from the if-it-walks-like-a-duck dept.
FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds asserts Pierre Omidyar decided to create The Intercept to not only take ownership of the Snowden leaks but also to continue his blockade against WikiLeaks and create a "honey trap" for whistleblowers.
WikiLeaks, the transparency organization known for publishing leaked documents that threaten the powerful, finds itself under pressure like never before, as does its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange. Now, the fight to silence Wikileaks is not only being waged by powerful government figures but also by the media, including outlets and organizations that have styled themselves as working to protect whistleblowers.
As this three-part series seeks to show, these outlets and organizations are being stealthily guided by the hands of special interests, not the public interest they claim to serve. Part I focuses on the Freedom of the Press Foundation, The Intercept, and the oligarch who has strongly influenced both organizations in his long-standing fight to silence WikiLeaks.
[...] WikiLeaks, in recent tweets, has suggested that Omidyar's influence was responsible not only for the [Freedom of the Press Foundation's (FPF) decision to terminate processing of WikiLeaks' donations] but also for the unusual attacks that some FPF members have launched against WikiLeaks, particularly Assange, in recent months. The most outspoken of these members has been FPF director Micah Lee, who is employed by the Omidyar-owned publication, The Intercept.
In February of last year, Lee called Assange a "rapist, liar & ally to fascists" in a tweet — despite the fact that Assange was never charged with rape, his alleged accusers have also claimed that Assange had not sexually assaulted them, and there is abundant evidence suggesting that the rape investigation was a means of ensnaring Assange to ensure his extradition to the United States. Based on Lee's other tweets, the "ally to fascists" charge ostensibly refers to Lee's belief that Wikileaks' publications of emails from the DNC and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta was done explicitly, with Assange's blessing, to aid the Trump campaign.
Over the weekend, dozens of public figures, including prominent whistleblowers and journalists, took part in a 36-hour international online vigil in defence of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. The event was the third "Unity4J" vigil organised by independent journalist and New Zealand Internet Party leader, Suzie Dawson, since Assange's communications were cut-off by Ecuadorian authorities at their London embassy last March.
[...] Daniel Ellsberg, whose release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 exposed the extent of US criminality in Vietnam, drew a parallel between his own activities and those of WikiLeaks. Referring to WikiLeaks' 2010 publication of US war logs in Iraq and Afghanistan, he stated: "I really waited almost 40 years, after the Pentagon Papers had come out, for someone to do what I had done."
Ellsberg pointed to similarities between the attacks that had been levelled against him, and the persecution of Assange. "I was charged with 12 felony counts, a possible 150 years in prison. Nixon had in mind for me what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have had in mind for Julian Assange," he said.
Related: FBI Whistleblower on Pierre Omidyar and His Campaign to Neuter Wikileaks
Julian Assange has His Internet Access Cut Off by Ecuador
Ecuador Spent $5 Million Protecting and Spying on Julian Assange
Barely an hour after a news organization published an article about a Top Secret National Security Agency document on Russian hacking, the Justice Department announced charges against a 25-year-old government contractor who a senior federal official says was the leaker of the document.
The May 5, 2017 intelligence document published by The Intercept, an online news organization, describes new details about Russian efforts to hack voting systems in the U.S a week prior to the 2016 presidential election. While the document doesn't say the hacking changed any votes, it "raises the possibility that Russian hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system, with disconcertingly uncertain results."
Even as the document was ricocheting around Washington, the Justice Department announced that a criminal complaint was filed in the Southern District of Georgia charging Reality Leigh Winner, 25, a federal contractor, with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.
Source: NBC News
Once investigative efforts identified Winner as a suspect, the FBI obtained and executed a search warrant at her residence. According to the complaint, Winner agreed to talk with agents during the execution of the warrant. During that conversation, Winner admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue despite not having a "need to know," and with knowledge that the intelligence reporting was classified. Winner further admitted removing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it, and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the news outlet, which she knew was not authorized to receive or possess the documents.
Source: Department of Justice
While the document provides a rare window into the NSA's understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying "raw" intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive.
Source: The Intercept
WikiLeaks tweet #1: "Suspected Intercept reporter gave US government NSA whistleblower Reality Leigh Winner's post code, printout and her report number" and tweet #2: "WikiLeaks issues a US$10,000 reward for information leading to the public exposure & termination of this 'reporter'".
Silicon Valley technologists, including former Google and Facebook employees, have formed the Center for Humane Technology:
A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build.
The cohort is creating a union of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology. Along with the nonprofit media watchdog group Common Sense Media, it also plans an anti-tech addiction lobbying effort and an ad campaign at 55,000 public schools in the United States.
The campaign, titled The Truth About Tech, will be funded with $7 million from Common Sense and capital raised by the Center for Humane Technology. Common Sense also has $50 million in donated media and airtime from partners including Comcast and DirecTV. It will be aimed at educating students, parents and teachers about the dangers of technology, including the depression that can come from heavy use of social media.
"We were on the inside," said Tristan Harris, a former in-house ethicist at Google who is heading the new group. "We know what the companies measure. We know how they talk, and we know how the engineering works."
Omidyar Network is listed as a key advisor/supporter.
Also at TIME.
Related: How Facebook Can Be Addictive
Facebook Founding President Sounds Alarm, Criticizes Facebook
Another Former Facebook Exec Speaks Out
FBI Whistleblower on Pierre Omidyar and His Campaign to Neuter Wikileaks