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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 Erdo─čan.


> 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




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