Fox retracts hoax story about Seth Rich murder

While the world was agog at the news that President Trump had leaked sensitive, classified information to a Russian diplomat, the rightosphere was going bonkers over an old, dumb conspiracy theory that Seth Rich, a young DNC staffer who was murdered in DC, had been assassinated in retaliation for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. Read the rest

Sweden drops Assange rape investigation

Sweden's top prosecutor announced Friday that it is dropping its rape investigation of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, because it was "impossible to serve him notice."

Assange has been hiding in Ecuador's embassy in London for five years to avoid extradition to Sweden, but he's still wanted by British cops for skipping court and they already warned him they'll arrest him if he leaves the building.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said Mr Assange still faced the lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court, an offence punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine. But the UK has not commented on whether it has received an extradition request from the US, where Mr Assange could face trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

Assange said he'd submit to extradition to the U.S. if Chelsea Manning, a key Wikileaks source, was released—an offer he later made contingent upon cutting his own deal with U.S. authorities. Manning was released this week. Read the rest

The CIA created a "Snowden Stopper" to catch future whistleblowers

The latest Wikileaks release of leaked CIA cyberweapons includes "Scribbles" -- referred to by the CIA as the "Snowden Stopper" -- a watermarking tool that embeds web-beacon style tracking beacons into secret documents that quietly notify a central server every time the document is opened. Read the rest

Wikileaks offers tech giants access to sourcecode for CIA Vault 7 exploits

Wikileaks' seismic Vault 7 release didn't follow the usual Wikileaks procedure: perhaps in response to earlier criticism, the organization redacted many of the files prior to their release, cutting names of CIA operatives and the sourcecode for the cyber-weapons the CIA had developed, which exploit widely used mobile devices, embedded systems, and operating systems. Read the rest

Wikileaks posts CIA document tranche

Wikileaks posted a tranche of documents Wednesday under the name Vault7, detailing CIA activities, capabilities and ambitions.

The #Vault7 hashtag is furious with activity as activists, journalists and perhaps the CIA itself combs through the release for hot topics. Some standout claims and exposures:

Gaping security holes in all major operating systems [Wikileaks] The CIA is interested in hacking your car [Mashable] CIA can basically hack "almost anything" (it can bypass Signal, Telegram, Whatsapp and Confide encryption by hacking the handset) The CIA Hacking Tools now thought to be publicly proliferated and in wide use [Wikileaks] CIA Org Chart

Independent authentication of the documents is underway, reports USA Today.

Wikileaks said the documents are from the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence and represent a new series of leaks code-named "Vault 7." The website says the CIA "lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal," more than several hundred million lines of code, providing "the entire hacking capacity of the CIA." Wikileaks says the archive appears to have been circulated among former government hackers and contractors, one of whom provided WikiLeaks with portions of it. The covert hacking program taps into Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which can be turned into covert microphones, the website says.

The stuff about smart TVs infested with CIA malware is the most striking: specifically Orwellian, albeit covertly. You can put a tape over your webcam, but the microphones? Read the rest

Contribute to the Chelsea Manning Welcome Home Fund

Chelsea Manning's lawyer Chase Strangio has set up an official Chelsea Manning Welcome Home Fund. Please join those of us who have contributed to help with her living and healthcare expenses. As a reminder of what she's endured: Read the rest

Chelsea Manning to go free!

President Obama commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning's remaining prison sentence. She will go free on May 17 of this year as opposed to 2045, the duration of her full sentence. From the New York Times:

The commutation also relieved the Department of Defense of the difficult responsibility of her incarceration as she pushes for treatment for her gender dysphoria — including sex reassignment surgery — that the military has no experience providing.

In recent days, the White House had signaled that Mr. Obama was seriously considering granting Ms. Manning’s commutation application, in contrast to a pardon application submitted on behalf of the other large-scale leaker of the era, Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who disclosed archives of top secret surveillance files and is living as a fugitive in Russia.

Asked about the two clemency applications on Friday, the White House spokesman, Joshua Earnest, discussed the “pretty stark difference” between Ms. Manning’s case for mercy with Mr. Snowden’s. While their offenses were similar, he said, there were “some important differences.”

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” he said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

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Clinton campaign breaks silence, demands declassification of Russian election hack intel

As news of the CIA's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election spreads, top Hillary Clinton adviser and likely Russian hacking victim John Podesta today publicly voiced support for a push by some members of the Electoral College to receive an intelligence briefing ahead of their formal vote next week.

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Russia hacked U.S. presidential election for Trump, says CIA

The Washington Post reported Friday evening that the CIA says Russia intervened in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win, rather than just to undermine confidence in the political system as was reported during the campaign.

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Internet-destroying outages were caused by "amateurish" IoT malware

Some of the internet's most popular, well-defended services -- including Twitter -- were knocked offline yesterday by a massive denial-of-service attack that security experts are blaming on botnets made from thousands of hacked embedded systems in Internet of Things devices like home security cameras and video recorders. Read the rest

WikiLeaks reveals President Barack Obama's personal email address

The stolen emails recently published by WikiLeaks reveal that President Barack Obama's email address during the presidential transition at the end of the 2008 campaign was bobama@ameritech.net.

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Ecuadoran Embassy confirms it changed its wifi password to lock out Assange

The Ecuadoran Embassy in London has confirmed Wikileaks' accusation that it terminated Julian Assange's access to its wifi network because it disapproved of Assange and Wikileaks' "intervention in the affairs of other states" by publishing material pertaining to the impending US election. Read the rest

Wikileaks: Assange's internet access was cut off by Ecuador

Following on their earlier statement that "Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party," the Wikileaks organization has accused Ecuador of being that state party. Read the rest

Wikileaks: a "state party" has cut off Julian Assange's primary internet access

Late yesterday, the @wikileaks account tweeted "Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans." Read the rest

U.S. accuses Russia of trying to “interfere with the U.S. election” through internet attacks

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” said a statement today from the Obama administration about a series of cyberattacks on U.S. political figures and organizations.

Them's fightin' words.

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Julian Assange volunteers to be imprisoned in the USA if Obama gives Chelsea Manning clemency

Wikileaks has tweeted an offer for founder Julian Assange to leave the Ecuadorean embassy where he has been a political asylum seeker since 2012, and turn himself in for a US jail sentence, if President Obama grants clemency Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for providing documents to Wikileaks while serving in the US Army. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning, after suicide attempt: 'Your incredible love and support is lifting my spirits.'

Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning is suffering from severe mental health challenges in prison, directly related to her treatment in prison. She isn't getting the care she needs, and she recently tried to take her own life.

Chelsea is a transgender woman who, despite her gender identity being acknowledged by the world, is forced by the U.S. to serve out her sentence in an all-male maximum security prison. To be a woman imprisoned among men is a most gendered form of cruel and unusual punishment, but America's hatred and misunderstanding of trans people allows this to be the norm.

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