Aug 30th, 2011
- Truth from Berlin...
- A Guardian editor, David Leigh, who had a legal run in with WikiLeaks last year, betrayed the entire Cablegate decryption password in his book. Page 135-139 of "Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy":
- [Leigh] asked Assange to stop procrastinating, and hand over the biggest trove of all: the cables. Assange said, “I could give you half of them, covering the first 50% of the period.”
- Leigh refused. All or nothing, he said. “What happens if you end up in an orange jump-suit en route to Guantánamo before you can release the full files?” In return he would give Assange a promise to keep the cables secure, and not to publish them until the time came. Assange had always been vague about timing: he generally indicated, however, that October would be a suitable date. He believed the US army’s charges against the imprisoned soldier Bradley Manning would have crystallised by then, and publication could not make his fate any worse. He also said, echoing Leigh’s gallows humour: “I’m going to need to be safe in Cuba first!” Eventually, Assange capitulated. Late at night, after a two-hour debate, he started the process on one of his little netbooks that would enable Leigh to download the entire tranche of cables. The Guardian journalist had to set up the PGP encryption system on his laptop at home across the other side of London. Then he could feed in a password. Assange wrote down on a scrap of paper:
- ACollectionOfHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay#. “That’s the password,” he said. “But you have to add one extra word when you type it in. You have to put in the word ‘Diplomatic’ before the word ‘History’ Can you people to theremember that?” “I can remember that.” Leigh set off home, and successfully installed the PGP software. He typed in the lengthy password, and was gratified to be able to download a huge file from Assange’s temporary website. Then he realized it was zipped up – compressed using a format called 7z which he had never heard of, and couldn’t understand. He got back in his car and drove through the deserted London streets in the small hours, to Assange’s headquarters in Southwick Mews. Assange smiled a little pityingly, and unzipped it for him.
- No-one took note of the Leigh book since where the encrypted file was located was a mystery! Enter the 2nd bad guy of our story: Daniel Domscheit-Berg. DDB said he didn't know the password before reading the Leigh book, but apparently *did* know the hidden file name on Bittorrent. Using this these two facts (pw+hidden file location), he then went around ingratiating himself with various players by handing them the entire Cablegate archive under the mutually deniable cover of "warning" them about the Leigh book. Enraged after being expelled from the CCC he "gave" the cables in this way to more and more people in exchange for alliances and positive spin culminating with the now infamous Freitag and Information.dk articles and now the thing is fucking everywhere...
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