September 2008 Archives

The website seems to be accessible again, for the moment, now that the Sarah Palin emails story is waning in the mainstream media and the alleged screenshots are available elsewhere. Those screenshots , appear to have been ineptly published, with potentially identifying proxy server information in the browser address bar,

The WikiLeakS,org editorial team therefore have questions to answer, since they did not seem to have protected their anonymous source, by editing out the identifiable details, who is now alleged to have been identified .

The website seems to be inaccessible at the moment, and we can guess why - it is probably simply overloaded because of the mainstream media reports of allegedly hacked emails etc. sent or received by the US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin having been leaked or published there.

If you are stupid enough to mistake or mistype (without an "s") for, whilst you are searching for illegal material then do not blame us.

I will probably publish a list of some of the identifiable organisations and individuals who are currently fruitlessly searching this blog for non-existent copies of "Sarah Palin emails".

I am almost tempted to create some fictitious documents for such gullible fools to find here and embarrass themselves with.

Update Thursday 18th September 2008: still seems to be overloaded.

Sadly, people are still continuing to use the blog Search box here on the right, to search for "Sarah Palin email" etc. without bothering to read the warning underneath.

It is little wonder that "phishing" frauds and scams work, if some people are willing to click on a web link without double checking the URL, or taking any other precautions, even when they are in search of illegal or morally questionable material.

Some of the comments on this blog post, are not being displayed, but they are being preserved for formal complaints to the offending organisations and ISPs, whose Internet Acceptable Use Policies they breach.

The rest of the new visitors who are actually interested in the ethical and technical implications of the project, and their partially successful attempt to produce an anonymous whistleblower leak publication system, are welcome to read the rest of the blog, and comment on the issues.

Why have abandoned the use of PGP Encryption ?

The Contact page still has a link to a page:

Wikileaks:PGP Keys

Do not use PGP to contact us. We have found that people use it in a dangerous manner. Further one of the Wikileaks key on several key servers is FAKE.


This warning now replaces a copy of the PGP Public Encryption Key which expired on 2nd November 2007 (PGP Key ID: 0x11015F80).

Instead of publishing a new PGP Key, the staff have, without bothering to hold any sort of discussion on the relevant wiki discussion page, arbitrarily put up this stupid warning.

It is entirely possible for the public and for journalists and for whistleblowers to use unencrypted plaintext email, or the SSL / TLS web encrypted web session submission forms for new "whistleblower document" uploads, or the Tor Hidden Service methods, or the Postal mail box methods of submission, or the Discussion pages for publishing comments and analyses, and to make technical security or anonymity errors

in a dangerous manner.

Why is PGP any different ?

Presumably because the team have deliberately not bothered to explain its correct use - they just published a link to a PGP public key, with nothing else in the way of instructions or warning advice.

The point about the PGP keyservers is utterly irrelevant, given that were, correctly, publishing their PGP key primarily on their own web servers

Fake PGP keys on keyservers or elsewhere are not a problem - that is what the PGP key fingerprints are designed to help with.

This outright refusal to use widely available, tried, tested, and secure PGP / GnuGP / OpenPGP etc . software. has further damaged the reputation for trustworthiness of the project.

Some people will conclude that some of the people must be in cahoots with some intelligence or police agency or other, which is why they do not wish to promote the option of using strong end to end encryption like PGP for protecting whistleblowers.

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

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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