Earlier this morning, The Tech Herald reported that Palantir Technologies severed all ties with HBGary Federal and issued an apology to reporter Glenn Greenwald. Now, Berico Technologies, the second data intelligence firm who was linked to a systematic plan of attack against WikiLeaks, has cut ties with HBGary as well.
After the tip from Crowdleaks.org, The Tech Herald learned that Palantir Technologies, HBGary Federal, and Berico Technologies, worked together with law firm Hunton and Williams to develop a proposal for Bank of America in order to deal with the “WikiLeaks Threat.”
[Original article and all updates are here.]
Hunton and Williams would act as outside counsel on retainer, while Palantir would take care of network and insider threat investigations. For their part, Berico Technologies and HBGary Federal would analyze WikiLeaks.
Some of the things mentioned as potential proactive tactics against WikiLeaks include feeding the fuel between the feuding groups, disinformation, creating messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization, and submitting fake documents to WikiLeaks and then calling out the error.
Moreover, reporter Glenn Greenwald, who writes for Salon.com, was singled out in the proposal as a person offering a level of support to WikiLeaks that needed to be disrupted. This disruption would include making Greenwald, and others in similar situations, choose between professional preservation and cause.
On Thursday evening, Dr. Alex Karp, the Co-Founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, The Tech Herald a statement on the events and information presented in our original story.
“As the Co-Founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, I have directed the company to sever any and all contacts with HB Gary…I have made clear in no uncertain terms that Palantir Technologies will not be involved in such activities. Moreover, we as a company, and I as an individual, always have been deeply involved in supporting progressive values and causes. We plan to continue these efforts in the future,” the statement starts.
the government of the US is claiming that it’s illegal for any newspaper to reprint any part of the Cablegate release. They’re wrong.
New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a United States Supreme Court per curiam decision. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censure.
President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press under the First Amendment was subordinate to a claimed Executive need to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that First Amendment did protect the New York Times’ right to print said materials.
(C) xxxxxxxxxxxx said he personally knew one such martial
arts master whom he said was used by the Intelligence service
to murder at least six different individuals over the course
of several months in xxxxxxxxxxxx said that
the victims included intellectuals and young “pro-democracy
activists,” adding that his assassin acquaintance was
ultimately “suicided” by the authorities (i.e., killed in
what was subsequently labeled a suicide). xxxxxxxxxxxx claimed
that his club was raided and greatly restricted xxxxxxxxxxxx
after he and the club manager refused to train Basij or lend
them their facilities. He said that they also refused to
mobilize their membership to assist in repressing local
protesters xxxxxxxxxxxx. Although he has
stopped working at the school, he claimed to be under
relentless pressure to cooperate, xxxxxxxxxxxx
Reading the Cablegate release is a bit like touring a sausage factory. Many people enjoy the finished product, but few see how it’s made – an unsettling and unpalatable production.
Even if the cablegate release by Wikileaks didn’t expose US spying and intimidation, ignorance of corruption and Human Rights abuses, and deep insider dealings with US corporations – even if it didn’t represent evidence of crimes, the release of these confidential and secret diplomatic cables give us a rare peek behind the curtain at how diplomacy really operates today. Even the best journalists and scholars and academics are continually writing a post-script to the actions of diplomats, trying to search for reasons for the actions of states and hypothesizing on why things happened as they did.
So when a big release like this happens, it causes people to radically re-evaluate the way international relations works. Not that there’s ever been much like this Cablegate release, at seven times the size of the Iraq war logs which were formerly the world’s largest leak.
It’s one thing for someone like Noam Chomsky to say that the US and other developed countries deliberately ignore evidence of corruption and human rights abuses when they stand to gain financially from a relationship with another country. Taking such a position opens him up to accusations that he is misinterpreting evidence, seeing corruption and abuse where there is none. It’s another thing entirely for the Kabul Embassy to describe money smuggling out of Afghanistan by the Vice-President. The authority of their position allows only righteous indignation that they deal with these people as allies on behalf of the American people. And the dealings of the Afghan government allows only righteous indignation on the part of the Afghan people that their elected officials are doing this.
The threat the United States is worried about when it comes to Wikileaks isn’t that it actually threatens American lives, but that it threatens to shake up US Foreign Policy in its dealings with other countries.
What cablegate in general reveals to many who don’t have such background is that International Relations is a profoundly messier business than they had previously assumed. Like packaged tube meat products, the clean sterility of the packaging belies the truth behind how it comes together.
There are no good guys in International Relations, as the US State Department is well aware. However much other countries and academics may have moved to Liberalism and Constructivism, two competing theories of International Relations, the US has always maintained their strictly Realist viewpoint. With cables like this one from the Tel Aviv embassy where the embassy quite clearly accepts MG Yadlin’s statement,
He went on to explain that Israel is not in a position to underestimate Iran and be surprised like the US was on 11 September 2001. MG Yadlin explained that Israel tries to be more precise than the US in estimating Iran’s intentions and timeline for obtaining a nuclear bomb.
For those with no background in these terms, a quick lesson: Realism prioritizes national interest and security over moral concerns. Often, the most important aspect of any inter-state relationship is their power dynamic. The other important aspect is their relative amounts of resource wealth. For Realists, human nature is inherently competitive and self-serving, and this is reflected in the actions of states. Realism was mostly developed as an ideal during the Cold War, where two Superpower states (the USA and USSR) vied for supremacy with each other.
Liberalism is opposed to Realism. This type of theory emphasizes the importance of ideals and political philosophy – state preferences outweigh military force or power. Importantly, Liberalism developed the “democratic peace hypothesis” – the simple statement that democracies don’t go to war against each other.
Constructivism claims that even beyond power dynamics and ideals, often many aspects of International Relations are historically and socially contingent. They reject ideas of human nature, and also reject claims that international relations is inherently unchanging.
There are other theories of IR, but these are the most important.
I’ll leave you with a few statements by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, found here.
“The internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that’s why we feel it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms.”
“We feel strongly that principles like ‘information freedom’ aren’t just good policy, or somehow connected to our national values, but they’re universal, and they’re good for business. This isn’t about trying to claim the moral high ground.”
“Censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company anywhere. America must make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand.”
And one more.
“The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information … this disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests, but an attack on the international community.”
Special presentation on the wikileaks 400,000 presents the situation more interestingly than the regular news. History is happening.
Who let the Logs out!? Wikileaks drops 400,000 classified documents shedding new light on the Iraq war — the biggest leak of classified military documents in history — sending shockwaves across the Fourth Estate. Rap News marks the occasion by inviting into the studio the former US Secretary of Offense, Donald Rumsfeld. But what starts out as a conventional Rap News interview soon descends into mayhem as the live feed is hijacked by News World Order, eager to spin the record like a disc jockey on crack. Enter Bill O’Really, the champion of Fair & Balanced journalism, dragging us screaming into the No Spine Zone. Only divine intervention can save us now, from a fate worse than death. But beware of imitators; not all is what it seems to be! Join us for a rollercoaster episode of Rap News, featuring a very very special guest appearance.
Anxious that Wikileaks may be on the verge of publishing a batch of secret State Department cables, investigators are desperately searching for founder Julian Assange. Philip Shenon reports.
Pentagon investigators are trying to determine the whereabouts of the Australian-born founder of the secretive website Wikileaks for fear that he may be about to publish a huge cache of classified State Department cables that, if made public, could do serious damage to national security, government officials tell The Daily Beast.
The officials acknowledge that even if they found the website founder, Julian Assange, it is not clear what they could do to block publication of the cables on Wikileaks, which is nominally based on a server in Sweden and bills itself as a champion of whistleblowers.