2012-01-07 #WikiLeaks News: 400 days of Financial Blockade; Updated #Assange Support Campaigns; Other News

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • WikiLeaks has been under financial blockade for 400 days. Consider making a donation so its work can continue.

  • On twitter, WikiLeaks linked to the source document showing Apple and Blackberry backdoors were used by Indian Military Intelligence to intercept communications of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) on issues that are “of great value to Indian industry”.
    The document is part of WikiLeaks’ Spy Files release.

  • Twitter, Facebook, Google and five other corporations endorse online piracy bill OPEN, an alternative to SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), that would also authorize financial embargo of websites suspected of copyright infrigement by payment processors. Banking blockades identical to that unlawfully imposed on WikiLeaks could, under these bills, become the norm. [via The Hill]

2011-11-18 #WikiLeaks News: Christine Assange speaks in support of her son, Julian #Assange (video); Other Updates

The consensus of the Australian people I’ve spoken to… is the credibility loss at the moment globally for the U.S. is coming more from their reaction to WikiLeaks than the leaks themselves. - Christine Assange

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

Christine Assange on the Australian government's failure to protect citizen Julian Assange:
A video of the speech delivered by Christine Assange at the November 17 rally for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning in Canberra is now available on youtube.


  • The driver of @WikiLeaksTruck, Clark Stoeckley, arrested yesterday at Occupy Wall Street along with a reporter, has been released from jail. He tweeted about his arrest with his hands cuffed behind his back. A video of his arrest can be seen here.

2011-09-09 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

10:20 PM A very comprehensive recent interview with Julian Assange by newspaper Russian Reporter where Julian discusses the strict bail conditions he is under, the financial blockade and other attacks against WikiLeaks, the possible return of the website’s anonymous electronic drop box and the present and future of the organization overall…

- Update: Another interview, published today in the printed version of German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, titled Julian Assange and how he sees the world covers similar topics. In it Julian mentions OpenLeaks founder and former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg's possible cooperation with the Grand Jury investigation against WikiLeaks:

Assange: [Domscheit-Berg] took cash, hardware, material by our sources, e-mails, software and archive material written by me with him. This all happened in context with a workgroup of the CIA working against us and with the investigations by a Grand Jury in Washington.

SZ: Are you trying to say that Daniel Domscheit-Berg was part of that operation?

Assange: I think that Domscheit-Berg is an informant for the police.

SZ: Do you know that or think that?

Assange: His name appears nowhere in the documents of the Grand Jury while my own and the names of other individuals from our organization are listed there.

2011-09-08 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

10:50 PM WikiLeaks releases continue to receive significant coverage in Taiwan.
Newspaper United Daily News reports: "The leaked AIT (American Institute in Taiwan) cables are like a magnifying glass in which politicians' abilities to enchant their voters has been removed and hence, the leaked information has set a time-bomb for next year's presidential and legislative elections".

09:00 PM According to a U.S. Embassy cable from October 2006, three bomb explosions may have been orchestrated by the Government of Ethiopia in an attempt to justify its crackdown on Oromo political activists:

"The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said that the intended terror plot had failed and the bombs had mistakenly gone off while the suspects were preparing them while hiding out at an illegally built house. Two of the suspects died immediately, while another died on the way to the hospital. One other is in critical condition. The police task force reported having others in custody related to the plot and that evidence shows the terrorists had ties to Oromo groups (…)", the cable reads.

2011-09-06 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

>> Updates on WikiLeaks news from #wlfind twitter hashtag (as curated by @wikileaks):

* Absolutely extraordinary cable on Indian extrajudicial assassinations 'encounter killings'.

* Georgia expresses concern over 2010 increase in Russian arms shipments to Armenia.

* WikiLeaks Cable Shows US Embassy Believed Jakarta Election Was ‘Rigged’.

* Tantawi sucking up to centcom in 2006, said "simple" Egyptians don't understand benefits of US-Egypt relationship.

10:35 PM Muammar Gaddafi was a key financier of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military wing and offered support to terrorist groups world wide.
Excerpt of a U.S. diplomatic cable from 1991:

"On rare occasions the Libyans have used couriers to deliver money to terrorist organizations; the transfer usually occurs in a third country"

2011-09-04 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

09:30 PM U.S. Embassy cables published by WikiLeaks regarding pharmaceutical drugs and the U.S. Government’s efforts to raise medicine prices in developing countries are the subject of a piece authored by James Love, where he also comments on media reaction to the publication of Cablegate2 by WikiLeaks:

While I join those who are greatly saddened by this lapse in security, and aware of the consequences, I am also shocked at the bitter attacks on WikiLeaks, which seem unbalanced, under the circumstances.

After reading these cables, it is difficult to stomach the defenses of US secrecy. Forcing developing countries to raise the price of drugs has predictable and well known consequences -- it kills people, and increases suffering. Many people could care less -- including reporters and editors of newspapers. How much of this ends up in the Washington Post, the New York Times or the Guardian these days? But others who do care now have more access to information, and more credibility in their criticisms of government policy, because of the disclosures of the cables.

09:00 PM Cables show that former Blackwater employees continued to work in Iraq after the firm was banned from the country following a shooting in 2007, during which guards hired by the company killed 17 Iraqi citizens.

2011-08-21 Massive anti-corruption movement grows in #India

Millions of Indians pour out into the streets as arrest of 74-year old anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and 2,600 supporters backfires.

Attempts by the Indian government to crack down on a budding anti-corruption movement in the country have backfired. After Tuesday’s arrest of some 2,600 protesters, including the high-profile anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, millions of Indians poured out into the streets to fight for a strong anti-corruption law.

The 74-year old Hazare, whose struggle is deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, had wanted to stage an indefinite hunger strike in a park in New Delhi, vowing to “fast until death” unless the government accepted the movement’s demand to create an independent anti-corruption agency with sweeping powers, a so-called Lokpal, or ombudsman.

Hazare (bio), a decorated former army officer who after a near-death experience at the age of 26 decided to dedicate his life to humanity, has been fighting against the endemic corruption in India’s political establishment for years. Earlier this year, he fasted and managed to force the government into including his movement in the drafting of a new anti-corruption bill. Eventually, the proposed bill ended up being charade, covering less than 0.5% of India’s officials.

2011-08-21 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

>> The leader of India’s BJP party, L.K. Advani, demands that the Manmohan Singh government quit voluntarily and defends the authenticity of the information published by WikiLeaks.

>> A Pública reports on diplomatic cable revealing Bush administration's views on Brazil’s Ministry of External Relations, then headed by Celso Amorim, as anti-american.
During a meeting in 2005, U.S. Ambassador John Danilovich showed himself disappointed by Amorim’s refusal to see Hugo Chavez as threat.

>> Daniel Domscheit-Berg claims to have destroyed a cache of more than 3.000 unreleased submissions he took from WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks responded to these allegations with two statements, attributed to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, where it is suggested Daniel Domscheit-Berg and his wife Anke maintained contact with the FBI to whom they provided ‘helpful’ information.
Today, WikiLeaks specified the content of some of the destroyed documents in a series of tweets:

We can confirm that the DDB claimed destroyed data included a copy of the entire US no-fly list.

(…) five gigabytes from the Bank of America.
(…) the internals of around 20 neo-Nazi organizations.
(…) US intercept arrangements for over a hundred internet companies.

2011-07-20 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
New cable(s) were released today.

08:40 PM Haiti Liberté journalist Dan Coughlin weighs in on the impact of WikiLeaks revelations in the country.

The release of secret U.S. Embassy cables has provoked a maelstrom in Haitian politics, threatening the approval of a prime minister-designate, damaging the career of a leading right-wing politician, and throwing Haiti’s tiny and ultra-rich elite into a paroxysm of public mea culpas., he writes.
Bernard Gousse, President Martelly’s choice for prime minister, responsible for persecuting Aristide supporters during his time as a Justice Minister is now facing decresed parliamentary support and Haitian businessman Fritz Mevs addressed a letter for apology to Senator LaTortue for statements of his contained in the diplomatic cables.

Haiti's real enemy and the true source of insecurity [was] a small nexus of drug-dealers and political insiders that control a network of dirty cops and gangs that not only were responsible for committing the kidnappings and murders, but were also frustrating the efforts of well-meaning government officials and the international community to confront them., he told U.S. Ambassador Foley in 2005.

The letter sees him praise individuals he had described as narco-traffickers and kidnappers in 2005, Dan Coughlin points out.

2011-06-04 Baba Ramdev taken into police custody detained in Delhi and taken to Haridwar

The popular Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev went on a hunger strike June 4, 2011 to protest corruption in India. Thousands of supporters gathered in Delhi and other locations around the country to join the protest.

The police cracked down on the protest using tear gas shells upon the crowd after protesters apparently threw rocks at them. Ramdev was taken into custody and detained in Delhi and then taken to Haridwar. This comes after the government pleaded with Ramdev to end the hunger strike which is set to continue to the death until the popular Swami's demands were met.

The swami has demanded:

  • 1) Black money stashed in banks abroad returned to India
  • 2) Death penalty for those guilty of corruption
  • 3) Currency of high denomination be withdrawn.

Similar hunger strikes took place in a number of cities all across India, including Orissa and Mumbai.

This is coming amid the heated debate over the Lokpal bill, in which members of the Civil Society threatened to walk out of the discussions if their demands were not met. Primarily at issue, is for the PM and other high level officials to be included in the purview of the law which seeks to deal with the black money issue.

The current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has grown increasingly unpopular because of corruption, the Commonwealth Games problems in 2010 and the telecoms scandal.

2011-05-31 More from Raza Rumi on the Pakistan Papers - US Operations Constrained by India-Pakistan Relations

ImageThe Dawn Media Group in partnership with WikiLeaks has been releasing the "Pakistan Papers." Thus far, some of the revelations include the following: US was concerned that Pakistan would oppose its policies at the United Nations; US was worried Pakistan would purchase oil from Iran, allowing them to get a foothold in Pakistan; Pakistan's government was upset with US funding for the Pakistan military, which led to increased civil-military tensions; Pakistan's military asked for continued drone coverage; the US has had troops deployed on Pakistan soil; Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been financing jihadist groups in Pakistan and the US did not provide Benazir Bhutto with proper security.

For this episode of "This Week in WikiLeaks," the show has part two of an interview that was done with Raza Rumi, a writer based in Lahore, Pakistan. Rumi regularly writes for the Pakistani weekly The Friday Times, The News and Daily DAWN on myriad topics such as history, arts, literature and society. Rumi has worked in Pakistan and abroad in various organizations including multilateral institutions such as the United Nations.

Rumi's writing can be read here.

[*Note: This is the second part of "This Week in WikiLeaks" for the week. You'll find part one, an interview with Kevin Zeese of the Bradley Manning Support Network on the one year anniversary of Manning's arrest here.]

To hear the show, click play on this embedded player.

2011-05-27 WikiLeaks: India’s tribes ‘exploited and abused’

Submitted by Survival International, a human rights organization that has helped tribal people defend their rights since 1969.


Bhil girls. India's tribal people are 'exploited and victimized', according to the leaked cable. Photo © Sunil Janah/Survival

American diplomats consider the Indian government ‘unwilling and unable’ to ‘end the exploitation and victimisation’ of the country’s 84 million tribal people according to secret cables released by The Hindu newspaper.

The cables reveal that the American government feared this neglect ‘plays into the hands of Naxalites’ – the Maoist extremists who are currently engaged in an armed insurgency in India.

While the Indian government is concentrating on economic growth, the cables warn that ‘India’s rapidly expanding population and growing economy have worsened the tribals’ plight by increasing pressure on shrinking forest areas and their resources.’

The government has responded to the tribal peoples’ plight by passing the Forest Rights Act – a law which aims finally to recognise the rights of tribal communities to the forests on which they depend. But the cables point out that there are ‘entrenched and corrupt interests exploiting the forests’.

2011-05-10 WikiLeaks Notes: Guardian Could Not Have Published Documents Without NY Times, Assange Gets a Medal

ImageJulian Assange Says Whistleblowers “Heroes,” WikiLeaks Played “Significant Role” in Recent Arab Uprisings As He Accepts Sydney Peace Prize

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, was awarded the Sydney Peace Model at the Frontline Club in London. The award was given to recognize his work for “greater transparency and accountability of governments.” @Asher_Wolf covered the event on Twitter.

Assange said, “WikiLeaks is the most scrutinized organization per capita in the world,” and that he was in “the absurd situation of receiving the Sydney Peace Prize in London whilst wearing a surveillance device” around his ankle. He noted that the submission site for WikiLeaks is being re-engineered as a result of “sabotage and website attacks.” Also, Assange acknowledged that coverage of releases from WikiLeaks could devolve into newspapers attacking each other.

Below is video of Assange accepting the medal:

Video streaming by Ustream

2011-03-26 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

Der Spiegel: Die verkaufte Demokratie (The sold democracy)

"Indiens Regierung - eine Vetternwirtschaft, die sich aufs Schmieren versteht und politische Mehrheiten einfach kauft: So beschreiben Medienberichten zufolge US-Botschaftsdepeschen den indischen Staat. Premier Singh soll tatenlos zugeschaut haben. Die Beschuldigten weisen das zurück. (India's government - a partisanship that knows how to facilitate its ways and simply buy political majorities: so media reports describe the indian state, according to U.S. embassy dispatches. Premier Singh said to have watched passively. The defendants reject it.)"

Read more (German) Google Translate

2011-03-23 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

Next: Aondoakaa is a thug, say US officials

"Mike Aondoakaa, the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, is a thug who did the late President Umaru Yar'Adua's dirty work, a leaked US diplomatic cable, made exclusively available to NEXT, has said.

In the cable, dated December 24, 2008, American diplomats attached to the US embassy in Nigeria, also criticised the late Yar'Adua's anti-corruption fight citing his choice of people with questionable characters as ministers. The cable, classified by the then acting political counsellor, Cheryl Fernandes and endorsed by then American Ambassador, Robin Sanders, is a comprehensive biographical background check on some ministers that served under the late President. "Aondoakaa is an intelligent, politically savvy lawyer who is reputed to have done some of Yar'Adua's dirty work, including attempts to disgrace Economic and Financial Crimes Commission former chairman, Nuhu Ribadu," the US officials wrote in their dispatch to Washington. "He is considered to be a thug heavily involved in illicit enrichment and cannot be trusted. Yar'Adua keeping him on belies his commitment to the rule of law." Contacted yesterday, Mr. Aondoakaa said the assessment of him was nonsense. "Is it not the same woman who said things about the speaker, about the President?" Mr. Aondoakaa said. "The woman was just here carrying out the wish of her masters. The US doesn't have serious attachment to these cables. The Nigerian government has denied these cables. What she was saying, if she said them at all, is nonsense.""

2011-03-16 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

ImageNext: 'Vengeance is his': US official on Obasanjo

"Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has a penchant for “storied vindictiveness” and “proverbial vengefulness”, American embassy officials told their superiors in Washington. In a cable titled ‘Bayelsa governor’s arrest strikes fear in the hearts of his peers’ and sent to Washington on October 21, 2005, the consul general at the American embassy in Nigeria at the time, Brian Browne, described how governors of other southern states became jittery following the arrest of the former Bayelsa State governor. Mr. Alamieyeseigha was arrested in London in September 2005 on charges of money laundering. At the time of his arrest, about £1 million cash was found in his London home. He jumped bail in December 2005 but was impeached upon his return to Nigeria and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption. Two years later, on July 26, 2007, Mr. Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty to a six-count charge of corruption and was sentenced to two years in prison on each count. The consul general, in his cable, which was sent before the former governor’s escape from the UK, told his superiors that Mr. Alamieyeseigha’s arrest in the UK was not only due to corruption allegations, but also due to his friendship with former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who was Mr. Obasanjo’s arch enemy at the time."

Read more

Next: Inside NDDC and EFCC

2011-03-18 Hillary Clinton Warned India in December of 'Potentially Embarrassing Disclosures' from #WikiLeaks Cables

India cables released to The Hindu have created a storm in the past days. Now, The Hindu reports that the US State Department warned the India government of the “existence of such communications on December 23, 2010. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and spoke to Krishna about WikiLeaks. She warned the government of “potentially embarrassing disclosures.”

On December 21, 2010, then-State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “Those mutual interests are unchanged by any document that has been released by WikiLeaks. We are going to do this one day at a time, one action at a time. The Secretary continues to have regular contacts either in person or in phone calls with world leaders. This issue comes up, and without exception, the leaders reassure her that notwithstanding whatever ripples have been created by these revelations, our relations with these countries will continue because they're important.”

The key cable creating a massive political crisis in India was sent out from Consulate Chennai on May 13, 2009. A US diplomat writes:

The subject of politicians bribing voters, with either cash or gifts, was a recurring theme in the course of covering the 2009 election campaigns in South India. Wherever we went, journalists, politicians, and voters spoke of the bribes as a commonly accepted fact of the election process. Political insiders, and in some instances candidates themselves, admitted to us that candidates regularly violate India's election rules in the course of campaigning for office. This cable examines methods by which political parties bribe voters and how those bribes affect elections in India.

2010-11-27 WikiLeaks in today's media [Update 2]

The unprecedented US government effort to minimize fallout from an expected WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables continues unabated. Countries to be warned now include India, Belgium and Colombia, in addition to the UK, France, Norway, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Iraq, Israel and China.

The Independent: US envoys forced to apologise in advance as WikiLeaks release looms

"Frantic behind the scenes wrangling was under way last night as US officials tried to stem the fallout from the expected release of up to three million confidential diplomatic communiques by the WikiLeaks website.

Over the past 48 hours, American ambassadors have had the unenviable task of informing some of the country's strongest allies that a series of potentially embarrassing cables are likely to be released in the coming days."
Read more

International Business Times: Will WikiLeaks unravel the American 'secret government'?

"Researchers have often pointed out the stark contrast between nation states' declared policies -- and the means to achieve them -- and what actually transpires on the ground. The inner workings, the dark secrets and shady deals never see the light of day until they may be declassified years later, severely undermining democratic values of truth and transparency.

Now WikiLeaks is out to run a knife through a mountain of classified documents revealing how the proverbial 'secret government' works its way through cluttered diplomatic channels. And that certainly could be embarrassing to lots of people in many capitals, more so in Washington."
Read more

Frankfurter Rundschau: Wer hat Angst vor WikiLeaks?

"Who is afraid of WikiLeaks?" asks FR. "The U.S. is taking pains more than ever before to inform other interested governments. The world speculates about the upcoming revelations. The U.S. government wants to limit the possible diplomatic damage caused by the publication of secret documents from the State Department on the web. [...] Now half the world wonders who has to hide something."
Read more

The Daily Mail: U.S. warns Britain over new WikiLeaks revelations that will 'expose corruption between allies'

"David Cameron was warned last night by America that damaging secrets of the ‘special relationship’ are about to be laid bare.

The U.S. ambassador to London made an unprecedented personal visit to Downing Street to warn that whistleblower website WikiLeaks is about to publish secret assessments of what Washington really thinks of Britain."
Read more

Scotsman: WikiLeaks: The gathering storm - leaks leave US with few friends

"THE UK Government has been briefed by the American ambassador about the imminent release of highly embarrassing diplomatic files by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks with the potential to damage relations between the two countries.

Politicians and officials in the UK and US were last night on tenterhooks as they waited for the release of the documents, which are understood to contain American officials' candid assessments of governments that the US would rather keep secret including claims of alleged corruption in foreign administrations. [...] Last night there were claims that there could be a backlash from upset countries that would lead to the expulsion of US diplomats."
Read more

NDTV: US warns India about possible WikiLeaks release

"The US has warned India and other key governments across the world about a new potentially embarrassing release of classified documents by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks which may harm the American interests and create tension in its ties with its 'friends'.

"We have reached out to India to warn them about a possible release of documents," State Department Spokesman P J Crowley said."
Read more

SIPSE: EU 'se cura en salud' por filtraciones de WikiLeaks

"In Colombia, U.S. embassy spokeswoman Ana Duque-Higgins said the local government has been alerted.

'We have talked with government officials in Colombia about the release of some State Department documents that have been leaked and may appear in the press, and we are ensuring that they keep abreast of the situation as it develops,' she said."
Read more

Le Soir: WikiLeaks publiera ses documents dimanche soir

"The U.S. diplomatic post in Brussels alerted the Belgian authorities about a possible distribution by WikiLeaks of diplomatic cables that could potentially expose unknown aspects of Washington politics. "Like all other embassies in the world," councillor in charge of public diplomacy Tania Chomiak-Salvi told, "we expressed our concern to our Belgian counterparts about a possible spread by WikiLeaks of U.S. government communications."

Le Soir also notes that the WikiLeaks documents are likely to be published Sunday evening.
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