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Openleaks Goes Live 158

Posted by timothy
from the your-safe-house-or-mine? dept.
Underholdning writes "Ars technica leaks the story of OpenLeaks launching. OpenLeaks is an alternative to WikiLeaks, with a few differences. 'OpenLeaks will not accept or publish documents on its own platform, but rather create many "digital dropboxes" for its community members, each adapted to the specific needs of our members so that they can provide a safe and trusted leaking option for whistleblowers.' Time will show if this will live next to WikiLeaks, or they will compete. For more information, check out the OpenLeaks website."
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Openleaks Goes Live

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  • FL (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:01PM (#35025828)

    First leak : Obama is really an American.

    • by h00manist (800926) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:18PM (#35026076) Journal
      Egyptian authorities apparently pulled the backbone plugs. [twitter.com] As a result of the Egyptians protesting, because the Tunisians protested, because of a Wikileaked document, from a US Embassy saying the truth - there was an old, fucked up dictatorship, that is no more. Egyptians have their work laid out for them.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:26PM (#35026760)

        So Julian Assange and WikiLeaks work brought about what Dubya said he wanted to do by attacking Iraq: spread democracy in the Middle East. For a lot less than the trillions of dollars and tens of hundreds of lives (including the much more valuable American lives).

        Suck on that, Dubya..!

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So Julian Assange and WikiLeaks work brought about what Dubya said he wanted to do by attacking Iraq: spread democracy in the Middle East. For a lot less than the trillions of dollars and tens of hundreds of lives (including the much more valuable American lives).

          Suck on that, Dubya..!

          George Walker Bush was actively supporting the government of Egypt. Since many US presidents before him, although he and his father is perhaps the ones that has most utilised their services, Egypt have been a place where people is sent to be tortured on behalf of CIA and other US acronyms, or where people have been sent when the US government want them to be behind lock and shackle with no questions asked. [ This has of course never happened to anyone born in USA, just dirty foreigners, according to US pol

      • If only the backbone's disconnected, what's to keep someone from setting up their own twitter-like system (I'm assuming it's too late to grab the identi.ca source, but one programmer can whip up a quick n' dirty twitter clone in a matter of hours) or just using an IRC channel served locally?

    • by oztiks (921504)

      Looks like OpenLeaks is propped up by the Knight Foundation ... http://www.knightfoundation.org/ [knightfoundation.org] ... I demand talking cars! Damn It! Where are the talking cars!

  • by Deathnerd (1734374) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:04PM (#35025880)
    When you bring down or threaten one site, six more pop up in its place. I would have thought that the lessons learned from fighting torrent sites would translate to government. I guess they'll never really learn.

    Row row row FIGHT THE POWAH!
    • by mirix (1649853)

      Pretty much. Anything with enough demand just ends up turning into a game of Whack-a-Mole, internet or otherwise.
      See the war on drugs as an example.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Several of these new sites are honeypots for various governments.

      • by Baseclass (785652)
        Personally, I'd like to see a Tor .onion site setup for anonymous leaking. I suspect once something major is leaked, western governments will start blacklisting these sites.
    • by mug funky (910186)

      the grey hair principle... kill one and ten will come to the funeral.

      and just look at Assange's hair. there's no stopping that flood.

    • Wikileaks isnt down; Openleaks folks simply werent satisfied with how Assange was running things.

      Lets not make this something it isnt.

    • Seeing how not even the RIAA learned this lesson from fighting torrent sites, I'd think it translating to anybody else should be quite unlikely.

      But maybe it did. The Egypt governemnt has simply cut all of the internet inside the country, that way no other site can appear and replace Twitter. No way that could backfire...

  • This is something I wouldn't have predicted, and I'm wondering if it's going to be along term trend. It's potentially a powerful game changer, and with such power, comes massive responsibility and impact. I hope that those pushing the leaks keep a fairly balanced view of the world so the cause doesn't consume them and push them to the extremes. Because if that happens, it becomes worthless again (and very damaging).

    • by grantek (979387)

      Like the social networking trends of the past few years, I believe the most widely-used leak site will end up being one that limits you to 140-character leaks, called "leets"

    • Sort of like -- well, classical Journalism and it's past masters playing in the rarified air of honest, unbiased, confirmable reportage.

      Ah, Edward R. Murrow, we do truly miss you.

      And, P.J, we do truly revere you. It would be a sad, sad day if Groklaw ever left the tracks.

  • I wonder how long it is until a government or "evil" corporation creates one of these to get the leaks first hand.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And see who they're coming from.

    • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:17PM (#35026050)
      Yeah, my thought exactly. For all the limitations of Julien Assange, he's not a narc, he won't pass your name to the authorities, and he will try to get your leak out there and make sure that people actually notice. Alternatives to Wikileaks might also do the same, but I wouldn't want to be the first to test the waters. I definitely hope that these guys turn out to be legit though. Competition in leaks would be a very good thing for everybody. Still, let's not ignore that Assange and Wikileaks have a huge head start.
      • by selven (1556643)

        The Wikileaks system is set up so that Wikileaks does not know where the leaks came from. Even if the fate of the world depended on it, Julian Assange would not be able to prove that Bradley Manning was the one who sent the leaks that he allegedly sent.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:12PM (#35025992) Homepage Journal
    and who will do its advertising, so that the mass media will HAVE to carry the leaks into the headlines ?

    if you think material will just get carried into headlines and prime time news because of the contents, dont fool yourself - entire american public is unaware of what ACTA is, even as of now, despite it has been internationally fought over by all major players in the world. so, its indeed possible to keep public ignorant.

    wikileaks is using the publicity assange generates through media and publicity stunts. in case you noticed, assange is always making the opening for a new leak a few weeks before it is published, and continuing to generate publicity for the upcoming leak.

    you just dont create a dropbox and expect leaks to be seen by people. corporate contolled media WONT use it. they have successfully kept any potential leak in the dark since watergate, until wikileaks.

    openleaks must find a way to make advertising.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      you just dont create a dropbox and expect leaks to be seen by people. corporate contolled media WONT use it. they have successfully kept any potential leak in the dark since watergate, until wikileaks. Openleaks must find a way to make advertising.

      From their FAQ [openleaks.org]: "OpenLeaks is not involved in the direct editing and release of documents. Our intention is to function, as much as possible, as a mere conduit (akin to the telephone exchange and the post) between the whistleblower and an organization of their choice. This means that OpenLeaks does not accept submissions or publish leaked material directly. "

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Which officially makes it worthless. People looking to leak can't trust them because they have to have someway of keeping track of where leaks are coming from and if that's not the case the journalists can't trust them because they have no way of verifying the sources are legit.

        Either case does not bode well for the organization.
        • "they have to have someway of keeping track of where leaks are coming from and if that's not the case the journalists can't trust them because they have no way of verifying the sources are legit."

          WL does not verify the authenticity of leaks by trusting the leaker, it normally verifies them simply by asking the original owner of the document if they are genuine*. Unless were talking about people who are trained to neither confirm or deny, the reaction of the owner is usually enough to confirm if the mater
    • "...dont fool yourself - entire american public is unaware of what ACTA is, even as of now, despite it has been internationally fought over by all major players in the world. so, its indeed possible to keep public ignorant. "

      You're probably right. But a good question is -- how the hell are the population of the US ever going to learn the truth if there isn't an unfiltered source of news they can read, thus forming their own opinions?

      Curiosity, access, the whispered word -- people will find out if they're n

      • Except for the fact that the vast majority of the internet is, like all other forms of media, prone to biases. The nice thing about the internet is that you can choose to pick your bias, but it will still have bias. Things like Openleaks which only serve to pass on leaks to other organizations doesn't help to solve this problem. Everything is filtered, everything has guidelines to what they will publish or deny. And really, most Americans don't want to think beyond their own world. They want to see a site w
    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      Corporate-controlled media is controlled by corporations. They'll follow any action that will make them profit in the long term. If being the first to break a scandalous story to the world costs them two advertisers, but brings in enough viewers to make other advertisers more profitable, they'll do it. Their competitors will be forced to broadcast the story, just to keep up appearances. Sure, the government can ask for some story not to be reported, but any attempt to actually enforce such a request is just

      • by unity100 (970058)
        your approach is incorrect. it assumes there exists no greater potential profit than exposing these leaks. it also forgets that, these leaks will not only harm the profits of the corporations which hold these news outlets through shareholderships or conglomerates, but directly hamper the individuals which own these on the top.

        no megacorp will allow a syndicate under its reach to publish information that would damage billions of more profits in other sectors and guaranteed deals, dirty dealings, to gain a
        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          While there may not be any large independent media, each company does effectively operate independently. I doubt AOL Time Warner would particularly worry about publishing information damaging to News Corp, or vice versa. There also Gannett, Disney, and Comcast, and they all effectively hate each other. In fact, being such a large company is detrimental, because each division of each company must work with every other company, and nobody wants to make nice deals with the competition. Pay attention to any of

          • by unity100 (970058)

            While there may not be any large independent media, each company does effectively operate independently. I doubt AOL Time Warner would particularly worry about publishing information damaging to News Corp, or vice versa.

            wow. excuse me, but you are WAY too naive. and your focus is off.

            aol time warner wouldnt worry about publishing information damaging to news corp. but, both would not publish information that would damage bigger interests of their holders. just like how they acted in conjunction with acta et al.

            • by Sarten-X (1102295)

              As an exercise in naivety, I searched [google.com] for reports on ACTA. The first results are from Ars Technica, which is run by Condé Nast Publications, and CNET, which is a part of CBS Corporation. It seems to me that both of those ought to be significant and reputable enough to become a trusted outlet for OpenLeaks.

              Perhaps you'd like to provide a different example of this great conspiracy?

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Most of the general public is not touched by the ACTA directly. Especially the US public as it's primarily an attempt to spread existing US legislation to the rest of the world. It's the rest of the world that's actually really affected by this. For that alone it's no wonder the American public doesn't know/care about it.

      And then the ACTA doesn't involve killing or violence against persons. That's also what keeps the general public less interested. Even with ACTA, bittorrent will continue to work and they

  • Politics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:18PM (#35026068)

    It's one thing to post documents on-line that Governments would rather keep secret. It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views. If these sites would just post and not add their opinion; credibility would improve.

    • Re:Politics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jez9999 (618189) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:31PM (#35026230) Homepage Journal

      I think this argument is utter crap. Wikileaks offered an unedited version of Collateral Murder, and what they did edit they did to clarify things and in my opinion they didn't distort the content in any significant way.

      Other documents they have edited have been to remove people's names and they'd have gotten more criticism if they hadn't done it.

      • by h00manist (800926)
        I agree. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Every newsroom has an editor. So long as you don't state that opinion is fact, all is fair.
        • Re:Politics (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:08PM (#35026602) Homepage

          A reporter, newscaster or presenter will report on the facts, a commentator gives opinion.

          Fox News is all commentary and skew and flip stories. BBC News is mostly news casting, and only report on the fact, with no biased slant, in most cases.

          Only time you see reporting getting slightly skewed at the BBC is when they are dealing with very sensitive subjects, for example they have embedded journalists in Iraq where the story is that given to them by the American and British forces, and is not representative of what is really going on. 'Collateral Murder' went through the press as the story given by the USA army that was totally inaccurate to what happened. The embedded journalists have to obey the news given out by the forces, if not agencies such as the BBC wont get on the front-line of what is happening. Wikileaks served to undo the PR machine that the US government have.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          Many facts have two faces, when seen from the opposite parties. Wars primarily so - even journalist reporting what they see will see and hear different things whether they are on the American side or on the Iraqi side. Even when reporting about the same facts. It is really really difficult to stick to pure observations without any interpretations, think the difference of "that child is shouting" and "that child is angry". The first is really an observation; the second could very well be an interpretation of

    • Re:Politics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:40PM (#35026308)
      With the greatest possible respect (watch "Yes Minister" if you don't know that this is a polite way of saying you may be very good at something but have no clue about this subject) they had both an edited version that can be considered "highlights" and the full version. That renders your complaint pointless nitpicking that could be applied to nearly any media source on the planet but can not be applied for this video.
      Also Orwell was writing about the USSR in such a way as to get the message across that it could happen in your hometown if everything went wrong. He also sidestepped the ideologies that really are irrelevant if there is totalitarianism hiding behind them by setting it in a fictional place. It wasn't really prediction but extrapolation of the sort of thing that was already occurring and presenting it in such a way that people would take it seriously without bringing in their own ideological baggage.
      • Also Orwell was writing about the USSR in such a way as to get the message

        With the greatest possible respect, Orwell was writing about the UK.

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Could you have at least taken the trouble to read the entire sentence that you quoted? The portion later in the sentence that says "could happen in your hometown" is there if you have the patience to read far enough to get to the middle of it.
          • But he wasn't using the USSR as a model for what could go wrong in the UK, rather he was extrapolating from the UK's own social trends in regard to the forthcoming cold war. Stalin was of course the model for Animal Farm, but the post war UK society, not Russia, was the model for 1984.

            For example, the perpetual war with former allies who can change from one day to the next was directly modeled on the cold war which quickly followed WWII. The extreme rationing was directly modeled on the UK's rationing pol [wikipedia.org]

            • by dbIII (701233)
              I suggest you look at what others, including Orwell himself, wrote about the subject before telling me I'm wrong because of your jumped to conclusions. The warning was about the UK but the examples were pure USSR. That is why I'm saying that Orwell was not an "optimist", he was writing about a sort of society that already existed. If it was pure USSR the message would have been ignored and filed under "it could never happen here because we're English/American/whatever," plus many of the people he associa
              • The warning was about the UK but the examples were pure USSR.

                Sorry to be blunt, but you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

                • by dbIII (701233)
                  You were very blunt at the start throwing my words back at me, jumped to a conclusion which does not appear to be supported by anything I've read about Orwell and is oversimplified to the back of beyond, took things far too literally (while getting it wrong, of course the UK is not literally like that either) and did not even bother to pay attention to something that answered your "question".
                  A lot has been written about why 1984 is a lot like what Orwell learned of totalitarian USSR and Orwell's arguments a
      • Are you dancing around the idea that it is possible to live in a world (inhabited by humans) where no secrets are necessary?

        • by dbIII (701233)
          I suggest you read what I've written and respond to that instead of making up things and pretending that is what I have written.
          It is quite obvious that I wrote nothing remotely related to what you have suggested LordLimecat.
      • Re:Politics (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LordLimecat (1103839) on Friday January 28, 2011 @12:27AM (#35028900)

        Sorry for double post... But I just went and watched the "full" video here [collateralmurder.com], and around 4:35-4:45, I very clearly see a cut. Is that how such videos generally work? Is there any reason to believe that too was not edited, or can we trust that THIS time, it was the full video?

        And I thought the point of a site like wikileaks was to be a neutral, thrid party publishing site; sticking orwell quotes onto a video doesnt seem very neutral to me.

        • Is there any reason to believe that too was not edited, or can we trust that THIS time, it was the full video?

          You will be disappointed to find that you can't trust anyone. It is that simple. Even if Wikileaks is totally honest, the source could have distorted the documents. Or the original material was a honey pot.

          And I thought the point of a site like wikileaks was to be a neutral, third party publishing site;

          Where did you get that idea? Imagine, that wikileaks is a news organization, which publishes the original material. You can get one perspective from them directly, other perspective form other news organizations who republish their material, or you can see for yourself. If they just dumped the video, woul

          • They should not insert commentary into the leaked material. It does immense damage to their credibility to claim "this is authentic war footage" and then have numerous cuts, tributes to the fallen, and drawn in lines etc inside the video.

            • The full version has no drawn in lines, only extra is the subtitles. If you have problems with those, you are nitpicking. Now, why couldn't you download the frikin' video and verify yourself? That is the whole point of WL – you can see for yourself. But what is the point for them to do it, if even you can't be bothered to check.

    • by tobiah (308208)

      It's one thing to post documents on-line that Governments would rather keep secret. It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views. If these sites would just post and not add their opinion; credibility would improve.

      What news organization does do that? For that matter, what other news organization would also publish the raw footage (as wikileaks did)?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The "collateral murder" highlights reel was all that was needed. When the soldiers shot the van that was collecting the bodies, that was a war crime.

      • by Skidborg (1585365)
        Unless the camera then zoomed out, the director yelled cut, and the van occupants piled out to congratulate each other on propaganda well done... Probably not the case here, but it wouldn't historically be the first time such a thing has happened.
        • by metacell (523607)

          The US military has admitted the video is genuine by trying to defend the actions portrayed on it.

    • It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views.

      I disagree with the notion that wikileaks did edit the video to fit their personal views. They gunned down innocent civilians. Nothing in the longer version I saw changed that.

    • Since WL published the full version along side it's commentary, I think your citicisim is what is lacking credibility. It never ceases to amaze me that such credulous and morally vacuous critiques are parroted ad-nauseum while the hard evidence of real crimes is all but ignored . Where are the authorties? They have utterly failed to follow up on the factual evidence and charge people for the real crimes documented in these leaks, instead they have gone on an expensive and fruitless "investigation" looking
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It's one thing to post documents on-line that Governments would rather keep secret. It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views

      Yes. The first is called a leak. The second is called journalism. Wikileaks has consistently done both at once; the unedited version of the Collateral Murder footage was released within seconds of the edited version, which as anyone who has compared them can attest does nothing more than remove dead time. Well, that and a rocket attack on a building which was occupied by families who lacked the option to leave at the time. Nice anti-wikileaks propaganda, though.

    • Re:Politics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by metacell (523607) on Friday January 28, 2011 @09:21AM (#35031560)

      It's one thing to post documents on-line that Governments would rather keep secret. It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views. If these sites would just post and not add their opinion; credibility would improve.

      It's not unlikely you're trolling, but I'll respond just to be on the safe side.

      The US military didn't just classify the video where a US attack helicopter shoots down journalists in Iraq - they lied to the court and claimed it didn't exist.

      Wikileaks exposed that lie by leaking the video. They published both an edited version with commentary, and the complete, unedited version, so everyone could see for themselves that they didn't distort anything. That Wikileaks bothered to publish the unedited version, proves that they were honest. It's more than what a regular news agency does.

      Of course, when they release unedited material, they get criticised for that too. It's used to argue that they're not "a real news agency", since "real news agencies" provide reports, not raw data, and this in turn is used to support bizarre arguments that they shouldn't have the same right to free speech as other news providers.

      So whatever Wikileaks does, they get criticised. I think it's amazing they haven't made more mistakes than they have, considering the sheer amount of material they've received and the controversies surrounding it.

  • by neiras (723124) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:22PM (#35026110)

    So these guys plan to release only to 'need-to-know' news organizations, approved by themselves and some sort of vote process? Yeah, that'll work well. If the media won't touch a certain story shopped around by OpenLeaks, we'll never know about it. I don't trust OpenLeaks; I hope they fail hard.

    Wikileaks had it right - public disclosure with a reasonable attempt to scrub names not directly responsible for the crimes being exposed.

    • by poity (465672) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:27PM (#35026186)

      So some people want to try their own hands at helping.

      I hope they fail hard.

      You want them to fail because they're not helping in the way you want them to.
      Rush Limbaugh, is that you again?

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        No, he's right. They need to fail. Basically, they're setting themselves up as a "more responsible" place to leak your information. But if the media doesn't want to air that information (because it goes against their own agenda), then it just goes nowhere. Hopefully the leaker won't have been caught by that time, and can leak it to someone better (WikiLeaks), but if they get caught before then, then the public will never see that information.

        • by gknoy (899301)

          What's to stop someone from leaking to multiple places?

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Simple: what's the point of leaking to OpenLeaks, if you're also going to leak to WikiLeaks? Presumably, you'd want to leak to OL because they're supposedly more "responsible" and will make sure the information is vetted or whatever and only released "responsibly" by mainstream news sources (yeah right), whereas WL will pretty much just throw it right up on the website, perhaps after redacting some names. Releasing to both would be pointless.

            Now, you could also release to some other leaks site, but how ma

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes read http://cryptome.org/0003/nyt-robs-wl.htm [cryptome.org]
      The part about "Even goes so far as to brag the Times publishes documents too, not just editorial gloss of them. Then carefully preens shamelessly about how the Times met repeatedly with US government representatives to vet Wikileaks documents before publication." ie from
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/magazine/30Wikileaks-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
      "Dean Baquet, our Washington bureau chief, gave the White House an early warning on Nov. 19. The follo
    • by definate (876684)

      I believe that while it's small initially, they're looking at scaling it up, such that there will be a LOT of different users (organizations), which are trusted.

      This then allows them to "safely" disseminate the raw information to the various parties, as opposed to having to filter and censor it like WikiLeaks does.

    • I don't hope they fail, a plurality of organisations taking slightly different approaches is probably a healthy thing here. However to be successful their strategy doesn't just have to appeal to the general public, it has to appeal to people wishing to make leaks.

      I suspect most leakers:
      a) Favour wide dispersal of the leaks.
      b) Will trust Wikileaks, who put their own asses on the line, over some largely anonymous information brokers with no direct capability to publish.

      I also think the OpenLeaks strat
    • I concur. I tried to become a member and wasn't allowed to. OpenLeaks is not open but closed. Useless.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:05PM (#35026568)
    So, after watching the video... it looks like they've invented a wiki... for leaks... amazing concept really.
  • Where's the Open ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:39PM (#35026856)

    There's nothing really open about openleaks. Its more a dropbox which is then piped to news agents.

    Should have called it closed-except-to-journalistleaks , but I expect the domain was already taken.

  • before one of these sites is used by someone with a bad agenda to leak misinformation that does something horrible globally. You think things are bad with the status quo? I can imagine many people around the world that for their own personal profit or simple love of chaos will some day use a popular site to "leak" information that will do more harm than all the secrets that are being held. I hope not, but I think there is more potential for harm than good in all this.
    • by xero314 (722674)
      Yes because there is no way that any news agency would possibly publish false news reports.
  • I imagine this has been suggested before, and I'm sure *all* of these things have been uploaded onto it, but instead of all these single-entity whistleblower avenues why don't whistleblowers just upload their secretz onto Freenet? Is it because you couldn't verify the authenticity of a document that was uploaded completely anonymously? Is it because the secret war plans will just get lost in the shuffle between child porn and random flogs? Or is it because of the low visibility it'll receive? I mean, isn't
    • "Is it because the secret war plans will just get lost in the shuffle between child porn and random flogs?"

      I guess that's it. Maybe if Freenet had a moderating system...

  • by zill (1690130) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @08:34PM (#35027222)
    Openleak's first leak was Wikileak server's root password.

    5 minutes later, Wikileaks retaliated by posting Openleak's SQL database password.

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