still asking for money, but publishes an alleged US Embassy Reykjavik confidential cable

| | Comments (1) 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 ?)


Whoever "leaked" this document was savvy enough strip much of the cable header information including the CONFIDENTIAL classification markings that resided at the top and bottom of the actual document/cable. As a former Dept of State communications officer I am displeased that someone with access to this cable made it available in the public domain. But many hundreds of people both in and out of the State Dept had/have access to this cable. The SIPDIS caption alone means that the cable was automatically forwarded to the U.S. govt's SIPRNET, a wide area classified (encrypted) network, not to mention the addressees listed in addition to the State Dept (SECSTATE). ALL my former colleagues in the Dept of State's Information Resource Management bureau would share in my displeasure to see this breech of security; we take our duties of maintaining the Dept's secure communications network VERY seriously. While I cannot speak to the sensitivity of the content of this cable, the fact that all of the content is classified as CONFIDENTIAL should give you pause to make it available on this site. Please do not dismiss the necessity of the U.S. govt to pass classified information to and from the many overseas diplomatic missions. Regards.

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.

Syndicate this site (XML):

Recent Comments

  • Jack Gilmere: Whoever "leaked" this document was savvy enough strip much of read more

November 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30