Ingo Stoll, organizer and managing director of the agency neuwaerts, commented on the choice of Assange for the keynote speech:
"The internet and the digital revolution have initiated a fundamental change in our society. The established institutions have already been struggling for a long time for their retention of power in being the opinion and interpretation leaders. So far, nobody has challenged these institutions as much as WikliLeaks and in person Julian Assange. Who else could be more suitable for speaking about our key issue of ... 'real change' far away from Twitter, Facebook, etc.? We are interested in his vision of the future society. And we believe that with his ... views he will ... make the 1,500 attendees step out of the comfort zone of their own thoughts."
Assange is scheduled to appear via video stream at 9:45AM. An exclusive interview will follow the keynote.
This is a list of all rallies scheduled after Julian Assange receives the verdict on his Supreme Court appeal against extradition to Sweden. These rallies are taking place regardless of the outcome.
(Photo by Real Democracy GR – MultiMedia Team )
Greece’s political establishment trembles as banks and government offices burn amid violent anti-austerity riots. Has the country finally reached a tipping point?
Exactly ten years ago, the crisis-ridden country of Argentina spiraled into a bout of social unrest that would eventually lead to the largest sovereign default in history. After three years of being forced to swallow the bitter pill of IMF-imposed austerity, a tipping point was finally reached: foreign creditors and neoliberal governments had pushed the people too far. They rose up in defiance and ousted five successive Presidents in the space of just three weeks.
With the incredible images of flame-engulfed buildings and policemen emerging out of Athens, it now looks like Greece may be headed down the same path. The country has become ungovernable. Even though a majority of traitors was found to pass yet another deeply unpopular austerity package through Parliament, this weekend’s violent protests indicate that the ‘Argentina moment’ may have arrived. The Greek people simply can’t take any more austerity.
The entire Piratepad service provided by the German Pirate Party has been shut down after a Berlin based newspaper, Tagesspiegel, received a "dubious e mail" saying that one of the public pads contained links to child pornography. Once the Pirate Party was notified, it immediately shut down the pad in question and reported the case to the police. Berlin State Police subsequently recommended to suspend the entire service to prevent further abuse; the party followed this advice and shut down the Piratepad server, including pads used by its own working groups.
According to § 184b StGB, it is illegal to possess child pornography, and to make it accessible. It is not uncommon for internet users to report such cases to the police in Germany, as any failure to do so could be interpreted as complicity.
The Piratepad service made headlines earlier this year, when the Offenbach based server was confiscated by Darmstadt prosecutors shortly before state elections in Bremen. The raid was motivated by allegations that instructions for a denial of service attack appeared on one of the pads. The Pirate Party filed a complaint about the way the case was handled. Darmstadt District Court would later acknowledge procedural errors.
A few months later, the Pirate Party won 8.9% at Berlin state elections.
According to Spiegel, the Bavarian minister of interior affairs Joachim Herrmann (CSU) has now confirmed that software recently analyzed by the Chaos Computer Club indeed originated from the police in the Southern German state. He was, however unable to confirm whether this exact model had been used. A spokesperson for Bavarian state police confirmed that online surveillance software had been used, but added that all potentially illegal system components had been removed beforehand. She was, however, unable to confirm that the exact specimen obtained by the CCC was used by her agency.
A lawyer acting for Digitask, a small company based in rural Hesse, stated that the software had "most likely" been produced by his client. He also added that the company had been in negotiations with Bavaria since 2007.
On its website, the company confirms to work for the authorities:
"Wir sind ein führendes Unternehmen für die systemintegrierte Realisierung von Datenerhebungs- und Bewertungssystemen im Bereich der Telekommunikation. Firmen und Sicherheitsbehörden aus dem In- und Ausland zählen zu unseren Kunden."
"We are a leading company for system integrated realization of data collection and (data) assessment in the field of telecommunications. Companies and security agencies, on a national and international level, are amongst our customers."
German federal police stated that they did not use this software, adding that the software was freely available on an international basis. Most state police agencies declined to comment; North Rhine Westphalia said they did not use this software; Lower Saxony stated they used a different type of software twice; Rhineland Palatinate said they used surveillance software in one instance, which had been supplied by another agency.
In the light of the recent press statements by Openleaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg we decided to have a look at some older coverage, in particular his Spiegel interview from the 27th of September 2010. It appeared soon after he had left Wikileaks, and it was also translated into English.
The first question of the Spiegel reporters concerned the state of the Wikileaks IT infrastructure. Asked why the Wikileaks e mail system was down, Domscheit-Berg answered:
"Es gibt technische Probleme und niemanden, der sich darum kümmert. WikiLeaks steckt in einer Phase, in der sich das Projekt verändern müsste. Wir sind in den letzten Monaten wahnsinnig schnell gewachsen und müssten uns dringend in allen Bereichen professionalisieren und transparenter werden. Diese Entwicklung wird intern blockiert."
"There are technical problems and no one to take care of them. WikiLeaks is stuck in a phase in which the project has to change itself. We grew insanely fast in recent months and we urgently need to become more professional and transparent in all areas. This development is being blocked internally."
He does not mention that it was him and an associate who took the servers offline, as he now admitted. Rather, he makes it appear that this was a general structural problem.
Another very interesting fact is that he admits to having coordinated the finances of Wikileaks. Thus, he acknowledges that he knew about the funds available via the Wau Holland Foundation. This makes it very difficult to comprehend, why he would have paid servers privately, as he has now claimed.
According to Spiegel, a complete version of Cablegate has been available on the internet. This is their account of the story:
Julian Assange uploaded an encrypted archive containing Cablegate to the Wikileaks webserver, to share it with an associate, to whom he also gave the password. When Daniel Domscheit-Berg left the organization together with the Architect, he took the content of the webserver with him. He eventually returned some of the data a few weeks later.
At this point the narrative is not entirely clear. Spiegel goes on to say that supporters published the data on the web, along with the encrypted Cablegate file. Simultaneously, the associate published the password. The vulnerability remained unnoticed, until Openleaks staff pointed it out.
WL Central could not verify these claims. It is however clear that the vulnerability was first pointed out by Der Freitag, a media partner of Openleaks.
In a variety of aspects, this is a very strange story. First, it seems odd to use the main Wikileaks website for transfer of sensitive data. This could easily have been done by other means, in a more secure way. Next, one is left wondering how anyone could have overlooked a massive archive in a hidden subdirectory when setting up a website. Most striking is the fact that someone would be irresponsible enough to publish a password.
Openleaks staff must have known about this vulnerability for some time, but did not bother to reveal it to those in charge of the website, nor did their media partners. It is certainly right to report about it, but it should be done in a responsible manner, making sure the file is removed before this information is publicly available.
In the first extensive media interview with Austrian public broadcaster ORF Daniel Domscheit-Berg appears as contradictory as ever. He admits to having deleted the keys to the documents -- which according to him were deleted by an unnamed other person or persons -- out of concern for source protection, even though he had offers from "10 to 15 individuals or organizations" who offered to take care of the data. When challenged, he added that he wanted to be on the safe side, as he could not be sure whether these potential recipients would make mistakes and expose a source.
At the same time, he reiterated that the documents he destroyed did not contain any significant information, while maintaining that only 80 to 90% of said documents were junk -- presumably. He also stated that he had not had the documents themselves in his possession, but only the keys.
Even though he does not specify who offered him assistance in handling the documents, it is safe to assume that for instance his media partners would have had an interest in surveying the material, as would have other news outlets who are perfectly capable of handling sensitive content. It would not have been difficult to make contact and find responsible journalists for this task.
Simultaneously, he promotes his own submission platform Openleaks, which would, once established, pass leaked documents on to media partners. Here, Domscheit-Berg does not seem to have any concerns about source protection and potential mistakes.
Berlin has its own Outraged camp: a loose network of politically critical people started occupying the city's main square, Alexanderplatz, since Saturday night, following the example of north-African and Spanish revolutions. After the nightly event "aCAMPada Berlin goes aCAMParty" it was decided to camp out in order "to demonstrate against various political events, that aren't compatible with the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany anymore", according to a local newspaper. Some of these incidences are "the manifested intention of the Merkel administration to establish a European economic government, the participation of the federal government in theNATO war against Libya and the feared military intervention in Syria. We see in all of these developments of the last days an acute danger for peace and democracy". The motivations of the outraged of Berlin were illustrated in a letter some of them sent to theglobal community last Sunday.
Five days after Daniel Domscheit-Berg claimed to have shredded data he "seized" from Wikileaks, he announced via Heise that he only destroyed the keys to the data, and was working on a report on the matter.
In the meantime, Wikileaks tweeted that these documents contained amongst others 5GB data from the Bank of America, internals of neo-nazi organizations, a copy of the US no fly list, 60,000 e mails from German far right party NDP, US intercept arrangements and videos of a major US atrocity in Afghanistan.
Wikileaks also reacted with an official statement, suggesting that Domscheit-Berg has contacts to US law enforcement and the secret service. Anke Domscheit-Berg, his wife, has denied having any such contacts.
According to N-TV Domscheit-Berg today confirmed that he uses the Wikileaks submission software, which he took along with the leaked documents, for his own Openleaks project.
Today, Daniel Domscheit-Berg confirmed to Heise that he was planning to destroy the WikiLeaks documents he took with him when he left the organization. As we have reported, he had recently publicly denied that he took these documents.
According to Domscheit-Berg, WikiLeaks did not react fast enough when he removed the data in September 2010; he says first contact was made by the end of October. Andy Müller Maguhn recently stated that he had been trying to mediate and retrieve the data for eleven months - which would be September.
The time from August to October 2010 was very turbulent for WikiLeaks, as its editor in chief Julian Assange was fighting accusations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. He also had his luggage stolen when he traveled from Stockholm to Berlin. It did not facilitate proceedings that the WikiLeaks email system was taken down around this time.
The plans to destroy the WikiLeaks submissions are likely to cause outrage amongst the community. Domscheit-Berg invited the leakers to resubmit to a platform of their choice - a very unrealistic prospect, as they would likely have destroyed the documents after submission as they could be used as evidence against them.
As Andy Müller Maguhn pointed out, it will be difficult to take legal steps against these plans, because this would mean that WikiLeaks would have to describe the data involved.
The recent clash between Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the Chaos Computer Club brought an important matter back into the focus of the mainstream press, a larger number of leaked documents, which Domscheit-Berg took with him after he left Wikileaks almost one year ago.
Andy Müller Maguhn, a board member of the CCC had been trying to mediate between Domscheit-Berg and Wikileaks ever since. In a recent Spiegel interview, he says that Domscheit-Berg recently told him he would have to survey the documents one by one before returning them to Wikileaks, which implies he has these documents in his possession.
This is very much in accordance with what Domscheit-Berg said in his own book. When an excerpt of the English translation of his work was leaked to Cryptome, he insisted that they contained translation errors. He later posted the passage in question on a German news site in the original language.
This is the crucial sentence:
"Wir warten bis heute darauf, dass Julian die Sicherheit wiederherstellt, damit wir ihm auch das Material zurückgeben können, das auf der Submission-Plattform lag."
It translates to:
"To this day, we are waiting for Julian to restore security, so that we can return the material to him, which was on the submission platform." [Translated by icon]
Recently, however, and a few days before the launch of his own submission platform, he said exactly the opposite in an interview with Der Freitag:
"Q: Sie sind ja bei Wikileaks im Streit ausgestiegen. Haben Sie damals unveröffentlichte Dokumente mitgenommen, von denen Openleaks jetzt profitieren kann?
The recent controversy surrounding Openleaks and its founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg prompted us to have a closer look on the project. At first glance, the main media partner of the project appears to be TAZ, a well respected leftist publication, who granted Openleaks a subdomain during the initial test phase of the system. It can be accessed under https://leaks.taz.de/. There, one finds a brief outline of the project:
"Vom 11. bis 14. August 2011 bieten unter der Schirmherrschaft der deutschen Zeitung taz die tageszeitung, die deutsche Wochenzeitung Der Freitag, die portugisische Zeitung Expresso, die dänische Zeitung Information, sowie die NGO Foodwatch in Kooperation mit OpenLeaks diese öffentliche Plattform an. In dieser Zeit können Sie hier Dokumente hochladen, die im Anschluss durch die beteiligten Organisationen verarbeitet werden.
Ziel dieser Phase ist eine Sicherheitsüberprüfung des Systems während des Chaos Communication Camps 2011. "
It lists the media partners of the project and invites the public to submit documents, which will then be sent on to be processed by these media partners. It goes on to say: "The aim of this phase is to test the security of the system during the Chaos Communication Camp 2011".
To a reader, these statements appear strangely contradictory, as one is left wondering whether the public is indeed invited to submit genuine documents, or whether this is just a test run. In fact, as a brief search of older TAZ articles reveals, the present interface is merely an alpha version of Openleaks. In the light of these facts, the project would have been better advised to make it absolutely clear that the public should only submit test files.
Openleaks founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg has been expelled from the Chaos Computer Club on grounds of damaging the reputation of the club. Following a meeting of the board members, he was handed a written notice at the Chaos Communication Camp in Finowfurt. According § 5 of the club statutes, this decision is not final, as he can now request to be heard by the board of the club; its members can also ask for the topic to be discussed in a plenary meeting.
The reason given for this decision was that Domscheit-Berg had used the reputation of the CCC to promote his new online submission platform. During his talk, he asked the attendees to test Openleaks, but refused to release the full source code. The club states explicitly on its homepage that it does not perform such tests. Board member Andy Müller Maguhn subsequently described his conduct as "impertinent" (Spiegel interview, Nr. 33, page 81). Openleaks spokesperson Jan Michael Ihl later denied Domscheit-Berg had asked the CCC to test its submission platform. Insofar, only one review of Openleaks by CCCamp11 delegate Hanno Böck has been made public. It lists several SSL vulnerabilities.
Despite the obfuscation of information by major outlets in traditional media and Internet, the movement born in Europe on the past 15th of May is spreading all across the continent, each day with more intensity and popular support. The repercussions, both in economic and political scenario are still unknown, in the same way the effects of the Cablegate episode of November 2010 were difficult to apprehend in that date but step by step shows its importance to contemporary society. The revolution lead by the European youth holds all Western economical and political structures as its enemy and is the type of social movement that does not have its shelter- an essential characteristic of a revolution. Relevant information of the gatherings, protests and projects are provided uniquely by independent media, and in some occasions these are being boycotted. The website for the Real Democracy Now platform in Berlin claimed that they were attacked, and the independent media site, www.europeanrevolution.com was finally put offline illegally, after having been blocked via DNS in, at least, France and Belgium. Below is a recollection of information from past events in different countries.
Today, servers of the Pirate Party Germany were confiscated. According to news reports, Darmstadt prosecutors confirm that there is currently no legal action against the Pirate Party itself. The target of the raid is information stored on these servers. The raid was carried out on request of French authorities who are investigating an alleged Anonymous attack on Électricité de France SA.
The Pirate Party released a statement saying that they fully cooperate in the investigation. A spokesperson confirmed to Der Spiegel that Piratenpad, the presumed target of the raid, does not log the IP addresses of its users. According to another statement on the official website of the party, the investigation centers around a SSH key which allegedly appeared on Piratenpad.
The servers were operated by the Offenbach based company AixIT. The raid was carried out on a Friday, two days before state elections in Bremen.
Spiegel Online and German public broadcaster ZDF report that the website of German Federal Police suffered performance problems for some time on Friday afternoon, which were consistent with a DDoS attack. The Pirate Party stated that they do not support such attacks.
Read more on Frankfurter Rundschau:
Statements by the Pirate Party:
More on Spiegel Online and the ZDF news:
According to a March 19 article on Magdeburger Nachrichten, the owner of the German Wikileaks domain, Theodor Reppe, had been accused of facilitating access to child pornography, and accessing it himself through his Tor server. All charges were dropped as he could demonstrate that he only forwarded internet traffic to Wikileaks, but did not himself maintain the site. (Wikileaks published an Australian internet blacklist which also contains links to child pornography sites.) Moreover, he could prove that the Tor server was used by many other individuals, rather than just by himself. Thus, the IP of his Tor server could not be linked to his own internet activities.
UPDATE: Soldier sentenced for murder: "I lost my moral compass."
UPDATE 2: Rolling Stone, "The Kill Team"
Updates on the turn
“We apologize for the distress these photos cause”
On Sunday, the German weekly Der Spiegel published three photos -- from a reported trove of 4,000 videos and photos -- taken by members of a US army unit operating in Kandahar province last year. Two of the photos show soldiers in the unit lifting the body of an Afghan civilian by the hair and posing thus for the camera; the third shows two Afghans apparently or possibly killed while handcuffed together back to back. The photographs are not yet available onsite at Der Spiegel; David Dayen at firedoglake links to them here, here, and here.
As the Washington Post reported Sunday night, the identities of Gul Mudin, an unarmed Afghan civilian killed by the 5th Stryker Brigade unit, and the two soldiers photographed treating his body as a trophy have been known for some time. Twelve soldiers from the unit are currently being prosecuted in the deaths of three unarmed Afghan civilians last year; two are charged with murder and could face life imprisonment or the death penalty if convicted. The Post follows up with the best analysis so far of the impact these photos might have on those cases.
It is news, however, that the unit would have collected such a store of photographic evidence of their activities -- the Post, following suppressed military court evidence in the US, refers to "several hundred," but the Guardian, citing Der Spiegel, refers to 4,000.
The most telling news of all, however, is the official reaction of the US military to the publication of these three photographs.
Next: Yar’Adua made me acting President, says Yayale
"As his health failed late president Umaru Yar’Adua illegally bypassed his vice president, Goodluck Jonathan, and handed presidential authority to Yayale Ahmed, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
This unconstitutional act has now come to light through US diplomatic cables leaked to Wikileaks and made available exclusively to NEXT."
Next: Buhari says speaker’s comments confirm his fears
"Two parties who went to court over the 2007 presidential elections, Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday reacted to comments credited to Speaker Dimeji Bankole that the late president, Musa Yar’Adua, bribed Supreme Court justices to swing the judgment in his favour. While Mr. Abubakar, the candidate of the opposition Action Congress in the election, maintained that the speaker of the House of Representatives’s comment had disgraced Nigeria, Mr. Buhari, the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, said the revelation had vindicated his stand that the nation’s judiciary could not be trusted, and therefore needed a thorough overhaul."
Der Spiegel: EADS-Manager verspotteten Kollegen vor US-Diplomaten (EADS managers colleagues mocked U.S. diplomats)