The WikilLeaks.org whistleblower website webservers etc (apart from the various "cover name" DNS entires around the world) is mostly hosted at PRQ Internet in Stockholm, Sweden.
The WikiLeaks.org editorial activists are happy enough to publish uploaded documents, many of which, especially copies of old US Military equipment manuals or intelligence reports etc. do not meet their stated publication criteria of:
Unless otherwise specified the document described here:
- Was first publicly revealed by Wikileaks working with our source.
- At that time was classified, confidential, censored or otherwise withheld from the public.
- Is of political, diplomatic, ethical or historical significance.
- Any questions about this documents veracity are noted. Fewer than 0.1% of documents that pass initial triage fail subsequent analysis (typically developing world election material).
- The summary is approved by the editorial board.
Therefore it is interesting that there is no mention on WikiLeakS.org, of a current attempt by to legally threaten and censor a Swedish blogger Henrik Alexandersson based partly in Belgium, by Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment, their equivalent of the US National Security Agency or of the UK's GCHQ.
This story about a leak of secret intelligence information, is , like most of the similar material on WikiLeaks, several years old, and in this case involves a partial list of names, passport numbers, company names, and fax numbers of mostly Swedish citizens and companies with business offices in Russia.
See this newsletter article by the European Digital Rights Initiative: FRA has a long history of spying on Swedes for an English language summary of the case and background links.
The Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment FRA that has made the headlines last month with its law on spying on all communication, has recently announced that it has reported a blogger to the Chancellor of Justice for distributing what they consider classified material proving the Agency was spying on Swedes starting with 1996.
Henrik Alexandersson is the name of the blogger that criticized the new FRA surveillance law. He published two lists of FRA's alleged classified material on his blog. The first document is a list of 103 Swedish citizens that were under surveillance in the early 90's for having contacts with Russia. The other publication is a list of connections between Russian and Swedish corporations from 1996, which may imply that FRA was illegally listening to cable bound traffic.
According to FRA's director-general Ingvar Åkesson all surveillance material regarding personal acts are destroyed after 18 months, although these documents imply that this isn't the fact.
See also this article in The Register Swedish spy agency sics lawyers on wiretap critic
Does anyone imagine that these businesses were unaware that the Russian authorities would be snooping on their telecommunications ?
Is should hardly be a surprise that the FRA would also be keeping such phone numbers under surveillance.
This story also has to be seen against the background of the draconian new communications snooping legislation which has recently been forced through the Swedish Parliament, on behalf of the FRA, despite widespread opposition.
This UK or US or Russian or Chinese style "snoop on all foreigners with impunity" legislation could have implications for anyone accessing the WikiLeakS.org servers in Stockholm, to upload leaked documents, to publish discussions or analyses, or just to read what others have published.
- Why has WikiLeakS.org has not joined in with the Streisand Effect evident in the Swedish language political blogosphere, where many people are mirroring copies of Henrik Alexandersson's articles and document image scans ?
- Is it simply a language barrier problem ? There are very few Swedish language pages on WikiLeakS.org currently.
- Is it a lack of awareness of WikiLeakS.org in Sweden generally ?
- Is it a lack of trust in WikiLeakS.org by the Swedish political blogosphere ?
- Or are the WikiLeakS.org core activists refusing to publish these particular leaks, which might involve the PRQ Internet server hosting facility in Stockholm being dragged into a legal fight with the FRA and the Swedish Government, which they are unlikely to win, and which result in Police raids on the server hosting facility, as happened when it was used for the far less sensitive legal / illegal Copyright disputes over The Pirate Bay bit torrent sharing systems which used to be hosted there in the past ?
- Surely the WikiLeaks.org servers are a prime intelligence and communications traffic data surveillance target for the Swedish FRA and other agencies ?