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Canada Censorship Government The Media

Moscow Has Eyes On WikiLeaks, Too 579

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-a-sweet-little-tacit-endorsement dept.
mark72005 writes "National-security officials say that the National Security Agency, the US government's eavesdropping agency, has already picked up tell-tale electronic evidence that WikiLeaks is under close surveillance by the Russian FSB, that country's domestic spy network, out of fear in Moscow that WikiLeaks is prepared to release damaging personal information about Kremlin leaders. 'We may not have been able to stop WikiLeaks so far, and it's been frustrating,' a US law-enforcement official tells The Daily Beast. 'The Russians play by different rules.'" Something tells me those rules might be in line with professor Tom Flanagan (an adviser to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper), who openly advocates assassinating Assange. Update: 12/03 00:56 GMT by S : Reader Red Flayer points out that Flanagan later recanted, saying, "It was a thoughtless, glib remark about a serious subject."
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Moscow Has Eyes On WikiLeaks, Too

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  • by bigspring (1791856) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:24PM (#34423150)
    ... Wiki leaks you. I guess?
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:24PM (#34423156)

    If you want to play James Bond, you better expect to get your hair mussed.

  • Assange (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:24PM (#34423162) Homepage Journal

    I support transparency, but I get the impression that Assange is a hypocrite and egotistical douche. Assassinate him and you turn him into a hero/martyr. Given that his organization is still fairly secret, it could continue to run without him.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:26PM (#34423208) Journal

    Prof Tom Flanagan said Barack Obama should "put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something" to rid the world of Mr Assange.

    "Put out a contract?" Yeah, then maybe he should chew on a cigar while hanging out of a suicide door on a car as he fires two tommy guns from either arm? And then maybe he should cut off a horse's head and put it in Manning's jail bed? I'm sure after that contract is transmitted out to Kessel, Boba Fett will freeze Assange and deliver him to Sarah Palin. "Put out a contract?" He's the leader of the United States, not a gangster -- although I'm sure there'll be comments asking for the difference of the two.

    Yeah put out a contract for drones. Obama should offer one billion dollars to the first drone to kill Assange. Well, you'd have to offer it to the drone before it detonates itself while targeting Assange ... or at least to the drone's family so the widow drone can send their little Predator to a nice drone school.

    And this guy's an adviser to the Canadian PM? What kind of advice does he provide? "Well, sir, I think you should grow wings and save the internet or at least threaten to break its kneecaps if it doesn't shape up."

  • subject goes here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gTsiros (205624) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:32PM (#34423306)

    if assange does anything that irritates russian intelligence (kgb fsb or whatever) the very next day he'll be an unfortunate victim of a very peculiar, uncommon and comically spectacular accident. russians aren't the half-assed weak-sauce fascists that the americans are.

  • Easy Answer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RazzleFrog (537054) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:32PM (#34423308)

    Perhaps if governments stopped doing and saying such embarrassing things in written or recorded form this wouldn't be such an issue?

  • Re:Assange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:34PM (#34423346)

    Assange is a distraction and knows it. Chasing him wastes law enforcement resources and he knows that too. Wikileaks, the organization goes on while idiots chase their tails by chasing him. Moreover, if Wikileaks goes away, 10 more Wikileak clones will arise.

    Governments, apparently, never learned the lesson of Napster. When Napster went, other free music sites were created. When those went, distributed torrent sites were created. When torrent sites go, another as yet unknown solution will occur.

    With cameras, computers and the internet, almost nothing can be hidden anymore. Information leaks in the USA can't be stopped, except by regaining the respect and trust of the American people. In a wired world, the only way to do that is to play it straight, not lie and do what you say you'll do. As of yet, no political organization or movement in the USA is up to that task. When they appear, I'm sure they will be regarded as dangerous radicals by the mainstream media.

  • Re:Assange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:36PM (#34423390)

    I get the impression that Assange is a hypocrite and egotistical douche.

    He's not though. From the interviews I've seen he seems reasonable enough and even made sure to remove names from the Iraq docs. People always say he's an ass but I've never seen anyone actually justify it.

  • by coolmanxx (150620) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:38PM (#34423406)

    Assange, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for the Constitution, and you curse the World Superpowers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That the lies upon lies, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like terrorist, rendition, homeland security. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

    Assange: Did you order the cover-up?

    The Man: I did the job I...

    Assange: *Did you order the cover-up?*

    The Man: *You're Goddamn right I did!*

  • Re:Easy Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:40PM (#34423438)

    But that would mean less power and money for them, and we can't have that. What gets me is how much the heads of other states are drooling over the prospect of the Russians assassinating people that work for Wikileaks. It's almost like they're too cowardly to take the next step into corruption that they so wish for, so are waiting for an already wholly corrupt government to do their dirty work for them.

  • by compro01 (777531) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:44PM (#34423502)

    "Recanted" in this case most likely means "Harper threw a fit when he heard what I said, so I'm taking it back before I get blackballed". There's a reason why he's a former head of staff and a former adviser, i.e. he's a political loose cannon if let near a camera or microphone and not the type of person Harper wants anywhere near him, lest his chances of ever getting a majority be destroyed.

  • by SirAstral (1349985) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @05:47PM (#34423554)

    I notice that a lot of people seems to conveniently forget their "Morals" when it's their neck on the chopping block. Julian has not mass murdered anyone yet he appears to be more hated than Saddam, Hitler, or Chavez right now.

    Unless Julian himself did the work of taking these documents from officials by hacking or circumventing some security he should not be considered guilty of anything. The person's at fault are those that handed these documents over to him. They are the one's at fault.

    I notice that our government officials are very good at making laws that "appear" to kosher with the constitution when they actually are NOT. Lets make it simple. If you don't like the first Amendment and its freedom of the press then you just make a law that says possession of "classified/government/secrect" information is illegal as heck. This way, you can maintain your image of supporting the Constitution while not having to fear it. You can classify the fact that they take a crap each morning as a security precaution and make it a capital offense if that information is given to the press!

    Everyone has gone mad and we are feverishly giving our leaders far too much power!

  • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:00PM (#34423750)

    Yep sounds like Canada. You step over a line the party puts in the sand, they do everything to make you not part of their "image".

    That is how political parties work in most of the world: the party is found on some core ideas, recruits people who share those ideas, and rejects those who don't. The US-style two-headed single party system is an aberration, to put it kindly.

  • by copponex (13876) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:04PM (#34423806) Homepage

    This is the dumbest propaganda since Bristol crashed Dancing With The Stars.

    The Constitution is founded upon the ideal that all men, regardless of rank or wealth, are equal in front of the eyes of the Law. That's what made it special. The fact that we expanded that to include all US Citizens, regardless of gender, land ownership, race, and religion is also special. The fact that we didn't resort to torture and extra-judicial murder in WWII was also special. That's why we were the Good Guys.

    If you want some sort of yellow bellied compromise, that's okay too. Just realize the justification of murdering innocent people to preserve the State has been used by Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and every other corrupt government dating back to the beginning of time. This includes the country we fought to gain our independence.

    Power for it's own sake is nothing new.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:04PM (#34423816) Homepage Journal

    Wow...
    Okay we all know the truth about Iraq but very few people want to admit it.
    Here is what happened in Iraq.
    Saddam Husain made an error. He faked a weapons of mass production program. He feared Iran more than the US. The facts are that Iraq had a chemical and a nuclear weapons program before the first Iraq war. That is an absolute fact.
    Iraq didn't cooperate with the UN inspectors fully.
    The US and other countries believed the lie that they where told. This is all documented but not very sexy. It is so much more fun to make the US into a great villan instead of saying that they and other nations messed up.

    What I find so funny is that so many people will not place the blame of their own governments choices on their own government.
    I bet right now a lot of people are saying that the US is making Sweden go after Assage. Or some other silliness.

  • yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:05PM (#34423822) Homepage Journal
    you get that impression from where ? fox news ?

    dont get any impressions.

    the only way he is alive, and there is wikileaks still, because he had done everything to put himself on the spotlight and keep people remembering him and wikileaks, so that assassinating him would be hard.

    get a clue. really. get a clue.
  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:06PM (#34423844)
    If he didn't feel that way, he wouldn't have said it in the first place. He clearly is just doing damage control and saying the "right thing".
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:08PM (#34423864) Homepage

    Why is the focus on Wikileaks and it's leader? This is a great case of shooting the messenger. Bradley Manning [guardian.co.uk] was the solider who stole the information. How he disseminated it is not the point. Granted: Wikileaks posted the information, but if Wikileaks didn't exist they would have just posted it elsewhere. Do you think that if a dozen newspapers suddenly got this information in the mail, they wouldn't have posted it? I doubt it. And are the owners of the newspapers who posted the information being targeted by the federal government? I haven't heard anything about that.

    Stopping Julian Assange isn't going to solve the problem. Better idea: infiltrate Wikileaks and corrupt the information before it arrives. Let them post garbage. Ruin their reputation.

  • by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:09PM (#34423900)
    No. In Soviet Russia those who offend us ingest toxic radioactive metals
  • by rainmouse (1784278) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:10PM (#34423910)

    'The Russianvs play by different rules'

    All this outcry has done little except prove the exceedingly dubious moral fibre of very powerful elected political figures the world over. People who brag openly about transparency one day and murder to prevent it another day. I'm no longer convinced the Russian rules are really that different from our own.

  • Re:Assange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:11PM (#34423940)

    Fucking two women during overlapping periods doesn't make you an ass, unless you promised them something more than a fuck.

  • Re:yes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:15PM (#34424016) Homepage Journal

    His refusal to wear a condom despite his sexual partners begging that he do precisely that, as he sleeps with multiple strangers in a short period of time is one reason I think he is a douche.

    And while he wants to keep informants secret, as that location of his servers (to protect the information) he won't disclose how much money has been donated, how he spends the money, why he doesn't disclose all leaks given to him, etc.

    And I've never watched a minute of Fox News. Please stop with the ad hominem attacks. I really get tired of the moment someone disagrees with another on Slashdot, they must be part of some Republican conspiracy of ignorant assholes.

  • by elucido (870205) * on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:17PM (#34424042)

    That might protect Assange from the US government but it wont protect him from Russia.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:23PM (#34424158)
    What is the difference between wikileaks and the pentagon papers? Both used material that the government wanted to keep quite, was classified, and illegally leaked to the press. Yet one wins the Pulitzer and a generation later people are advocating for the others death?
  • Re:Assange (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:23PM (#34424160) Homepage Journal

    http://cryptome.org/0001/assange-cpunks.htm [cryptome.org]

    And there are the rape charges.

    The hypocrisy is immediately evident in how every facet of Wikileaks is secret, as an organization dedicated to transparency.

  • Re:Assange (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Borland (123542) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:33PM (#34424316)

    Information leaks in the USA can't be stopped, except by regaining the respect and trust of the American people.

    I do not think there is a government in operation since three burly cavemen got together and beat the others of the tribe into line that had "the respect and trust" of the people. And the more educated, rich, and free a nation is, the more that suspicion is widespread. Come to think of it, I'd rather never have the government of the US gain the respect and trust of the people -- that means all divisions have been erased; all debate has ended. Possibly because people are just too poor, ill-educated, and scared to object.

    The second thrust of your argument, that "almost nothing can be hidden anymore" hints at a future where it is impossible to hide nearly anything. That hints at a culture that seeks to expose everything, public or private. An informer society is bad; a society that thrills on voyeurism is even worse.

    Be careful of the utopia you wish for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:35PM (#34424356)

    > I'm no longer convinced the Russian rules are really that different from our own.

    Our government is not run by organized crime. Our government is run by commercial interests, through a system of legalized bribery. I am not exactly sure why, on a philisophical level, it makes a difference. But in practice, it does make a difference.

  • by coolmanxx (150620) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:37PM (#34424374)

    You would like to believe that the brightest military minds in the world were duped into invading Iraq?

    Truly you are naive.

    It sounds cliche but you really need to 'follow the money'.

    I'm a contractor and though I don't work in Iraq or Afghanistan I have friends who have for many years. Their companies have made hundreds of millions (some have made billions), while they themselves have become minor millionaires. There is no accountability. The world is a small place, and DC is even smaller. If you know the right people you can get anything you want. No bid contracts anyone? The latest wikileaks confirm that Afghanistan is indeed a cesspool of corruption, though anyone who has been there knows that perfectly well.

    No... the sad reality is that Iraq was invaded on the behest of a handful of very determined (and cynical) cabal of civil servants (all of which have ties to the arms industry I might add) who made the conscious decision that PAX AMERICA was worth the sacrafice. Control over the PRIZE of Iraq, the second largest oil producer on the planet was worth ANY price. Truth be damned.

  • by mrcaseyj (902945) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @06:43PM (#34424442)

    The US better not kill Assange because then future leaks probably wouldn't be redacted and past leaks would probably be re-released unredacted. The names of confidential informants would be released directly into the open. Future leaks would still happen because this stuff wasn't leaked by Wikileaks, it was leaked by the army guy that stole them. He could have just emailed the documents to a thousand random email addresses and every newspaper in the world, including our enemies. He could have posted a torrent link on Slashdot and had it downloaded 10,000 times before the gov noticed it, by people here that have the expertise to distribute it reliably. Wikileaks is just publicizing and making convenient what would be out there anyway. The guy who actually leaked these things couldn't possibly have redacted them himself, and he couldn't have asked for help from the govt. So governments should encourage leaks to go through Wikileaks.

    I don't know if Russia will kill him. He might be making himself hard to find.

  • Re:yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @07:25PM (#34425054) Homepage Journal

    My church discloses the money they take in and where every penny gets spent. It is a large reason of why I attend that particular church. I value transparency.

    Many non-profits are transparent with their funds. Since you asked:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/about/reports/ [greenpeace.org]

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/who-we-are/accountability/financial-reports [amnesty.org]

    Wikileaks as an organization is not being prosecuted. Assange (who I criticized, not Wikileaks) is being prosecuted for a reason, in Sweden of all places. Sweden is pretty damned famous for being neutral in diplomatic affairs. Sweden is the same country that refuses to extradite Polanski to the US. So please continue your crazy conspiracy notion that the rape charges are due to agents of foreign governments.

    Someone has suggested killing Assange as a means to protect national interests. I didn't defend that notion, in fact I argued against it.

    The difference between Amnesty International is that they are fairly transparent, and well respected. And Amnesty International (who does also criticize governments and try to expose corruption) has blasted Assange and Wikileaks. Did you know that?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/10/amnesty-international-hum_n_677048.html [huffingtonpost.com]

    I called Assange a hypocrite because he claims his life's work is about transparency, yet he operates under the guise of total secrecy. Do you want to argue that doesn't make him a hypocrite?

    And you're telling me to get a fucking clue? Take two seconds and read up on the shit you want to pretend you know something about.

  • by SJ (13711) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @07:51PM (#34425338)

    The problem with this is the first statement is usually what you really meant to say. You shoot it out in the heat of the moment when all your mental filters are distracted. Flanagan may now say that he doesn't advocate hunting down another human and murdering them, but the fact that he said it in the first place shows that the thought is prominent in his subconscious.

  • by Maltheus (248271) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @07:51PM (#34425340)

    I'm surprised you got modded up. I can't even argue this way with my liberal friends without being branded a monster. If you've taken an oath to defend the constitution, and go off and fight unconstitutional wars, then your are a hypocrite with no honor. If you're killing far more civilians than terrorists, then you have no sense of morality or justice. If the killing of those civilians leads to more desperate terrorists, then you're a direct threat to my life and should be put in prison.

    I'm told time and time again, that even if I disagree with the war, that I should continue to support the troops. I have been told this by people who think Bush should hang for war crimes. But we don't have a draft and adults are responsible for their own actions. Claiming they are just following orders is an excuse that doesn't fly post-Nuremberg. These wars have lasted long enough that any soldier who wanted out, could have easily gotten out. I have no sympathy for any soldier who has remained (although I don't think the OP has any particular sympathy either, just quoting a movie).

  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:49PM (#34425990) Journal

    You mean a helicopter following the rules of engagement? Yeah I saw that: sadly unfortunate, but the soldiers involved made a simple mistake in recognition, not a moral mistake. Nothing worth breaking laws to leak (on the part of the leaker, not sure Wikileaks broke any laws).

    Civilians die in wars. Pretending they won't die makes wars seem more acceptable. The US troops are doing more to spare civilian lives than any army in history, but even so: civilians die in wars.

  • by GameMaster (148118) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:00PM (#34426106)

    Bull, even Holder had to choose his word wisely and talked about "filling the holes" in our present laws. The problem is that the "holes" he's talking about are there for a reason, it's called freedom of speech. Sure, they can go after the people that gave the documents to Wikileaks, assuming they can catch them, and those people have, most definitely, broken the law. However, Wikileaks is acting as a journalistic organization. You may not like their judgement (i.e. you may not agree with their politics) in what to publish or the quality of their attempts to redact sensitive information, but that doesn't make it a crime. You'll note, that the NY Times is helping Wikileaks release these documents and I believe I've heard that they are, also, helping to redact sensitive info from them. Where is all the political outcry to put a bullet in the heads of the Time's editorial staff? Hell, THEY'RE AMERICAN CITIZENS LIVING AND WORKING IN THE US! Holder could take a short car ride from DC to NYC and arrest them personally. He won't, because he knows that what their doing is legitimate expression of their freedom of speech rights as journalists and that they are a powerful enough organization to effectively defend themselves in court. Assange, on the other hand, is a much easier target to get away with smearing. THAT DOESN'T MAKE DOING SO RIGHT.

    Of course, the other "holes" he's talking about are the fact that Assange is a foreign citizen who has been living in a non-extradition treaty country. Even if Holder and the rest of the government can rush absurd law changes into effect to cover their bruised egos it doesn't mean they have any legal jurisdiction over the man.

    A side note to all of this, and one of the reasons I think they are going after him so hard to distract away from it, is that at least one of the documents he released may, actually, constitute evidence of Hillary Clinton commiting a serious federal crime. The understanding I've been given from some of the news reports is that, when we got together with the rest of the world to create the UN, we signed treaties that, explicitely, said diplomats assigned to the UN would never be used for espionage. IANAL, but my understanding is that according to US law (which I believe is, actually, in the body of the Constitution) when we sign a treaty with a foreign country(s) it become legally binding US law. If she really did, as the news reports have said, order UN diplomats to spy on foreign dignitaries (and, yes, only an idiot would think that telling them to steal credit card numbers is anything other than bald faced espionage) then that would seem to be an open-and-shut case of a crime being commited. I'm not saying this as a Republican/Conservative (in truth, while I'm not a huge fan of the Democrats, I tend to skew liberal in my beliefs and I HATE the Republican party). I'm pointing this out because, if it's true, I consider this kind of abuse of the law by a high ranking official a crime that should land them in Levenworth.

  • Re:yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @10:32PM (#34426906)

    Wikileaks =/= Assange ...Again, see Polanski.

    Again, note, Sweden =/= Switzerland. Apart from the first two letters of their names, they are very different countries.

    I mean, Palin had more excuse for mixing up North Korea and South Korea. And she's a fucking idiot.

  • Re:yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @10:40PM (#34426944)

    His refusal to wear a condom despite his sexual partners begging that he do precisely that, as he sleeps with multiple strangers in a short period of time is one reason I think he is a douche.

    You haven't got a clue what may have been said in the bedroom, unless and until it becomes established in a court of law. It's beginning to look like your opinion of Assange comes down to your conservative and prudish religious beliefs. It's certainly not down to a good grasp of the facts or of geography.

  • Re:yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @11:22PM (#34427272)

    Dude, you totally think that Sweden and Switzerland are the same country (the Roman Polanski quip exposed you). Get a clue.

    Furthermore, Assange isn't against personal privacy. Believing in government/corporate transparency doesn't mean one believes in personal transparency.

    And it's pretty obvious that Assange didn't 'rape' anyone in the American legal sense of the word. The Swedes are fem-nazis and they have fem-nazi laws. Of course, you wouldn't know that, b/c you think Sweden is Switzerland.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday December 03, 2010 @06:27AM (#34429044) Journal

    LISTEN to the tape, this is NOT a case of wrong identification or a snap judgement made in the heat of battle. They shoot up clearly unarmed civilians in the act of evacuation wounded people and joke about it.

    Any civilized country would have these soldiers in jail. The US does not. That is all you need to know about the US.

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