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Was Julian Assange Involved With Wiretapping Iceland's Parliament? 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-have-a-listen dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wired reports that the chat logs between Bradley Manning and Julian Assange that were used as evidence in Manning's trial have made it onto the web, at least briefly. One of those logs contained something very interesting on page 4, which was picked up on by the News of Iceland, which reports, '"Jesus Christ. I think that we have recordings of all phone calls to and from the Icelandic parliament during the past four months". This text can be found in documents that the US military published on its website and is said to be part of the conversations between Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. According to the documents, Assange claims to have phone call recordings from Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, but this is the first time that the existence of such data is mentioned publicly. ... According to Icelandic laws, it is required to inform the person you are speaking with if the phone call is being recorded. Given that the parliament is not violating laws it is clear that Assange or his associates would have to have installed recording devices or wiretaps in the parliament.' — What makes it even more interesting is that Wired also reports in this recent story: Someone's Been Siphoning Data Through a Huge Security Hole in the Internet."
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Was Julian Assange Involved With Wiretapping Iceland's Parliament?

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  • Install wiretaps? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:10AM (#45678269)

    Eh, why do you think Assange et al need to install anything? They just got the logs from the evil-doers... I wonder who that might be?

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:11AM (#45678273)
  • WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:12AM (#45678279)

    Assange mentions wiretap records and they assume _he_ did the wiretapping?

    Is it not possible, nay likely, that he _was given_ the wiretaps in the Manning data dump?

    How exactly would Manning tap all lines into the parliament?

    Why would he even try, given that he had friends in that parliament - couldn't they tell him what the scuttlebutt was?

  • by rastos1 (601318) on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:12AM (#45678281) Homepage
    How does it follow that the recording devices were installed by Assange? It just says that Assange/Manning had the recordings. Not that they actually planted the bugs.

    (fp?)

  • Uh, problem... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:16AM (#45678293)

    "Given that the parliament is not violating laws it is clear that Assange or his associates would have to have installed recording devices or wiretaps in the parliament".

    This last sentence makes no sense. You are leaving out a huge possibility. Someone else could have done this, and leaked it to WikiLeaks.

  • Why would he? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DMiax (915735) on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:17AM (#45678295)

    Why would Assange wiretap the Icelandic parliament and how could he? I doubt he has that powerful connections up there.

    The obviously more likely explanation is that some spy agency (like NSA or counterparts) did it, and it has been leaked to Wikileaks. Notice how he looks surprised upon finding it out, so that Manning feels like pointing out that he wasn't the one who leaked it "*had nothing to do with that one*". So neither knew how the records were obtained in the first place.

    Now one wonders: who would be able and willing of doing such a thing and who would have an interest in pinning it to Assange?

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:25AM (#45678331)

    it is clear that Assange or his associates would have to have installed recording devices....

    Hold on. They conclude that from Assange suddenly stating "Jesus Christ. I think that we have recordings of all phone calls to and from the Icelandic parliament during the past four months" ???????? How can anyone honestly conclude that? Assange seems to express surprise when he realizes what he has, surprise that he would not have if he had been wiretapping and recording. Assange was routinely getting leaked information. My conclusion would be that someone leaked this information to him, not that he had been wiretapping Iceland. And who do we know that has been spying on their friends and enemies alike, along with their own citizens? I'll give you a clue, it is someone with a 3 letter name that a whistle blower might want to expose.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:27AM (#45678349)

    Look, I am pretty much convinced that Assange is a douche hors categorie. However, that observation changes precisely nothing regarding the info released via WL, such as the epic douchebaggery on the part of, say, the US diplomatic corps and military. It's not like they cancel out or something.

  • Re:Why would he? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:30AM (#45678363)

    Notice how the summary also tries to equate this with the hijacking of internet traffic through Iceland. Attempting to imply Assange was responsible for that too. Pretty obvious that the anonymous reader who submitted this has a bit of an agenda.

  • by Xest (935314) on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:43AM (#45678401)

    The problem is the people you're linking to that "know him" are only the ones that had a falling out with him and/or are jealous of him.

    The problem is there are many more out there that know him and outright praise him.

    So your one-sided completely biased post doesn't exactly earn much credibility given that fact.

    But you know this, because it's your usual modus operandi isn't it? It's what you do every single time such a subject comes up.

    I doubt anyone has a problem with genuine critique of Assange, but seriously dude, you need to learn a bit about objectivity. Taking one-sided views of a person then claiming that's everything that person is is utterly pathetic, I might just as well claim you're a troll based on this and dismiss everything you've ever said or have got to say, but I'm more pragmatic than that, I recognise that sometimes, just sometimes, you have a point. This isn't one of those times.

  • Wait, wait, wait. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Max Threshold (540114) on Friday December 13, 2013 @04:52AM (#45678439)
    Go back to that part where parliament is not violating laws.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @05:11AM (#45678493)

    The claim has been for a long time, that Manning is not a whistle blower, because he did not only leak the incriminating information, but an unfiltered dump. I.e. he did not read through the data himself.

    Then Assange receives it, and while talking to Manning - and presumably looking at the data they are talking about - notices complete wiretapping data.

    Why isn't the most obvious explanation that the data Manning sent to Assange happened to contain wiretapping data, and the source of that data (the US government, not necessarily the military, Manning was surprised to find out how much data he had access to) had been doing the wiretapping?

    Would anybody be surprised today, if it turned out that e.g. the NSA has been wiretapping foreign governments?

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday December 13, 2013 @05:30AM (#45678541) Homepage

    Looks like the US hasn't given up smearing him.

  • by Vintermann (400722) on Friday December 13, 2013 @05:51AM (#45678601) Homepage

    It doesn't follow at all. He wouldn't express surprise if he was trying to eavesdrop on the Icelandic parliament.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Friday December 13, 2013 @06:01AM (#45678643)

    You must not have typed that with conviction since you have a +4 as I write this. Normally Assange's fans will punish any aspersions cast on him rather quickly despite the validity.

    What moderators make of my post says nothing about my typing it with or without conviction. If I am not convinced of something I won't qualify a statement with "I am pretty much convinced". Disagree with me all you like but credit me that much, all right?

    You only have to look at the instances of either misinformation or manipulation to see that.

    And the US government is not known for misinformation or manipulation? If you think that then, respectfully, you have not been paying attention or else you have an unusually strong cognitive dissonance filter on.

    The so called "collateral murder" video was nonsense.

    I agree the material would have been stronger unedited and without commentary. That said, the fact remains that these assholes, from a safe distance in their Apache, shot a bunch of kids to shreds and attacked people who came to the scene to help. That much is not controversial. And the remarks they made to one another afterward are nothing short of disgusting.

    As far as diplomacy goes, it is in essence politics, which tends to be messy and usually takes place behind closed doors. Perhaps you are familiar with the old saying about making laws and sausages?

    I am familiar with the saying about sausages and making laws. Maybe I'm the odd one out in that regard, but I prefer to know what goes inside a sausage -- and if I don't like what I find I'll stop eating them. Easy fix. Same goes for lawmaking. Besides, the analogy doesn't apply here, the leaks were about international diplomacy, not lawmaking. It included some pretty lowbrow gossip, and I remain unconvinced that such banter is somehow an essential part of the game.

  • by Xest (935314) on Friday December 13, 2013 @06:27AM (#45678711)

    "The so called "collateral murder" video was nonsense."

    Out of interest, what was nonsense about it? I saw the unedited version first, not even being aware that there was an edited version and it was objectively the case that the Apache pilots broke various norms of war.

    They claimed they needed to fire because the targets had RPGs that could be used against them but their gun cam clearly showed that not only were they out of RPG range, but they were even further out of objective RPG range.

    The van they shot with the kid in they completely and utterly failed to determine if it was even actually a threat and fired anyway.

    These are not the actions of competent military personnel. The norm in such situations is do not fire until fired upon, but this took it to another level and fired before they could even be sure there was a real actual threat.

    This isn't just my opinion, this is objective fact. The rules of engagement are well publicised and there's simply no argument against the fact that the Apache gunner broke them. There's absolutely no avoiding that.

    It's directly equivalent to a cop just sitting alongside the road and then shooting a guy passing with a hunting rifle visible in his car before even talking to them, and then shooting another passer by that stops to try and help just in case they were both a threat. We don't allow our police to do that at home, and we shouldn't be allowing military forces to do it in a post-war occupation role. It's counter productive and the whole reason America got fucked in Iraq - because the Iraqis quickly realised they didn't want to be occupied by forces that shot them for shits and giggles - "just in case" and turned on American forces as a result.

  • by AC-x (735297) on Friday December 13, 2013 @06:42AM (#45678765)

    Why would anyone who was actually involved in the wiretapping sound surprised when he found the wiretapping data he allegedly made? It makes no sense.

    What does make sense is if either the leaked cables also contained this data, or someone else leaked the data to wikileaks but they hadn't got round to looking at it yet.

  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Friday December 13, 2013 @07:54AM (#45678993)

    But it's a lot funnier if the whole summary is already a flamebait, full of unsupported bullshit.

    It saves a lot of work for the trolls here in the comments.

  • by Xest (935314) on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:38AM (#45679811)

    "Do you have some sort of source for that?"

    Well, I'd imagine the fact they broke the US' own rules of engagement is about as authoritative as it gets? -

    http://wikileaks.org/wiki/US_Rules_of_Engagement_for_Iraq [wikileaks.org]

    "Because I was working directly WITH Apache pilots and maintainers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and they all agree that the pilots did follow proper procedure for the discharge of weapons."

    Of course they would. US military doctrine is to close rank and protect your fellow soldier. This has about zero relevance though - I'd rather trust those who don't have a vested interest in arguing that they should be free to shoot what they want, when they want.

    "They were providing close air support for troops on the ground that were under active engagement. It does not matter if the Apache itself is under direct threat from any potential RPG. The ground troops were under direct threat."

    There's so many things wrong with your statement here:

    - The troops could not be under active engagement because the cameraman had a camera, not an RPG

    - The troops were not under direct threat when the Apache fired because they were not near enough the scene at that point

    What the Apache pilot did was attempt pro-active killing under the suspicion they might be a threat when they were in range. That's not the same as protecting allies under "active engagement". See my cop example - should cops shoot anyone with a gun in their vehicle, just in case they might be a threat? It's absurd, it's nonsense.

    "Obviously you do not know what the rules of engagement were at that time in Iraq."

    Obviously you don't. But obviously I do. See above link. What you went on to describe doesn't even fit into rules of engagement. Rules of engagement don't describe what civilians can and can't do, only what makes a valid target and civilians are explicitly never a target otherwise the US' rules of engagement would be in direct breach of the geneva convention and that would make any US soldiers following it war criminals.

    "Did you have the audio muted on the video? You could hear the ground personnel in contact with the close air support. You could also see these groups actively engaging the troops on the ground."

    I think you watched completely the wrong video because what you're describing is not what was on the unedited feed.

    Seriously, check your facts before you post in future. Between pretending things are in the video which aren't, and pretending that the rules of engagement aren't now widely publicised you've merely exposed yourself as spouting as much nonsense as Cold Fjord.

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