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It’s interesting to note that Julian Assange didn’t demonstrate control of the wikileaks private key during his Reddit AMA 1 month ago:https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5n58sm/i_am_julian_as…Considering the political situation unfolding in the US and who this leak weakens, there is some evidence that wikileaks is not in the hands of a neutral party.

There is clear motive right now for undermining the CIA. This may not have been an act of altruism like Snowden. While shockingly damaging to the American arsenal, the CIA is by far the biggest loser.

This comment was immediately down voted on Reddit. Someone is seeking to control the narrative.

He very clearly explained his motives for not doing so in the AMA, and he gave an alternate POL by reading from the blockchain.This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they’ve never published anything that wasn’t verified to be true. Since that’s something they can’t be attacked on, it seems that the strategy for discrediting Wikileaks has now become to accuse them of association with the Russians. Assange touches on this in the AMA as well.

Beyond that, only speculation remains. So why even give a shit? As long as what they’re publishing is true, which it has always been so far. Let them fight each other with the truth and the people will be better off. Nothing you’ve said changes the validity of this article, in fact, it only distracts from it. So I’d say you’re doing us a disservice by distracting from the real story here.

For the purpose of devil’s advocate in this, I think it’s possible to state truths and still be misleading and/or distracting from another narrative. Just because something is true doesn’t necessarily explain what the motive is for releasing that information. It’s certainly healthy to have at least a shadow of a doubt as to what WikiLeaks’s motivations are when it’s already shown that it can either restrain itself from leaks or that it can falsify the existence of leaks.[0][0] In 2010, WikiLeaks declared to the public the intent to publish docs alleging significant Russian corruption. It was also picked up by a Russian newspaper that reported to be working with WikiLeaks. However, nothing happened and the topic has been untouched since.

I think it’s possible to state truths and still be misleading and/or distracting from another narrative.Indeed. The canonical example of this is releasing privately-commissioned polls. The data released can be a perfectly true reflection of the poll done, but if you are only choosing to release the polls that tell the story you want to tell, then the result is still going to be biased.

Allegedly WL did not release every email they had from the Syria leak. While every email released may be legitimate, the omission of emails pertaining to russia creates a narrative.Wikileaks may be telling the truth but it’s far from clear whether they are telling the whole truth. And in between “truth” and “whole truth” there’s a lot of room to shape the narrative

It’s known that WL will often save some of the worst leaks as an ‘insurance’ against retaliation from the entity the leaks pertain to. It’s likely there’s aspects they’re holding back from this leak as well, if they don’t already hold enough over the U.S. gov.

> the omission of emails pertaining to russia creates a narrative.Maybe Assange dislikes the taste of polonium, or something.

Assange outlined his goals [1] a while ago in regards to exposing secrets, and I think Wikileaks is staying in line with those rather well. It essentially states that they’ll leak whatever they receive, and try to enforce a kind of ‘secrecy tax’ on governments/parties/organizations that refuse to be transparent via forcing them into less effective means of communication and overall less use of technology.Additionally, this may be subjective, but Assange’s story and personality makes him seem quite steadfast in these beliefs.

[1] http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

Strongly concur.Ask any military officer who is a ring knocker; telling a 100% truthful narrative in such a manner as to provide a false narrative is still grounds for breaking the spirit of the honor code, and thus grounds for disenrollment.

Ring knocker?

Academy graduate.

We also know that Mr. Assange did lie about something in the past, his repeated claims that John Podesta’s gmail password was ‘password’:http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2017/jan/06/…

From your link:“a staffer tells Podesta that his Windows 8 login on what appears to be a new work computer is username: jpodesta and password: p@ssw0rd.”

PolitiFact: “completely unbiased” goalpost mover. His password was an iteration of ‘password’ – e.g. no real difference.

Um, his win8 login password being a variation of password at some point doesn’t automatically imply that his gmail password was “password”.I thought it was widely accepted that Podesta was the victim of a spearphishing attack (coupled with bad advice from IT), rather than just “hacked” via password-guessing.


“In fact, the Devil’s Advocate may be the biggest innovation killer in America today. “[1][1] Tom Kelley, co-founder of Ideo as in ’10 Faces of Innovation’

Perhaps I’m confused, but this seems like a non-sequitur. We’re not discussing innovation.

I think the point being made is that the devil’s advocate brought out the norm to mobilise for every contingency (not that innovation won’t suffer, which is obvious as misstrust rises) and that it can be used to rhetorically balance two points of view that are not equal (or two questionable actions).In general: Ownership of information and facts are key points in the overall discussion here, if something is known it can be manipulated (just as they discuss above). Defensive patenting could be achieved, or releasing news of something to knock away at funding for its continuation…

One example how it could be relevant in particular to the general discussion is how the software and partially hardware has been kept by CIA to formally avoid reprecussions from good honest people.

Let’s say hypothetically that the Russian government has a Cyber Defense arm that has nearly the scope and capability as the US (the DNC/Hillary stuff seems to indicate this). Let’s say this is true for many world powers (US, UK, China, and Russia for starters).However, it seems like Wikileaks, while claiming to be a neutral source that “just wants to make powerful people accountable”, they only seem to be releasing damaging information about systems in place in the US.

I think the issue here is that many (most?) of us assume that all global powers have this capability, yet a Wikileaks is trying to paint the US as the scary one, and so people are questioning their motives. Is what the US is doing morally wrong on a few levels? Undoubtedly. Can the US afford to stop doing these things when some arguably less moral actors are going to continue regardless? That is up for debate.

Assange to me seems irrationally anti-America. Has the US done many reprehensible things now and in the past? Absolutely. But that is true for every powerful nation ever. And if you’re looking at America’s competition, you’d need to be blind to think that Russia is somehow more benevolent than the US.

The amount of U.S. leaks is likely due to the relatively free environment compared to those other countries such as Russia and especially China, who have similar levels of espionage activity. The most leaks will come from environments with:1) Relatively high freedom 2) Variety in values/opinions (often due to freedom) 3) Secrets to be leaked

1 ensures the leaker’s ability to leak, 2 ensures there is a leaker to leak, and 3 ensures there is something to be leaked.

Assange outlined his goals [1] a while ago in regards to exposing secrets, and I think Wikileaks is staying in line with those rather well. It essentially states that they’ll leak whatever they receive, and try to enforce a kind of ‘secrecy tax’ on governments/parties/organizations that refuse to be transparent via forcing them into less effective means of communication and overall less use of technology.

[1] http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

Wikileaks published the internal communications of the Erdogan Administration in Turkey, indicating among other things (corruption) the administrations back channel to the Assad Administration in Syria (an enemy of the United States).The fallout of these disclosures potentially contributed to a building coup attempt in Turkey by forces loyal to the US (which the US tacitly supported) that burst just a week after the disclosures.

Wikileaks does not only publish “against” America. When it does, it’s closer to home for the Americans and we hear more news coverage about it. In any case, wouldn’t it okay that there are outlets that produce true news focused on negative aspects of the United States, keeping it accountable? That seems like a positive thing to me – though I don’t think Wikileaks is “it”.

>The fallout of these disclosures potentially contributed to a building coup attempt in Turkey by forces loyal to the US (which the US tacitly supported) that burst just a week after the disclosures.I thought the conclusion was that that coup attempt was more or less theater by Erdogan. Organizer with his approval and prior knowledge, destined to fail, and used to enact martial law.

> Let’s say hypothetically that the Russian government has a Cyber Defense arm that has nearly the scope and capability as the US (the DNC/Hillary stuff seems to indicate this). Let’s say this is true for many world powers (US, UK, China, and Russia for starters).Do we think that, though? We’ve heard a LOT about Russia’s cyber capability lately and the consensus seems to be that they employ groups of criminal kids who are by and large given free reign and occasionally called upon to look at targets of interest. We also know that the US’s military spending (known budget) is something like 6x Russia’s military spending, and we can imagine that intelligence spending is a similar multiple higher.

I should also make the point that the DNC/Hillary stuff is not a foregone conclusion that it was Russian. These leaks cast new light on the DNI’s Grizzly Steppe paper where the NSA gave a 50/50 level of confidence that Russia was involved (but CIA and FBI said that it was greater than 50%). This leak includes information about a project called “UMBRAGE” which is a CIA project to catalog and strategically make use of hacking tools of other countries for certain projects in order to point the finger.

We do know that GCHQ has capabilities that are similar in some ways to CIA/NSA, but is it a foregone conclusion that all world powers have cyber programs this extensive? I don’t think that it is.

> We also know that the US’s military spending (known budget) is something like 6x Russia’s military spending, and we can imagine that intelligence spending is a similar multiple higher.This is often misleading. Russia and China might spend less but their dollar goes further.

> We also know that the US’s military spending (known budget) is something like 6x Russia’s military spending, and we can imagine that intelligence spending is a similar multiple higher.Payroll for 5,000 hackers is within the reach of many world governments I’d think.

5,000 IT people in a government org is about $1B with base infrastructure.No big deal.

In the U.S. it is.

Depends on where in the budget it (doesn’t) appear.

Maybe the only sources they have are within American units. It stands to reason if sources in other countries leaked, Wikileaks would report as such.That said, there definitely is a disproportionate amount of info on America v ROW.

I think you’re missing the really obvious explanation that Assange (and the entire Wikileaks staff) speak English and not Russian.

Journalism classes in Romania a few decades ago included exercises like: “Take this footage of snow in Bucharest and use it to tell a variety of different stories, e.g. ‘Bucharest is paralysed by snow’ or ‘Bucharest enjoys fresh snowfall’ or ‘Bucharest efficiently deals with snow storm’, etc”.If we think that just because something is factually true no one is trying to fool us, we’re quite the fools.

I’m reminded of the replies to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13445190 (about the Guardian story on WhatsApp). There Maciej, for example, said> I think the vaccine analogy is really helpful here. You can make true statements, like “vaccines can kill you”, that cause massive public harm if they’re not correctly contextualized.

Regarding the vaccine analogy I think the problem is opposite, that the positive sides to vaccines have always been accounted for but as soon as negative attributes are brought forward they’re met with ad hominem or ad absurdum.[Small rant] There are huge economical incentives to scold those who question medicines with high amounts of side effects. Do people really believe that big pharma doesn’t account for a good share of the astroturfers online?

To give one example: In Sweden a vaccine for the pigflue caused narcolepsy in completely healthy young individuals. [End rant]

The problem here is not truth or how it’s used to effect but foremost the missinformation that is blocking out all traces of it.

Truth helps any discussion and creates trust – which the vast majority of societies are built on (or used to be).

This is perfect.Much of the US media narrative about its overseas interventions likewise fall into this category.

Much of the war propaganda consumed by the US population is based on truth. The problem is that US citizens don’t have the appropriate context to understand that truth. The fallout is incredible damage to people and lives overseas caught up in great power struggle that could be a different way if there we a systemic commitment toward building a real basis toward international security (over, say, unipolar control).

Totally off-topic, but reading your example made me realize how learning basic journalistic skills could improve my media literacy. Would you happen to have some book recommendation or any other suggestion on hand?

While what they are publishing is true and should not be ignored, they certainly appear to be choosing their targets and not choosing others, for example, they claimed to have information from the RNC, but they did not publish it claiming it was already published in other sources.The timing of the leaks was rather suspect too. In interviews, Assange insinuated months before during the primary that he had the emails that would eventually become the DNC leaks, but they waiting until after HRC was the sure nominee, during the DNC meeting, to release them. Procedurally, this made it so the Dems could not nominate another candidate before the general.

It may have been a coincidence, but they couldn’t have been released at a politically more opportune time (for the R’s) than then. In fact, during that interview, I recall Assange saying he was waiting for the right moment to release it. They aren’t lying, and shinning light on wrong-doing is great, but the choice of when to do so and possibly sitting on information on the others who stand to benefit is suspicious.

Hillary was under investigation throughout the primaries, and we know from the leaks that some democratic political operatives thought it was a bad idea for her to run due to the amount of dirt out there about her.

> While what they are publishing is true and should not be ignoredWhy does this matter? I feel like the reason people are worried about bias is that it means the source is not trustworthy. If Wikileaks is publishing true information, they should be trustworthy, even if their choice of targets is not unbiased.

I think this is very naive. Russia lists a number of true things about its opponents but it only includes the truths that fit the story it wants to tell. The same goes for China, and even the U.S.What people here are asking is: “what is the story Wikileaks is trying to tell”. Before they thought it was that “government is not trustworthy and needs a watchdog”. Now it’s possible the story is “Don’t trust anyone who disagrees with Trump or Russia”, and that’s concerning.

This problem is instantly saolved if you have more than one source. The answer to this is not “IGNORE WIKILEAKS,” and the suggestion that it is makes me doubt your motives, the answer is “READ MULTIPLE SOURCES.”There are far more than enough actors with far more than enough relevant information, and certainly the capacity to distribute that information, to fill in the gaps.

> READ MULTIPLE SOURCESYou can’t do that when Wikileaks is the only source.

The problem is that other sources are not willing to perform the kinds of investigations and do the sort of publications Wikileaks and few others are willing to do.When Snowden approached CNN, the Times and a number of other large media outlets they attempted to report him to the Feds rather than report on the domestic and global mass surveillance programmes.

The incentives, partnerships, timelines and ethics of major media outlets prevent them from speaking truth to power.

If the story was incomplete do you honestly believe we wouldnt find that out? I dont.EDIT:

1) Wikileaks provides evidence of wrongdoing

2) You respond “Its possible evidence that proves this isnt wrongdoing exists”

Your position seems to be roughly meaningless and the only justification I see to take it on is ideological.

Exactly! People say: “I think Wikileaks is not a neutral party”. Dude, NO ONE is a neutral party. This thing doesn’t exist! All sources have bias!

> All sources have biasSome are more biased than others. I think that’s actually what people are discussing: how biased is Wikileaks? How heavily curated is the information they are releasing? Throwing up your hands and saying everyone is biased is a lazy answer to a difficult problem.

Right. But it’s curious that “How biased is CNN?” gets shut down any time it comes up as a serious topic. From the whitewashing they did on the genocide in Bahrain (after accepting money from that government) to the misleading coverage of Syria, Snowden’s mass surveillance disclosures, US torture program, Iraq War – to its current poor coverage of the humanitarian crisis being caused by the US intervention in Mosul.It would be wonderful to discuss the role that different outlets play and different biases come in. But it’s difficult because any time the topic comes up “faithfuls” from all sides come in and it starts to look more like a sports or religion debate than it does an illuminating conversation.

Yeah, Wikileaks has some biases.

I actually think they are incredibly important biases. Also, I don’t think they are nearly as “anti-American” as some panic about.

Every news medium, even you as a human being, makes intentional and unintentional selections on what to publish or not. As long as the published documents are not fakes (and independent sources verified them), motives are secondary.If what is published is true, projecting motives in the publisher are an obvious attempt to distract from the message by questioning the messenger. The message is a fact, your interpretation of the messenger is at best guesswork, at worst fanfiction.

What exactly is difficult here?

Are there? Because the only big ones I hear about are Wikileaks.(I certain that more groups exist, but really, I can’t name any others.)

The media.

I think a lot of what’s being construed as political bias from Wikileaks is simply optimizing for maximum impact. They want their leaks to be felt, to have real-world results. If they were to just dump everything months before the election, they’d be long forgotten by the time the election had come and gone.

“I feel like the reason people are worried about bias is that it means the source is not trustworthyNo, people are worried about bias because the source could be selectively publishing truth with an ulterior motive, such as pushing a predefined agenda.

Propaganda is even more dangerous when it’s true, but only tell people half the story.

Because what isn’t printed is often more important than what is. That’s what editorial influence does.In my city, the local Hearst rag often doesn’t report on things that the city administration doesn’t want published. For example, a city employee was indicted for killing a girl and burying her body on city property (probably while on the clock) and was on “paid suspension” (i.e. On payroll, not working) for two years. Awkward situation for the mayor.

The arrest happened on a Friday night. The story? Page 4, section B on Monday.

In a story like this Wikileaks thing, the context is missing. How are these things used? To what end? Snowden tried to provide that context.

It’s kind of the effect we have with BPA. As soon as the idea got widespread that it might be unhealthy it was replaced with other chemicals we know less about and that might be even worse.Intelligence Agencies often use information to push their agenda. I don’t see why it is different for Wikileaks which sees itself as one.

> This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they’ve never published anything that wasn’t verified to be true.First off, I have no opinion on whether they are neutral.

That said, your argument imo doesn’t hold much sway – not publishing something wrong, doesn’t at all imply that they’re not selectively publishing.

And while I agree that there’s some interest as describing them as partisan, I also think that some of Assanges public statements make that really really easy.

This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they’ve never published anything that wasn’t verified to be true.What does the one thing have to do with the other? Just because you’re truthful doesn’t mean you’re neutral, and nobody is seriously denying the authenticity of these files.

What, exactly, have we learned here other than a spy agency knows interesting methods of spying? I mean, of course it’s interesting to see they use this or that vector, but that this technology exists isn’t surprising in itself.

I see two possibilities: either this has caught the CIA on the hop, in which case everyone else will harden their security and the CIA will be less effective at gathering intelligence for a while, or the CIA has already moved onto better tools and is dumping details of its older ones to see who reacts and raise the technological stakes. There’s no sure way for me to know if it’s compromised or not, and the only predictable outcome is another leap in the diversity and capability of malware and another round of the cybersecurity arms race.

> What, exactly, have we learned here other than a spy agency knows interesting methods of spying?That the US government pays software companies to keep their products insecure [1]. Why do you believe that they aren’t spying on American citizens?

1. https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/839168025517522944

Government is always asking technology companies for backdoors so that doesn’t seem like news to me, but you may well be right that it’s never been documented before. To me this doesn’t seem any different from the Chubb lock company teaching spooks how its locks are put together or somesuch.I have no opinion on whether they’re spying on American citizens, I have always assumed they would do so sometimes in the course of spying on other countries’ citizens. Foreign spies seek agents and unknowing assets in their country of posting so that just seems inevitable. So what?

I have to say that a lot of the response here seems very theatrical, albeit unwittingly so. Going back to the lock analogy, I’m sure the CIA has some of the world’s best lock pickers and burglars on their payroll, but doesn’t mean the CIA are trying to break into your house, does it? They could break into your house, if you embarked on an affair with a beautiful spy (or even a sort of frumpy one) they maybe would break into your house, but realistically they probably have zero incentive to do so right now.

It’s really hard for me to give a shit about the CIA possibly-in-theory-maybe spying on people when you have government organizations like ICE actually plucking ordinary people off the street and putting them in detention centers where the normal rules of arrest and imprisonment don’t apply.

Paying for it is different than a request, NSL, or other means of coercing a company to do what the government wants.There are significant barriers to the CIA picking the locks of everyone in the world’s door, that don’t exist when it comes to spying on the whole world. The analogy isn’t meaningful.

The people ICE picks up actually committed a crime.

If I hacked two people’s private emails who were in some popularity contest, and they both contained severely incriminating things, and I only release 1 of those to the public, then I believe it is arguable that I have gone beyond mere truth-disclosure and on to outright manipulation.

You are right, the whole POL is a way to distract from WL and their releases. There are national actors trying to stir confusion, of course. But Assange remained cool, so should we.

There is no such thing as ‘neutral’ where humans and politics intersect.Many others have made the point that it is perfectly possible to lie with a collection of true statements.

It is also possible to be used in this context; that’s where the phrase ‘useful idiot’ comes from. So Assange should be pure as the driven snow and be laundering manipulated documents, thereby giving them the imprimatur that you, among others, appear to grant great value. In fact, this is what I and others believe to at least occasionally happen with WL.

> which it has always been so far.

How do you know this? How do you know that ‘truth’ hasn’t been shaded by blending observable facts with unverifiable ones or by omitting documents, or parts of documents? How do you know that everyone outside of WL insiders (loosely defined) is granted access to documents at the same time? I think there are still questions about Stone’s access to the Clinton dumps.

> distracting from the real story here

Please. Everyone gets to pick “the real story” for themselves.

> So why even give a shit? As long as what they’re publishing is trueGuess the phrase “lie by omission” doesn’t mean much to you.

Facts, stats and even graphs can all be used to push a narrative. Context is pretty key.To my eyes, Wikileaks seems to be cherrypicking and giving passes to others. The timing of the leaks has been nothing short of convenient, which makes me suspicious. That’s my opinion, though. I have nothing to back it up and I wouldn’t even try to prove it.

But, hey, we’re speculating here.

The thing is, wikileaks publishes info that is given to them. What we could interpret as cherry picking, could just be that most of wikileaks’ information is coming from particular interested actors. In other words, the bias isn’t in wikileaks, but before wikileaks.

We cannot know that. WikiLeaks is a proverbial black box. Julian himself is sort of trapped in a box, too. Funny how for so many people he’s conveniently become an acceptable Ministry of Truth. If you could work his levers, whether it be by compromising him with threats of violence/incarceration/family/use imagination.There’s this mythology of “never publishing a falsehood” that’s repeated in a meme-like din within the WikiLeaks context, but even if it is correct, it does not preclude selective publishing of the truth, or political timing, misdirection.

Anyways, having watched the output of this black box over many years, even if I believe that black box were built with the best of intentions, I can no longer trust that the machine is altogether acting in good faith.

The editorial discretion of a mere two billion dollars in Russia-Syrian transactions, for example, omitted completely by Assange as reported by The Daily Dot, make the man highly suspect as an objective purveyor of leaked materials received.

As the US intelligence community seeks to investigate Trump, the Trump-aligned WL begins dumping on the CIA. Trump will begin whining about the “Deep State” even more. Prepare for another week of whataboutism.

I agree with you that if the info is true that’s good enough to use that infor. But it is still worth knowing the motivations of the people providing your information.The truth is the most common source of bias in media is not telling out right lies but in deciding which truths to tell you. Its hard to believe that now given how much false information is being spread. But its still true. Propaganda is in the editing- choosing which stories get focus, which voices get amplified.

You can publish only true facts and still push a narrative

> You can publish only true factsCan we go back to just calling them “facts”? A statement can be true or false, but a fact is true.

You’re playing into the idea that there are “false facts” or “alternative facts.” There aren’t. Those are lies or errors.

It’s useful to be able to talk about “facts” – including a fact pattern which is inaccurate – as distinct from opinion or assessment.From WikiPedia:

> Alternatively, fact may also indicate an allegation or stipulation of something that may or may not be a true fact, (e.g., “the author’s facts are not trustworthy”). This alternate usage, although contested by some, has a long history in standard English.

A statement can also be an opinion, I think the intention was to differentiate from statements that are meant to appear to be facts but are false.

Because context matters? And people with any level of sophistication in their thinking can understand that.I don’t even know how to respond to some folks here. You really think it’s impossible to use facts to construct a narrative that is untrue?


Come on now. We’re better than this.

> You really think it’s impossible to use facts to construct a narrative that is untrue?What? That’s completely unrelated to what I said, which is simply that the phrase “true facts” is redundant.

> people with any level of sophistication in their thinking can understand that. I don’t even know how to respond to some folks here.

I wrote just two lines of text to express a simple thought using basic vocabulary. The fact that you misunderstood my comment so thoroughly, and yet with such extreme condescension, is simply spectacular.

This is the approach used by both left and right parties in the U.S.The parties and their surrogates attempt to taint sources as biased and by proxy all content from the source invalid.

> because they’ve never published anything that wasn’t verified to be trueMr Assange repeatedly claimed that Podesta’s gmail password was ‘password’ in interviews, which was false:


This is a far, far cry from the kinds of quality journalism that Wikileaks does. It appears that the claim the password was ‘password’ wasn’t a story in and of itself but an anecdote relating to the weakness of Podesta’s password (which is true).Compare that to Clapper, Director of National Intelligence stating for the record under oath that national intelligence does not have a surveillance operation targeting Americans in the homeland. That was a lie and one intended for testimony.

Assange here is just saying: Podesta’s password is weak. It’s hard for him to qualify that it was spelled “p@ssw0rd” rather than “password” during an interview.

The fact that you think saying “password” rather than “p@ssw0rd” disqualifies Assange as a lier goes to the heart of the anti-body reaction that nationalists have about hearing news that doesn’t validate pre-existing opinions that they have about the nobility of their nation and its leadership.

The difference between “password” and “p@ssw0rd”, while technically true, it is so pedantic it does not apply to the spirit of the conversation.

> Compare that to Comey, Director of National IntelligenceThere is no Comey who has ever been Director of National Intelligence. I suspect you mean Clapper.

Yes. Correction made in the parent comment.Thank you.

right… so it was something like `p@SSw0Rd`, what’s the difference?

It absolutely provides the Trump Administration with cassus belli to take punitive measures against the CIA. WikiLeaks appeared to have received the dump quite recently.This is all conjecture, but this could be seen as a ‘civil cyber war’. The Executive branch suffers from leaks, followed by an evisceration of the CIA hacking capabilities? Trumps love of the intelligence community is well known, and the scale of these leaks can be seen as a warning to the other agencies: the Executive branch will accept severe destabilization risks to protect itself.

Will be interesting to see if things escalate.

Are you positing that Trump or members of his administration have somehow released these CIA resources? Or just that WikiLeaks is bringing attention to these resources and their current “libre” status in the wild?

Im stating the possibility that the Executive Branch made available the means to doxx the CIA.The timing, the target, and the vector of attack all line up very nicely.

We had such leaks all the time during Obama’s presidency (what with Snowden et al).So, no reason at all to assume anything particular changed, except that people want to assume something — because Trump.

It is interesting that the dumps were primarily from the NSA. I don’t know the issue well enough to state whether the antipathy existed between the CIA and NSA enough for them to make this kind of move under the nose of Obama, but it certainly could have helped move some NSA funds to the CIA.

So Trump is simultaneously a complete incompetent blowhard and pulling off these mastermind plans??

I think it’s likely that Trump will make difficult demands of his staff, and they find a way to make it happen. The President doesn’t necessary get involved with the details of formulating the strategy to accomplish the demand. What’s more important is the President thinks about risk factors, fallout, long-term implications of the strategy their staff proposes.The ‘incompetent’ comes from an apparent disregard of thinking about the consequences of his actions. The ‘blowhard’ is self-documented.

That sounds like such a CIA move. Always attacking indirectly.

It looks more like Wikileaks chose this timing to help Trump. No one is talking about his paranoid surveillance tweets now. Everyone’s talking about how suddenly the CIA is in all our phones and TV sets. Trump gets to say “See, I told you!”, and the world gets to witness another NSA surveillance style scandal, only this time possibly on an even larger scale.

Interesting coincidence that Wikileaks chose to help Trump during the election as well.

I doubt it was a coincidence. Wikileaks supports Trump.

> Wikileaks supports Trump.I wonder whose hand is really stuck in that sock puppet.

> It’s interesting to note that Julian Assange didn’t demonstrate control of the wikileaks private key during his Reddit AMA 1 month agoSo… what’s the concern of people? The video seems to be clearly him, not under duress, and current. What more could someone want? If he weren’t in control of wikileaks surely he would say something.

edit: tl:dr; I don’t think Assange signing a message with a private key would disprove he’s not compromised (which was the implication). It’s naive to say otherwise.> It’s interesting to note that Julian Assange didn’t demonstrate control of the wikileaks private key during his Reddit AMA 1 month ago

It’s easy to see why Assange didn’t oblige, compromised or not.

Minor note: the Reddit thread was from Jan 11th. This is relevant because Assange wasn’t only asked to verify control of the private key. Assange hadn’t appeared in public and skeptics wanted “proof of life.” The Reddit comment, currently at 15K upvotes, even includes Assange’s response with reasons that talk to the difficulty of maintaining private keys and avoiding taxing precedents like having to provide proof of life all the time. Again, compromised or not, I can understand why Assange wouldn’t want to become conditioned to respond to every request for proof of life or locking down private keys.

> There is clear motive right now for undermining the CIA.I think this is irrelevant and distracts from the issue. You are trying to change the narrative.

If this is true, this is incredibly bad, and the CIA should be discredited.

“If this is true, this is incredibly bad, and the CIA should be discredited.What do you mean by “discredited”? If anything this gives a ton of credibility to CIA’s rumored capability. Hell, it gives CIA so much credibility now that they can practically make up stuff and people will believe it by saying “oh they can bug everything, of course they found out about it”.

It tells us what they can do but it certainly doesnt incentivize trust.

Public trust is a pretty low tier item on the list of priorities for global intelligence agencies. They exist to do their job and be effective at furthering our own national interest while screwing over enemies.Public trust is a PR problem and there are other people that manage it.

Why is it bad? Does anyone expect spies not to have spy tools? Espionage is their job, after all.

Maybe GP is starting to finally see the CIA how the rest of the world has seen them for say, oh the last 60 years or so.

Yeah, not being American I always thought the USA was quite proud of its spy service, just the Russians are sort of proud of the KGB, the british are proud of MI6 and so on. Large countries have espionage agencies, and every government since ancient history has used spies.Put it this way, I have a Samsung TV and plan to do absolutely nothing about it. If I want something to be really private i discuss it outdoors or write it down by hand on paper. I’m kind of baffled about eh public and the media’s inability to distinguish between the ability to carry out espionage and the targets against which it is deployed.

> really privateJust be sure not to put the TV in your bedroom.

Anyone spying on my sex life is welcome to whatever insights they can derive from studying my moves 🙂

You mean the bedroom where you charge your phone?

No matter what your opinion on the CIA, it’s bad. If for no other reason than that it was a huge counter-intelligence failure.

> This comment was immediately down voted on Reddit. Someone is seeking to control the narrative.I can’t tell whether or not this is a joke. A) of course Reddit is manipulated and B) a single vote is within the range of background noise, not signal.

A vote don’t mean shit.

I think that anyone who has been following the Wikileaks social media accounts has noticed what can only be described as a blatant subverting of those accounts by another party.

What are some examples?

The insane, continued obsession over Hillary’s emails and the phrasing of the social media accounts is definitely not congruent with the clear-headed logic and essays that Assange has written in the Wikileaks manifesto, “Cypherpunks”, and others.The Wikileaks Twitter handle just used a Fox News video as evidence for something.

You could say the man’s gone insane, but the theory of these accounts and the WL org being subverted by a state power sounds more plausible at this point.

Hmm. Someone do some frequency analysis on the tweets and compare the date ranges before and after the Assange hiatus.

edits to do list

Julian Assange can’t demonstrate control over the Wikileaks key. That’s a pretty damn solid canary for control over Wikileaks being out of the proper hands.

Can’t or won’t?

> This comment was immediately down voted on Reddit. Someone is seeking to control the narrative.Reddit has been beyond terrible the last year and it didn’t recover post election. There always used to be a bias but you could usually drill down into some good back and forths in the comments, now you will only find that if it even exists in heavily downvoted posts along with troll posts.

For the nth time, find good subreddits because the front page is terrible.

But part of these leaks implicate the Russians, as their toy chest has been exposed too.

Russians do not have free press and the state controlled media allows them to use nationalism to strongly insulate themselves from criticism and foreign press.Combined with their propensity for assassinating dissenters and journalists, there is less willpower to resist the fascism.

It’s to the point now that things like this improve Putin’s poll numbers, not hurt them.

> the state controlled media allows them to use nationalism to strongly insulate themselves from criticismHave you watched news in the US recently?

I’m certainly not seeing any insulation here.

A flock of Mockingbirds.

everyone knows russia does it. their whole game is, “see. everyone oppresses their citizens. america is just as bad as us and real democracy can’t exist”

Where everyone = every American that knows very little about foreign affairs (and probably couldn’t even point Iowa on the map), but believes all the crap they see in mainstream media, from WMDs to the latest “Russians hacked our elections” — and always roots for the current “enemy du jour” of the establishment.Aside from the constant pressure and threats, and the constant military presence around its borders, few in Russia would give a flying duck what the US does. Seriously, why don’t people just get a passport and try to talk to people around the world to see what they actually think?

yes everyone who disagrees with you must be ignorant and uninformed.

Any other rezson to disagree? This is literally the only reason to believe in your position over another

>Seriously, why don’t people just get a passport and try to talk to people around the world to see what they actually think?Have you done this? A lofty goal.

>There is clear motive right now for undermining the CIA.And why NOT to undermine the CIA?

Because we don’t live in a Disney movie where everyone gets along and lives happily ever after? Do you think if we get rid of CIA the Russians will just disband the FSB? The Chinese will just suddenly become transparent and stop all international espionage? The entire world will suddenly love US and try to suck up to the biggest superpower?

The CIA doesn’t follow the rule of law (as evidenced by this leak). Wanting to disband them is not the same thing as saying we shouldn’t have a US intelligence agency.

This is obviously a false dichotomy.

Some of us are not USians. I’d say if your goal is to make people elsewhere in the world love the US, then CIA dirty tricks isn’t the way to do it. Dirty tricks by other governments wouldn’t do much if the US was a genuinely beneficial influence in the world. At the moment it’s not so clear that the US is beneficial, with it doing some things that are useful, but which Trump seems to want to eliminate as soon as possible, and other things that are questionable.

Nope, the goal is not to make the rest of the world love the US. It is to further our own national interest while fucking over our enemies. Just like any other countries that ever existed in the history of human civilization.

The CIA should have been splintered into a thousand pieces and scattered to the winds.

It looks like someone wants to pull an Erdogan, and they know that the CIA, FBI, and NSA (the American security deep-state) are the chief obstacle to their goal. Which makes sense, considering it’s those agencies who are usually responsible for both preventing foreign intrusion into our government (if the enemy is foreign) and mounting coups d’etat (if the enemy is domestic).

There are several elements:1) what the material exposes

2) how it was obtained

3) why it was released

We should condemn (2) and (3) even if we condemn (1). That is, a properly functioning society shouldn’t need to rely on leaks for corruption and abuse of power to be exposed.

At the same time, we should always respond to abuse of power and trust; to do so because we don’t want to help “the bad guys” simply creates an environment in which such abuses are tolerated.

Similarly, we should not assume that any comment that we disagree with is a conscious manipulation by malicious actors; otherwise, I could just as easily argue that you have some ulterior motive to post your comment.

> That is, a properly functioning society shouldn’t need to rely on leaks for corruption and abuse of power to be exposedHow do you figure? Abuse is just use you don’t agree with. If everyone in control is perpetrating the abuse, the only way forward is leaking. See: the Snowden leaks.

Those in power have little incentive to restrict it. Leaks are very effective at letting people police their own government.

I feel like it has been very thoroughly demonstrated that we in the US do not enjoy the comforts of a properly functioning society, and as such leaks are a hard requirement for corruption and abuse of power to be exposed.

I have to disagree – leaks seem to be the only way that this information gets out and the only way that people seem to care much about privacy.

This argument that “they’re building a narrative” really rubs me the wrong way.Yes, they’re building a narrative – by pointing out the crap the CIA has been doing. This is not unlike how the US used to point out human rights abuses by China, Russia, and so on.

If the “narrative” is accurate, then that’s on the CIA.

> This comment was immediately down voted on Reddit. Someone is seeking to control the narrative.Please…

The number of times I’ve had perfectly reasonable ideas downvoted immediately on reddit…

I’m not quite following… Who does this leak weaken?

Make no mistake, this is the latest salvo on the modern battlefield. This is not the result of some patriotic citizen trying to rein in what he sees as an abuse of power. This release was used as a weapon.I’m going to be wildly speculative here. Let’s assume that the timing of this release helps the Trump administration and smears the US intelligence apparatus writ large. There’s only one person on his team who has displayed the forethought, intelligence, and capability necessary to do something like this. Jeff Sessions obviously isn’t. Bannon, while an effective and shrewd minister of propaganda not this sophisticated.

There is, however, one person who thinks twelve moves ahead like a chess grandmaster. I wonder what, if any, Peter Thiel’s role is in all of this

Yeah that’s what I say when I’m downvoted too. My voice of freedom must not be silenced etc.

I can’t believe this warmongering is on top. Yes, maybe ask who is dumping what and question the authenticity, but stop trying to talk up a nuclear war on the basis of downvotes on Reddit.

>* Someone is seeking to control the narrative.*Uh… welcome to /r/conspiracy….

Is the concept of a 3rd party attempting to steer a conversation so hard to believe?

Is someone downvoting a comment on reddit so hard to believe?

exactly my point… it has been said for years, decades, centuries…NO – not hard to believe… but interesting the unveiling we are seeing now…

forgive all typos as my fingers are experiencing the chilling effect ( my hands are cold… makes it hard to type)

Don’t be naive. Gaslighting people on the internet is a billion dollar industry.

Hello “abandonliberty”.Keep in mind, it also very clearly serves the CIA’s interests to suggest that Assange is compromised, so people should take those who push this idea with perhaps greater skepticism than they do Assange himself.

Also, control of a private key only demonstrates control of the machine on which that key exists, so it is not definitive proof of anything. It is possible Assange’s machine was wiped or hacked, or that the person in control of that machine was killed or taken out of play. There have been multiple mysterious deaths associated with Wikileaks in the past couple years. It is conceivable that Assange never was in control of the private key and that one of those people was, in which case it makes perfect sense that he can make multiple convincing videos but not produce that specific key.

Finally, the question of whether Wikileaks is “neutral” (whatever that is supposed to mean) is not particularly relevant given their implacable record of truth in reporting. The leaks are most likely completely true, and as new information, should be evaluated independently/objectively.

As someone who has read a few histories of the CIA, I can say that anyone who is their enemy is my friend. Their worldview and approach to international action has caused mass human suffering on the world stage for decades, usually in the name of protecting things like unfair trade agreements, destroying unionization efforts & democracy, and eliminating political affiliations that are not in the perceived interests (in terms of world hegemony) of the US government. In popular media this is portrayed as a “necessary evil”, but in reality it is a sociopathic service to power that degrades the soul of all humanity.

Syria is probably the most recent example. The CIA was envisioning an eerily similar scenario to the one that is playing out right now…in 1986. [0] I encourage you to read up on their origins and history, it is a fascinating if extremely unsettling story.

[0] – https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP86T01017…

> Someone is seeking to control the narrative.China and Russia immediately come to my mind. China has been influencing american public opinion in more than subtle ways. Hollywood movies are forced or incentivises to show china is positive light. Any material manufactured in China is forced to adopt Chinese world view for example China secretly forces printers to make changes to how Taiwan or Tibet is mention in the books. NN Taleb’s recent book face the same issue.

The problem with CIA or US Government in general has been they have long stopped using american ideas of freedom, transparency to their own advantage while being transparent and accountable to public. Constant lies, optimising for dubiously useful goals, financial mismanagement etc. has made them less credible and very correctly so.

I bet the next thing CIA would try to get Assange killed and facts suppressed only making themselves less and less credible and reducing freedom in the country.

When John Kennedy appeared on television during Cuba missile crisis the American public to a large extent believed their president. After what Bush did in Iraq I think American public will not trust another President like that even in the face of a real crisis.

I think that is how nations probably fail.

> This comment was immediately down voted on Reddit. Someone is seeking to control the narrative.Oooor, you know, the knee jerk reaction is to downvote you because it’s an unpopular opinion. Even I had it for a brief second before I realized 1. You may be right; 2. I don’t really give a shit.

im suprised, i thought it was beyond question that wikileaks is basically an attack vector used by russia. i guess you are saying while that may be true, it wasn’t clear that assange was actively helping to that end.my thinking is, everyone keeps things private. its fairly probable that there is as much damning info on most other orgs. in the context of wikileaks role in the 2016 election, im sure the RNC would look just as bad if they had all their dirty laundry aired. to my mind, you must consider the consequences and context when leaking, and for that reason i think wikileaks was highly unethical and they are partially culpable. there is no way assange wasnt aware of the motivations behind the leaks. so, to me, he hasn’t been impartial- its a sin of inaction, not action.

a third, and minor point- when assange was last interviewed on bill maher, he struck me as very careful with his words, and very talking point ish. sounded just like a politician. wouldn’t give any play to bill’s questions about putting thumb on the scale for trump. not much there, but weird for someone who purports to be even minded, rational, fair and pure to behave like that.

> This may not have been an act of altruism like SnowdenI’m still really surprised no one questions the Snowden narrative. A man who earned $200k a year, worked remotely in Hawaii with his smoking hot wife, suddenly decided he has a conscience, either collected data slowly over time or did a massive data dump and released all this information to Greenwald and Der Sepgiel. Then he flees to Russia where he openly tweets against Russian policy.

Unlike many other stories, there were no where near the level of government denial. Media outlets ate it up without looking into any of it.

I really feel like Snowden was an intentional leak, either to show the NSA could proclaim their spying abilities and no one would be able to stop them, or they wanted to profess they had capabilities they don’t actually have.

In either case, the US government is still spying relentlessly, creating war zones and expanding military powers. People say I’m a “tin foil hat conspiracy theorist” when I say that the CIA most likely created ISIS to destabilize Syria.

It’s not crazy, it’s what the CIA has been doing for decades. The 1973 Coupe in Chile, Bay of Pigs, School of the Americas, Iranian Contras .. the list is as long as you want to make it.

You should question each “leak.”

If Snowden was fake, and someone can make the NSA and government’s response to his leaks look as genuine as they did, this is going to be someone so powerful, well-connected, and invisible, that’s it’s likely it’s not even human. Every time you come up with a complex conspiracy theory, ask yourself how easy it would be to orchestrate that and just handle all of the logistics of it with zero leaks and 100% undying loyalty without getting stabbed in the back yourself.People did question it — he was getting spy accusations as soon as Russia let him in, but then they looked at the actual documents and realized that Snowden is irrelevant as far as the content is concerned. You don’t need Snowden’s motivations to interpret any of that.

What benefit does it serve you to suddenly get all of your enemies and frenemies to suddenly change all of their communication methods to avoid the NSA? You’re spying on them without them knowing about it — that’s exactly what you want!

Maybe AI is already in charge. 🙂

Simple: I have compromised your communications, using one of many methods. I publicly release some of my obsolete methods (unofficially of course). You scramble frantically and at great expense to plug all your leaks, and I watch you through a channel whose existence I haven’t revealed.

Snowden was living in Hawaii with his girlfriend, not his wife.Facts are important if you want to promote your theories/wild fantasies.

I agree that they could’ve done it, and they’ve done stuff like this in the past. The pros outweigh the cons. The reasons you’ve listed don’t seem ‘worth it’ to me.Maybe there’s some alternative motive we’re missing – but I doubt it was to prove they couldn’t be stopped even after exposal.

I wouldn’t say it’s crazy to question it, but neither of the potential motivations you cite for faking the leak really holds up to me. The NSA didn’t need to leak on itself just to flex its muscles, people are plenty scared of it as is. Not to mention many of the capabilities confirmed by Snowed were already widely speculated to exist – Wired wrote an article shortly before Snowden that touched on them[0]. Nor can I imagine they would try to claim capabilities they don’t have: what would be the point? Seems pretty expensive for a psy-op without a discernible target.Also Snowden ending up in Russia has never seemed suspicious to me – where else could he go that would protect him from both legal and clandestine extradition?


In what is surely one of the most astounding intelligence own goals in living memory, the CIA structured its classification regime such that for the most market valuable part of “Vault 7” — the CIA’s weaponized malware (implants + zero days), Listening Posts (LP), and Command and Control (C2) systems — the agency has little legal recourse.The CIA made these systems unclassified.

Why the CIA chose to make its cyberarsenal unclassified reveals how concepts developed for military use do not easily crossover to the ‘battlefield’ of cyber ‘war’.

To attack its targets, the CIA usually requires that its implants communicate with their control programs over the internet. If CIA implants, Command & Control and Listening Post software were classified, then CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the Internet. Consequently the CIA has secretly made most of its cyber spying/war code unclassified. The U.S. government is not able to assert copyright either, due to restrictions in the U.S. Constitution. This means that cyber ‘arms’ manufactures and computer hackers can freely “pirate” these ‘weapons’ if they are obtained. The CIA has primarily had to rely on obfuscation to protect its malware secrets.

One of the more interesting passages. The arsenal must not be classified to protect those who deploy it from legal action. This cyberwarfare kit, which can just as easily be used to destroy the US as one of its enemies, is public domain software created and released at US taxpayer expense.

> Command & Control and Listening Post software were classified, then CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the Internet. Consequently the CIA has secretly made most of its cyber spying/war code unclassified.This is almost hilarious.

Not that being classified would make any difference: cyber-“weapons” have something in common with biological weapons in that they’re prone to leaking and blowing upwind, but also once used it’s possible for the enemy to vaccinate against them.

Obviously there’s a difference between cyber and conventional weapons, but imagine if the same rationale were extended to physical munitions: “We can’t drop this bomb on the enemy, it contains classified technology”

While the weapon too secret to use sounds very Dr Strangelove, there have been slightly similar things with real weapons. The one I remember is when radar-triggered proximity shells were invented at the end of WW2 they were only issued for use on ships, so that undetonated shells would fall into the sea, so couldn’t be recovered and investigated by the enemy.

Another case, also WWII:“[U]naware of the opposing air force’s knowledge of the chaff concept, planners felt that using it was even more dangerous than not, since, as soon as it was used, the enemy could easily duplicate it and use it against them… for over a year the curious situation arose where both sides of the conflict knew how to use chaff to jam the other side’s radar, but refrained from doing so fearing that if they did so the other side would ‘learn the trick’ and use it against themselves.”


Which makes perfect sense. Any weapon leaves some trace (even if only new theory as to what is possible), so its use against a party that does not have that technology but is capable of understanding the technology at some level will always give information to the enemy.Using a modern missile against an indigenous people will only impart that you are capable of that type of attach.

Using a modern missile against WWII Germany would likely quickly result in refinements to their V2 Rocket program, given enough remains to study.

Using a modern missile against Vietnam era USA would likely result in advancements in miniaturization and computation, given enough remains (even if they did not have the resources/facilities to capitalize on some aspects of those for years, I think it’s likely it would advance the fields by a least a few years).

One of the biggest advantages the Allies had in WWII was that they had cracked the “uncrackable” Axis encryption. Even though they were able to decipher enemy messages, they often didn’t act on that information because that would tip their hand. The strategic value of reading the enemies messages is enormous when the enemy doesn’t know you can do it, and much less so, and possibly even negative when they do know.

this is like the second law of thermodynamics as applied to warfare…It’s also along the lines of Sun Tzu-esque deception.

I suppose the modern example are the constant probing of air defenses by the attacker (i.e. the US and its array of electronic warfare suites), and the game theoretic calculation by the defender on whether to turn on their radars or not…

You don’t just have to worry about the people you are attacking. Their allies can also reverse-engineer the tech. Pakistan and China come to mind. Pakistan has given China a lot of tech that it’s recovered.

True, but this is somewhat covered by considering everyone not us an enemy of some degree or another, which is natural in game theory.

Well you mentioned the Native Americans, they had allies here too. Each major tribe was allied with a major power. So if you used it against them, even in that case someone could get a hold of that tech and it could come to bite you in the ass later. Interesting example is the fact that Native Americans in the US were very soon all very well armed by their allies in terms of guns and ammo, and they used the armaments given to them by their allies to attack each other. Life in general is more than capable of cooperating when it is not competing even with beings that have little to do with each other. This in the end is called the Red Queen’s race https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen’s_race https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen_hypothesis.

Wow! I heard that when the UK began using radar to down enemy planes at night during WWII, the gov’t claimed the pilots had been “eating a lot of carrots.”

Yep, there’s still a common belief in the UK that eating carrots gives you good night-vision, entirely because of that cover story.

On that note here’s an image of a badge from Detachment 4 of the 18th Intelligence squadron based out of Feltwell Norfolk. Note the Carrot:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_Intelligence_Squadron#/me…

And elsewhere in the world

IIRC there was a claim that the shells with the proximity fuses were also used, likely by Patton’s forces, in the Battle of the Bulge. Supposedly having the shells explode at a carefully determined distance above the ground made the shells especially effective against German ground troops.IIRC the proximity fuses were developed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL); that is the story I got when I worked there.

IIRC, the shells were also especially effective as anti-aircraft artillery.

> having the shells explode at a carefully determined distance above the ground made the shells especially effective against German ground troopsIt does. WWII tanks’ armor is mostly concentrated to the front and sides, because those tanks are designed to force enemy lines against ground-bursting shells, field pieces, and other tanks, all of which fire mostly on low trajectories; what’s on top is much thinner, because no one expects to need to withstand a lot of damage there. Bursting a shell above ground level throws a lot of fragments at that weak armor, where a ground burst mostly wastes them against armor designed to withstand direct hits from much more powerful weapons. For infantry, it’s even worse; the whole point of a trench or a foxhole is to put a thick layer of earth between you and all the metal that’s flying around at ground level. When an airburst can send fragments right down into the hole with you, that earth doesn’t help one bit.

Fun fact: “daisy cutter” bombs work the same way. Up until Vietnam at least, their proximity fuse was on the end of a rod protruding a few feet from the nose of the bomb. Low-tech compared to a radar proximity fuse, but fearsomely effective; probably the only reason you wouldn’t find it on a shell is that, unlike an air-dropped bomb, a shell has to withstand the force of being fired from a gun, and I doubt any such expedient could. (That’s also why bombs tend to be so much more effective than shells, even when no more accurate. When the strongest force involved is 1g, you can spend a lot less mass on structure, and a lot more on explosive.)

This in fact has happened in real life : e.g. in WWII proximity fuse antiaircraft shells were not used in the European theater for fear unexploded examples would be reverse engineered by the enemy. They were used in the Pacific where it was reasoned they would fall into the ocean where they would be unlikely to reach enemy hands.

This is certainly a big headache not just for munitions but lots of military equipment. A famous recent example was the Navy Seals blowing up one of their (experimental) Stealth Black Hawks when it was damaged while landing during the Bin Laden raid.Edit:

scuttle; (verb):

sink (one’s own ship) deliberately by holing it or opening its seacocks to let water in

Scuttling isn’t just for the sake of classified technology (which usually has been separately rigged to be easily destroyed without destroying its carrier.)The more important role of scuttling—at least during wartime—is to prevent the ship you just abandoned getting hauled into the enemy’s shipyard as a “prize” and restored to service with its guns pointed back toward you.

This is also more toward what is meant by Naval captains “going down with the ship” during battle: they stick around to act as a guard (and proximity fuse) for the scuttling charges, so that whoever just disabled the vessel can’t just hop on-board and drive her home. (And, just maybe, catch a large enemy marine contingent in a grand old explosion if they try.)

After WWI the German fleet was scuttled (by the Germans) in Scapa Flow to prevent the Allies from using them. Notable quote from British Admiral Wemyss:> I look upon the sinking of the German fleet as a real blessing. It disposes, once and for all, the thorny question of the redistribution of these ships.

Also of note – in WWI ships had been deliberately scuttled (‘the Blockships’) to secure the smaller entry ways into Scapa Flow, by WWII these (and the anti-submarine netting in the larger channels) were shown to be inadequate when U-47 sunk the HMS Royal Oak. This attack led to the building of the Churchill Barriers without which I doubt we would have anywhere near as strong a community as we currently have in the Orkney Isles.

Today the wrecks of both the German Fleet and the Blockships are excellent shallow dive sites in slightly chilly water. If you dive I strongly recommend going to Orkney.



I believe this also occurred during the recent raid in Yemen. Seems our secret helicopters are one time use only…

I don’t think the difference is so obvious even that far in the future, or even right now. If you targeted an attack correctly, I’m pretty sure you could achieve a statistical range of casualties. Does it matter that you used data instead of bombs?

The US chemical weapons program is downright frightening. Unlike these exploits which you can just leave in an office and never use (and which con subsequently go stale as people find and patch exploits), chemical weapons were stored in massive US facilities and many of them have started leaking over the years:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjA0EQPeUGM

> The US chemical weapons program is downright frightening.Was: they committed to destroying those weapons, and have been doing so for 24 years. They were 89.75% complete in 2012. The video you linked was from 1973.


Just like they committed to revealing exploits to the tech industry instead of hoarding them?

> Just like they committed to revealing exploits to the tech industry instead of hoarding them?I think you’re letting your cynicism get in the way of truth and understanding.

The US has signed and ratified a treaty committing to destroy all chemical weapons and never produce them again [1], and it has built the infrastructure to do so [2] [3].

It’s conspiracy-nut territory to think the US is simultaneously stockpiling chemical weapons in some super-secret program without good evidence for it.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_Weapons_Convention

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u-ACe1CBfA

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wftLydix0Nw

Mass surveillance was conspiracy nut territory.Wide spread market fixing, libor, gold, silver was conspiracy nut territory.

The US engaging in blscksites and systematic torture was conspiracy nut territory.

But criticizing your pro Government apologia only results in comments being banned and removed — perhaps just more conspiracy nut territory?

So where’s your evidence that the US is secretly stockpiling chemical weapons? Note: a cynical claim that “they’re all liars.” is not evidence.Or am I supposed to trust a stopped clock [the nuts] since it was shown to be right twice a day?

I am taking issue with this. This was not conspiracy wing nut theory. As far back as 2004 cybersecurity (for lack of a better term) experts were reporting repeatedly that governments (not just the USA) were exponentially using exploits, as were other unknown or non-govt actors, and other techniques for malicious reasons, from spying on citizens to hacking infrastructure. Here’s just a nice litmus of that:http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04321.pdf



here is even a hertiage foundation report talking about sharing privacy keeping technologies with the government in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’



and here is the ACLU sounding the alarm in August of 2004:


Ironically, its around the same time the NSA purported to have their own ‘rules’ in how they gather, which were obtained here:


and of course, not more than a few years later we have these reports:



It was never a wing nut conspiracy theory. Its just nobody was looking close enough to care.

How can one not have a whole giant mountain of cynicism with all we’ve become aware of in the last few years? We could just as easily turn the tables and call you irresponsibly naive.

While I get where you’re coming from with cynicism, any deployment of chemical weapons by a belligerent is almost certainly a war crime under several international accords, most notably the Geneva Protocol[0]. As someone upthread pointed out, their production is also the subject of several more. All the NSA/CIA disclosures we’ve seen thus far are not, themselves, war crimes. The international community, with some exceptions, came to the consensus that chemical weapons are not a good thing about a century ago, while offensive hacking is a much more recent development (obviously) and basically the wild west right now. Comparing chemical weapons to offensive hacking simply because they’re both big government naughties is disingenuous, to say the least.My bar of cynicism is a little higher when you’re talking about the United States discretely stockpiling mustard gas versus taking down a smartphone, you know? (Maybe I, too, am irresponsibly naive.)

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Protocol

More importantly, it’s a bit stupid/outdated to stockpile dangerous stuff when you have the facilities to produce it if/when it is actually needed.

> It’s conspiracy-nut territoryWhile I agree, it was also considered conspiracy-nut territory to have believed most of the stuff in this leak. Look at how the wider tech community treats people like McAffee and Stallman.

What’s that Sincliar quote people like to throw around on here again? Oh yeah, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

> McAfeeYeah, why won’t people respect the opinions of a meth-cooking, bath-salt abusing, murderer who lived in Belize with underage ‘girlfriends’?

It sounds like you’re just saying this without doing any kind of real comparison between the probably very different scenarios.

The official policy is to use the VEP. https://epic.org/privacy/cybersecurity/vep/

I did not watch you link, but many modern chemical weapons are binary compounds. Meaning the two compounds has to be mixed to get the final weapon. This makes leaking etc, not as big problem as leaking of actual chemical weapons…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_chemical_weapon

Once things start leaking you’re a very small step away from them mixing accidentally.Unless containment has been set up in such a way that this is a geographical impossibility (for instance, on two sides of the Rocky mountains to stop accidental mixing in groundwater).

That is one of the saddest 30 minutes of video I have seen up to date.

>once used it’s possible for the enemy to vaccinate against them.So think long term…

Is this an innoculation game >10 years out????

Classified or not, works of the federal government are all in the public domain. And classification is not legally relevant to anyone except to those entrusted with protecting classified data.

This is often overlooked, but very correct.“Classification” only pertains to how the material should be treated within the government.

Once its out, the only penalty can fall on the person who let it out into the wild.

A person with a clearance can get in trouble for knowingly accessing or spreading the data, even after it is already released in the wild. The data is still considered classified, even after the leak. So those who are entrusted with a clearance still have to fulfill their duties to protect it.But, yes a random citizen has no responsibility or rules they most follow.

I would be careful also if you think you might need to get a clearance in the future. I was in college during the initial Wikileaks Manning dump and I remember getting a email from the DoD forwarded through the Physics department that viewing or sharing classified wikileaks info could prevent us from getting a clearance in the future even of we did not have a clearance at the time.

And that’s when you laugh and cite https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793 subsection (e) wherein you have never transmitted nor believed the documents in question to be harmful to the defense of the United States.Especially in this case as these are all offensive tools.

Then they laugh and deny you clearance because they can.

That’s typical damage control though, not really legally binding; you’d have to prove that x or y viewed/shared said content. Proving/knowing this is either going to be nigh impossible or downright obvious, thereby placing you in the category of an activist (deemed “anti-state” or at least subversive) which would be the real reason to refuse clearance.

However, this is not the case for information that is defined as “Restricted Data” under the Atomic Energy Act – you can get life in prison for passing that on to someone.https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/2274

That is the fun part, attacking with a virus is basically the same as releasing the code (modulo IDA pro). So a US government official can not use a classified virus, while everybody else can.

> This means that cyber ‘arms’ manufactures and computer hackers can freely “pirate” these ‘weapons’ if they are obtained.Does the author really think that if the tools were exposed then people who wanted to use these tools actually wouldn’t simply because they were labelled “classified” somewhere?

Well, traveling to the US I have had to fill out a green form stating that I’m not a terrorist or a 40-45 Nazi. I guess they capture a lot of pathological truth-telling terrorists/Nazis with this piece of paper

That’s form I-94W [1] for those who are curious. We also had to promise we’d not been traficking drugs and were not planning on engaging in illegal or immoral activities, and more.I always wonder how many idiots have been denied entry because they were dumb enough/drunk enough to think it’d be fun to tick the wrong box on that form.

I also love how under the Paperwork Reduction Act they have had to estimate the burden of filling it out, but seemingly not consider whether or not is serves any actual purpose to ask those questions in the first place.

[1] https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/%20I-94W%2…

You misunderstand the point of the form. The point is that if later you are suspected of one of those activities, you can be deported because you lied on the form, even though it might be impossible to convict you for the activity itself.

This is absolutely correct. Plus, what they did may not be illegal per se, but we might not want them in the country. For example, I’m not aware of any U.S. law that specifically makes it illegal to have been Nazi concentration camp guard. But we don’t want people like that in the country and want to deport them if they are ever found here. Hence the purpose of the immigration form.

Unless they are really good rocket scientists…

Not sure you can call it an immigration form, because it’s targeting “nonimmigrant visitor”.Moreover the form do not specifically mention concentration camp guards:

> “(…) between 1933 and 1945 were involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?”

I guess Wernher von Braun, like most of the people included in the “Operation Paperclip”[1] would have fallen in that category in some way.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

Note that it’s almost impossible to not lie on the form. Even a cold or a hangnail could be classified as a “disorder” under the very first question (“Do you have a communicable disease; physical or mental disorder, or are you a drug abuser or addict?”)The poor grammar is vanishingly unlikely to be unintentional, considering how many reprintings these forms must have undergone.

The purpose of these forms is to have an excuse to deport or deny your entry if it becomes convenient. The excuse will be that you lied on your form, regardless of what you put in it.

The question also has a ham-fisted phrasing:> Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?

My grandfather, who lost his German citizenship in the 30s and had to leave Germany for England due to the persecutions associated with Nazi Germany would technically have to answer that he was involved (as a victim).

Thus protecting the country from having to endure the sort of people who can’t help but ignore the pragmatics of a question.

To be fair, though, the question is already pretty legalese, and presumably precisely as to remove the need for pragmatics or “wriggle room”. How hard would it be to also clarify that aspect?

What is a 40-45 Nazi?

1940-1945 Nazi; that is; someone who participated, contributed, collaborated… in the Nazi government during WW2.

The bigger issue I think is when the prosecution of the CIA leakers happens. If the material is unclassified, they’re just distributing materials that are public domain and definitely in the interest of the public. If it’s classified, it’s a breach and they should be punished in some way.

From the article it says that the files were circulating in the wild, so if this was not leaked to Wikileaks then “the bad guys” would continue using this and the public would not know.

Why do they make such monumentally short-sighted, clearly bad decisions? Is it weak technical leadership (weak political or just old fashioned weak)? What is the internal logic these people use to justify pure folly that’s probably done more harm than good even to their own interests and goals? Baffling.

Nobody makes “decisions” like this in an organization with the level of complexity and bureaucracy that the CIA has. A lot of these decisions can be seen more as emergent behavior, subject to politics, short-term immediate incentives, and the pragmatic observation that any attempt to make significant changes (i.e. “change the laws around classification of documents”) has such a high time horizon that it’s better to bypass the law than try to fix it.

That passage is just dumb. Copyright would not stop hackers from using the tool once it is leaked.

I think what it’s trying to convey is that there’s absolutely no legal recourse in any capacity for the CIA at this point to try and do any sort of damage control.

I am bemused by the naivete that they would care about legal recourse and not just blackbag you and Gitmo2.0 your posteriors if they felt like it.

That’s difficult when a large company like Google or Microsoft use the tools as part of their development process to make their software more secure. These are organizations with a very large megaphone if the CIA did that to their employees.

What exactly can Google or Microsoft do to a state actor like CIA that’s decided their employees are fair game. Not much.

So then there would be no justifiable reason to reject a FOIA request for the source code.

I’m going to assume that the response would be that there are no such thing as Vault 7, a digital capability or even the CIA.

No, it will be the Glomar defense or nothing at all.

“classified” is not the only reason FOIA requests are denied.

Lol like anyone in this field cares about copyrights. It is like suggesting that North Korea cannot build nuclear bombs because doing so would infringe US patents. Some things are above IP rules.

Think about it. Having the code copyrighted, would leave a paper trail.

Not really; copyright is mostly implicit. If US law made all code developed for the purposes of the CIA automatically copyrighted, the code would be copyrighted. Right now the law says it isn’t, so it isn’t.Having code be copyrighted does not require any explicit registration.

Perhaps what parent meant was that exclusive use of the code by agency would lead to easy post attack origin analysis, so by leaking the code in obfuscated form a few other people inevitably stumble on it and use it which generates a form of cover traffic for the original agents.

And “pirating” copyrighted code doesn’t either, so they’d have no way of knowing anyway. Basically, anyone who would use this would likely wouldn’t care if its classified or not and copyrighted or not.

Yes and no. The law says that works of federal government employees arent to be protected. But it is unclear whether this only applies within the US or whether the US governmemt can assert those copyrights against non-us entities. It’s a constitutional question never clearly addressed. Also, these tools could easily be the work of contractors rather than government employees. The fed can own/purchase/assert copyrights in such works. We do not have enough facts to say they are surely public domain.

This is TOTALLY wrong…. All code developed by US Governement is PUBLIC DOMAIN.

The correct part is a work does not have to be registered to have copyright protection. You are also correct that works created by the U.S. federal government do not have copyright protection, they’re in the public domain. However, and I think the post you’re responding implies this, copyright protected work may be licensed by the federal government without losing its copyright and I think in at least some circumstances works can by created by contract for the federal government and retain copyright protection.I don’t think I’ve followed the larger point, I don’t see how copyright is relevant to the production or dissemination of malware.

Copyright is an intrinsic property of a work in every legislation I have ever heard of.

I honestly think this makes sense, based on how government bureaucracy is. Obviously everything else about it, is classified.

> The CIA has primarily had to rely on obfuscation to protect its malware secrets.Ugh.