Results tagged “SSL. TLS” from WikiLeak is still asking for money:

We have raised just over $350,000 for this year. Our yearly budget is around $600,000.

However, their self imposed moratorium on publishing leaked documents, has now been selectively breached, presumably for political purposes:

Classified cable from US Embassy Reykjavik on Icesave dated 13 Jan 2010

This document, released by WikiLeaks on February 18th 2010 at 19:00 UTC, describes meetings between embassy chief Sam Watson (CDA) and members of the Icelandic government together with British Ambassador Ian Whiting.

This is just a link to a simple text file, rather than the usual wiki page with a (.pdf) or (.zip) archive and a cryptographic checksum.

Publication in this way denies people the opportunity to post Comments on or Analysis of the alleged whistleblower leak document on the website itself.

The actual link is to:

However, the corresponding "secure" SSL / TLS encrypted version of the link is not available:

This re-directs to an Error Page and then to the "secure" document submission web page - why would anyone submit any new whistleblower leak documents to the website, which currently have almost no chance of being published ?

The previously available Tor Hidden service via https://gaddbiwdftapglkq.onion/, which used to offer end to end encryption and quite strong anonymity mixing through the Tor server node cloud, is not working either.

Is this a further erosion of the supposed ethical standards and transparency which were proclaimed when the project started ?

Revealing some alleged details, that Icelandic politicians in the Government and in the Opposition are meeting with each other, and with US and British and Norwegian etc. diplomats, in order to try to find compromises, and a way out of the Icesave financial crisis, is hardly a significant secret, which is being hidden from the Icelandic or world public, for some nefarious reason or other. Surely that is what they are all paid to do as a matter of course, anyway ?

If this plausible looking text is genuine, then will there now be a "mole hunt" / security investigation at the US Embassy in Reykjavik or the State Department and other addresses in Washington, to try to track down how the alleged text of a supposedly confidential and, presumably encrypted, diplomatic telegram fell into the hands of ? Or, since the British Ambassador is named and quoted specifically, and may well have been forwarded a copy, was the leak due to laxness by the United Kingdom's bureaucracy ?

Will all Icelandic staff working at those embassies now fall, unfairly, under suspicion of espionage as a result of this leak ?

Will all internet traffic to and from the website now, be legitimately snooped on by the US National Security Agency ? The NSA is obviously tasked with ensuring the security and confidentiality of US diplomatic cables and other communications to and from US Embassies around the world.

Whether this leak will actually help or hinder the forthcoming vote in the Althing the Icelandic Parliament, on the inspired idea of reforming Icelandic laws to protect investigative journalism and to counter libel tourism and secret legal injunctions etc., is uncertain. See the previous blog article Icelandic Modern Media Initiative - "Publishing Haven" laws in Iceland ?)

The lack of any published high level security architecture for the project
has been an ongoing failure, which reduces the level of trust and confidence which people can have in it.

Not all of the technical details of how they are trying to achieve the best mix of anonymity, security , scalability and usability techniques need to be made public, however a formal statement of what exactly they are trying to do, would help people outside the project to point out potential problems, or improvements, or to see that these have already been recognised and are work in progress.

In the absence of anything but the most hand waving salespeak from, observers of the project have to critically examine the writings of their central politburo, and read between the lines,

The recently published Wikileaks:Investigator's guide page has some vaguely reassuring legal warnings about journalist / source legal protection in Sweden and Belgium and the USA.

Wikileaks:Investigator's guide

From Wikileaks

This document is for judges, investigating magistrates, judicial officers and investigators. It explains issues and evidence that you may see in an investigation relating to Wikileaks.

This is not, therefore, a discussion document, soliciting ideas or feedback on proposed future project features, it appears to be a fait accompli.

However, the Investigator's Guide also contains some technical inaccuracies or, perhaps, deliberate misinformation, and a description of a very worrying "phone home" spyware "feature". seems to have recently changed the templates for their leaked document download pages.

These used to provide both an unencrypted http:// download URL and an SSL / TLS encrypted session https:// one.

However, now you are presented with what looks tt first glance to be several Download Mirror URLs, in several different countries.

This is, unfortunately, rather misleading, as with one exception, all the URLS actually still point to the same Single Point of Failure webserver IP address in Stockholm, Sweden:

i.e. you are given the apparent choice of downloading the document from the ./leaks/ directory at the following URLs:

  • Sweden
  • US
  • Sweden2
  • Latvia
  • Slovakia
  • UK
  • Finland
  • Netherlands

The URL has been used regularly before, although it is hard to believe that there are likely to be many locations which have firewall or other policies which block access via http:// port 80 or https:// port 443, but still allow port 54445 connections.

The diversity of the domain names, provides redundancy against the legalistic court order attacks against the main domain name, as per the court case in the USA case brought by Bank Julius Baer and their shyster lawyers Lavely & Singer back in February 2008.

The US download URL ending in "" is actually making use of the Coral Content Distribution Network project. This is a collaborative volunteer project, run by the Stanford Secure Computer Systems group at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA, which creates an international distributed cache and content distribution service, with servers in several different countries.

This Coral CDN project is independent of, but they, and many other people make use of it, especially when they have popular, newsworthy content which overloads their own servers and bandwidth. The recent Sarah Palin email screenshots were, for example, available for a time, via this system, even though could not cope with the demand.

It is unclear if the publishing workflow scripts actually click on the Coral CDN URL e.g.;eaked-document.pdf, thereby pulling it into the Croal CDN server cache network, and making it available if server in Stockholm is offline. Perhaps the workfow process simply published the URL, and hopes that someone else will seed the Coral CDN with copies of the leaked document.

It is still possible to download a leaked document via SSL, but this involves manually replacing, for example


and then noting, and dealing with any warnings and requests for permanent or temporary exceptions, when your web browser software detects that the Digital Certificate belongs to, and not to the domain name in the "cover name" URLs listed above (with the exception of the Coral Content Distribution Network URL, which does not accept SSL connections).

Most people visiting the leaked document download pages will not be aware of this, and will, potentially, betray the fact that they have downloaded a particular document, something which the project does not clearly warn them about.

However, even SSL / TLS encryption does not necessarily protect the anonymity of the people who choose to download censored documents from

With any particular leaked document file, which eventhough it is SSL / TLS session encrypted securely, there is a very good chance that the actual or approximate size of the file i.e. the number of bytes downloaded, is enough information with which to characterise, with a high degree of probability, which of the files being published by has been downloaded by a particular computer IP address, at a certain time, on a particular date.

This may well be enough to provide legal proof, or at least investigative leads or suspicions, about who the people are who have downloaded that leaked document, especially when their local Internet Service Provider is under pressure to hand over log files to lawyers or law enforcement or intelligence agencies, who are hunting down a leaked document, possession of which may have copyright or national security implications.

Alternatively, users of Tor. The Onion Router project, , can still protect (to a high degree, but not with absolute certainty) the anonymity of their plaintext http:// or encrypted SSL / TLS https:// session download.

It is completely unclear, as to whether the project team have ever considered or rejected ideas such as padding out leaked documents to one of several standard file lengths, so as to provide more "plausible deniability" against Communications Data Traffic Analysis, for readers and downloaders who use the website.

There now seems to be a new Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) Digital Certificate installed on

CN = Equifax Secure Global eBusiness CA-1
O = Equifax Secure Inc.Validity

Not before
11/06/2008 17:14:01
(11/06/2008 16:14:01 GMT)

Not After
12/06/2010 17:14:01
(12/06/2010 16:14:01 GMT)

CN =
OU = Domain Control Validated - RapidSSL(R)
OU = See (c)08
OU = GT46622659
O =
C = US

Attempts to access, or any of the other Cover Name DNS aliases, via SSL session encryption, should pop up a warning by your browser software about the name mismatch.

This is, however, more acceptable and trustworthy now that there is a valid, unexpired Digital Certificate installed.

It is extremely disappointing that there is no official note of explanation about this major change to the fundamental trust infrastructure of, on the website itself.

We have been remiss in not keeping the controversial, allegedly "secure and anonymous" whistleblowing website under proper scrutiny recently.

Their Secure Sockets Layer (or Transport Layer Security encryption web server Digital Certificate for has expired over 2 weeks ago, on 16th May 2008.

Some details from the Digital Certificate:


CN = Equifax Secure Global eBusiness CA-1
O = Equifax Secure Inc.
C = US


Not Before
16/05/2007 14:43:49
(16/05/2007 13:43:49 GMT)

Not After
16/05/2008 14:43:49

(16/05/2008 13:43:49 GMT)


CN =
OU = Domain Control Validated - RapidSSL(R)
OU = See (c)07
OU = GT46622659
O =
C = US

Neither of the issuing Trusted Third Parties i.e. RapidSSL and Equifax, now have any legal duty to guarantee the integrity of an expired Digital Certificate. Most web browser software will pop up warning messages, which will, inevitably, either put some people off from reading the website or from submitting new documents.

Since even the Talk pages require the use of, there is now no method of submitting comments or analyses "securely" either.

Remember that only published PGP public key encryption and digital signing key for (ID: 0x11015F80), has also expired since 2nd November 2007.

This gives a poor impression of the competence and trustworthiness of the project.

See: Discussion on the lack of a current PGP public encryption key

Technically you can still use these expired encryption credentials to send messages or documents to, but why should anyone trust them ?

Even a self-signed, but valid Digital Certificate, (with appropriate documentation as to why you should trust it) , would be preferable to a standard commercial Digitial Certificate, which has obviously expired. By convention and common usage, such an invalid Digital Certificate, and by extension the formerly "secure" webserver on which it resides, and can no longer to be trusted.

About this blog

This blog here at (no "S") discusses the ethical and technical issues raised by the project, which is trying to be a resource for whistleblower leaks, by providing "untraceable mass document leaking and analysis".

These are bold and controversial aims and claims, with both pros and cons, especially for something which crosses international boundaries and legal jurisdictions.

This blog is not part of the project, and there really are no copies of leaked documents or files being mirrored here.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

email: blog@WikiLeak[dot]org

Before you send an email to this address, remember that this blog is independent of the project.

If you have confidential information that you want to share with us, please make use of our PGP public encryption key or an email account based overseas e.g. Hushmail or Protonmail etc. accessible via the Tor anonymity cloud.

Now that the project is defunct, so far as new whistleblower are concerned, what are the alternatives ?

The wiki page lists links and anonymity analyses of some of the many post-wikileaks projects.

There are also links to better funded "official" whistlblowing crime or national security reporting tip off websites or mainstream media websites. These should, in theory, be even better at protecting the anonymity and security of their informants, than wikileaks, but that is not always so.

New whistleblower website operators or new potential whistleblowers should carefully evaluate the best techniques (or common mistakes) from around the world and make their personal risk assessments accordingly.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

The Submissions web page provides some methods for sending them leaked documents, with varying degrees of anonymity and security. Anybody planning to do this for real, should also read some of the other guides and advice to political activists and dissidents:

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link:

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

WikiLeakS Links

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

WikiLeakS Twitter feeds

The website does not stay online all of the time, especially when there is a surge of traffic caused by mainstream media coverage of a particularly newsworthy leak.

Recently, they have been using their new Twitter feeds, to selectively publicise leaked documents to the media, and also to report on the status of routing or traffic congestion problems affecting the main website in Stockholm, Sweden.

N.B.the words "security" or "anonymity" and "Twitter" are mutually exclusive: Twitter feed via SSL encrypted session: unencrypted Twitter feed

Internet Censorship

OpenNet Initiative - researches and measures the extent of actual state level censorship of the internet. Features a blocked web URL checker and censorship map.

Temporary Autonomous Zone

Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) by Hakim Bey (Peter Lambourn Wilson)

Cyberpunk author William Gibson

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid_150.jpg - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

wikileaks_logo_low.jpg - the controversial "uncensorable, anonymous whistleblowing" website based currently in Sweden.

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