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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jan > Jan 19

How To Leak A Secret And Not Get Caught

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 09:26:12 -0500
Fwd Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 09:26:12 -0500
Subject: How To Leak A Secret And Not Get Caught

Source: New Scientist Magazine - Sutton, Surrey, UK


12 January 2007

How To Leak A Secret And Not Get Caught
Paul Marks

Leaking a sensitive government document can mean risking a jail
sentence - but not for much longer if an online service called
WikiLeaks goes ahead. WikiLeaks is designed to allow anyone to
post documents on the web without fear of being traced.

The creators of the site are thought to include political
activists and open-source software engineers, though they are
keeping their identities secret. Their goal is to ensure that
whistle-blowers and journalists are not thrown into jail for
emailing sensitive documents. That was the fate of Chinese
journalist Shi Tao, who was sentenced to a 10-year term in 2005
after publicising an email from Chinese officials about the
anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

According to the group's website www.wikileaks.org, its primary
targets include China, Russia, and oppressive regimes in
Eurasia, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. It is not
limited to these countries, however, and people anywhere will be
able to use the site to reveal unethical behaviour by
governments and corporations.

Normally an email or a document posted to a website can be
traced back to its source because each data packet carries the
IP address of the last server that it passed through. To prevent
this, WikiLeaks will exploit an anonymising protocol known as
The Onion Router (Tor), which routes data through a network of
servers that use cryptography to hide the path that the packets
took. Bruce Schneier, a cryptographer based in Silicon Valley,
California, explains it like this. "Imagine a large room jammed
full of people in which many of them are passing around
envelopes. How would you know where any of them started?"

Julien Pain, a campaigner with Reporters Without Borders in
Paris, France, sees Tor as a valuable step towards guaranteeing
anonymity. "Enabling cyber-dissidents to leak information is a
crucial issue we now face in many countries," he says. There are
however, fears that whistle-blowers might still be at risk. "I
would not trust my life or even my liberty to Tor," says Ben
Laurie, a London-based computer security expert. In the past,
determined cryptographers have breached Tor's security, and
though each breach has led to improvements to Tor there is
always a risk others will be discovered.

The WikiLeaks team do not plan to control what is disclosed on
the site, raising fears that the anonymity it offers could be
misused. "The initiative could drown in fabricated documents,
pornographic records or become hijacked to serve vendettas,"
warns Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists
in Washington DC.

The safeguard against this, according to the WikiLeaks team, is
that false postings will be sniffed out by users, who will be
free to comment on what is posted. This is what happens with
Wikipedia, which although unconnected to WikiLeaks is based on
the same open-source software. "WikiLeaks will provide a forum
for the entire global community to examine any document
relentlessly for credibility," the site claims.

WikiLeaks is raising funds and testing its software. It hopes to
launch in February.

From issue 2586 of New Scientist magazine, 12 January 2007, page 26

[Thanks to Stuart Miller of http://uforeview.net/ ]

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