2011-07-31 Canada's WTF file on WikiLeaks

Authored by Joe B

Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade created a WikiLeaks Task force, and this was first reported by the king of ATIP, Ken Rubin. Given the fact that Mr. Rubin didn’t release the source material didn’t really help matters, since we couldn’t pick apart the document, see which agencies were directly involved with the DFAIT-led WikiLeaks Task Force and we didn’t know what the policy was for people to visit WikiLeaks from various Government of Canada pages.

I sent an ATIP asking for the source document, and it was dealt with informally, so I got my cheque back. The document itself is 376 pages, and is a collection of e-mails dealing with the WikiLeaks cables, and providing a summary of them. There’s tons of acronyms that I don’t understand at all in DFAIT, luckily the DFAIT website provides this nice list of definitions that is required to follow along to see who is doing what.

While the original PostMedia article dated June 29, 2011 indicated that DFAIT blocked WikiLeaks, what it failed to mention that Public Safety Canada, which is the agency in charge of CSIS and the RCMP also blocked WikiLeaks. The Canadian Military has blocked WikiLeaks as well. The earliest documents state that DFAIT got a call from the NSA about WikiLeaks first, before they even setup the War Room. It appears that DFAIT gets a search engine for the WikiLeaks cables provided by an unknown agency and then starts to search for the Canadian cables. Other agencies involved include CBSA, Public Safety, as well as other ones that stick out like Agrifood Canada and Statistics Canada. There are two whole agencies who have their reps redacted out, and it’s most likely CSIS and the CSE. What’s really strange is the fact that the RCMP doesn’t have a liason, and has said in the past that they have no material regarding WikiLeaks.

The Canadian Task Force was in direct contact with the US WTF, however it appears that all the contact info for the US WTF is completely redacted. This would indicate that the Canadian Government would more knowledge about the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks, Wikileaks volunteers, and Julian Assange in particular. The first mention of the WTF in the files is back in November 27, 2010.

There’s an excerpt about the DFAIT C5 system that Canada uses to send diplomatic cables, and it indicates almost nothing about this system, except that it is on the I drive, indicating that DFAIT runs a Windows based network. This is completely unsurprising, since it’s the Government of Canada.

The document repeats itself and does not actually cover the massive Canadian dump that happened during the Federal Election, and page 334 has a list of the cables that DFAIT was interested in. Most of the keywords that they were using to search are redacted, but “Forsys”, a Uranium mining firm is unredacted in the document, which is interesting, since it’s only unredacted because of the Globe and Mail story on the worried about the Forsys deal exposed by WikiLeaks. I do plan on sending an ATIP back to DFAIT to ask for copies of communications related to WikiLeaks releases close to the last week of April 2011.

Below is the link to the file:

dfait_wtf.pdf – SHA1SUM: 30e8ea1f3205413fd6fd0989abd091b47d9e6888

Authoritarian systems often shoot theirselves in the foot with..

..exclusory edicts. Not only do they seek to blind their members from potentially valuable information, but they also create a temptation which more intelligent humans cannot resist. By doing this governments and other organizations may prune out any elements which are not zelous followers, but conversly they add credibility to whatever information they are seeking to exclude.

In the modern "Wired World", anyone wanting annonymous access to sites like WikiLeaks would have no problem getting it. The American edicts threatening anyone in government service who sought access to WikiLeaks probably caused a surge in visits to public libraries and internet cafe's.

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