The New Yorker is featuring a long and detailed profile of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. From this Wired's Threat Level pulls out one salient detail: that Wikileaks' initial scoop came from documents intercepted from Tor exit routers. The eavesdropping was pulled off by a Wikileaks activist — neither the New Yorker nor Wired knows who or even in what country he or she resides. "The siphoned documents, supposedly stolen by Chinese hackers or spies who were using the Tor network to transmit the data, were the basis for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's assertion in 2006 that his organization had already 'received over one million documents from 13 countries' before his site was launched ..." Update: 06/02 06:31 GMT by T : In reaction to the Wired story, and the New Yorker story on which it drew, Andrew Lewman of the Tor Project points to this explanation / reminder of what Tor's software actually does and does not do. Relevant to the claims reported above, it reads in part "We hear from the Wikileaks folks that the premise behind these news articles is actually false -- they didn't bootstrap Wikileaks by monitoring the Tor network. But that's not the point. The point is that users who want to be safe need to be encrypting their traffic, whether they're using Tor or not." This flat denial of the assertion that Wikileaks was bootstrapped with documents sniffed from the Tor network is repeated unambiguously in correspondence from Wikileaks volunteers.
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