2011-06-16 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases, #WikiLeaks & More

ImageThis is a "WikiLeaks News Update," constantly updated throughout each day. The blog tracks stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks but also follows stories related to freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, freedom of expression, and sometimes the national security establishment of the United States because each issue/topic helps one further understand WikiLeaks and vice versa.

All the times are EST. You can contact me at kgosztola@hotmail.com with any news tips. Twitter username is @kgosztola. Also, if you are looking for some insightful discussion of stories related to WikiLeaks, I encourage you to check out the catalog of podcasts posted here at WL Central from the "This Week in WikiLeaks" show I produce every week.

11:15 PM Micah Zenko for major US think tank, Council on Foreign Relations, declares, "There is needless and excessive classification of government material in the U.S. national security policymaking process." But, goes on to write, "Nothing should ever be revealed in public that compromises the sources and methods used in intelligence collection and analysis. Moreover, the unauthorized disclosure of properly classified information—such as Wikileaks’ release of State Department diplomatic cables—undermines the trust and discretion that is essential for conducting normal diplomatic relations."

Yet, he still goes along with idea that secrecy can harm oversight and democracy's best oversight mechanism is public disclosure, which points to the fact that the key dilemma raised by WikiLeaks is that if the government won't give its citizens access to information people within institutions will leak that information if corruption and abuses are found to be happening. That's a given.

Less classification means less need for WikiLeaks

11:00 PM Bank of America not sure what documents WikiLeaks has in its possession.

8:30 PM Cable from US embassy in Abu Dhabi analyzes the United Arab Emirates' financing of the Taliban.

Here's the key section:

...Available information indicates three main avenues of financial flows: 1) Taliban funds raised in the UAE, 2) Taliban finance (either physical or electronic funds) transiting the UAE into Afghanistan, and 3) Taliban funds from Afghanistan and Pakistan entering the UAE legally or illegally. Given UAEG oversight of the formal financial sector, significant transfers are likely facilitated by cash couriers...

8:20 PM "Danger: hackers at work" - story from The Guardian Patrick Kingsley asks, "Google, Sony, CitiBank and even the CIA . . . they've all been victims of increasingly audacious cyber attacks. So is it coincidence or part of a wider campaign?"

8:10 PM Asahi on Japan cables reports "Japan dragged its feet after Washington asked Tokyo to provide information on private airports and ports in 2008 following North Korea's missile launches and nuclear test in 2006."

8:00 PM At Netroots Nation 2011, here's a summary of discussion on Bradley Manning at a panel called "When the President's Just Not That Into You." Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake says she and supporters of Firedoglake were ultimately able to get Bradley Manning moved because of a plan drawn up in December to push back against narratives.

Hamsher found that Charlie Savage was constantly writing about things Adrian Lamo said and she realized that certain things had to happen for narrative to turn around. And, what really turned things around was Jake Tapper asking the president about Manning and Bradley Manning supporters confronting Obama at a fundraiser.

6:30 PM Photos of protest in Boston against WikiLeaks grand jury

6:00 PM Supporters of WikiLeaks claim cameras have been installed near home that Julian Assange is occupying while he is under house arrest. BBC reports "Vaughan Smith, who owns Ellingham Hall, said cameras were at three entrances. Two police forces deny installing them."

In the video, released to mark six months since Mr Assange's first arrest, Mr Smith says: "I'm not an expert on cameras but I believe these take number plates and record number plates.

2:41 PM Gareth Peirce will now be Julian Assange's attorney. Mark Stephens will no longer be representing. Emma Stone played Peirce in film with Daniel Day-Lewis called "In the Name of the Father." (h/t Greg Mitchell)

11:05 AM Statement made by Sweden to UN Human Rights Council that condemns "three strikes" laws against online copyright infringers as violation of human rights. US and forty other nations sign on in support. Both UK & France, which have such laws, do not sign.

11:00 AM Sydney Morning Herald on debate over whether WikiLeaks is a force for good that just happened. Headline explains the debate is over and WikiLeaks is a force for good.

9:55 AM Germany arming itself for cyber war: Der Spiegel reports on the establishment of a new Cyber Defense Center in Bonn to respond to the escalation of cyber attacks on institutions in Germany

Image9:40 AM Assange releases video blog to mark Assange's six months under house arrest.

9:30 AM WikiLeaks puts out a statement to mark Julian Assange's six months of house arrest in the UK. On the case, the statement notes that if he is made to go to Sweden, Assange could be "subjected to a trial held in secret" and "not be allowed to see all the evidence against him."

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