Sunday, March 4, 2018

Displacing WikiLeaks and Intercepting Whistleblowers: SecureDrop’s Security Problem

Mint Press News | Mar 3, 2018 | Whitney Webb

 Illustration by Jared Rodriguez for Truthout, Flickr Creative Commons.
WikiLeaks, the transparency organization known for publishing leaked documents that threaten the powerful, finds itself under pressure like never before, as does its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange. Now, the fight to silence Wikileaks is not only being waged by powerful government figures but also by the media, including outlets and organizations that have styled themselves as working to protect whistleblowers.

As Part I of this investigative series revealed, Pierre Omidyar – eBay billionaire and PayPal’s long-time owner – holds considerable sway over several journalists and organizations, like the Freedom of the Press Foundation, that once championed WikiLeaks but now work for organizations or publications funded by Omidyar. Thanks to his deep ties to the U.S. government and his own long-standing efforts to undermine the organization, Omidyar is using his influence to bring renewed pressure to WikiLeaks as it continues to publish sensitive government information.

In Part II of this investigative series, the role of Palantir — the “secretive” PayPal offshoot turned government contractor — in the war against whistleblowers was examined. Particular attention was given to Palantir’s targeting of would-be government whistleblowers and other “subversives,” as well as its plan to deal with “the WikiLeaks threat” by turning former defenders of the organization against it. Central to this plan was a media campaign intended to discredit WikiLeaks, particularly Assange, and to capitalize on “fractures” among those who supported WikiLeaks in order to raise doubts over the group’s commitment to non-partisanship.

One such writer doing just that also happens to be connected to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and has a dubious track record of reporting on WikiLeaks and whistleblowers. His name is Kevin Poulsen.

MINNEAPOLIS – When the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) was debating whether to end its processing of WikiLeaks donations (see Part I of this series), the news was made public in an exclusive article in the Daily Beast, written by Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman. The article is jarring for several reasons, primarily owing to the terms in which it speaks of both WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange, as well as its one-sided slant and promotion of false claims.

Read more at Mint Press News..


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