Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday November 16 2018, @06:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the Big-Ooooops dept.

Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange

Prosecutors Have Prepared Indictment of Julian Assange, a Filing Reveals

The Justice Department has prepared an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, marking a drastic escalation of the government's yearslong battle with him and his anti-secrecy group. It was not clear if prosecutors have filed charges against Mr. Assange. The indictment came to light late Thursday through an unrelated court filing in which prosecutors inadvertently mentioned charges against him. "The court filing was made in error," said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the United States attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia. "That was not the intended name for this filing."

[...] Seamus Hughes, a terrorism expert at George Washington University who closely tracks court cases, uncovered the filing and posted it on Twitter.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to say on Thursday what led to the inadvertent disclosure. It was made in a recently unsealed filing in an apparently unrelated sex-crimes case charging a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi with coercing and enticing an underage person to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Mr. Kokayi was charged in early August, and on Aug. 22, prosecutors filed a three-page document laying out boilerplate arguments for why his case at that time needed to remain sealed.

While the filing started out referencing Mr. Kokayi, federal prosecutors abruptly switched on its second page to discussing the fact that someone named "Assange" had been secretly indicted, and went on to make clear that this person was the subject of significant publicity, lived abroad and would need to be extradited — suggesting that prosecutors had inadvertently pasted text from a similar court filing into the wrong document and then filed it.

"Another procedure short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged," prosecutors wrote. They added, "The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter."


Also at The Guardian, The Washington Post, MarketWatch, and The New Republic.

Previously: Prominent Whistleblowers and Journalists Defend Julian Assange at Online Vigil
Ecuador Reportedly Almost Ready to Hand Julian Assange Over to UK Authorities
DNC Serves WikiLeaks Lawsuit Over Twitter; US Senate Invites Assange to Testify for Russia Probe
The Guardian: Russian Diplomats Planned to Sneak Julian Assange Out of the UK
Julian Assange Sues Ecuador for "Violating His Fundamental Rights"
UK Said Assange Would Not be Extradited If He Leaves Embassy Refuge

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by lars on Friday November 16 2018, @11:04PM (6 children)

    by lars (4376) on Friday November 16 2018, @11:04PM (#762886)

    There are logs of chatting with Manning that were leaked. In them he gives Manning instructions on how to hack military computers. Specifically rainbow tables for password hashes IIRC. This takes from from receiving classified information (totally legal), to being part of a conspiracy to take it (very illegal).

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +3  
       Interesting=3, Total=3
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RandomFactor on Friday November 16 2018, @11:09PM (5 children)

    by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 16 2018, @11:09PM (#762890) Journal

    Now THAT's one of the most potentially important bits and characteristically ignored. -sigh-

    I'll dig around see if i can find info on it. Thanks :)

    В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17 2018, @03:10AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17 2018, @03:10AM (#762932)
      • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Saturday November 17 2018, @12:36PM (2 children)

        by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 17 2018, @12:36PM (#763069) Journal

        Raw text is always better. Articles try to sanitize important bits.

        Quite possibly they were just using a widely known publicly available cracking/password auditing tool like l0phtcrack.

        В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17 2018, @02:08PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17 2018, @02:08PM (#763091)

          That's irrelevant. The fact is he went from being a passive receiver to actively advising. That's the line between legality and illegality.

          • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Sunday November 18 2018, @03:49PM

            by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 18 2018, @03:49PM (#763512) Journal

            No doubt. I didn't mean to imply that. Just speculating that these weren't hacker geniuses, just likely using a common tool available at the time for Lanman hash auditing. Every NT admin of the late 90's ran L0PHT against their domain and got woke when they recovered half the passwords within hours. These guys did have an effect on password policies at least.
            That doesn't mean that saying "Yeah, we can do ROT13" is not breaking the law (btw you should always use double ROT13, it's twice as secure), just that its a weak PW scheme.

            В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
    • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Saturday November 17 2018, @12:16PM

      by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 17 2018, @12:16PM (#763062) Journal

      Found some old articles with it:

      In a March 8, 2010, chat, Manning asked Assange for help in cracking a password so he could log onto the classified computer anonymously, Fein said.

      “Any good at IM-Hash cracking?” Manning asks.

      “Yes,” is the reply. “We have rainbow tables for IM,” the interlocutor says, citing a tool that can be used to decipher passwords.

      Manning sends a string of numbers.

      “Passed it on to our guys,” is the reply.

      В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды