Civil Liberties

Creepy Spying System Revealed by Wikileaks, Which Then Gets Hit by a Massive Attack


What does it mean, when Wikileaks publishes a trove of documents hacked by Anonymous from the strategic intelligence firm Stratfor — a trove that apparently details a massive electronic spying system run by the U.S. government — and is then hit by a massive and sustained distributed denial of service attack that prevents journalists and people at large from examining the documents in question? I can't be the only person that finds that just a tad … suggestive.

The best round-up of the story so far is at RT:

Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology — and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.

Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It's part of a program called TrapWire and it's the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America's intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who's who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation's ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.

It's difficult to check on RT's report, though, because, as my old employer ZDNet has it:

WikiLeaks is down. The site has been down for the last five days, during which it has been experiencing a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Back in May, Wikileaks was also taken down by a DDoS attack. That one lasted four days, however, meaning this one has already gone on for longer, according to the site's Twitter account.

Note that the ZDNet story was published two days ago and the attack still continues. Wikileaks mirrors are also offline. So are newly established mirrors to which documents were posted just hours ago.

The presumed Wikileaks hackers call themselves AntiLeaks and claim:

You can call me DietPepsi. I am the leader of AntiLeaks. We are not doing this to call attention to ourselves. We are young adults, citizens of the United States of America and are deeply concerned about the recent developments with Julian Assange and his attempt at aslyum in Ecuador.

Assange is the head of a new breed of terrorist. We are doing this as a protest against his attempt to escape justice into Ecuador. This would be a catalyst for many more like him to rise up in his place. We will not stop and they will not stop us.

Yeah. So … an ad hoc group of young super-patriot anti-terrorism activists has knocked Wikileaks and all of its mirrors offline for a week? Right.

Maybe it's all an awesomely effective Wikileaks marketing ploy, because, frankly, I want to know more about TrapWire.