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Caution warned over security of new 'Wikileaks' website

Caution warned over security of new 'Wikileaks' website

A strong warning has been sounded by both a security expert and journalists for Freedom Anarchist Newspaper over the much-hyped 'Wikileaks' website, which claims it will provide a safe online environment for the mass leaking of sensitive or incriminating governmental materials.

The concept of ‘wiki’, online documentation which can be edited by anyone, such as the huge and growing Wikipedia website, will take a new step this month with the launch of an online document ‘leaking’ service.

Wikileaks is run by a group of largely anonymous posters who say they range from Chinese dissidents, mathematicians and startup company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

But an online security specialist contacted by Freedom has raised questions over the usefulness of a system based online. Matthew said: “So far, no concrete information regarding the security technology used by Wikileaks has been released. Until such information is available, one must assume that Wikileaks in no more secure than current "anonymous" publication systems.

“Wikileaks claims to use technologies such as Tor (known to be flawed) PGP (assumed to be flawed) and Freenet (built on the 'web of trust', a weak, if not flawed concept). Wikileaks was itself leaked, on the website Cryptome.org, when the site's owner, John Young, felt that Wikileaks was, in fact, a scam. Young's opinion was that the $5m funding target set by the project was evidence enough that something fishy was going on.

“I trust Young's judgment beyond that of groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, members of which are involved in Wikileaks. A lot of this is about young American hackers wanting to feel good. Hence a lot of it is rubbish.

“Wikileaks claims to be aimed primarily at China. As such, it will receive CIA funding, whether the people involved know it or not. Perhaps though, all this is missing the point. A leak is of little value unless it is credible. Even then, leaks can only act as a catalyst for change. In any case, leaks don't ‘break open the world’.”

The group claim to have 1.2million documents already for the site, and an operating group of 22, some of whom will form the advisory board for the site.

Author’s note: This is one of the few areas I feel I can personally comment on, having had to deal with leaked material before and with some grounding in general as a young radical journalist.
Leaking is based solely on trust. If my sources can’t trust me personally to take their names to prison rather than give them up, they won’t, shouldn’t, tell me anything. And there is no way of really trusting the people involved in this site.

Even if they haven’t been infiltrated by secret services – and if this service is successful it will be eventually – their claim that the Wikileak community can ‘prove’ sources’ veracity is all but useless. If something important leaks, it is a simple matter to swamp the entire system with spam so verification becomes impossible.

Rob Ray

Posted By

Rob Ray
Feb 2 2007 12:26

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bbarnes
Dec 16 2008 17:41

I would like to thank you Rob Ray..Finally maybe some people out there will listen up and take action for what is the "right" thing to do...Pgp flawed,yes....
I always say "The Truth Will Prevail". Thank You

Brindle Barnes

petey
Dec 16 2008 17:56

i don't know what's meant to say tor is flawed. all tor claims to be able to do is make tracing more time consuming, perhaps much more time consuming, too time consuming to be worth the effort by authorities. at the tor website, there is even the 'boast' that law enforcement uses it.

tor is only flawed if a claim of absolute security is given, and so far as i know it isn't.