2010-12-23 FireDogLake: Bradley Manning Speaks About His Conditions

David House has a detailed analysis of the military's response to accusations of mistreatment of Manning along with Manning's subsequent responses to the military. Specifically, this article covers in detail Manning's

1 – Ability to View Current Events & Access to Newspapers
2 – Ability to Engage in Outdoor Recreation
3 – Ability to Exercise
4 – Conditions of Bedding

2010-12-23 AolNews: Feds Seek Computer Firewall to Block WikiLeaks 'Pollution'

AolNews reports that US government agencies have requested a firewall to block Wikileaks' data from entering their systems regardless of its origin.

Fidelis Security, a Boston-based network security company that works with the military and other government agencies, says it's being asked to set up a firewall against WikiLeaks document traffic, regardless of whether it flows from a website, e-mail or other source. ...

The Air Force, for example, has started blocking news media sites such as The New York Times that have re-posted some of the documents.

But Bertone said that the Air Force approach wouldn't prevent someone from being e-mailed a leaked document, or accessing a website that hasn't been specifically blocked by the Air Force.

2010-12-23 FireDogLake: Bradley Manning and the Convenient Memories of Adrian Lamo

FDL has great timeline of the testimony of the sole witness providing evidence against Bradley Manning.

So far every piece of evidence against Bradley Manning comes from one source, Adrian Lamo, a hacker who was institutionalized by the police three weeks before he alleges Manning contacted him and confessed he turned over materials to Wikileaks. There are many inconsistencies in Lamo’s many stories, as Marcy Wheeler has documented, yet the normally excellent Charlie Savage lets Lamo serve as sole source for a highly dubious story in the pages of the New York Times. ...

FDL has constructed a timeline of the events surrounding Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and Adrian Lamo’s claims. To say that Lamo’s story does not hold water would be an understatement.

2010-12-13 Der Spiegel: WikiLeaks donations still flowing, but not to Assange legal fund

Der Spiegel published a Q&A with the Wau Holland Foundation about WikiLeaks funding.

  • Some permanent WikiLeaks employees now get a salary.
  • The foundation has contributed nothing to Assange's bail or legal defence.
  • Since October 2009 more than €900,000 has been amassed, of which more than €370,000 has been disbursed.

2010-12-23 Julian Assange interviewed on the Dylan Ratigan Show

The Dylan Ratigan Show interviewed Julian Assange on December 21.

The newest interview in the U.S. of Julian Assange on the Wikileaks Thing. Discussion about the 1917 Espionage Act and our political leaders including V.P. Biden, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee. Assange making his case in a short 15+ minute interview with Cenk Uyger on MSNBC's "The Dylan Ratigan Show" Dec. 21, 2010.

2010-12-23 Julian Assange interviewed by David Frost

Frost over the World aired an interview on Tuesday where Assange talked of the goals of Wikileaks, his personal situation, and the Swedish legal case against him.

2010-12-23 EFF: WikiLeaks Mirror Taken Down

EFF has a story about a Wikileaks mirror being removed by a site provider:

Recently we heard from a user who mirrored the Cablegate documents on his website. His hosting provider SiteGround suspended his account, claiming that he "severely" violated the SiteGround Terms of Use and Acceptable Use Policy. SiteGround explained that it had gotten a complaint from an upstream provider, SoftLayer, and had taken action "in order to prevent any further issues caused by the illegal activity."

SiteGround told the user that he would need to update his antivirus measures and get rid of the folder containing the Wikileaks cables to re-enable his account. When the user asked why it was necessary to remove the Wikileaks folder, SiteGround sent him to SoftLayer. The user asked SoftLayer about the problem, but the company refused to discuss it with him because he isn't a SoftLayer customer. Finally, SiteGround told the user that SoftLayer wanted the mirror taken down because it was worried about the potential for distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. When the user pointed out that no attack had actually happened, and that this rationale could let the company use hypothetical future events to take down any site, SiteGround said that it was suspending the account because a future DDOS attack might violate its terms of use.

2010-12-23 UN & IACHR Joint Statement on WikiLeaks

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression issued a joint statement on December 21st.

In light of ongoing developments related to the release of diplomatic cables by the organization Wikileaks, and the publication of information contained in those cables by mainstream news organizations, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression see fit to recall a number of international legal principles. The rapporteurs call upon States and other relevant actors to keep these principles in mind when responding to the aforementioned developments.

1. The right to access information held by public authorities is a fundamental human right subject to a strict regime of exceptions. The right to access to information protects the right of every person to access public information and to know what governments are doing on their behalf. It is a right that has received particular attention from the international community, given its importance to the consolidation, functioning and preservation of democratic regimes. Without the protection of this right, it is impossible for citizens to know the truth, demand accountability and fully exercise their right to political participation. National authorities should take active steps to ensure the principle of maximum transparency, address the culture of secrecy that still prevails in many countries and increase the amount of information subject to routine disclosure.

2010-12-23 Julian Assange is Person of the Year for Le Monde and Crikey

Agence France-Presse announced that Le Monde will name Assange "Man of the Year" in a weekly supplement on Friday.

Visitors to the newspaper's website voted in favor of Assange with 56 percent backing him for the honor, compared to 22 percent for jailed Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and 6.9 percent for American Facebook President Mark Zuckerberg.

Crikey readers have also chosen Assange for Person of the Year with a 56.4% vote, 38.6% more than the second-placed Bob Brown, whose Greens party also had a big 2010.

2010-12-23 United Nations to look into complaints about treatment of Bradley Manning

After an article in the NY Times announced that the United Nations' top anti-torture envoy is looking into a complaint that Bradley Manning has been mistreated in custody, Fox News wrote that the U.S. military told the United Nations on Wednesday that it had nothing to worry about.
"It's not the Shangri-La," Villiard said, "but other prisoners in the wing receive the same treatment."
The potential United Nations investigation should therefore provide a gleam of hope to all of the other political prisoners in the US being held without trial and in solitary confinement. Please keep writing.

2010-12-23 Peninsula:WikiLeaks to release Israel documents in six months

Peninsula has posted a partial transcript of an interview in Arabic with Julian Assange. Here is the full interview with Ahmed Mansour for Al Jazeera's 'Without Borders'.

“There are 3,700 files related to Israel and the source of 2,700 files is Israel. In the next six months we intend to publish more files depending on our sources,” said Assange in the nearly one-hour interview telecast live from the UK.

“The Guardian, El-Pais and Le Monde have published only two percent of the files related to Israel due to the sensitive relations between Germany, France and Israel. Even New York Times could not publish more due to the sensitivities related to the Jewish community in the US,” he added.

2010-12-22 Aftenposten Obtains Access to US State Cables Database

Norway's largest newspaper, Aftenposten claimed on the 17th to be in possession of the entire database of US state cables held by Wikileaks, and further stated they are under no outside restrictions regarding what to publish as they have no agreement with Wikileaks.

Translated:

In cooperation with Svenska Dagbladet, Aftenposten has so far had access to about 2000 documents, which until now has been the background for the issues Aftenposten published. Ole Erik Almlid, news editor of Aftenposten, says it has worked a long time to access the documents to the newspaper. "We have worked long to get the documents, but it would be wrong of me to tell who is the source. We have not paid for the material, which we have gained access to with no conditions. It is we who decide what to publish and how we should handle it," he said.

He said that the same criteria and ethical guidelines for publication will be applied to the Wikileaks documents as they use for all stories, and people's privacy and security will be respected.

Their coverage can be followed here.

2010-12-22 Malware Warning Update for wikileaks.org and wikileaks.info

Spamhaus, a nonprofit, anti-spam volunteer organization, issued a malware warning for wikileaks.org and wikileaks.info on December 14.

The next day, WikiLeaks.info strenuously objected to the warning, replying with the following statement:

Spamhaus' False Allegations Against wikileaks.info Published 15-Dec-2010, 8:00 AM GMT

On Tuesday, 14-Dec-2010 Spamhaus has issued a statement wherein it labels wikileaks.info as "unsafe", as they consider our hosting company as a malware facilitator:

http://www.spamhaus.org/news.lasso?article=665

We find it very disturbing that Spamhaus labels a site as dangerous without even checking if there is any malware on it. We monitor the wikileaks.info site and we can guarantee that there is no malware on it. We do not know who else is hosted with Heihachi Ltd and it is none of our business. They provide reliable hosting to us. That's it.

While we are in favour of "Blacklists", be it for mail servers or web sites, they have to be compiled with care. Just listing whole IP blocks as "bad" may be quick and easy for the blacklist editors, but will harm hosters and web site users.

2010-12-22 Australian journalists' union affirms Julian Assange's membership

"WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange is set to become a member in good standing of the Australian journalists' union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).

"ACTU president Ged Kearney will present a membership card to Mr Assange's Australian lawyer, Rob Stary, at a ceremony in Melbourne this morning.

...

'Julian Assange has been a member of the Media Alliance for several years. Clearly, with banking corporations freezing his accounts, his situation is quite extraordinary,' [Victorian MEAA branch secretary Louise Connor] said in a statement.

'We've drawn up a new union card for him and offer him the full support of his union and professional association.'"

Read more:

2010-12-22 Apple removes WikiLeaks app

Apple removed an app from their store yesterday which allowed iPad or iPhone users to access WikiLeaks with a single click. While the developer had no ties to Wikileaks, the $1.99 fee was intended as a donation to Wikileaks. According to the Deccan Herald, an Apple representative said:

"We removed the WikiLeaks App from the Apple Store because it violated our developer guidelines. Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or target group in harm's way."

She did not specify what individuals or target groups would be put in harm's way by this app.

2010-12-22 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: US intervened in Michael Moore NZ screening

"Embassy angered by 'potential fiasco' of cabinet minister hosting a showing of Fahrenheit 9/11. Whatever else WikiLeaks may have revealed, one fact has been repeatedly confirmed: the US government under George Bush really loathed the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore."

Read more

El País: Paraguay pide a EE UU interceptar todos los teléfonos móviles (Paraguay asks the United States to intercept all the cell phones in the country)

"Washington teme que el Gobierno del presidente Lugo utilice las escuchas para fines políticos internos. Paraguay ha pedido ayuda a EE UU para desarrollar una red de escuchas telefónicas en el país sudamericano que permita al Gobierno controlar el 90% de las llamadas que se producen entre teléfonos móviles. (Washington fears that President Lugo ‘s government will use the records to achieve political goals. Paraguay asked the United States help to develop a net of telephonic listeners in that South American country in order give to the government control of 90% of the calls made in every cell phone.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: Washington alentó la apertura del Papa hacia Turquía y el islam (Washington cheered openness from the Pope towards Turkey and Islam)

"La diplomacia de EE UU calificó de "eurocéntrico" a Benedicto XVI y siguió con preocupación sus críticas al mundo musulmán. La elección de Joseph Ratzinger como Sumo Pontífice el 19 de abril de 2005 fue recibida con sorpresa por la Embajada de EE UU en la Santa Sede, que en un cable de ese mismo día destaca el énfasis del hasta entonces cardenal en defender Europa de las "fuerzas del secularismo o el islam". (The American diplomacy defined Benedict XVI as “Eurocentric” and followed with concern his critics against the Muslim world. Joseph Ratzinger’s election as Catholic Pope in April 19th 2005 was a surprise for the American embassy in the Vatican, which pointed out in a cable from that very day the former Cardinal’s emphasis on the “defense of Europe from the power of secularism and Islam”.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: EE UU revisó la seguridad de las nucleares españolas ante un ataque (The United States checked the security of Spanish nuclear facilities)

"Washington avaló la protección de los reactores después de que un representante visitara Cofrentes. Los cables muestran inquietud por el robo de uranio en la planta de Enusa en Salamanca. (Washington approved the protection of Spanish nuclear reactors after the visit of one of its representatives in Confrentes. The cables show the States were worried about the uranium that was stolen from the Enusa facility in Salamanca.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: EE UU investigó siete webs españolas (The United States investigated seven Spanish webs)

"La Embajada las escrutó con ayuda de sociedades gestión y de la industria cultural. La Embajada de Estados Unidos decidió en junio de 2008 conocer de primera mano hasta qué punto en España es fácil acceder en Internet, y sin autorización, a material protegido por derechos de autor. (The American Embassy examined such webs with legal associations and those from the cultural sector. The American Embassy decided in June 2008 to scrutinize directly in order to know how easy is with Internet to access without authorization to copyrighted material.)"

Read more (Spanish)

Le Monde: Les divergences entre Nicolas Sarkozy et Barack Obama à propos d'un "monde sans armes nucléaires" (The differences between Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama on the idea of a "world without nuclear weapons")

"Nicolas Sarkozy a eu de fortes réticences face au slogan lancé par Barack Obama, en avril 2009, pour la "paix et sécurité d'un monde sans armes nucléaires". Les télégrammes diplomatiques obtenus par WikiLeaks et consultés par Le Monde plongent au coeur de cette "divergence" franco-américaine identifiée sur le dossier hautement sensible du désarmement nucléaire. (Nicolas Sarkozy has a strong disagreement wit the slogan sent by Barack Obama in April 2009 for the "peace and security" of a world without nuclear weapons. The diplomatic telegrams received by Wikileaks and consulted by Le Monde point at the heart of this French-American disagreement identified under the highly sensitive subject of the nuclear disarmament.)"

Read more (French)

Globe and Mail: RCMP's drug probes hindered by Olympic security demands

"A leaked U.S. government document says the heavy security demands of the Vancouver Olympics prompted the RCMP to curb drug investigations – a claim the Mounties deny.

"The February 2009 cable – obtained by WikiLeaks and published by British newspaper The Guardian – says the national police force had all but stopped marijuana-related probes. ...

"The cable also noted the Canadians 'are sensitive to the issues of sovereignty and we have been reminded repeatedly that they are responsible for the overall security of the Games.'"

Read more:

2010-12-22 CIA Launches WTF to Assess Cablegate Damage

The CIA has launched a new task force to assess the impact of Cablegate. The Wikileaks Task Force, apparently termed W.T.F., will focus on media exposure and the repercussions of the newest cable releases.

After Wikileaks published its first batch of classified documents, CIA spokesperson George Little had claimed that the CIA was "unconcerned" about the Wikileaks disclosures. Conversely, on November 8, the following press release emerged:

When information about our intelligence, our people, or our operations appears in the media, it does incredible damage to our nation’s security and our ability to do our job of protecting the nation.

It seems it was only a matter of time before Little would announce the emergence of a team devoted entirely to the leaks. At present, WTF is taking inventory of all CIA-related information categorized as "classified" but its focus will be that of ascertaining the potential damage to foreign relations that may have been caused by Cablegate leaks.

WikiLeaks / Espionage Act Hearing: Oversights

In his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Wainstein falls prey to a few fallacies of reason and, strangely, ignores a handful of facts; he fails to address these facts at all and even assumes they are false. This could be a result of the fact that he is either not well-informed, or being dishonest. I do not take a stance on which of these is the case but sincerely hope that the evidence will be taken into account in the event of an espionage trial for Wikileaks.

1. Wainstein: Wikileaks discloses "sensitive information" in a "mass and indiscriminate" manner.

More information on the harm minimization process.

2. The sensitive information leaked through Wikileaks is "not newsworthy".

  • While it is true that some of the leaked cables contain information that is merely embarrassing to various government leaders, it is also true that the leaks have unveiled an abundance of damning evidence indicating an urgent need for change and action. Evidence strongly supports claims of human rights violations, for instance. Surely this is not deemed insignificant by the United States Government. Surely it is newsworthy.

3. In virtue of 1, Wikileaks poses a threat to National Security that is more serious than that posed by the disclosure of sensitive information by the mainstream media.

  • We must tread carefully here. There is truth and falsity in the implications of this claim. While it is true that national security concerns are rising, would it be correct to assume that Wikileaks is morally responsible for this? Would it not, for instance, be more cogent to argue that hostility toward America is a result of the fact that crimes and human rights violations were committed by its government? I leave this to the reader to ponder and refer you to the arguments for and against this position: Wikileaks in Moral Court.

2010-12-21 WikiLeaks / Espionage Act Hearing: Testimony of Gabriel Schoenfeld


Testimony of Gabriel Schoenfeld *

Schoenfeld's 5 Assumptions:
  1. Thanks to The First Amendment, The Freedom of Information Act, The Presidential Records Act and the "unfettered press", America is a "wide-open society" in which citizens are extremely well-informed, relative to other nations, about "what our government does in our name".

  2. Despite 1, there is too much secrecy; there is too much mis- and over-classification.

  3. Due in part to 2, "the leaking of secret information to the press has become part of the normal, informal process by which the American people are kept informed."
    (To demonstrate this, Schoenfeld refers to a study conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which it was shown that within just a 6 month period, 147 disclosures of classified information made their way into the mainstream media (in 8 major media sources reviewed). "None of these leaks resulted in legal proceedings.")

2010-12-21 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

Romanian Insider: New WikiLeaks cable on Romania: US-Romania relations threatened by musician’s death

"U.S. diplomats said in November 2007 the impending “final offer” by the U.S. Army Foreign Claims Service, Europe to the family of the late Romanian rock star Teofil Peter seems certain to have a significant, negative effect on the U.S.-Romanian relationship, The Guardian has reported. Peter, bass player for Romanian rock band Compact, was killed in a 2004 car accident involving a former Marine detcommander with the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Iraq security firms operate 'mafia' to inflate prices

"Halliburton executive's comments reveal tensions between security firms, oil companies and the Baghdad government.

Halliburton's senior executive in Iraq accused private security companies of operating a "mafia" to artifically inflate their "outrageous prices", according to a US cable."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Iranian TV channel faced UK sanction over jamming row

"Foreign Office looked to use UN sanctions against Press TV after BBC Persian service was blocked by Tehran.

Britain considered taking punitive action against the London headquarters of Iran's English-language state broadcaster earlier this year after Iran jammed the signals of the BBC's Persian TV service (PTV), according to a US state department document released by WikiLeaks."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Lamb sales behind New Zealand's 'flap' with Israel

"Country's condemnation of Israeli intelligence agents in 2004 seen as attempt to increase exports to Arab states.

US diplomats disparaged New Zealand's reaction to a suspected Israeli spy ring as a "flap" and accused New Zealand's government of grandstanding in order to sell more lamb to Arab countries, according to leaked cables."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: UK hopes to influence Islamic education in Bangladesh

"British officials working with US to change madrasa curriculum as a 'common counter-terrorism goal', cables reveal.

British government officials have made moves towards influencing Islamic education in Bangladesh as part of regional counter-terrorism strategies."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: US pushed for reopening of Bangladesh coal mine

"Ambassador urged country's energy adviser to approve plans, despite mine being closed in 2006 after violent protests.

US diplomats privately pressurised the Bangladeshi government into reinstating a controversial coal mine which had been closed following violent protests, a leaked diplomatic cable shows."

Read more

The Guardian: Wikileaks cables: McDonald's used US to put pressure on El Salvador

"Burger giant tried to delay US legislation in order to aid lawsuit being fought in Central American country, cables reveal.

McDonald's tried to delay the US government's implementation of a free-trade agreement in order to put pressure on El Salvador to appoint neutral judges in a $24m (£15.5m) lawsuit it was fighting in the country. The revelation of the McDonald's strategy to ensure a fair hearing for a long-running legal battle against a former franchisee comes from a leaked US embassy cable dated 15 February 2006."

Read more

The Guardian: Wikileaks cables: Vatican vetoed Holocaust memorial over Pius XII row

"Moves to beatify controversial wartime pope reveal tension between conservatives and liberals in Catholic church.

The Vatican has withdrawn from a written agreement to join an international Holocaust memorial organisation because of tensions over the activity of Pope Pius XII, the pope during the second world war, American diplomatic cables show."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Mauritius sues UK for control of Chagos islands

"Leaked document shows Foreign Office official told US that marine reserve would end evicted islanders' claims.

The prime minister of Mauritius has accused Britain of pursuing a "policy of deceit" over the Chagos islands, its Indian Ocean colony from where islanders were evicted to make way for a US military base. He spoke to the Guardian as his government launched the first step in a process that could end UK control over the territory."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: How 'Hurricane Anna Nicole' blew away the Bahamas

"Island was intoxicated by antics of former model and her death unwittingly led to government scrutiny, say cables.

The confidential cable was written poetically and revealingly. Harnessing all the drama of a Mills and Boon novel, the US ambassador pulled out every stop when describing the impact of a B-list celebrity on the tropical Caribbean paradise of the Bahamas."

Read more

The Guardian: Wikileaks cables: Bangladeshi 'death squad' trained by UK government

"Rapid Action Batallion, accused of hundreds of extra-judicial killings, received training from UK officers, cables reveal.

The British government has been training a Bangladeshi paramilitary force condemned by human rights organisations as a "government death squad", leaked US embassy cables have revealed."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: US suspected Allen Stanford long before ECB deal

"American diplomats told to avoid contacting or being photographed with billionaire two years before his fall from grace.

More than two years before he touched down in a helicopter at Lord's cricket ground bearing $20m, US diplomats were so concerned about rumours of "bribery, money-laundering and political manipulation" surrounding Allen Stanford that they avoided contacting him or being photographed with him."

Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Libyan attacks aimed to force out 'Zionist' Marks & Spencer

"Anti-semitic smear campaign by Libyans 'at the highest levels' risked damaging ties with UK, embassy warned.

A Marks & Spencer store in Tripoli was subjected to a "repugnant anti-semitic" smear campaign by the Libyan government in an attempt to force its closure, according to US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks."

Read more

El País: El Gobierno pidió a EE UU que presionase al PP, CiU y PNV (The Spanish government asked to the United States to press the "Popular Party", "Convergence & Union" and the "Basque Nationalist Party")

"Ángeles González-Sinde solicitó a la embajada que mediara ante Génova para allanar el trámite parlamentario. A Miguel Sebastián reclamó que "parasen" a Esperanza Aguirre por alinearse con activistas contrarios a la ley. (Ángeles González-Sinde asked the American embassy to mediate in front of Genoa to help arranging the parliamentary deal. She demanded to Miguel Sebastián to stop Esperanza Aguirre for dealing with activists that are agains the law.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: Lula pidió a Chávez que bajara el tono contra EE UU (Lula asked Chávez to change the tone against the United States)

"El presidente brasileño envió a su ex lugarteniente, José Dirceu, a advertirle a su par venezolano de que no "jugara con fuego". (The Brazilian President sent his deputy, José Dirceu, to warn his Venezuelan counterpart to stop “playing with fire”.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: Los Juegos Olímpicos acercan a Brasilia y Washington (The Olympic Games bring Brasilia and Washington closer together)

"El Gobierno brasileño pide a EE UU una mayor cooperación en seguridad. (The Brazilian government asks to the United States a larger cooperation in the matter of security.)"

Read more (Spanish)

Le Monde: Les Etats-Unis ont intrigué pour barrer la route du GIEC à un scientifique iranien (The United States are intrigued about blocking the route to IPCC (in French: Groupe d'experts intergouvernemental sur l'évolution du climat, GIEC) for an Iranian scientist)

"En 2002, Washington avait usé de son influence pour éviter qu'un scientifique américain, Robert Watson, soit reconduit à la tête du Groupe d'experts intergouvernemental sur l'évolution du climat (GIEC). (In 2002, Washington used its influence to prevent an American Scientist, Robert Watson, from taking control of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).)"

Read more (French)

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer