict veg­an or a Mor­mon, a life of total anonymi­ty requires great sac­ri­fice. You can­not, for instance, have mail deliv­ered to your home. Nor can you list your name in your build­ing’s direc­to­ry. Appel­baum has all of his mail sent to a pri­vate mail drop, where a clerk signs for it. That allows Appel­baum — and the dis­si­dents and hack­ers he deals with — to use the postal sys­tem anony­mous­ly. Per­son One can send a pack­age to Appel­baum, who can repack­age it and send it on to Per­son Two. That way Per­son One and Per­son Two nev­er have direct con­tact — or even learn each oth­er’s iden­ti­ties.

    Tor works in a sim­i­lar way. When you use the Inter­net, your com­put­er makes a con­nec­tion to the Web serv­er you wish to con­tact. The serv­er rec­og­nizes your com­put­er, notes its IP address and sends back the page you’ve request­ed. It’s not dif­fi­cult, how­ev­er, for a gov­ern­ment agency or a mali­cious hack­er to observe this whole trans­ac­tion: They can mon­i­tor the serv­er and see who is con­tact­ing it, or they can mon­i­tor your com­put­er and see whom you’re try­ing to con­tact. Tor pre­vents such online spy­ing by intro­duc­ing inter­me­di­aries between your com­put­er and the sys­tem you’re try­ing to reach. Say, for exam­ple, that you live in San Fran­cis­co and you want to send an e‑mail to your friend, a high-lev­el mole in the Iran­ian Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard. If you e‑mail your friend direct­ly, the Guard’s net­work could eas­i­ly see your com­put­er’s IP address, and dis­cov­er your name and per­son­al infor­ma­tion. But if you’ve installed Tor, your e‑mail gets rout­ed to one of 2,000 relays — com­put­ers run­ning Tor — scat­tered across the world. So your mes­sage bounces to a relay in Paris, which for­wards it to a sec­ond relay in Tokyo, which sends it on to a third relay in Ams­ter­dam, where it is final­ly trans­mit­ted to your friend in Tehran. The Iran­ian Guard can only see that an e‑mail has been sent from Ams­ter­dam. Any­one spy­ing on your com­put­er would only see that you sent an e‑mail to some­one in Paris. There is no direct con­nec­tion between San Fran­cis­co and Tehran. The con­tent of your e‑mail is not hid­den — for that, you need encryp­tion tech­nol­o­gy — but your loca­tion is secure.

    Appel­baum spends much of each year lead­ing Tor train­ing ses­sions around the world, often con­duct­ed in secre­cy to pro­tect activists whose lives are in dan­ger. Some, like the sex-work­er advo­cates from South­east Asia he tutored, had lim­it­ed knowl­edge of com­put­ers. Oth­ers, like a group of stu­dents Appel­baum trained at a sem­i­nar in Qatar, are high­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed: One worked on the gov­ern­men­t’s cen­sor­ship net­work, anoth­er works for a nation­al oil com­pa­ny, and a third cre­at­ed an Al-Jazeera mes­sage board that allows cit­i­zens to post com­ments anony­mous­ly. In Mau­ri­ta­nia, the coun­try’s mil­i­tary regime was forced to aban­don its efforts to cen­sor the Inter­net after a dis­si­dent named Nass­er Wed­dady wrote a guide to Tor in Ara­bic and dis­trib­uted it to oppo­si­tion groups. “Tor ren­dered the gov­ern­men­t’s efforts com­plete­ly futile,” Wed­dady says. “They sim­ply did­n’t have the know-how to counter that move.”

    In dis­trib­ut­ing Tor, Appel­baum does­n’t dis­tin­guish between good guys and bad guys. “I don’t know the dif­fer­ence between one theoc­ra­cy or anoth­er in Iran,” he says. “What’s impor­tant to me is that peo­ple have com­mu­ni­ca­tion free from sur­veil­lance. Tor should­n’t be thought of as sub­ver­sive. It should be thought of as a neces­si­ty. Every­one every­where should be able to speak and read and form their own beliefs with­out being mon­i­tored. It should get to a point where Tor is not a threat but is relied upon by all lev­els of soci­ety. When that hap­pens, we win.”

    As the pub­lic face of an orga­ni­za­tion devot­ed to anonymi­ty, Appel­baum finds him­self in a pre­car­i­ous posi­tion. It is in Tor’s inter­est to gain as much pub­lic­i­ty as pos­si­ble — the more peo­ple who allow their com­put­ers to serve as relays, the bet­ter. But he also lives in a state of con­stant vig­i­lance, wor­ried that his ene­mies — envi­ous hack­ers, repres­sive for­eign regimes, his own gov­ern­ment — are try­ing to attack him. His com­pro­mise is to employ a two-tiered sys­tem. He main­tains a Twit­ter account and has post­ed thou­sands of pho­tos on Flickr. Yet he takes exten­sive mea­sures to pre­vent any pri­vate infor­ma­tion — phone num­bers, e‑mail address­es, names of friends — from appear­ing.

    “There are degrees of pri­va­cy,” he says. “The nor­mal thing nowa­days is to con­spic­u­ous­ly report on one anoth­er in a way that the Stasi could­n’t even dream of. I don’t do that. I do not enter my home address into any com­put­er. I pay rent in cash. For every online account, I gen­er­ate ran­dom pass­words and cre­ate new e‑mail address­es. I nev­er write checks, because they’re inse­cure — your rout­ing num­ber and account num­ber are all that are required to emp­ty your bank account. I don’t under­stand why any­one still uses checks. Checks are crazy.”

    When he trav­els, if his lap­top is out of his sight for any peri­od of time, he destroys it and then throws it away; the con­cern is that some­one might have bugged it. He is often dri­ven to extreme mea­sures to get copies of Tor through cus­toms in for­eign coun­tries. “I stud­ied what drug smug­glers do,” he says. “I want­ed to beat them at their own game.” He shows me a nick­el. Then he slams it on the floor of his apart­ment. It pops open. Inside there is a tiny eight- giga­byte microSD mem­o­ry card. It holds a copy of Tor.

    As fast as Tor has grown, gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance of the Inter­net has expand­ed even more rapid­ly. “It’s unbe­liev­able how much pow­er some­one has if they have unfet­tered access to Google’s data­bas­es,” Appel­baum says.

    As he is quick to point out, oppres­sive for­eign regimes are only part of the prob­lem. In the past few years, the U.S. gov­ern­ment has been qui­et­ly accu­mu­lat­ing libraries of data on its own cit­i­zens. Law enforce­ment can sub­poe­na your Inter­net provider for your name, address and phone records. With a court order, they can request the e‑mail address­es of any­one with whom you com­mu­ni­cate and the web­sites you vis­it. Your cell­phone provider can track your loca­tion at all times.

    “It’s not just the state,” says Appel­baum. “If it want­ed to, Google could over­throw any coun­try in the world. Google has enough dirt to destroy every mar­riage in Amer­i­ca.”

    But does­n’t Google pro­vide fund­ing for Tor?

    “I love Google,” he says. “And I love the peo­ple there. Sergey Brin and Lar­ry Page are cool. But I’m ter­ri­fied of the next gen­er­a­tion that takes over. A benev­o­lent dic­ta­tor­ship is still a dic­ta­tor­ship. At some point peo­ple are going to real­ize that Google has every­thing on every­one. Most of all, they can see what ques­tions you’re ask­ing, in real time. Quite lit­er­al­ly, they can read your mind.”

    Now, in the wake of the Wik­ileaks con­tro­ver­sy, Appel­baum has gone under­ground, con­ceal­ing his where­abouts from even his clos­est friends. He sus­pects his phones are tapped and that he’s being fol­lowed. A week after being ques­tioned in Newark, he calls me from an undis­closed loca­tion, my request to con­tact him hav­ing been passed along through a series of inter­me­di­aries. The irony of his sit­u­a­tion isn’t lost on him.

    “I’ll be using Tor a lot more than I ever did — and I used it a lot,” he says, his voice unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly sober. “I have become one of the peo­ple I have spent the last sev­er­al years of my life pro­tect­ing. I bet­ter take my own advice.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 22, 2013, 8:38 pm
  19. Julian Assange was recent­ly asked a rather bizarre ques­tion at the Chaos Com­put­er Club con­fer­ence: “What was the most dif­fi­cult part on get­ting Snow­den out of the U.S.?” It was a ques­tion from the inter­net and it appears that Sarah Har­ri­son chose to ask it (she was at least the per­son read­ing the ques­tion to Assange). Giv­en the Snow­den time­line and the role Har­ri­son and Wik­iLeaks have played since Snow­den’s time in Hong Kong, it was an odd choice for Har­ri­son because there’s nev­er been any indi­ca­tion that Snow­den required any help to leave Hawaii. But when you lis­ten to the answer Assange starts giv­ing before the video feed sud­den­ly cuts off (it was the final ques­tion of the forum) it becomes pret­ty clear that some­one should prob­a­bly ask Assange that ques­tion again:

    Busi­ness Insid­er
    Julian Assange Gave A Very Pecu­liar Response When He Was Asked About ‘Get­ting Snow­den Out Of The US’

    Michael Kel­ley

    Jan. 4, 2014, 2:32 PM

    A strange exchange occurred when mem­bers of the rene­gade pub­lish­ing orga­ni­za­tion Wik­iLeaks were asked about the flight of Edward Snow­den at a Chaos Com­put­er Club con­fer­ence last week.

    Wik­iLeaks has been cred­it­ed with help­ing Snow­den escape extra­di­tion to the U.S. after the 30-year-old left Hawaii with at least hun­dreds of thou­sands of clas­si­fied NSA files and flew to Hong Kong on May 20.

    At the CCC con­fer­ence on Dec. 29, Assange said that “Wik­iLeaks was able to res­cue Edward Snow­den because we are an orga­nized insti­tu­tion with col­lec­tive expe­ri­ence.”

    Top Wik­iLeaks advis­er Sarah Har­ri­son, who met Snow­den in Hong Kong and accom­pa­nied him to Moscow, then answered the last ques­tion com­ing from the Inter­net:

    “What was the most dif­fi­cult part on get­ting Snow­den out of the U.S.?”

    Assange, Har­ri­son and “Amer­i­can Wik­iLeaks Hack­er” Jacob Appel­baum all laughed, and then Appel­baum said: “That’s quite a loaded ques­tion.”

    Assange then said: “Yeah, that’s inter­est­ing to think whether we can actu­al­ly answer that ques­tion at all. I’ll give a vari­ant of the answer because of the legal sit­u­a­tion it is a lit­tle bit dif­fi­cult.”

    That is a very pecu­liar (and seem­ing­ly nat­ur­al) col­lec­tive response. Most peo­ple have not con­sid­ered that Wik­iLeaks may have become involved with Snow­den before June 12, when the for­mer CIA tech­ni­cian con­tact­ed the orga­ni­za­tion after out­ing him­self.

    So the “loaded” ques­tion could have eas­i­ly been point­ed out as unsound, and Assange could have denied that Wik­iLeaks con­tact­ed Snow­den before he reached out from Chi­na.

    Instead, the 42-year-old Aus­tralian ques­tioned whether it could be answered at all.

    That’s not to say that the exchange proves that Wik­iLeaks abet­ted Snow­den’s theft and get­away. But it is con­cern­ing giv­en Wik­iLeaks’ close­ness to the Krem­lin and the fact that the two jour­nal­ists who received doc­u­ments from Snow­den in Hong Kong (Lau­ra Poitras and Glenn Green­wald) both sit on the board of a foun­da­tion launched to crowd-source fund­ing for Wik­iLeaks.

    And Appel­baum, a close friend of Poitras and the lead author of at least one Der Spiegel sto­ry cit­ing the Snow­den leaks, gave a pre­sen­ta­tion at the con­fer­ence using nev­er-before-seen NSA slides.


    Who knows how to inter­pret Appel­baum’s and Assange’s response to the ques­tion but it’s the kind of inci­dent that isn’t going to help make the sus­pi­cions about Appel­baum’s April 2013 trip to Hawaii or the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an ear­li­er Snowden/WikiLeaks col­lab­o­ra­tion go away.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 13, 2014, 6:56 pm
  20. Well, this should add to the debate over whether Wik­ileaks inten­tion­al­ly tried to get Snow­den to Rus­sia: Assange him­self admit­ted in an inter­view last Decem­ber that he specif­i­cal­ly advised to Snow­den that Rus­sia would be the safest place to stay:

    Busi­ness Insid­er
    Julian Assange’s ‘Ghost­writer’ Evis­cer­ates The Wik­iLeaks Founder In Crush­ing Tell-All
    Michael Kel­ley

    Feb. 23, 2014, 5:59 PM

    In Jan­u­ary 2011, Wik­iLeaks founder Julian Assange chose Scot­tish nov­el­ist and non-fic­tion author Andrew O’Ha­gan to ‘ghost­write’ his autobiography/manifesto.

    The project failed spec­tac­u­lar­ly over the next five months.

    O’Ha­gan, an Edi­tor at Large of Esquire, has now writ­ten a 25,000-word lam­bast­ing in the Lon­don Review of Books, in which he describes the 42-year-old Aus­tralian as “thin-skinned, con­spir­a­to­r­i­al, untruth­ful, [and] nar­cis­sis­tic.”

    O’Ha­gan, who is actu­al­ly quite sym­pa­thet­ic to Assange, spent months around the pub­lish­er and his entourage.

    The account, which seems gen­uine, is dev­as­tat­ing to pop­u­lar notions of Assange as a hero of trans­paren­cy who has been per­se­cut­ed by the gov­ern­ments that he holds into account.


    Dur­ing O’Ha­gan’s last vis­its with Assange, they spoke about Edward Snow­den. Assange had sent his per­son­al assis­tant and girl­friend, Sarah Har­ri­son, to advise the 30-year-old leak­er some­time after he out­ed him­self in Hong Kong on June 10.

    Assange, who O’Ha­gan notes has chat­ted with Snow­den, con­sid­ers the NSA fugi­tive the ninth best hack­er in the world (while he con­sid­ers him­self to be No.3).

    Har­ri­son accom­pa­nied Snow­den on June 23 when he flew from Hong Kong to Moscow, where Snow­den was prompt­ly strand­ed. Har­ri­son, who O’Ha­gan describes as “strung between lov­ing [Assange] and being baf­fled,” stayed with Snow­den for more than four months before going to Berlin.

    Assange told Janet Reit­man of Rolling Stone that he advised Snow­den that the for­mer CIA tech­ni­cian “would be phys­i­cal­ly safest in Rus­sia.” And that’s where Snow­den remains for the fore­see­able future.

    “Snow­den was now the cen­tral hub and Julian was keen to help him and keen to be seen to be help­ing him,” O’Ha­gan writes. “It’s how the ego works and the ego always comes first.”

    Here’s more of what Assange said dur­ing the Rolling Stone inter­view:

    Green­wald has a com­pli­cat­ed rela­tion­ship with Wik­iLeaks and Assange, whom he con­sid­ers an ally, though giv­en Assange’s con­tro­ver­sial rep­u­ta­tion in the Unit­ed States, he admits that “Julian step­ping for­ward and being the face of the sto­ry was­n’t great for Snow­den.” But he cred­its Assange with hav­ing helped save Snow­den from almost cer­tain extra­di­tion to the U.S. Snow­den, how­ev­er, nev­er want­ed to go to Rus­sia, which Assange acknowl­edges. “Snow­den believed that in order to most effec­tive­ly push for reform in the U.S., Latin Amer­i­ca would be the bet­ter option,” Assange tells me. “He did not want to invite a polit­i­cal attack that he’d ‘defect­ed.’ ”

    Assange, how­ev­er, dis­agrees. “While Venezuela and Ecuador could pro­tect him in the short term, over the long term there could be a change in gov­ern­ment. In Rus­sia, he’s safe, he’s well-regard­ed, and that is not like­ly to change. That was my advice to Snow­den, that he would be phys­i­cal­ly safest in Rus­sia.” Assange also claims that Snow­den has proved “you can blow the whis­tle about nation­al secu­ri­ty and not only sur­vive, but thrive.”

    It’s pos­si­ble that this advice was giv­en to Snow­den after he was strand­ed in Rus­sia, but this bit of info cer­tain­ly sug­gests that Rus­sia was, at least from Wik­ileak­s’s per­spec­tive, the pre­ferred final des­ti­na­tion.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 27, 2014, 3:03 pm

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