On the Radar: WikiLeaks, Facebook profiles, talks on North Korea, taxes
December 6th, 2010
09:06 AM ET

On the Radar: WikiLeaks, Facebook profiles, talks on North Korea, taxes

WikiLeaks documents - "Terrorist funding emanating from Saudi Arabia remains a serious concern." So states a cable prepared for the visit of U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke to the kingdom earlier this year.

It is one of several that have appeared on the WikiLeaks site that suggest that despite some progress, the flow of cash to extremist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan from individuals and charities in the Gulf has certainly not been halted. The cable, written by U.S. Ambassador James B Smith, says that the Saudis are "cooperating more actively than at any previous point to respond to terrorist financing concerns raised by the United States, and to investigate and detain financial facilitators of concern."

Meanwhile, as criticism continues to grow against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Australia's attorney general says Assange would be allowed to return to his Australian homeland, and has the same protections as any other Australian citizen.

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Filed under: Facebook • Hillary Clinton • Japan • Julian Assange • North Korea • On the Radar • South Korea • Taxes • U.S. • WikiLeaks
U.S. officials deny they are urging technical takedown of WikiLeaks
December 3rd, 2010
02:09 PM ET

U.S. officials deny they are urging technical takedown of WikiLeaks

U.S. officials at the Pentagon and State Department denied Friday knowing of any efforts to take down the WikiLeaks website or asking companies to do so.

The site's efforts to publish 250,000 diplomatic cables has been hampered by denial-of-service attacks, ejection from its server host and cancellation of its name by its American domain name provider. Each time WikiLeaks has worked out other arrangements to bring the site back online.

In written answers to readers' questions posted on the website of the British newspaper The Guardian, WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange alleged "abusive elements of the United States government" were behind the site's technical problems. A State Department spokesman disputed that the U.S. government was involved.

"I am not aware of any conversations by the United States government with either any internet host here or any government over there at this point," said spokesman P.J. Crowley.

A Defense Department official also denied causing the technical problems slowing the WikiLeaks release of secret U.S. government documents.

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Friday's intriguing people
December 3rd, 2010
12:56 PM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Sarah Palin

The former Alaska governor lost her bid for vice president but continues to blaze a trail for other ultraconservatives to follow.

Palin wrote a book after her election loss, and now fellow Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell is doing likewise.

O'Donnell will write a book to be published next year by St. Martin's Press, the company announced Thursday.

"It's time to set the record straight & move forward," O'Donnell wrote in announcing the deal on Twitter.

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Assange willing to be 'lightning rod,' but WikiLeaks survival 'depends on you'
December 3rd, 2010
10:42 AM ET

Assange willing to be 'lightning rod,' but WikiLeaks survival 'depends on you'

[Updated at 10:19 a.m.] The U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website have been spread to more than 100,000 people in encrypted form, ensuring they can be released publicly if the main website is attacked or taken down, founder Julian Assange said Friday.

He noted in response to a reader's question on The Guardian newspaper's website that the cables also are in the hands of multiple news organizations, ensuring their release.

"History will win," Assange said in his final answer to readers' questions. "The world will be elevated to a better place. Will we survive? That depends on you."

[Updated at 9:52 a.m.] WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is willing to be the "lightning rod" for criticism and attacks against his website because giving the site a public face lends it credibility and also encourages sources to step forward.

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On the Radar: WikiLeaks and Assange; don't ask, don't tell; debt-slashing
December 3rd, 2010
09:25 AM ET

On the Radar: WikiLeaks and Assange; don't ask, don't tell; debt-slashing

WikiLeaks - A U.S.-based domain name provider shut down WikiLeaks early Friday, but the controversial website announced hours later that it had employed a company in Switzerland and was back up.

"WikiLeaks moves to Switzerland," the company said on its Twitter page about 4 a.m. ET. The tweet also provided WikiLeaks' new Web address. U.S.-based domain provider EveryDNS.net shut down WikiLeaks' old Web address early Friday. The company announced that it had to cut its relationship with WikiLeaks because the site had received multiple cyber attacks.

Today we'll be taking a look at the James Bond-esque bunker where WikiLeaks files are kept, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his own words, and what he has to say about the latest document dump when he takes questions from readers from the UK's Guardian.

Don't ask, don't tell - Leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard are expected to speak Friday as the Senate Armed Services Committee holds its second day of hearings on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

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World update: U.S. ambassador criticized Karzai
December 3rd, 2010
06:46 AM ET

World update: U.S. ambassador criticized Karzai

An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Friday:

WikiLeaks latest - The latest WikiLeaks leaks are focused on the UK military’s role in Afghanistan and criticism levelled against it.  Cables from the U.S. ambassador in Kabul portray Afghan President Hamid Karzai as paranoid, with an "inability to grasp the most rudimentary principles of state-building."  Meanwhile, a U.S.-based domain name provider shut down WikiLeaks early Friday, but the controversial website announced hours later that it had employed a company in Switzerland and was back up. Read the full story

Ivory Coast election - The Army closed all borders in the Ivory Coast as a security precaution as the country waited Friday to get a resolution to its stalled presidential election. Read the full story

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Is Julian Assange in Britain?
December 2nd, 2010
01:49 PM ET

Is Julian Assange in Britain?

British police asked Swedish authorities Thursday for additional details not specified in an initial arrest warrant for Julian Assange, a possible indication that the whereabouts of the elusive founder of WikiLeaks are known.

The fact that British police are seeking more information probably means there is a procedural problem preventing them from arresting Assange, said an U.S. expert on extradition. The additional details could provide them with a valid warrant.

"They either know where he is or they have been watching him," said Douglas McNabb, a lawyer who specializes in federal criminal defense law and extradition cases. "There's some legal problem there."

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Filed under: Julian Assange • WikiLeaks
On the Radar: Assange and WikiLeaks, 'don't ask, don't tell,' World Cup hosts
December 2nd, 2010
09:59 AM ET

On the Radar: Assange and WikiLeaks, 'don't ask, don't tell,' World Cup hosts

WikiLeaks cables -The United States scrambled to contain the fallout from the slow-motion leak of cables from its embassies worldwide Wednesday as new documents showed American diplomats casting a jaundiced eye toward corruption's grip on Russia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally made "several dozen" calls to counterparts in other countries in an effort to mitigate the damage from WikiLeaks, a website that facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information, a senior State Department official said.

As we continue to dig into the story we take a look at the secret life of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whether leaks threaten to wreck banks, who's who in the cables, and a court's decision to refuse to hear Assange's appeal on an arrest warrant for suspicion of rape and sexual molestation.

When WikiLeaks first caused an international uproar this summer by publishing reams of classified U.S. intelligence, possibly stolen by a 23-year-old soldier using a CD and a memory stick, the Pentagon pledged to fix loopholes in its computer systems. CNN's Ashley Fantz will be taking a look at where we are in that process.

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December 1st, 2010
06:41 PM ET

Wednesday’s WikiLeaks developments


Here are Wednesday's developments relating to WikiLeaks' release this week of U.S. diplomatic cables:

The status of the site and its founder

- WikiLeaks says it has been "ousted" from server space rented from the U.S.-based internet retailer Amazon.com. U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said Amazon cut off WikiLeaks after inquiries from his aides, and his office called on any other company hosting WikiLeaks to follow suit. WikiLeaks.org wasn't accessible early Wednesday, but it appeared to be reactivated by Wednesday afternoon.

- While some U.S. politicians have called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face charges related to the leaks, U.S. authorities may be looking for just the right moment to try to detain him, and prosecutors may already have obtained a sealed arrest warrant for him, said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst. Assange is also wanted in Sweden on suspicion of rape and sexual molestation.

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WikiLeaks founder Assange suspected of sex crimes
November 30th, 2010
06:37 PM ET

WikiLeaks founder Assange suspected of sex crimes

Interpol has issued an international warrant at the request of a Swedish court for the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in connection with alleged sex crimes.

The Stockholm Criminal Court last week issued an international arrest warrant for Assange on probable cause, saying he is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force. Sweden asked Interpol to post a "Red Notice" after a judge approved a motion to bring him into custody.

The arrest warrant stems from allegations made against Assange, who is Australian, in August. In a November, Assange's lawyer said the sex-crime charges stem from consensual sexual relationships his client had with two women.

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Five takeaways from leaked documents on Iran
November 29th, 2010
09:35 PM ET

Five takeaways from leaked documents on Iran

Iran and the approaches that governments are taking with the Islamic Republic are major topics in some of the sensitive U.S. diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks this week. The documents deal with, among other things, Iran's ties with North Korea and Arab states' concerns about their Persian neighbor. Here are five key things to know about the Iran-related documents and the effects of their release.

IRAN-NORTH KOREA TIES

Whether North Korea has strengthened its ties with Iran and recently sold Iran its most powerful missiles depends on whether you believe U.S. intelligence or Russian intelligence.

In a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and dated February 2010, U.S. officials tell their Russian counterparts that North Korea has sold Iran 19 advanced missiles based on Russian design and capable of hitting targets in Western Europe.

The cable says the Russians dismiss the U.S. intelligence reports and call them unreliable.

"There is no evidence for this and concealment of such a transfer would be impossible," the cable quotes a Russian official as saying.

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Filed under: Iran • Iraq • Julian Assange • Saudi Arabia • WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks' growing impact
November 29th, 2010
01:35 PM ET

WikiLeaks' growing impact

With its sparse design, WikiLeaks doesn't look like it would stir incredible worldwide controversy. But that's what the whistleblower website has done since this summer, and most recently over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

On Sunday, WikiLeaks published part of what it says is a cache of more than a quarter-million U.S. diplomatic cables. The leak of this classified material could be embarrassing at best, some say. At worst, revelations in the cables "can damage national security" and "may put lives at risk."

The organization known as WikiLeaks has been defined many different ways. It has previously said it publishes and comments on leaked documents that allege government and corporate misconduct, and it is supported by private, confidential donors. The Wall Street Journal breaks down how the site keeps its funding secret.

Although WikiLeaks has been online since 2006, it attained megawatt international celebrity in July after what was then considered the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history - the release of 90,000 secret documents about the war in Afghanistan - appeared on the site.

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