backtop


Print 85 comment(s) - last by michael67.. on Feb 6 at 8:47 AM


In an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes", Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said he loved watching banks "squirm" about rumors of his latest upcoming leak.  (Source: CBS)

Questions about Mr. Assange's motives (he has called himself an anarchist in the past) went unasked, as did the question of whether Wikileaks might be profiting off the stock shifts its leaks cause.  (Source: CBS)
Assange claims U.S. is utterly incapable of removing his site from the web

In an interview [video] with the CBS show 60 Minutes, the founder-and-chief of the controversial secrets site Wikileaks discusses the recent backlash against his site, following the release of U.S. Military and State Department secrets.  He states, "The U.S. does not have the technology to take the site down . ... Just the way our technology is constructed, the way the Internet is constructed."

He adds, "We've had attacks on particular domain names. Little pieces of infrastructure knocked out. But we now have some 2,000 fully independent in every way websites, where we're publishing around the world. It is -- I mean, it's not possible to do."

Assange is referring to the fact that his site lost its central domain name, most of its official hosting, and its donations accounts.  Volunteers, who host mirrors of the webpage, now sustain the site.  Attempting to access Wikileaks or searching for it in Google results in visitors being redirected to one of these mirrored sites.

While the issue of what Wikileaks has done is hot in the minds of many, much of the 60 Minutes interview focuses on the site's threats that it will release damning information implicating a major U.S. bank in wrongdoing.

In an October 2009 interview with the International Data Group's publication ComputerWorld, Mr. Assange claimed to possess a hard drive with a wealth of information from the Bank of America.  

In an interview with top business periodical Forbes, which took place in late November, Wikileaks' Assange claimed to be preparing a "megaleak", which would likely lead to a major U.S. financial institution (presumably Bank of America) being investigated and potentially charged by international authorities.

During the 60 Minutes special, interest was high on the topic, but the interviewer's attempt to extract more info from Mr. Assange was largely rebuffed.  He states, "I won't make any comment in relation to that upcoming publication."

But he did express that he gains pleasure from the ill effects on the financial world his news is causing.  He states, "I think it's great. We have all these banks squirming, thinking maybe it's them."

The interview did not touch on a significant point in that regard -- the question of whether any Wikileaks members -- including Mr. Assange -- had profited off the stock shifts triggered by the organization's new releases.

Some have suggested that Mr. Assange and Wikileaks may be using its new releases to profit on the stock market.  Using certain mechanisms the site could selectively release news, dropping a commercial entity's stock price, making money off the drop.  Indeed, the Bank of America's share price dropped 3 percent in late 2010 on speculation that it was in Wikileaks crosshairs.  The actual release could drop stock further.  It would be relatively easy for someone affiliated with the site or its members to exploit the financial repercussions of the site's actions.

Wikileaks is a relatively loosely organized and regulated operation, with less than a dozen full time staff members, by almost all accounts.  The site publishes no details of its operating procedures or finances.

Unfortunately, that question, like many others (Mr. Assange's self-labeling as an "anarchist" in the 1990s) went unasked in the 60 Minutes interview.

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011:

Some seemed to imply that we were making up allegations that Wikileaks was manipulating the stock market to profit itself or its financiers.  This is absolutely not the case.  Those capable of a quick Google search should be able to find a number of stories on this topic, such as:
"Wikileaks is harmful now, but could become even more destructive" -- Kansas City Star

Which writes:

Shares in Bank of America dropped 3 percent Tuesday. Although they recovered Wednesday, banking analyst Dick Bove said on CNBC that this may represent a new means of stock-market manipulation, by which the unknown funders of Wikileaks could profit by cratering shares in targeted companies.

Also some challenged whether Assange was ever really an anarchist.  Well he said he was, at least at one time, back in the 90s.  In the book Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier by Suelette Dreyfus, which Mr. Assange edited, researched, and contributed text to, an autobiographical passage by Assange describes:

As he quietly backed out of the system, wiping away his footprints as he tip-toed away, Mendax [Assange] thought about what he had seen. He was deeply disturbed that any hacker would work for the US military.

Hackers, he thought, should be anarchists, not hawks. 

He may well have changed his views since his teenage years in Australia in the 1980s, but it is well documented that at least at one time he expressed anarchistic views.


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Aloonatic on 2/2/2011 4:02:01 AM , Rating: -1
Lol, seriously?

Sadam killed Kurds, I believe. Kurds whom we have been told are a happy little innocent people that sit on mushrooms and sing happy happy songs about how lovely the sky is an, so it was ok to go in to Iraq and hang Sadam on youtube. Ask a Turk who lives near the Turkey/Iraq border about Kurds though, and you might get a slightly different description, probably as they live in the most active terrorist zone in the world, where Kurdish "freedom fighters" are pretty busy.

I'm not condoning the use of chemical weapons on people, of course, but what happened in Iraq is not as simple as it might seem at first glance, and we can't forget that Sadam was the same dictator that gassed them as we in the west supported for years, when it suited us.

As for the BBC, they are not neutral, as it is a corporation run by human beings, so they will inevitably be influenced. I'm sure that the British government and other powerful and influential bodies have a say in how it's run too. In saying all that, I think that of all the global news broadcasting corporations around the world, they are probably as neutral as you are likely to find, to give them credit.

The final comment about Saudis running riot in a blood bath at the Vatican is just gross racism. I don't know if you are joking or what, when you suggest that the Pope would ask for non violence too.

Something to ponder.

How did white Christian western nations become the most wealthy and powerful people in the world? Through the use of witty repartee and specially trained kittens that licked our enemies/competitors, both locally and abroad, into letting us run things, take a massively disproportionate share of the world's resources and influence how other nations are run/ruled, all whilst the majority of the world lives in poverty?

Honestly.

Or has the Christian lead West been romping around the world using extreme violence to control it?

Well done on being so well brain washed by your local paster. I hope that he didn't also tell you that a good Christian keeps secrets about what he did to you when you were a little boy too, because they are all only nice, friendly good people who can do no evil, because they are Christians...

Mind... Boggled...


"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki