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April 7, 2010 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Inside WikiLeaks' Leak Factory. Meet Julian Assange, the figure behind the whistleblower site.
posted by The Mouthchew (19 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Interesting and timely article, given this week's events with the military video tape.
But scroll down and look for Assange himself to show up in the comments to state that the interview is over a year old and refute a few of the article's points.
posted by willmize at 10:43 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


John Young, the man behind Cryptome (previously) had some stuff to say about wikileaks and its founder/philosophy recently. It's interesting how much publicity they've gotten for themselves, considering that Cryptome has been on the case for far longer, with very relevant info/photos leaked on a very regular basis along with as far as I can tell total transparency.
posted by nevercalm at 10:44 AM on April 7, 2010



This article is full of errors
Submitted by Julian Assange (not verified) on Tue Apr. 6, 2010 11:06 PM PDT.

I am Julian Assange, and the subject of this article, which is full of errors and was not shown to me, even in part, prior to publication.

The article is full of extremely irritating tabloid insinuations of the type that might be expected from a poor quality magazine which is unsurprising, since the content is recycled from an old article that even Wired refused to publish.

My interview with the author was 12 months ago. I have not spoken to him since.

There plenty of gutter journalism insituations, some examples:

1. The article very irritatingly goes for the "fear" angle, but contains not a single example of any of our publications causing harm related to their content. Not a single example! The whole thesis is pure invention. There is a reason no example was given. No one knows of any case where this has occurred and we have a 4 year publishing record.

2. The article, despite the insituations, does not mention a single example of us ever having released a misattributed document. There is a reason no example was given. It has, as far as can be determined, never happened. Compare our record unblemished record to, say, the New York Times.

3. The article outrageously tries to insinuate that the tragic death of two very public human rights lawyers in Nairobi is related to some failing of WikiLeaks. The insinuation deplorable and it is false. The men were not confidential sources. They were public sources and very brave ones at that.

4. The article states that I believe all leaks are good. I have never stated this. The claim is an idiotic and false.

There are many others, but Mother Jones can do its own damn research.

posted by Think_Long at 10:51 AM on April 7, 2010 [16 favorites]


Wikileaks was also featured (re: the bombing video posted a few days ago) on the front page of the NYTimes today.
posted by carsonb at 10:54 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want some first hand information from the people behind Wikileaks - watch Julian Assagne's and Daniel Schmitt's talk at the 26C3 conference in Berlin from December 2009.

MP4 Stream / http download
Torrent download
posted by starzero at 11:00 AM on April 7, 2010


Julian Assange or Rupert Murdoch: Which Aussie publisher do you trust?
posted by No Robots at 11:05 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a good critical analysis of the WikiLeaks video via the other thread.
posted by homunculus at 11:10 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Julian Assange or Rupert Murdoch: Which Aussie publisher do you trust?

Rupert Murdoch is no longer Australian; he gave up his citizenship to expand his US media operations.
posted by acb at 11:24 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


WikiLeaks can get away with this because its primary server is in Sweden (Assange says it's the same one used by the giant download site The Pirate Bay), where divulging an anonymous source, whether one's own or someone else's, is illegal. Several mirror sites across the globe provide backup in case one goes down. (Much of the WikiLeaks website is currently inaccessible due to a fundraising drive.)
Hmm. So what happens when you post a list of confidential sources on Wikileaks, HUH!?
Rupert Murdoch is no longer Australian; he gave up his citizenship to expand his US media operations.
British. He became British in order to buy U.K newspapers. There's no restrictions on foreigners owning US Media. Just look at, uh, fox news.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the link to that conference video, starzero. I've watched about half of it and it's interesting stuff, particularly what Assange says about giving journalists limited exclusivity to documents.
posted by The Mouthchew at 12:06 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, Rupert Murdoch is American.

On 4 September 1985, Murdoch became a naturalized citizen in order to satisfy the legal requirement that only US citizens were permitted to own American television stations.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:10 PM on April 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


John Young, the man behind Cryptome (previously) had some stuff to say about wikileaks and its founder/philosophy recently.

I'm trying to understand what's going on on that Cryptome page, and as far as I can tell, it's not recent, it all seems to be from 2006 / 2007, and Cryptome's major beef seems to be "You've raised all this money, where are the docs? You're starting to look like a scam." We now have docs on Wikileaks. Plenty of them. Is there something I'm missing?
posted by Jimbob at 1:32 PM on April 7, 2010


Actually, just yesterday Cryptome published an article about the Wikileaks video that attempts to add a different spin to the scenario as presented by Wikileaks.

IMO it's good of John to look into this sort of thing. But some of those "THIS IS AN RPG" notes look like they've zoomed in on human limbs, not...RPGs.

Also, for whatever value a U.S. soldier carrying a wounded kid has, that's in there too.
posted by circular at 1:46 PM on April 7, 2010


just yesterday Cryptome published an article about the Wikileaks video that attempts to add a different spin to the scenario as presented by Wikileaks

Hey, they did a great job, too. I actually found all the documents in the last thread after WikiLeaks-Twitter said they were "junk." They apparently refuse to link to them on their site. There are some possibly damning details in the documents, as well, but they obviously don't want to give too much context about what they leak.
posted by FuManchu at 2:29 PM on April 7, 2010


Thanks homunculus. I found that commentary very interesting, as is this NYT article reprinted today in the Seattle Times, which adds:

The Web site also posted a 17-minute edited version, which was viewed much more widely on YouTube than the full version. Critics contend the shorter video was misleading because it did not make clear that the attacks took place amid clashes in the neighborhood and that one of the men was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade.

The article also notes the rather gratuitous editing by WikiLeaks.

I appreciate WikiLeaks' sharing of important video information with all of us, but clearly they are far from being a neutral source.
posted by bearwife at 3:01 PM on April 7, 2010


I disagree with this single-link thread (I've flagged it). I read the article, and it is filled with vague 'suspicions' about Assange. This is just after Wikileaks have released material that is of extreme importance for the world, and MotherJones write an article that focuses on the personality and living habits of Assange. In my eyes, MotherJones does not deserve the traffic. Maybe I got too annoyed by the article, but I didn't see much praise there for Wikileaks.

Cryptome's response:
The smears of Wikileaks are becoming excessive. Wayne Madsen has led the charge, now others are joining the nastiness. Mother Jones, of all muckracking mags which should know better, has published a particularly offensive smear of Julian Assange, cherry-picking remarks from those interviewed who surely said more than the article conveys.

From the MotherJones article:
WikiLeaks can get away with this because its primary server is in Sweden (Assange says it's the same one used by the giant download site The Pirate Bay), where divulging an anonymous source, whether one's own or someone else's, is illegal.

Not only is this a poorly constructed sentence, it is factually incorrect with regard to TBP. Anyone who has read about TBP, is aware that they do not host data.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 6:03 PM on April 7, 2010


It never ceases to amaze me how many of my old IRC buddies mark out their lives on the front page of the New York Times.
posted by scalefree at 6:46 AM on April 8, 2010




I can't believe I'm reading that story on Gawker...
posted by The Mouthchew at 2:07 PM on April 8, 2010


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