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He very clearly explained his motives for not doing so in the AMA, and he gave an alternate POL by reading from the blockchain.

This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they've never published anything that wasn't verified to be true. Since that's something they can't be attacked on, it seems that the strategy for discrediting Wikileaks has now become to accuse them of association with the Russians. Assange touches on this in the AMA as well.

Beyond that, only speculation remains. So why even give a shit? As long as what they're publishing is true, which it has always been so far. Let them fight each other with the truth and the people will be better off. Nothing you've said changes the validity of this article, in fact, it only distracts from it. So I'd say you're doing us a disservice by distracting from the real story here.

For the purpose of devil's advocate in this, I think it's possible to state truths and still be misleading and/or distracting from another narrative. Just because something is true doesn't necessarily explain what the motive is for releasing that information. It's certainly healthy to have at least a shadow of a doubt as to what WikiLeaks's motivations are when it's already shown that it can either restrain itself from leaks or that it can falsify the existence of leaks.[0]

[0] In 2010, WikiLeaks declared to the public the intent to publish docs alleging significant Russian corruption. It was also picked up by a Russian newspaper that reported to be working with WikiLeaks. However, nothing happened and the topic has been untouched since.

Allegedly WL did not release every email they had from the Syria leak. While every email released may be legitimate, the omission of emails pertaining to russia creates a narrative.

Wikileaks may be telling the truth but it's far from clear whether they are telling the whole truth. And in between "truth" and "whole truth" there's a lot of room to shape the narrative

It's known that WL will often save some of the worst leaks as an 'insurance' against retaliation from the entity the leaks pertain to. It's likely there's aspects they're holding back from this leak as well, if they don't already hold enough over the U.S. gov.

They have already stated in black and white that they have held back a lot concerning this release; due to various concerns. They are completely open about that.

A lot of the stuff they keep to themselves can be used as collateral, like all the names they redact, operational details, etc, but I think they would quickly find themselves in an even more dangerous game than they are now, if they started to exploit these possibilities.

uhm... what are the current speculations as to what they may be holding back?

It's Manning stuff, I think. And it's not that they're "holding back" stuff. It's been torrented, but encrypted.

Well, it works both ways. You're creating an even shadier narrative, since you're parroting a familiar a story about the selective choice of leaks without any evidence that other leaks are being withheld, and this story is primarily used to distract from the information that Wikileaks publishes and discredit Wikileaks and Assange.

Even if Wikileaks withheld other leaks, for which no evidence has ever been presented so far, what they have published so far seems to have been factual and genuine material. So let's not distract from the truth...

It was an unsupported allegation by Daily Dot. See https://lists.cpunks.org/pipermail/cypherpunks/2017-March/03...

If Wikileaks is in any way editorializing the information, that is not specifically related to things like 'redaction of names to not put specific lives at risk' - then it is existentially damaging to their credibility.

It's not just 'shaping narrative' - it's 'creating it'.

I'm not for or against the very nature of Wikileaks - but I'm pointing out that editorialization is quite fundamentally bad - for an organization like them.

The 'best leaks' were the ones in concert with Guardian, NYT and Spiegel - that way they had a lot of transparency, a lot of eyes on it, and some people who could agree to redact specific names without changing the nature of the information.

Cutting out 'Russian related material' is really quite a bad thing.

Further interesting point: the news if fairly minimized at CNN, Fox etc.. No big headlines.

Also is the fact that Assange was trying to 'hand himself over' to authorities during the election. He may have been trying to use this potential leak as leverage. Who knows. It's all so mysterious ...

Even people here are susceptible to the logical problem. Here's a thread from last year: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12984371

The people who support Wikileaks are arguing that none of the leaks were fraudulent, while critics point to evidence suggesting that Wikileaks was editorializing by withholding information. The supporters never really address the editorializing issue.

If I have information that you murdered someone, and information that a friend of mine murdered someone else and I only release the info I have on you does that make the information any less valid? Should you not be punished in this situation? I don't get this line of argument.

> I ... murdered someone ... and ... a friend of mine murdered someone else

- cmdrfred

Technically you wrote those words in that order, but by omitting other words the context was completely lost. This is why selective omission is dangerous. s/word/email/ and you have the Wikileaks situation of omitting certain emails. This is why, when people take the stand, they are asked to tell the whole truth. Because when you omit things, you lose the context and change the situation.

In this case though, and with the Democratic party. I have the original context that you have omitted. It would be a simple matter for me to release that context that proves my innocence. This clearly was not the case with Podesta's emails or the DNC or that's exactly what they would have done in response.

Is this what wikileaks is doing? Omitting words from sentences to change the meaning?

Surely omitting some emails is different from omitting pieces of some of the emails to change the meaning.

Addressing your last point because I'm not informed enough to argue the first questions: They differ only in the amount of space it takes to give an example. Imagine a loved one being held as leverage to force you to kill someone. You could beg/plead/bargain to avoid it, but if the only email that's published is the one that says "it's done. he's dead" that strips away a significant bit of context. Now, scale things up to state-level complexity and imagine being able to cherry pick the context in which things are said.

Re: Imagine a loved one being held as leverage to force you to kill someone. You could beg/plead/bargain to avoid it, but if the only email that's published is the one that says "it's done. he's dead" that strips away a significant bit of context.

I don't understand your example - murder coerced by blackmail is still murder. I imagine if this email was actually released to the public and people found out I was a murderer, when the police arrived I would show any documentation of the threat or call attention to the fact that my missing relative was being held. Society would be better off knowing I was a murderer and that I claimed to be coerced because then the perpetrators would at least have a harder time reusing the same tactic.

If that murder evidence email was released and discussed online, it'd be weird to see it be disqualified in discussion, despite being believed to be true, because of a belief that there might be a second email which compelled the execution of the murder. It would be fine for someone to show this second email as part of a defense, but again this example is kind of tricky because being compelled to murder under the threat of murder doesn't justify murder.

It's hard to trust your release if we learned you failed to disclose something of similar nature. It makes you appear biased.

Wikileaks was founded on the idea that it is a resource for getting transparency from all powerful entities, not just selected ones. Their recent string of one-sided releases calls all their reporting into question. We know corruption happens in every country. Why publish nothing on Russia?

When is the last time they did a big release that targeted the Russian Federation? I'm asking this because I sincerely don't know but I'm guessing the answer is that they never do. Their actions point to at least tacit cooperation with the Russian Federation.

Obviously and indisputably, any organization that really placed openness and opposition to secrecy as their highest values would put the Russian Federation at the top of their list. Clearly, WL has instead placed the United States at the top and dropped the Russians from the list altogether.

Wikileaks objectives seem to line up with the Russians too often to dismiss as coincidence. For example, WL clearly timed and staggered the DNC releases for maximum political impact. It had absolutely nothing to do with openness as clearly working for Russia against the United States in this last election worked against the objective of a more open world. This is not even a political statement but just acknowledging reality to state that supporting authoritative regimes is serving the interests of those who stand in direct opposition to the stated goals of WL.

I'm guessing that WL had integrity at one time but they were compromised and then captured. Their priorities alone make this completely obvious to anyone not in denial.

It's weak to take a hard position claiming something is true that is obviously not true. To those who employ this tactic, I respectfully request that you stop leaning on the crutch of reality denial to defend your positions. Please defend your positions on the merits, while acknowledging its weaknesses, even acknowledging that you're wrong when you are wrong. If you've never openly admitted that you were wrong on something in the course of a discussion then why bother?

Well, consider the Panama Papers. John Doe leaked stuff to Bastian Obermayer, not Wikileaks. Would Wikileaks have released more or less from the Panama Papers than we've seen? That's impossible to say.

I'm not disagreeing with you, I just don't see the connection with what I was saying?

WL publically criticized the decision to not release all of the Panama Paper's details so based on that, I think they would have released more of the information.

My point is just that perhaps Wikileaks has released less about Russia because less has been leaked to them about Russia. I mentioned the Panama Papers because there's a lot about Putin etc there. Also, if someone had provided stuff about Russia to Wikileaks, and they sat on it, why wouldn't the leaker use some other channel? They'd have another thing to leak about.

I somehow missed the bit about the Panama Papers having a lot about Putin in there. That makes me question my original assertion that WL would have released more. As you said, it's impossible to know.

Let history be our guide. Has WL released anything substantially damaging to Russia?

Are things about how rich and corrupt Putin is considered damaging and would Russian State media give it any play regardless? It'd play big internationally but in Russia I wonder if the public would even hear about it...

I'd accept this as plausible if it were merely "less" and if it weren't combined with at least the appearance of collusion with Russia. The DNC timing and staggering of the releases were so obviously political and not about openness.

By the way, are there people here who downvote things just because they disagree? I had a comment downvoted to -1. It's the one that you replied to originally above. What's wrong with my comment other than a lot of people think I'm wrong?

Hey, I upvoted your comment because it furthered discussion :)

Russia has been cultivating opposition to US hegemony since the falling out after WWII. Back in the day, it was leftists. But since the 80s, they've focused more on libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, conspiracy theorists, etc. Look at RT, for example, and who its fans are. So yes, Assange and associates roughed out Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet (2012) on his RT show, "World Tomorrow". The goal is "independence from the security guards of the world". For better or worse, that's pretty much the US.

Bottom line, I think that it's an enemy of my enemy relationship. I can't imagine that he'd deny that Russia is a kleptocratic horrorshow. Also, he clearly has a personal grudge against Ms. Clinton.

Thanks. Good points, all. I've not heard this theory before but it makes sense. I'd say that's exactly how Assange views the situation.

But the fact we are even discussing Assange's psychological makeup and his "views" and who he hates and who he's aligned with against a common enemy are enough to disqualify him for the position he and his organization have claimed.

He's not and WL is not a neutral arbiter of openness, he's an anti-U.S. propaganda tool.

If freedom from the world's security guards means the rise of the world's petty thugs, then I'd say he's made a deal with the devil.

I've not read the above document but is it accepted that it's the real deal? Given that and the massive amount of evidence, WL is not neutral and is not about openness why do people still cling to this absurd position? I liken it to those who still claim the earth is flat because it looks flat from from here so it must be flat.

Probably the core cypherpunk value is the right to privacy. That might seem funny, given Wikileaks. But there's the argument that right to privacy is inversely proportional to power. So governments should have no privacy.

But anyway, do read the book. You might also enjoy Of Captain Mission by Daniel Defoe.[0,1] It's rather the grandfather of laissez faire.

0) http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?n...

1) http://www.fullbooks.com/Of-Captain-Mission.html

One more thing, do you have any thoughts on whether the latest WL had anything really new in it? My personal reaction was tell us something we don't know.

But it could well be that the devil is in the details.

I haven't looked at it very carefully. As I understand it, it's a leak about a leak. That is, a bunch of CIA stuff got leaked to some hacker community, and then one of them leaked parts to Wikileaks. So the real leak is arguably far worse than we'll ever know. It'll mostly show up as criminal exploits :(

I had the same reaction. (1) they are a spy agency and (2) we had Snowden.

People who reacted incredulously to it online just reveal themselves to be uninformed, or politically motivated, in my opinion.

At this point, I feel our intelligence agencies were founded to counter moves by major foreign powers. And every day Russia is allying itself more with the Republican party.

It's a classic divide and conquer strategy spread out over a hundred years. First, attack from the left w/communism. Then, the right with fascism.

I have to feel intelligence agencies are the free public's allies at this point, and now I see why Obama and Clinton were so fearful of encryption. I'm not sure whether Clinton's idea of a Manhattan-style project on breaking encryption was right or not. My initial reaction was no way. I wonder what that would look like. Quantum computers?

Now, it appears bad actors have leapt to the top of government and the DOJ seems to be sluggish in building a case against them. Perhaps they can't gather evidence as quickly due to encrypted chat apps and hidden money transfers like Bitcoin.

Jesus, he also has an RT show? I somehow didn't catch that but read it as a document, not a show. He's so possessed by his ideology he can't think clearly. He's yet to learn that ALL ideologies are bullshit even his.

I guess I will go look on youtube but I'm pretty sure it's cringeworthy to watch this jackass on RT.

He had a talk show on RT in 2012.

It's US pretends to be the world police and not the Russia.

Imagine instead of murder the information was less extreme, like that you know that I once got a DUI 10 years ago, while your friend committed murder last year and is now being blackmailed for that fact. If both the friend and I are up to become CEO of some company, you might see how leaking only one set of information is distortive.

Should you not be punished for the DUI though? That is my original question.

You're referring to isolated incidents, which is an invalid comparison.

Instead, if you have information that I have a pattern of murdering lots of women, and my friend has a pattern of murdering lots of men, and you choose to release information about me and not my friend, it immediately suggests that you support killing men but not women.

I don't deny that it may show a bias, but as long as the information about the murders that I release is true why shouldn't it be acted upon?

Further if the Huffington Post (or name a left learning publication if you believe they are not) does an article on Trump and the facts they release are verified should we not act on them due to the lack of a similar article in regards to Obama?

I think it's possible to state truths and still be misleading and/or distracting from another narrative.

Indeed. The canonical example of this is releasing privately-commissioned polls. The data released can be a perfectly true reflection of the poll done, but if you are only choosing to release the polls that tell the story you want to tell, then the result is still going to be biased.

Assange outlined his goals [1] a while ago in regards to exposing secrets, and I think Wikileaks is staying in line with those rather well. It essentially states that they'll leak whatever they receive, and try to enforce a kind of 'secrecy tax' on governments/parties/organizations that refuse to be transparent via forcing them into less effective means of communication and overall less use of technology.

Additionally, this may be subjective, but Assange's story and personality makes him seem quite steadfast in these beliefs.

[1] http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

Why are leaks from the Russian Federation so conspicuously absent? When it comes down to it, WL is a public relations and marketing agency for leakers who want the media to notice their handiwork.

If you leaked something (document dump style) today there's a fair chance nobody would pay any attention to your claim to have this or that trove of documents so you'd need an agent. Who are you gonna call?

I find it impossible to believe there are never any significant leaks from the Russian Federation. I think the problem is the dominant PR agency in that space won't work with you if you're doing anything that might harm Russian interests.


I think you actually meant "Why are there no significant, recent leaks that have not been reported by anyone else about Russia"? There's plenty of innocuous explanations:

- the media is currently on an anti-Russian frenzy. Why would you leak to Wikileaks, which has a much smaller reach than say, the NYT?

- Assange has been painted as a Russian shill. Why would you leak to Wikileaks if you are afraid he might suppress that information or share it with Russia?

- Wikileaks has no political leverage. Why would you leak documents to Wikileaks instead of US intelligence agencies, which may/could offer some kind of protection vs Russian reprisal?

(By the way, browsing a few other countries, it seems like most of the indexed stuff is from 2008-, so Russia isn't an outlier in this regard. It seems like their recent leaks have significantly slowed down in number, which isn't surprising).

I thought about this a bit and if it's true that Russian leakers only leak to intelligence agencies because the main PR agency for leakers is viewed as pro-Russian, then WL should recuse itself from this business. They're doing way more harm than good by inadvertently suppressing would be Russian leakers.

With regard to the item above about the NYT you realize that WL has always used the media just like a PR agency would, right?

Your first choice isn't to release to the NYT because the NYT gets god knows how many claims each day and they'd ignore you not to mention that curating the documents and preparing for a an actual story is harder than it looks. The press wants information packaged and ready to use. They'd prefer not to devote resources to vetting, sorting, and curating, as that's what WL does for them. By the time something gets to the NYT it is ready to emerge as a headline.

Reporters operate on deadlines. If you send them a quote ready press release that writes their story for them they're going to take notice if they happen to read your email. If you mail them or email them a document dump they're going to ignore it if they notice it at all. These are extremely busy people on tight deadlines under tremendous pressure.

They'll return phone calls from WL. From you or me? Not likely.

Your explanation sounds reasonable, but I think there's examples that contradict it. I can immediately think of CNN publishing leaks about Trump and his briefings with intelligence agencies, these leaks didn't have any time for vetting and it's unlikely they went through an intermediary.

Here's a rather famous leak that the WaPo published about Trump and Russia - https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama...

Here's an example of the NYT publishing leaks that were sent directly to them about Trump - https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-...

Here's an example of a NYT journalist asking for leaks to be sent directly to them, concerning Trump - https://twitter.com/NickKristof/status/838554838329872384

I would agree that it's not clear whether the anti-Russian frenzy is Trump-related, so purely Russian-related leaks might not be getting the same attention. However, I don't think it's fair to say that leakers get ignored by the NYT et al.

Keep in mind we are not talking about just leaks we are talking about massive document dumps of classified material.

If you're an official who knows a couple reporters and you've delivered the goods before, you can successfully get your leak in the top headlines. You've got the credibility and the contacts to make it happen. Reporters treat you like the Oracle of Delphi and you never have to pay for your drinks.

Maybe there should be two different terms because these aren't really the same species. I'd say the day-to-day leaks are just that.

But what Snowden did had more in common with a waterfall then it did with a leaky pipe.

These are possible explanations.

But your claim is based on your faith that you "find it impossible to believe...".

They did say they've changed to a computer-free environment after the Snowden leaks. Or maybe Russian would-be leakers know the stakes are higher for them than for American leakers, because they can get tea with a portion of Polonium.

I acknowledge I have no hard evidence to point to back up my claim. It comes down to an intuitive feeling that WL's been compromised somehow by the Russians. I think the reason for this feeling is based on the actions of WL all of which have alternative explanations but taken as a whole defy what I think are reasonable expectations about how a neutral organization like WL would conduct itself.

Whether or not you were a Clinton supporter or not, it was pretty shady to time and stagger the DNC releases for maximum political damage. That's simply not how a neutral arbiter of openness would conduct itself. I think that on its own is enough to refute any claims that WL is neutral or that their mission is about openness.

Possibly but the consequences of leaking secret (classified) information is pretty bad in both the U.S. and Russia.

I think having to flee to Russia with no option to leave that country for the rest of your life to suck pretty bad. Snowden says he'd gladly come home to face trial provided he's offered a fair trial. So he'd risk it all for a fair trial but U.S. officials won't give him one.

Strongly concur.

Ask any military officer who is a ring knocker; telling a 100% truthful narrative in such a manner as to provide a false narrative is still grounds for breaking the spirit of the honor code, and thus grounds for disenrollment.

Reminds me of working with someone who was a devout Christian. They'd never tell a lie, but were more than happy to give you just enough of the truth to let you walk away with an understanding that was completely the opposite of what had happened. After seeing this a couple times, I realized that there was a material difference between always telling the truth, and actually being honest.

Ring knocker?

Academy graduate.

can concur, the honour code definitely cares more about intent than truthfulness

Intent matters. That's why the law will put you in prison for fewer years for texting and killing someone with your car than if you planned out the murder.

> For the purpose of devil's advocate in this, I think it's possible to state truths and still be misleading and/or distracting from another narrative.

I think while that's correct, we shouldn't let it distract our attention to the fact that transparency in government/democracy is good for the people, especially the working class.

Whether something is true or not is a separate question from whether they are neutral or not. Whoever twisted a discussion of bias into a binary question of truth vs. lies, muddled the question to the point where clear thinking about it would be impossible. Bias and truth are separate issues. You can be a lying bastard who lies to harm a specific person or entity and you can be a strict adherent to truth with the exact same motives.

Yes, exactly: there is no inherent conflict or contradiction in pushing truth (and especially only parts of it, manipulating by omission or redaction) and having an agenda. There are many ways in which you can manipulate e.g. public perceptions and policy with publishing the "right" truths at the right time.

Though, I am not of the opinion that WikiLeaks has a hidden agenda or is controlled by a third party. But, neither would I be shocked to learn such a thing.

God, I wish HN had a more convenient downvote button.

Then you should change to reddit. The spirit of Hacker News encourages you to argue not to blindly downvote everyone that doesn't have the same opinion.

It becomes available after sufficient karma is gained. It took me just over 6 months.

"In fact, the Devil's Advocate may be the biggest innovation killer in America today. "[1]

[1] Tom Kelley, co-founder of Ideo as in '10 Faces of Innovation'

Perhaps I'm confused, but this seems like a non-sequitur. We're not discussing innovation.

I think the point being made is that the devil's advocate brought out the norm to mobilise for every contingency (not that innovation won't suffer, which is obvious as misstrust rises) and that it can be used to rhetorically balance two points of view that are not equal (or two questionable actions).

In general: Ownership of information and facts are key points in the overall discussion here, if something is known it can be manipulated (just as they discuss above). Defensive patenting could be achieved, or releasing news of something to knock away at funding for its continuation...

One example how it could be relevant in particular to the general discussion is how the software and partially hardware has been kept by CIA to formally avoid reprecussions from good honest people.

I am not always able to fully elucidate my meaning. I never post without a point.

We also know that Mr. Assange did lie about something in the past, his repeated claims that John Podesta's gmail password was 'password':


From your link:

"a staffer tells Podesta that his Windows 8 login on what appears to be a new work computer is username: jpodesta and password: p@ssw0rd."

A windows 8 password is not a gmail password.

PolitiFact: "completely unbiased" goalpost mover. His password was an iteration of 'password' - e.g. no real difference.

Um, his win8 login password being a variation of password at some point doesn't automatically imply that his gmail password was "password".

I thought it was widely accepted that Podesta was the victim of a spearphishing attack (coupled with bad advice from IT), rather than just "hacked" via password-guessing.

A few points:

* Yes, lots of evidence says that Podesta did give his password to a hacker the spear phishing email you mention. The email dump cuts off soon after this event, the phishing bit.ly link was visited then according to the stats page, and we can see the phishing email here: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/34899

* This appears to be a quote of someone speaking, I think it's pretty reasonable not to pronounce the @. All common variations on password are equally vulnerable to password guessing programs. There's a rule to use l33t speak in JTR and many other common programs.

* You can make a GMail account with the password p@ssword, something else they don't mention, choosing instead to go with a literal interpretation.

* It doesn't seem to mention that he also lost his phone in a DC cab, which is another possible source of leaks.

* They never appear consider whether or not the person who gave the emails to Wikileaks told them Podesta's password, they just say there's no evidence for them to verify, other than Gmail rejecting a password of 'password' (but not p@ssword), after which they rate that claim as false.

I don't disagree with any of those points. I simply disagree with the leap to the conclusion by several posters that because Podesta used "p@ssw0rd" in one place (based on the context, I'd guess that was presumably the initial password as set by some staffer), he definitely reused that same password for a different account.

I will also agree that the Politifact article's conclusion is hasty, and their selection of evidence is questionable at points (such as gmail account creation).

I think that's a fair assessment.

> His password was an iteration of 'password'

What the email indicated was that someone temporarily set a Windows 8 password to a variant of password.

What the email did not indicate that his gmail account itself used a variant of password as the password. It is disingenuous to conflate the two and claim his email password was password as Assange did in numerous interviews.

His Gmail password was probably runner4567, at least his icloud password was and he emailed it. Also not changed when that email leaked.

Just stop with the nonsense that his email password was "p@ssword", as the truth is just as stupid.


Let's say hypothetically that the Russian government has a Cyber Defense arm that has nearly the scope and capability as the US (the DNC/Hillary stuff seems to indicate this). Let's say this is true for many world powers (US, UK, China, and Russia for starters).

However, it seems like Wikileaks, while claiming to be a neutral source that "just wants to make powerful people accountable", they only seem to be releasing damaging information about systems in place in the US.

I think the issue here is that many (most?) of us assume that all global powers have this capability, yet a Wikileaks is trying to paint the US as the scary one, and so people are questioning their motives. Is what the US is doing morally wrong on a few levels? Undoubtedly. Can the US afford to stop doing these things when some arguably less moral actors are going to continue regardless? That is up for debate.

Assange to me seems irrationally anti-America. Has the US done many reprehensible things now and in the past? Absolutely. But that is true for every powerful nation ever. And if you're looking at America's competition, you'd need to be blind to think that Russia is somehow more benevolent than the US.

The amount of U.S. leaks is likely due to the relatively free environment compared to those other countries such as Russia and especially China, who have similar levels of espionage activity. The most leaks will come from environments with:

1) Relatively high freedom 2) Variety in values/opinions (often due to freedom) 3) Secrets to be leaked

1 ensures the leaker's ability to leak, 2 ensures there is a leaker to leak, and 3 ensures there is something to be leaked.

Assange outlined his goals [1] a while ago in regards to exposing secrets, and I think Wikileaks is staying in line with those rather well. It essentially states that they'll leak whatever they receive, and try to enforce a kind of 'secrecy tax' on governments/parties/organizations that refuse to be transparent via forcing them into less effective means of communication and overall less use of technology.

[1] http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

Wikileaks published the internal communications of the Erdogan Administration in Turkey, indicating among other things (corruption) the administrations back channel to the Assad Administration in Syria (an enemy of the United States).

The fallout of these disclosures potentially contributed to a building coup attempt in Turkey by forces loyal to the US (which the US tacitly supported) that burst just a week after the disclosures.

Wikileaks does not only publish "against" America. When it does, it's closer to home for the Americans and we hear more news coverage about it. In any case, wouldn't it okay that there are outlets that produce true news focused on negative aspects of the United States, keeping it accountable? That seems like a positive thing to me - though I don't think Wikileaks is "it".

Wikileaks could focus its hacking efforts anywhere, so the question is, why Turkey?

On 24 November 2015, Turkish F-16 combat aircraft shot down a Russian Su-24 during an airspace dispute close to the Turkish-Syrian border. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as "a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists" and further stated that "today's tragic events will have significant consequences including for relations between Russia and Turkey".

7 months later, on 19 July 2016 WikiLeaks released the AKP Emails. AKP is the ruling party of Turkey and political force behind president Recep Erdoğan.

> Wikileaks could focus its hacking efforts anywhere, so the question is, why Turkey?

Wikileaks has stated repeatedly that it is not a hacking organization, it distributes items given to them by others.

Key point here! Wikileaks can leak what people give them. I've seen no evidence that they've hacked anything.

Right, because wikileaks is a website. In case it wasnt obvious from my previous post I'm insinuating there is heavy collusion between Russia and wikileaks. DNC emails, AKP Erdogan intel, CIA vault 7. If wikileaks soon publishes a vault of Russian secrets, I will stand corrected.

It's clear what is happening here. Russia is doing an excellent job of manipulating the rhetoric surrounding its ties with Trump. If the CIA is to look like a foolhardy and scary institution to the American public, Trump can say stuff like "Obama wiretapped me", and it degrades the legitimacy of all CIA input on Trump-Russia ties.

The CIA's legitimacy was undermined decades ago. Just look at their history of overthrowing democracies, or what happened in, say, Iran.

They do have a category on Russia, though: https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Category:Russia

IIRC, they don't have any staff fluent in Russian, though, and they pointed to other whistle-blowing operations as more able to operate there.

Russia doesn't need to collude with them, nor does any other party. They just need to leak to them. If you read what Assange wrote about how wikileaks works to raise the cost of conspiracies, you'll see that it actually doesn't matter who is using them, only whether or not the material is true.

Point this guy

With the gap of 7 months?

Russia and Turkey at the point of the disclosures were in a rapprochement: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/turkey/2016-07-20/ru...

The result of the disclosures was a weakening of that warming relationship, with Turkey pivoting again in its foreign policy - at least for some short time.

What else has Wikileaks reported on?

The Italian "Hacking Team" - https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails/

Saudi Arabian Embassy Cables - https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables

Pirate Bay Court Documents - https://wikileaks.org/gottfrid-docs

Cables from the Assad administration in Syria - https://search.wikileaks.org/syria-files/

Documents from inside Scientology - https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Scientology

Swiss Banking Tax Offshore Scandals - https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Bank_Julius_Baer

His point isn't very compelling for the following reason: instead of taking my argument ("Wikileaks publishes on far more than the US") he took an anecdote decorating my argument ("for example Turkey") and tried to argue the anecdote (poorly).

I'll give him an upvote. Not because I think his argument is really good. But because he contributes to the conversation.

>The fallout of these disclosures potentially contributed to a building coup attempt in Turkey by forces loyal to the US (which the US tacitly supported) that burst just a week after the disclosures.

I thought the conclusion was that that coup attempt was more or less theater by Erdogan. Organized with his approval and prior knowledge, destined to fail, and used to enact martial law.

The coup attempt was very, very real.

Erdogan's subsequent power grab was/is also very real.

(They aren't mutually exclusive.)

The social media rumor that you're referring to has been widely discredited.

> Let's say hypothetically that the Russian government has a Cyber Defense arm that has nearly the scope and capability as the US (the DNC/Hillary stuff seems to indicate this). Let's say this is true for many world powers (US, UK, China, and Russia for starters).

Do we think that, though? We've heard a LOT about Russia's cyber capability lately and the consensus seems to be that they employ groups of criminal kids who are by and large given free reign and occasionally called upon to look at targets of interest. We also know that the US's military spending (known budget) is something like 6x Russia's military spending, and we can imagine that intelligence spending is a similar multiple higher.

I should also make the point that the DNC/Hillary stuff is not a foregone conclusion that it was Russian. These leaks cast new light on the DNI's Grizzly Steppe paper where the NSA gave a 50/50 level of confidence that Russia was involved (but CIA and FBI said that it was greater than 50%). This leak includes information about a project called "UMBRAGE" which is a CIA project to catalog and strategically make use of hacking tools of other countries for certain projects in order to point the finger.

We do know that GCHQ has capabilities that are similar in some ways to CIA/NSA, but is it a foregone conclusion that all world powers have cyber programs this extensive? I don't think that it is.

> We also know that the US's military spending (known budget) is something like 6x Russia's military spending, and we can imagine that intelligence spending is a similar multiple higher.

This is often misleading. Russia and China might spend less but their dollar goes further.

Not to mention the hackers for hire who don't exist like The Hacking Team.

> We also know that the US's military spending (known budget) is something like 6x Russia's military spending, and we can imagine that intelligence spending is a similar multiple higher.

Payroll for 5,000 hackers is within the reach of many world governments I'd think.

5,000 IT people in a government org is about $1B with base infrastructure.

No big deal.

In the U.S. it is.

Depends on where in the budget it (doesn't) appear.

No way. There are probably 7 US States that spend that much.

The Feds probably spend $700M just on Office 365.

> I should also make the point that the DNC/Hillary stuff is not a foregone conclusion that it was Russian. These leaks cast new light on the DNI's Grizzly Steppe paper where the NSA gave a 50/50 level of confidence that Russia was involved (but CIA and FBI said that it was greater than 50%).

Why would the CIA hack the DNC though? It certainly wasn't a smart strategic decision for the Democratic administration. Why would they hack the DNC and not the RNC?

I think you're missing the really obvious explanation that Assange (and the entire Wikileaks staff) speak English and not Russian.

Maybe the only sources they have are within American units. It stands to reason if sources in other countries leaked, Wikileaks would report as such.

That said, there definitely is a disproportionate amount of info on America v ROW.

That might have something to do with US citizens having freedom than Russian citizens. I mean, a guy like Snowden walked out with scores of documents and went out of US, I don't think anyone can do that in Kremlin

Journalism classes in Romania a few decades ago included exercises like: "Take this footage of snow in Bucharest and use it to tell a variety of different stories, e.g. 'Bucharest is paralysed by snow' or 'Bucharest enjoys fresh snowfall' or 'Bucharest efficiently deals with snow storm', etc".

If we think that just because something is factually true no one is trying to fool us, we're quite the fools.

I'm reminded of the replies to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13445190 (about the Guardian story on WhatsApp). There Maciej, for example, said

> I think the vaccine analogy is really helpful here. You can make true statements, like "vaccines can kill you", that cause massive public harm if they're not correctly contextualized.

This is perfect.

Much of the US media narrative about its overseas interventions likewise fall into this category.

Much of the war propaganda consumed by the US population is based on truth. The problem is that US citizens don't have the appropriate context to understand that truth. The fallout is incredible damage to people and lives overseas caught up in great power struggle that could be a different way if there we a systemic commitment toward building a real basis toward international security (over, say, unipolar control).

Regarding the vaccine analogy I think the problem is opposite, that the positive sides to vaccines have always been accounted for but as soon as negative attributes are brought forward they're met with ad hominem or ad absurdum.

[Small rant] There are huge economical incentives to scold those who question medicines with high amounts of side effects. Do people really believe that big pharma doesn't account for a good share of the astroturfers online?

To give one example: In Sweden a vaccine for the pigflue caused narcolepsy in completely healthy young individuals. [End rant]

The problem here is not truth or how it's used to effect but foremost the missinformation that is blocking out all traces of it.

Truth helps any discussion and creates trust - which the vast majority of societies are built on (or used to be).

>In Sweden a vaccine for the pigflue caused narcolepsy in completely healthy young individuals.

And just to be clear, narcolepsy wasn't caused by the "additives" in the vaccine like anti-vaxxers claim. Narcolepsy was caused by the pig flu protein itself.

Thus, if there had been no pig flu vaccinations and people had been exposed to the real thing, a number of them would also have got the narcolepsy, in addition to the nasty symptoms of the pig flu itself.

Goodness. I read some really silly statements on HN from time to time but this is definitely a 1% comment.

We have more scientific evidence for vaccines than we do for gravity, and frankly I am disappointed in the quality of the argumentation here. What percentage of patients developed narcolepsy? Was the study powered for that causal conclusion? Was the methodology sound?

No idea, you're just spewing anecdata.

Astroturfing is absolutely a problem in online discourse but so is wilful ignorance.

Thanks for perfectly illustrating the parent's point.

That what? Big Pharma is a thing?

Vaccines are, by comparison, not big money makers.

Seemingly Hacker news are getting "overrun" by turfers, but that is not what I am, I only represent myself.

As there seem to be astroturfers out and those who require sources (which are not equated but noted to be a seperated quality) I'll ad some information; The vaccine was Pandemrix and the study was conducted by läkemedelsverket (basically a national study organ of medicine).

Pigflue itself would cause narcolepsy but the vaccine would increase the risk threefold.


Totally off-topic, but reading your example made me realize how learning basic journalistic skills could improve my media literacy. Would you happen to have some book recommendation or any other suggestion on hand?

I don't, sorry - my dad is the journalist and he studied this a number of decades ago.

While what they are publishing is true and should not be ignored, they certainly appear to be choosing their targets and not choosing others, for example, they claimed to have information from the RNC, but they did not publish it claiming it was already published in other sources.

The timing of the leaks was rather suspect too. In interviews, Assange insinuated months before during the primary that he had the emails that would eventually become the DNC leaks, but they waiting until after HRC was the sure nominee, during the DNC meeting, to release them. Procedurally, this made it so the Dems could not nominate another candidate before the general.

It may have been a coincidence, but they couldn't have been released at a politically more opportune time (for the R's) than then. In fact, during that interview, I recall Assange saying he was waiting for the right moment to release it. They aren't lying, and shinning light on wrong-doing is great, but the choice of when to do so and possibly sitting on information on the others who stand to benefit is suspicious.

> While what they are publishing is true and should not be ignored

Why does this matter? I feel like the reason people are worried about bias is that it means the source is not trustworthy. If Wikileaks is publishing true information, they should be trustworthy, even if their choice of targets is not unbiased.

I think this is very naive. Russia lists a number of true things about its opponents but it only includes the truths that fit the story it wants to tell. The same goes for China, and even the U.S.

What people here are asking is: "what is the story Wikileaks is trying to tell". Before they thought it was that "government is not trustworthy and needs a watchdog". Now it's possible the story is "Don't trust anyone who disagrees with Trump or Russia", and that's concerning.

This problem is instantly saolved if you have more than one source. The answer to this is not "IGNORE WIKILEAKS," and the suggestion that it is makes me doubt your motives, the answer is "READ MULTIPLE SOURCES."

There are far more than enough actors with far more than enough relevant information, and certainly the capacity to distribute that information, to fill in the gaps.


You can't do that when Wikileaks is the only source.

The problem is that other sources are not willing to perform the kinds of investigations and do the sort of publications Wikileaks and few others are willing to do.

When Snowden approached CNN, the Times and a number of other large media outlets they attempted to report him to the Feds rather than report on the domestic and global mass surveillance programmes.

The incentives, partnerships, timelines and ethics of major media outlets prevent them from speaking truth to power.

If the story was incomplete do you honestly believe we wouldnt find that out? I dont.


1) Wikileaks provides evidence of wrongdoing

2) You respond "Its possible evidence that proves this isnt wrongdoing exists"

Your position seems to be roughly meaningless and the only justification I see to take it on is ideological.

It's plausible that WL is selectively holding back documents on e.g. Russian activities in Syria. No one would have the power and incentive to leak those documents separately, so WL could portray an incomplete story.

It's not plausible that WL unfairly portrayed Podesta and the DNC by incomplete leaking. The leak targets have both the power and incentive to clarify any serious misrepresentation by releasing the context they already possess.

Somehow, I keep seeing people give the Syria example, then claim that we should disregard even the US-domestic leaks because "there could be context we don't have!" It doesn't make much more sense than saying "sure, the murder suspect didn't offer any defense, but maybe he has an alibi he never bothered to mention!"

The CIA could surely filll in the gaps if they wanted to, at the very least through leaks to any of the media organizations that would like to see them succeed.

Exactly! People say: "I think Wikileaks is not a neutral party". Dude, NO ONE is a neutral party. This thing doesn't exist! All sources have bias!

> All sources have bias

Some are more biased than others. I think that's actually what people are discussing: how biased is Wikileaks? How heavily curated is the information they are releasing? Throwing up your hands and saying everyone is biased is a lazy answer to a difficult problem.

Right. But it's curious that "How biased is CNN?" gets shut down any time it comes up as a serious topic. From the whitewashing they did on the genocide in Bahrain (after accepting money from that government) to the misleading coverage of Syria, Snowden's mass surveillance disclosures, US torture program, Iraq War - to its current poor coverage of the humanitarian crisis being caused by the US intervention in Mosul.

It would be wonderful to discuss the role that different outlets play and different biases come in. But it's difficult because any time the topic comes up "faithfuls" from all sides come in and it starts to look more like a sports or religion debate than it does an illuminating conversation.

Yeah, Wikileaks has some biases.

I actually think they are incredibly important biases. Also, I don't think they are nearly as "anti-American" as some panic about.

There is now some data showing one way CNN is biased --Breitbart and Fox News seed the media environment with disinformation, and eventually mainstream outlets pick up that disinformation. (Torture is a good example - the right really wanted to bury discussion and largely did).


Another way to say this: only one side is willing to blatantly lie. Luckily media outlets are starting to realize that and moving to coverage of the truth not just what people say.

This is whataboutism. (it may be inadvertent)

Firstly - On HN people do bash the media, but its based on the context of the conversation.

So on a discussion on wikileaks, very few people are going to make the side jump to criticizing the other media channels.

I don't think it is whataboutism in general. (It probably is if it's specifically targeting the HN thread, but that's now how I read it.) It's not just waving at someone else's misbehavior, it's noting that a double standard (examine bias in case A, acknowledge but ignore it in case B) is producing an agenda.

In mainstream discussions, there's a pattern of discussing WL bias against a baseline of whatever American mass media says. To repurpose a point from up-thread, that creates a situation where "how biased is WL?" is both a legitimate question and a misleading distraction.

If you want to create an informative media diet, you might ask "how biased is each source, in which direction?" You won't find objective truth, but asking that at least lets you curate inputs so that you won't have important information from any side go completely unmentioned. Lots of people I know do this, adding up equations like "NYT and Intercept both skew left, but one is largely pro-government and one anti-. BBC is moderately pro-government, but since it's a different government it reports US news better." Asking about Wikileaks is vital in that context.

If you want to distract from unpleasant facts, you might ask "How biased is Wikileaks in the direction of Russia?" And then the answer is treated as inherent bad - the more biased, the less attention should be paid. "All news is biased" is defeatism, but "all news is biased, how biased is Wikileaks?" is still manipulative because it ignores the magnitude of non-WL bias. I see that trick used a lot when US politicians and reporters cover Wikileaks, and it smuggles in an that we don't need to seek balance, just exclude a few too-biased voices.

My purpose was to talk about biases of media outlets in general rather than discuss the biases of one particular media outlet (Wikileaks).

Wikileaks has important biases. So does CNN. Wikileaks does important reporting. So does CNN.

Of course these are just two outlets. I don't mean to focus just on the two.

(Of the two I think Wikileaks would be the most missed, were it to disappear.)

My point is that it is incredibly important to discuss and take into account the biases of the outlets information is being published by. This is how I intended to discuss the bias of CNN and if you look you will see I brought this up under the context of the parent comments of my own. Namely, it is not quid pro quo.

Every news medium, even you as a human being, makes intentional and unintentional selections on what to publish or not. As long as the published documents are not fakes (and independent sources verified them), motives are secondary.

If what is published is true, projecting motives in the publisher are an obvious attempt to distract from the message by questioning the messenger. The message is a fact, your interpretation of the messenger is at best guesswork, at worst fanfiction.

What exactly is difficult here?

Are there? Because the only big ones I hear about are Wikileaks.

(I certain that more groups exist, but really, I can't name any others.)

The media.

I think a lot of what's being construed as political bias from Wikileaks is simply optimizing for maximum impact. They want their leaks to be felt, to have real-world results. If they were to just dump everything months before the election, they'd be long forgotten by the time the election had come and gone.

"I feel like the reason people are worried about bias is that it means the source is not trustworthy

No, people are worried about bias because the source could be selectively publishing truth with an ulterior motive, such as pushing a predefined agenda.

Propaganda is even more dangerous when it's true, but only tell people half the story.

Because what isn't printed is often more important than what is. That's what editorial influence does.

In my city, the local Hearst rag often doesn't report on things that the city administration doesn't want published. For example, a city employee was indicted for killing a girl and burying her body on city property (probably while on the clock) and was on "paid suspension" (i.e. On payroll, not working) for two years. Awkward situation for the mayor.

The arrest happened on a Friday night. The story? Page 4, section B on Monday.

In a story like this Wikileaks thing, the context is missing. How are these things used? To what end? Snowden tried to provide that context.

It's kind of the effect we have with BPA. As soon as the idea got widespread that it might be unhealthy it was replaced with other chemicals we know less about and that might be even worse.

Intelligence Agencies often use information to push their agenda. I don't see why it is different for Wikileaks which sees itself as one.

Hillary was under investigation throughout the primaries, and we know from the leaks that some democratic political operatives thought it was a bad idea for her to run due to the amount of dirt out there about her.

You are being misleading. Hillary has been investigated nonstop for twenty years, and their are entire nonprofits (Judiciary Watch) funded by the right to dig up dirt on her and her family.

So instead I think the opposite is true- the fact she hasn't had major (true) scandals (Benghazi and emails we know are trumped up) means she is fairly clean. Yes, she has some flaws.

It is unbelievable to me that Mike Pence was using his own private email to conduct state business _while_ decrying Hillary. How hypocritical is it possible to be?

And re dirt on Hillary, this puts it into perspective. http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/12/25/14037576/t...

Wow, the left are the new loony, tin foil hat conspiracy theorists.

Sure, it was definitely a "vast right wing conspiracy" (Hillary's exact words) that threw up flags when she opened her first ever trading account with $1k, turned it into $1 million in less than a year with no experience, or understanding of the markets (she supposedly started trading futures on a tip from a friend) and then never did it again because it was stressful. I guess that same conspiracy group were trying to go after this irrelevant governor in Arkansas for the other scandals going on during his governorship.

Then when Bill became president the scandals continued. People like you and Hillary want to claim this is some vast conspiracy by the republicans but the question any critical thinker has to ask themselves is why? Clinton was the most conservative president since Reagan [1]. Why on earth would the Republicans be out to get someone who's more conservative than most of their own presidential candidates? Like most conspiracy theories, it requires a great deal of faith in absence of evidence, motive or even logic.

[1] https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/was-clinton-mor...

Don't lump everyone on the left in with Hillary Clinton supporters.

I didn't intend to imply that all the left fit this. What I meant (and probably din't make clear enough) is that the right used to have the crazy "femi camps", etc. conspiracy theory wackos. Now the left has them too (they had them in the past but mostly just people who claimed to be abducted by aliens).

44 USC §3301

What country is Benghazi in? What does the leader of that country have to say about how serious Benghazi is?

> This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they've never published anything that wasn't verified to be true.

First off, I have no opinion on whether they are neutral.

That said, your argument imo doesn't hold much sway - not publishing something wrong, doesn't at all imply that they're not selectively publishing.

And while I agree that there's some interest as describing them as partisan, I also think that some of Assanges public statements make that really really easy.

This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they've never published anything that wasn't verified to be true.

What does the one thing have to do with the other? Just because you're truthful doesn't mean you're neutral, and nobody is seriously denying the authenticity of these files.

What, exactly, have we learned here other than a spy agency knows interesting methods of spying? I mean, of course it's interesting to see they use this or that vector, but that this technology exists isn't surprising in itself.

I see two possibilities: either this has caught the CIA on the hop, in which case everyone else will harden their security and the CIA will be less effective at gathering intelligence for a while, or the CIA has already moved onto better tools and is dumping details of its older ones to see who reacts and raise the technological stakes. There's no sure way for me to know if it's compromised or not, and the only predictable outcome is another leap in the diversity and capability of malware and another round of the cybersecurity arms race.

> What, exactly, have we learned here other than a spy agency knows interesting methods of spying?

That the US government pays software companies to keep their products insecure [1]. Why do you believe that they aren't spying on American citizens?

1. https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/839168025517522944

Government is always asking technology companies for backdoors so that doesn't seem like news to me, but you may well be right that it's never been documented before. To me this doesn't seem any different from the Chubb lock company teaching spooks how its locks are put together or somesuch.

I have no opinion on whether they're spying on American citizens, I have always assumed they would do so sometimes in the course of spying on other countries' citizens. Foreign spies seek agents and unknowing assets in their country of posting so that just seems inevitable. So what?

I have to say that a lot of the response here seems very theatrical, albeit unwittingly so. Going back to the lock analogy, I'm sure the CIA has some of the world's best lock pickers and burglars on their payroll, but doesn't mean the CIA are trying to break into your house, does it? They could break into your house, if you embarked on an affair with a beautiful spy (or even a sort of frumpy one) they maybe would break into your house, but realistically they probably have zero incentive to do so right now.

It's really hard for me to give a shit about the CIA possibly-in-theory-maybe spying on people when you have government organizations like ICE actually plucking ordinary people off the street and putting them in detention centers where the normal rules of arrest and imprisonment don't apply.

Paying for it is different than a request, NSL, or other means of coercing a company to do what the government wants.

There are significant barriers to the CIA picking the locks of everyone in the world's door, that don't exist when it comes to spying on the whole world. The analogy isn't meaningful.

The people ICE picks up actually committed a crime.

Living in the US illegally is as harmful to other people as internet piracy, sure the crime may have consequences for the country on a macro-scale, but any individual act of piracy is not harming anyone. I think most would agree that the measures the Government takes to prevent piracy is absurd (SOPA, FBI raids, etc) and that the solution to piracy is not harder enforcement, but structural and societal changes as a whole.

That comparison is ridiculous, but this is the worst possible forum to address your points. I'll leave it at that.


> Name a fucking job that a mexican worker is currently doing that you would do? Would you pick tomatoes? Lettuce? Will you cook me a burrito? Will you wash my dishes? Will you make me sushi?

I've had a variant of all those jobs, so.. yeah. Don't project your hesitation to do physical labor onto other people.

How many music pirates have murdered someone this year? The point is still garbage, even in longform.

> I have long said, if the Mexican Rapture happened, you will starve to death....

That you consider this an actual point is a fucking joke.

Sure, Ill take your points...

So, exactly what are you doing now? Are you pulling lettuce?

[I am not attacking or berating you, but I want to understand.. so please educate me, I am not trying to be offenssive i Just disagree with you]

So, to my second point; would you be willing to compile data regarding those who work in the food service industry and determine what % of them actually feed people based on mexican heritage? I dont think this data exists, but happy to help find out...

This, really, is what immigration policy should be built around. I believe that youre emotional/passionate about the subject which is fantastic... let me change your view/or you mine, but yeah - we cant let emotions lead (which I can give you LOTS of information about how emotions are used to steer populations....)

>How many music pirates have murdered someone this year?

Considering half of Americans pirate music I'm sure that there have been plenty of murders by pirates this year. But it would be stupid to go around arresting music pirates and claim we're preventing murders.

And if pirating music involved breaking into the office of a record company and stealing a CD off their shelf, the comparison to piracy might be valid. But it's not.

You clearly misunderstand my comments... [we are on the same side] --- but youre very belligerent, and that is fine... but clarify what side youre on? Humanity or...

> Name a fucking job that a mexican worker is currently doing that you would do? Would you pick tomatoes? Lettuce? Will you cook me a burrito? Will you wash my dishes? Will you make me sushi? I have long said, if the Mexican Rapture happened, you will starve to death....

I understand them perfectly. If you want a discussion, try entering it in good faith, with someone who hasn't already expressed interest in avoiding the subject further.

This is unclear from the doc though. "Purchased" could mean they purchased the exploit from a hacking group or from the developers of the software (to keep it unsafe). Snowden'a tweet seems premature unless there are more documents showing this.

Holy shit and yay!

It is a rare day when I agree with you, but I think you nailed it.

This is an effective honeypot move; Lets float some shit out there to flaunt some balls and see who reacts and how... WE ARE THE CIA, BECAUSE FUCK YOU, THATS WHY!!

They are above what we have speculated in the past...

LPT: If you have a device, ANY device, know that youre monitored...

I get what you're trying to say, I'm even inclined to agree, but how can "they" fight each other with the truth if only one of the sides fighting gets it's dirty secrets outed?

During the elections I kind of wrote it off as them being prepared for Hillary and unprepared for Trump, but I have to wonder why they haven't run any leaks on Trump by now, considering how willing people seem to be to leak information. Where is his taxes? Where is the truth about his Russian ties?

I mean, take a stroll through the front page of Wikileaks and then tell me you don't wonder about the lack of Russian stories. Does Russia not have leakers?

If I hacked two people's private emails who were in some popularity contest, and they both contained severely incriminating things, and I only release 1 of those to the public, then I believe it is arguable that I have gone beyond mere truth-disclosure and on to outright manipulation.

I'm out of the loop; whose emails did they not release? Trump's?

This was more on principle, but there is some evidence that parts of the RNC were also hacked and the information never released: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jan/...

This is the approach used by both left and right parties in the U.S.

The parties and their surrogates attempt to taint sources as biased and by proxy all content from the source invalid.

No, this is not true.

We now have data showing that the left tends to read both mainstream and left sources. While the right tends to live in their own little Fox-Breitbart bubble. This means that the right gets news from extremely biased sources with no anchor in reality. While the left tends to read and share a wider variety of media. http://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-st...

It's also been shown that the right is more likely than the left to distrust the fact-bearing mainstream media [1], because a strategy of the right, as in some authoritarian countries, is to generate distrust in media that they do not control.


So no, both sides do NOT do it equally. The right does way more to taint real sources like the NYT as biased.

[1] within mainstream I'd tend to separate profit-seeking and independent/family-owned media. But you can lump them together for purposes of contrast with GOP-donor-funded conservative media.

I think this last election showed there is a coastal elite bubble and a clear cnn-msnbc bubble as well.

What part of what I said is not true?

Are you asserting both parties are not guilty or one is more guilty than the other.

In any case I don't think what I said is untrue or was an attempt to mislead.

>This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they've never published anything that wasn't verified to be true.

Note that "being neutral" is not at all the same as "publishing only things that are verified to be true".

What you choose to publish still has a lot of impact on whether you are neutral or not. Even some of the worst propaganda sites publish true things. The propaganda is in which part of the truth they publish and which not.

In Russian, the truth is "Pravda" and you know what it was. It was propaganda. Mostly it was quite true, just with a very specific view on truth.

> So why even give a shit? As long as what they're publishing is true

Guess the phrase "lie by omission" doesn't mean much to you.

I agree with you that if the info is true that's good enough to use that infor. But it is still worth knowing the motivations of the people providing your information.

The truth is the most common source of bias in media is not telling out right lies but in deciding which truths to tell you. Its hard to believe that now given how much false information is being spread. But its still true. Propaganda is in the editing- choosing which stories get focus, which voices get amplified.

Facts, stats and even graphs can all be used to push a narrative. Context is pretty key.

To my eyes, Wikileaks seems to be cherrypicking and giving passes to others. The timing of the leaks has been nothing short of convenient, which makes me suspicious. That's my opinion, though. I have nothing to back it up and I wouldn't even try to prove it.

But, hey, we're speculating here.

The thing is, wikileaks publishes info that is given to them. What we could interpret as cherry picking, could just be that most of wikileaks' information is coming from particular interested actors. In other words, the bias isn't in wikileaks, but before wikileaks.

We cannot know that. WikiLeaks is a proverbial black box. Julian himself is sort of trapped in a box, too. Funny how for so many people he's conveniently become an acceptable Ministry of Truth. If you could work his levers, whether it be by compromising him with threats of violence/incarceration/family/use imagination.

There's this mythology of "never publishing a falsehood" that's repeated in a meme-like din within the WikiLeaks context, but even if it is correct, it does not preclude selective publishing of the truth, or political timing, misdirection.

Anyways, having watched the output of this black box over many years, even if I believe that black box were built with the best of intentions, I can no longer trust that the machine is altogether acting in good faith.

The editorial discretion of a mere two billion dollars in Russia-Syrian transactions, for example, omitted completely by Assange as reported by The Daily Dot, make the man highly suspect as an objective purveyor of leaked materials received.

As the US intelligence community seeks to investigate Trump, the Trump-aligned WL begins dumping on the CIA. Trump will begin whining about the "Deep State" even more. Prepare for another week of whataboutism.

You can publish only true facts and still push a narrative

> You can publish only true facts

Can we go back to just calling them "facts"? A statement can be true or false, but a fact is true.

You're playing into the idea that there are "false facts" or "alternative facts." There aren't. Those are lies or errors.

It's useful to be able to talk about "facts" - including a fact pattern which is inaccurate - as distinct from opinion or assessment.

From WikiPedia:

> Alternatively, fact may also indicate an allegation or stipulation of something that may or may not be a true fact, (e.g., "the author's facts are not trustworthy"). This alternate usage, although contested by some, has a long history in standard English.

A statement can also be an opinion, I think the intention was to differentiate from statements that are meant to appear to be facts but are false.

Because context matters? And people with any level of sophistication in their thinking can understand that.

I don't even know how to respond to some folks here. You really think it's impossible to use facts to construct a narrative that is untrue?


Come on now. We're better than this.

> You really think it's impossible to use facts to construct a narrative that is untrue?

What? That's completely unrelated to what I said, which is simply that the phrase "true facts" is redundant.

> people with any level of sophistication in their thinking can understand that. I don't even know how to respond to some folks here.

I wrote just two lines of text to express a simple thought using basic vocabulary. The fact that you misunderstood my comment so thoroughly, and yet with such extreme condescension, is simply spectacular.

>Come on now. We're better than this.

We should be above abusing the word "because". Honestly that shit is jarring.

They are not neutral. I don't think it's even controversial to say they're working against the United States. They clearly are. It's an observation not a political statement to point this out.

If they were neutral you'd see big releases of Russian secrets, etc.

It's possible there just aren't Russian leakers though. Russia can do some shady things to retaliate against leakers US not so much.

Really? I find it hard to believe that there haven't been any significant Russian leaks since WL started their work. I am pretty sure they've declined to release information damaging to Russia.

And I'd have to disagree that leakers have it easy in the U.S. For example, if Snowden comes back he's facing life in prison and the trial they've offered him isn't exactly what we would call a fair trial. My understanding is the only concession they've offered him is a promise not to execute him.

He'd get a closed trial and no due process. Snowden's trial would not look unfamiliar to a Russian at all.

People with leaks about Russia don't need Wikileaks. They just go to establishment media.

Also, US responses to Manning and Snowden seemed rather shady.

Huh? Could you give some examples of Russian leaks that got legs through talking to the establishment media? And by the way, who are the establishment media you're talking about in this context? It can't be Russian State Media such as RT so you must be talking about U.S. media such as the NYT and Wahington Post though I'm not sure.

Also, wasn't it this same establishment media that worked with WL to leak Snowden's documents? So why was WL needed at all since the media ultimately did the publishing that people saw in that case?

People might forget that WL depended on "media" to actually publish the documents as WL has not always been the sort of household name it is now. They were just the agent now they're a publisher and a PR agent all in one.

Please see my other comment about the Panama Papers. That went to German media. I occasionally see leaks about Russia in NY Times etc. But they generally aren't styled as "leaks", just reporting.

Also, Snowden specifically didn't work through Wikileaks, because he didn't want a mass leak, but rather substantive and "responsible" reporting. Wikileaks just helped him find refuge in Russia.

Ah, right, he wanted a responsible leak. I recall that much but I forgot he didn't use WL. Did he leak directly to news outlets without an agent? Extraordinary. He must have had connections or really knew what he was doing as I think successfully leaking (waterfalling?) a massive document dump is harder than it looks.

With regard to Snowden, I think the right thing to do is offer him a free and open trial. If U.S. officials are unable to offer him due process and a fair trial then the charges should be dropped. We need to get out of the habit of violating basic principles (the right to due process is one of these). Offer the guy a trial or drop the charges. Right now the offer on the table is he comes back and they'll throw him in jail, then an administrative judge will hold a private, secret proceeding, then rubber stamp the decision to throw him in jail. That's anything but due process.

This opinion is independent of my thoughts on him and what he did.

Oh now it's coming back to me, didn't the NYT's totally fuck up the responsible part? I think they inadvertently revealed that the U.S. was using one of these tools in Afghanistan during the time it was being used on the ground? I might have this wrong.

He went to Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald based on their reputations. They and associates have managed analysis and reporting of the information. Some have criticized them for profiteering and censorship. Others have criticized them for putting US interests at risk. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

> Please see my other comment about the Panama Papers. That went to German media.

A common accusation by the FSB, that PP were CIA backed. Any proof at all of that claim?

Any significant Russian leak will be instantly picked up by the western media.

There is a lot of leaks on Russia in the media. No one actually cares anymore since it's mostly corruption stories and everyone is already knows there is a lot of corruption there. Here is the last corruption story on prime minister Medvedev: https://navalny.com/p/5255/

A better question: Is this story (obviously in Russian) an example of independent media in Russia? I thought that was a dangerous business to be in?

Also, are there ever leaks on the scale of Snowden? I'd say the lack of a Snowden level incident isn't damning as that's a high bar for sure. Jesus. That dude put it all on the line.

It is dangerous. This guy's (Alexey Navalny) brother is in jail on a fabricated lawsuit as a hostage. Alexey himself was also convicted guilty and the only reason he personally is not in jail is because he will only get more rating points from being a political prisoner.

There was a massive smear campaign against him on all major government controlled mass media where they were blaming him to be an US agent and also a corrupt person.

The only reason Putin has good approval rating now is because he managed to convince the majority of TV owners in US conspiracy.

And Ukraine crisis, sanctions, ISIS, and oil price drop did actually convince majority of Russians in that. So as long as people blame US Putin is safe.

One similar thing I see here in US: when facts are too painful and too obvious - blame another country.

You are aware there is a 40 page dossier on Trump that leaked, several people have died who were tied to it.

Which proves the point of above, Russia kills people for infowarfare and the US does not.

> it seems that the strategy for discrediting Wikileaks has now become to accuse them of association with the Russians.

I don't know if this would be in the Russian interest to publish all these expensive zero day vulnerabilities, it would be in their interest to (continue to) use this stuff too.

these vulnerabilities will have to be fixed within some time (now that they are known). I wonder how long it will take for the spooks to get a new stash like this, this must be very damaging. I fear for Assange, the spooks will have a clear motive for demanding retribution against him.

You are right, the whole POL is a way to distract from WL and their releases. There are national actors trying to stir confusion, of course. But Assange remained cool, so should we.

Truth or not, I'm curious to know how the high probability that all content is curated doesn't bother you?

I can't find one leak that's been damaging to Putin's agenda. That doesn't prove Russia is in control of the site, but it's curious that every single leak has been either damaging to the United States, other parties that have not had good relations with Russia or relatively inconsequential to either.

The fact that Assange cannot verify he produces the content of his site only furthers the probability of Russia having seized possession of it, given there exists no damaging information to Putin's regime. Would it not be better if those leaks were exposed along with everything else?

There is no such thing as 'neutral' where humans and politics intersect.

Many others have made the point that it is perfectly possible to lie with a collection of true statements.

It is also possible to be used in this context; that's where the phrase 'useful idiot' comes from. So Assange should be pure as the driven snow and be laundering manipulated documents, thereby giving them the imprimatur that you, among others, appear to grant great value. In fact, this is what I and others believe to at least occasionally happen with WL.

> which it has always been so far.

How do you know this? How do you know that 'truth' hasn't been shaded by blending observable facts with unverifiable ones or by omitting documents, or parts of documents? How do you know that everyone outside of WL insiders (loosely defined) is granted access to documents at the same time? I think there are still questions about Stone's access to the Clinton dumps.

> distracting from the real story here

Please. Everyone gets to pick "the real story" for themselves.

This account was created 3 weeks ago and this is the only comment with no submissions or other favorites stories. This is not a lot of info to go off but i'd be willing to bet it is a schill.

> they've never published anything that wasn't verified to be true

Says the 21 day old account with this single, highly upvoted comment.

There are millions of documents on Wikileaks. I highly doubt everything there is verified.

Me too. On the other hand, they do try to verify what they publish, because they would lose credibility if some major release turned out to be fake / unverified. I read interviews in which Assange addresses this specific issue and its implications.

Assange will be leaving the Ecuadorean Embassy soon.

I have a feeling he tries to get to the Russian Embassy or Russia itself?

You can bet GCHQ and NSA know something and could tell you exactly if Assange is working with Russia or anyone else for that matter. At this point they have people inside the Embassy cleaning his bathroom and vacuuming the carpets.

> because they've never published anything that wasn't verified to be true

Mr Assange repeatedly claimed that Podesta's gmail password was 'password' in interviews, which was false:


This is a far, far cry from the kinds of quality journalism that Wikileaks does. It appears that the claim the password was 'password' wasn't a story in and of itself but an anecdote relating to the weakness of Podesta's password (which is true).

Compare that to Clapper, Director of National Intelligence stating for the record under oath that national intelligence does not have a surveillance operation targeting Americans in the homeland. That was a lie and one intended for testimony.

Assange here is just saying: Podesta's password is weak. It's hard for him to qualify that it was spelled "p@ssw0rd" rather than "password" during an interview.

The fact that you think saying "password" rather than "p@ssw0rd" disqualifies Assange as a lier goes to the heart of the anti-body reaction that nationalists have about hearing news that doesn't validate pre-existing opinions that they have about the nobility of their nation and its leadership.

The difference between "password" and "p@ssw0rd", while technically true, it is so pedantic it does not apply to the spirit of the conversation.

> Compare that to Comey, Director of National Intelligence

There is no Comey who has ever been Director of National Intelligence. I suspect you mean Clapper.

Yes. Correction made in the parent comment.

Thank you.

You are missing the point that the "p@ssw0rd" was for a Windows 8 account, not the gmail account. There was no evidence that the gmail account password was a variant of password. It would still be disingenuous even if he claimed it was a 'variant' of password, because there is no evidence to suggest it was.

right... so it was something like `p@SSw0Rd`, what's the difference?

We don't know the email password was something like `p@SSw0Rd`, only that a staffer temporarily set a Windows 8 password to a variant of password. This does not mean that the gmail password was a variant of password. It was disingenuous of Mr Assange to claim his email password was password, as the only indication we had of a password being a variant of password was for a Windows 8 account and not the email account.

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