Adrian Lamo, former hacker who turned in Chelsea Manning …

Enlarge / Lamo, left posing with fellow hacker friends Kevin Mitnick and Keven Poulsen circa 2001.

Adrian Lamo, the former hacker who reported Chelsea Manning to US authorities for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records, has died at the age of 37, according to a family Facebook post and a report from ZDNet, which cited two of Lamo’s family members and a county coroner.

“With great sadness and a broken heart I have to let know all of Adrian’s friends and acquittances that he is dead,” his father, Mario Lamo, wrote in a Facebook post. “A bright mind and compassionate soul is gone, he was my beloved son.”

It’s not yet known how Lamo died.

Lamo was best known for notifying the US Army and FBI in 2010 of online chats he had with Manning, who at the time was a US Army intelligence analyst who went by the name Bradley Manning. According to a Wired article that broke the news, Manning befriended Lamo online and soon trusted him with a highly sensitive secret: that Manning was the person who had recently leaked a classified video to Wikileaks of a deadly US Army helicopter attack in Iraq. The video, which showed several innocent civilians being killed, went viral almost immediately after Wikileaks posted it and fueled criticism about the US-led war in Iraq.

Over an extended online discussion, Manning went on to confess to what at the time was the biggest known theft of classified documents. As reported by Kim Zetter and Kevin Poulsen, who were Wired reporters at the time:

From the chat logs provided by Lamo, and examined by Wired.com, it appears Manning sensed a kindred spirit in the ex-hacker. He discussed personal issues that got him into trouble with his superiors and left him socially isolated and said he had been demoted and was headed for an early discharge from the Army.

When Manning told Lamo that he leaked a quarter-million classified embassy cables, Lamo contacted the Army and then met with Army CID investigators and the FBI at a Starbucks near his house in Carmichael, California, where he passed the agents a copy of the chat logs. At their second meeting with Lamo on May 27, FBI agents from the Oakland Field Office told the hacker that Manning had been arrested the day before in Iraq by Army CID investigators.

Lamo has contributed funds to Wikileaks in the past and says he agonized over the decision to expose Manninghe says he’s frequently contacted by hackers who want to talk about their adventures, and he has never considered reporting anyone before. The supposed diplomatic cable leak, however, made him believe Manning’s actions were genuinely dangerous to U.S. national security.

“I wouldn’t have done this if lives weren’t in danger,” says Lamo, who discussed the details with Wired.com following Manning’s arrest. “He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could and just throwing it up into the air.”

For the rest of his life, Lamo remained a figure who was reviled by most of Manning’s many supporters and admired by some people for reporting the leaker.

Lamo first made a name for himself in the 2000s with a string of hacks on the networks of Microsoft, Yahoo, and and other Internet companies. According to this Wired profile, Lamo would intrude into the company networks, commit mostly harmless pranks, and then notify the company officials and sometimes the press of his feats. He reportedly infected a New York Times network with a backdoor, which he then used to obtain home phone numbers of more than 3,000 of the paper’s op-ed contributors, including Vint Cerf, Warren Beatty, and Rush Limbaugh. During much of that time, Lamo lived out of a backpack and traveled the country on Greyhound busses and Amtrak trains. He often obtained his Internet access from university libraries and Kinko’s shops.

In 2004, Lamo pleaded guilty to federal charges that stemmed from the NYT hack. According to Poulsen, Lamo was sentenced to six months of house arrest at his parents’ home in Carmichael, California, followed by two years of probation. Poulsenwho is also a former hacker who was prosecuted by federal authorities and knew Lamo sociallywent on to report that, in later years, Lamo was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a mild form of autism that Poulsen said is sometimes known as “geek syndrome” because it “makes social interactions difficult and can lead to obsessive, highly focused behavior.”

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Adrian Lamo, former hacker who turned in Chelsea Manning …

Adrian Lamo – Wikipedia

Adrin LamoBornAdrin Alfonso Lamo Atwood(1981-02-20)February 20, 1981Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.DiedMarch 14, 2018(2018-03-14) (aged37)Wichita, Kansas, U.S.OthernamesAdrin Lamo, R. Adrin LamoOccupationThreat analyst, journalistYearsactive19992018EmployerProjectVIGILANTKnownforComputer hacking, reporting Chelsea Manning to the Army’s Criminal Investigation CommandNotable workAppeared on Hackers Wanted, We Steal Secrets, Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Aqui y Ahora, and other media outlets, including cover stories in Information Week and SF WeeklyTelevisionTechTV, KCRA Channel 3 NewsTitleAssistant Director for Threat IntelligenceOpponent(s)Julian AssangeCriminal penaltytwo years probation, with six months to be served in home detention, and ordered to pay $65,000 in restitution[1]Criminal statusIn 2004, pleaded guilty to one felony count in SDNY to hacking The New York Times and Microsoft, and subsequently informed them and helped fix their security holesSpouse(s)Lauren Fisher(m.2007; div.2011)Websiteabout.me/aal

Adrin Alfonso Lamo Atwood[2] (February 20, 1981 March 14, 2018) was an American threat analyst[3][4] and hacker.[5] Lamo first gained media attention for breaking into several high-profile computer networks, including those of The New York Times, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, culminating in his 2003 arrest.[6] Lamo was best known for reporting U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning to Army criminal investigators in 2010[7] for leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks.[8][9] Lamo died in March 2018 at the age of 37.

Adrian Lamo was born in Malden, Massachusetts[2] near Boston.[10] His father, Mario Ricardo Lamo, was Colombian.[11][12] Adrian Lamo attended high schools in Bogot and San Francisco,[2] from which he did not graduate,[13][14][15] but received a GED and was court-ordered to take courses at American River College,[16] a community college in Sacramento County, California.[17][18] Known as the “Homeless Hacker” for his reportedly transient lifestyle,[19] Lamo claimed that he spent much of his travels couch-surfing, squatting in abandoned buildings, and traveling to Internet cafs, libraries, and universities to investigate networks, sometimes exploiting security holes.[6] Despite performing authorized and unauthorized vulnerability assessments for several large, high-profile entities, Lamo claimed to have refused to accept payment for his services.[13]

Lamo first became known for operating AOL watchdog site Inside-AOL.com.[20][21]

In December 2001, Lamo was praised by Worldcom for helping to fortify their corporate security.[22] In February 2002, he broke into the internal computer network of The New York Times, added his name to the internal database of expert sources, and used the paper’s LexisNexis account to conduct research on high-profile subjects. The New York Times filed a complaint, and a warrant for Lamo’s arrest was issued in August 2003 following a 15-month investigation by federal prosecutors in New York. At 10:15 a.m. on September 9, after spending a few days in hiding, he surrendered to the US Marshals in Sacramento, California. He re-surrendered to the FBI in New York City on September 11, and pleaded guilty to one felony count of computer crimes against Microsoft, LexisNexis, and The New York Times on January 8, 2004.[23][24]

In July 2004, Lamo was sentenced to two years probation, with six months to be served in home detention, and ordered to pay $65,000 in restitution.[1] He was convicted of compromising security at The New York Times, Microsoft,[25][26] Yahoo!,[27] and WorldCom.[28]

When challenged for a response to allegations that he was glamorizing crime for the sake of publicity, his response was: “Anything I could say about my person or my actions would only cheapen what they have to say for themselves”. When approached for comment during his criminal case, Lamo frustrated reporters with non sequiturs, such as “Faith manages”[29] and “It’s a beautiful day.”[30]

At his sentencing, Lamo expressed remorse for harm he had caused by his intrusions. The court record quotes him as adding: “I want to answer for what I have done and do better with my life.”[31]

He subsequently declared on the question and answer site Quora that: “We all own our actions in fullness, not just the pleasant aspects of them.” Lamo accepted that he had committed mistakes.[32]

On May 9, 2006, while 18 months into a two-year probation sentence, Lamo refused to give the United States government a blood sample, which they had demanded in order to record his DNA in their CODIS system.[33] According to his attorney at the time Lamo had a religious objection to giving blood but was willing to give his DNA in another form. On June 15, 2007, lawyers for Lamo filed a motion citing the Book of Genesis as one basis for Lamo’s religious opposition to the giving of blood.

On June 20, 2007, Lamo’s legal counsel reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice whereby Lamo would submit a cheek swab in place of the blood sample.[34]

In February 2009, a partial list of the anonymous donors to the WikiLeaks not-for-profit website was leaked and published on the WikiLeaks website. Some media sources indicated at the time that Lamo was among the donors on the list.[35][36] Lamo commented on his Twitter page, “Thanks WikiLeaks, for leaking your donor list… That’s dedication.”[36]

In May 2010,[37] Lamo reported to U.S. Army authorities that Chelsea Manning claimed to have leaked a large body of classified documents, including 260,000 classified United States diplomatic cables.[38] Lamo stated that Manning also “took credit for leaking” the video footage of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike, which has since come to be known as the “Collateral Murder” video.[38][39][40]

Lamo stated that he would not have turned Manning in “if lives weren’t in danger… He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air.”[37] WikiLeaks responded by denouncing Lamo and Wired Magazine reporter Kevin Poulsen as “notorious felons, informers & manipulators”, and said: “journalists should take care.”[38]

According to Andy Greenberg of Forbes,[41] Lamo was a volunteer “adversary characterization” analyst for Project Vigilant, a Florida-based semi-secret government contractor, which encouraged him to inform the government about the alleged WikiLeaks source. The head of Project Vigilant, Chet Uber, claimed, “I’m the one who called the U.S. government… All the people who say that Adrian is a narc, he did a patriotic thing. He sees all kinds of hacks, and he was seriously worried about people dying.”[41]

Lamo was criticized by fellow hackers, such as those at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference in 2010, who labeled him a “snitch”.[42] Another commented to Lamo, following his speech during a panel discussion, saying: “From my perspective, I see what you have done as treason.”[43]

In April 2011, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called Lamo “a very disreputable character”, and said it was not right to call him a financial contributor to WikiLeaks, since Lamo’s monetary support amounted to only US$20 on one occasion. Assange said it was “mischievous to suggest the individual has anything to do with WikiLeaks.”[44]

Lamo characterized his decision to work with the government as morally ambiguous, but objectively necessary, writing in The Guardian: “There were no right choices that day, only less wrong ones. It was cold, it was needful, and it was no one’s to make except mine,” adding to The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington: “There were hundreds of thousands of documents let’s drop the number to 250,000 to be conservative and doing nothing meant gambling that each and every one would do no harm if no warning was given.”[45][46]

The Taliban insurgency later announced its intention to execute Afghan nationals named in the leaks as having cooperated with the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. By that time, the United States had received months of advance warning that their names were among the leaks.[47] Manning was arrested and incarcerated in the U.S. military justice system and later sentenced to 35 years in confinement, which President Barack Obama commuted to a total of seven years at the end of his term,[48] including time served.[49][50] Lamo responded to the commutation with a single post on Medium[51] and an interview with U.S. News & World Report.[52]

Lamo’s role in the Manning case drew criticism from Glenn Greenwald of Salon. Greenwald suggested that Lamo lied to Manning by turning Manning in, and then lied after the fact to cover up the circumstances of Manning’s confessions.[53] Greenwald places the incident in the context of what he calls “the Obama administration’s unprecedented war on whistle-blowers”.[53] Greenwald’s critique of Wired has drawn a response from that magazine which suggests that Greenwald is writing disingenuously: “At his most reasonable, Greenwald impugns our motives, attacks the character of our staff and carefully selects his facts and sources to misrepresent the truth and generate outrage in his readership.”[54] In an article about the Manning case, Greenwald mentions Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen’s 1994 felony conviction for computer hacking, suggesting that “over the years, Poulsen has served more or less as Lamo’s personal media voice.”[53] Greenwald is skeptical of an earlier story written by Poulsen about Lamo’s institutionalization on psychiatric grounds, writing: “Lamo claimed he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a somewhat fashionable autism diagnosis which many stars in the computer world have also claimed.”[53] In an article entitled “The Worsening Journalistic Disgrace at Wired”, Greenwald claimed that Wired was “actively conceal[ing] from the public, for months on end, the key evidence in a political story that has generated headlines around the world.”[55]

On July 13, 2011, Wired published the logs in full, stating: “The most significant of the unpublished details have now been publicly established with sufficient authority that we no longer believe any purpose is served by withholding the logs.”[56] Greenwald wrote of the newly released logs that in his opinion they validated his claim that Wired had concealed important evidence.[57]

Lamo had been critical of media coverage of the hacker collective Anonymous, saying that media outlets have over-hyped and mythologized the group.[58] He also said that Anonymous is not the “invulnerable” group it is claimed to be, and he can see “no rational point in what they’re doing.”[58]

On August 22, 2002, Lamo was removed from a segment of NBC Nightly News when, after being asked to demonstrate his skills for the camera, he gained access to NBC’s internal network.[59] NBC was concerned that they broke the law by taping Lamo while he (possibly) broke the law. Lamo was a guest on The Screen Savers five times beginning in 2002.[60]

Hackers Wanted, a documentary film focusing on Lamo’s life as a hacker, was produced by Trigger Street Productions, and narrated by Kevin Spacey.[61] Focusing on the 2003 hacking scene, the film features interviews with Kevin Rose and Steve Wozniak.[61] The film has not been conventionally released. In May 2009, a video purporting to be a trailer for Hackers Wanted was allegedly leaked to or by the Internet film site Eye Crave.[62] In May 2010, an earlier cut of the film was leaked via BitTorrent.[63] According to an insider, what was leaked on the Internet was a very different film from the newer version, which includes additional footage. On June 12, 2010, a director’s cut version of the film was also leaked onto torrent sites.[64]

Lamo also appeared on Good Morning America, Fox News, Democracy Now!, Frontline, and repeatedly on KCRA-TV News as an expert on netcentric crime and incidents. He was interviewed for the documentaries We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks and True Stories: WikiLeaks Secrets and Lies.[65][66]Lamo reconnected with Leo Laporte in 2015 as a result of a Quora article on the “dark web” for an episode of The New Screen Savers.[67]

Lamo wrote the book Ask Adrian, a collection of his best Q&A drawn from over 500 pages of Quora answers, which have so far received nearly 30,000,000 views.[68]

In the mid-1990s, Lamo volunteered for the gay and lesbian media firm PlanetOut Inc.[13][69] In 1998, Lamo was appointed to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth Task Force by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.[70] In 1999, Lamo was ordained a minister in the Universal Life Church.[71] In 2001, he overdosed on prescription amphetamines.[10][72]

In a 2004 interview with Wired, an ex-girlfriend of Lamo’s described him as “very controlling”, alleging “he carried a stun gun, which he used on me”. The same article claimed a court had issued a restraining order against Lamo;[72] he disputed the claim, writing: “I have never been subject to a restraining order in my life”.[73]

Lamo said in a Wired article that, in May 2010, after he reported the theft of his backpack, an investigating officer noted unusual behavior and placed him under a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold, which was extended to a nine-day hold. Lamo said he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the psychiatric ward.[74]

For a period of time in March 2011, Lamo was allegedly “in hiding”, claiming that his “life was under threat” after turning in Manning.[75] During this time, he struggled with substance abuse but later claimed that he was in recovery and that his security situation had improved.[76]

Lamo died on March 14, 2018, in Wichita, Kansas, at the age of 37.[77][78][79] Nearly three months later, the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center reported that “Despite a complete autopsy and supplemental testing, no definitive cause of death was identified.”[80][81]

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Adrian Lamo – Wikipedia

The Colorado Springs Open Source Software Meetup Group …

AGENDA5:30 – 6:00 PM – Food, Drinks & Networking6:00 – 6:05 PM – Announcements6:05 – 8:00 PM – Speaker8:00 – 8:10 PM – Door Prize DrawingsTOPIC ABSTRACTFrom Zero to Continuous Delivery – Concepts, Culture and OverviewContinuous delivery is not a pipe-dream technology, reserved only for the cool kids at hip tech startups. Although it’s not easy, many concepts are within reach of most teams. That being said, it require more than simple technology changes. Attend this session to learn the fundamental concepts of CD, how to build your CD pipeline with Gradle and Jenkins, and recommendations on tools and best practices.No prior knowledge is assumed and this talk will start from first principles.Part one begins with a detailed overview of what CD is (and isn’t) and how to build a business case for CD. Making both the technical case and business case for CD is vital as it’s necessary to get the entire organization on board with the changes required.Part two is a deeper dive into building a continuous delivery pipeline with Gradle and Jenkins (although the broader concepts can be applied to the tooling of your choice) You’ll see how easily Gradle integrates with Java and how to leverage configuration management and gradle plugins to build all of your quality gates.SPEAKER BIOGRAPHYMichael CarducciFor nearly 20 years, Michael was a software engineer moonlighting as a magician. Now he’s a magician moonlighting as a software engineer. In both endeavors he has dedicated himself to mastery and has gained deep insights both from his eclectic interests, entrepreneurial spirit, and experience that spans the full stack, the entire project lifecycle, and several technologies,His time is equally divided between performing around the world, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, and building software that doesn’t suck.OUR SPONSORSWebsite Sponsor: HSC Careers (http://hsccareers.com)Food Sponsor: Polaris Alpha (http://www.polarisalpha.com)Venue Sponsor: Polaris Alpha (http://www.polarisalpha.com)Door Prize Sponsors: Jetbrains (http://www.jetbrains.com) – Software license (Several products to choose from)Book Sponsor: OReilly Publishing (http://www.oreilly.com) – Technical e-books

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The Colorado Springs Open Source Software Meetup Group …

Edward Snowden Biography – Biography

Edward Snowdenduring an interview in Hong Kong in 2013. (Photo by The Guardian via Getty Images)

One of the people Snowden left behind when he moved to Hong Kong to leak secret NSA files was his girlfriend Lindsay Mills. The pair had been living together in Hawaii, and she reportedly had no idea that he was about to disclose classified information to the public.

Mills graduated from Laurel High School in Maryland in 2003 and the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007. She began her career as a pole-dancing performance artist while living in Hawaii with Snowden.

In January 2015, Mills joined the Citizenfour documentary team onstage for their Oscars acceptance speech.

As of September 2017, Edward Snowden was still living in Moscow, Russia. However in February 2016 he said that hed return to the U.S. in exchange for a fair trial. In February 2017, NBC News reported that the Russian government was considering handing him over to the U.S. to curry favor with President Donald Trump, although Snowden remains in Russia.

In 2014, Snowden was featured in Laura Poitras’ highly acclaimed documentary Citizenfour. The director had recorded her meetings with Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. The film went on to win an Academy Award in 2015. “When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret, we lose the power to control and govern ourselves,” said Poitras during her acceptance speech.

In September 2016, director Oliver Stone released a biopic, Snowden, with Edward Snowden’s cooperation. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead role and Shailene Woodley playing girlfriend Lindsay Mills.

Edward Snowden was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on June 21, 1983. His mother works for the federal court in Baltimore (the family moved to Maryland during Snowden’s youth) as chief deputy clerk for administration and information technology. Snowden’s father, a former Coast Guard officer, later relocated to Pennsylvania and remarried.

Edward Snowden dropped out of high school and studied computers at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland (from 1999 to 2001, and again from 2004 to 2005).

Between his stints at community college, Snowden spent four months from May to September 2004 in special-forces training in the Army Reserves, but he did not complete his training. Snowden told The Guardian that he was discharged from the Army after he broke both his legs in a training accident. However, an unclassified report published on September 15, 2016 by the House Intelligence Committee refuted his claim, stating: He claimed to have left Army basic training because of broken legs when in fact he washed out because of shin splints.

Snowden eventually landed a job as a security guard at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language. The institution had ties to the National Security Agency, and, by 2006, Snowden had taken an information-technology job at the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 2009, after being suspected of trying to break into classified files, he left to work for private contractors, among them Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, a tech consulting firm. While at Dell, he worked as a subcontractor in an NSA office in Japan before being transferred to an office in Hawaii. After a short time, he moved from Dell to Booz Allen, another NSA subcontractor, and remained with the company for only three months.

During his years of IT work, Snowden had noticed the far reach of the NSA’s everyday surveillance. While working for Booz Allen, Snowden began copying top-secret NSA documents, building a dossier on practices that he found invasive and disturbing. The documents contained vast information on the NSA’s domestic surveillance practices.

After he had compiled a large store of documents, Snowden told his NSA supervisor that he needed a leave of absence for medical reasons, stating he had been diagnosed with epilepsy. On May 20, 2013, Snowden took a flight to Hong Kong, China, where he remained as he orchestrated a clandestine meeting with journalists from the U.K. publication The Guardian as well as filmmaker Laura Poitras.

On June 5, The Guardian released secret documents obtained from Snowden. In these documents, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court implemented an order that required Verizon to release information to the NSA on an “ongoing, daily basis” culled from its American customers’ phone activities.

The following day, The Guardian and The Washington Post released Snowden’s leaked information on PRISM, an NSA program that allows real-time information collection electronically. A flood of information followed, and both domestic and international debate ensued.

“I’m willing to sacrifice [my former life] because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building,” Snowden said in interviews given from his Hong Kong hotel room.

The fallout from his disclosures continued to unfold over the next months, including a legal battle over the collection of phone data by the NSA. President Obama sought to calm fears over government spying in January 2014, ordering U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to review the country’s surveillance programs.

The U.S. government soon responded to Snowden’s disclosures legally. On June 14, 2013, federal prosecutors charged Snowden with “theft of government Property,” “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.”

The last two charges fall under the Espionage Act. Before President Barack Obama took office, the act had only been used for prosecutorial purposes three times since 1917. Since President Obama took office, the act had been invoked seven times as of June 2013.

While some decried Snowden as a traitor, others supported his cause. More than 100,000 people signed an online petition asking President Obama to pardon Snowden by late June 2013.

Snowden remained in hiding for slightly more than a month. He initially planned to relocate to Ecuador for asylum, but, upon making a stopover, he became stranded in a Russian airport for a month when his passport was annulled by the American government. The Russian government denied U.S. requests to extradite Snowden.

In July 2013, Snowden made headlines again when it was announced that he had been offered asylum in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. Snowden soon made up his mind, expressing an interest in staying in Russia. One of his lawyers, Anatoly Kucherena, stated that Snowden would seek temporary asylum in Russia and possibly apply for citizenship later. Snowden thanked Russia for giving him asylum and said that “in the end the law is winning.”

That October, Snowden stated that he no longer possessed any of the NSA files that he leaked to the press. He gave the materials to the journalists he met with in Hong Kong, but he didn’t keep copies for himself. Snowden explained that “it wouldn’t serve the public interest” for him to have brought the files to Russia, according to The New York Times. Around this time, Snowden’s father, Lon, visited his son in Moscow and continued to publicly express support.

In November 2013, Snowden’s request to the U.S. government for clemency was rejected.

In exile, Snowden remained a polarizing figure who has remained outspoken about government surveillance. He made an appearance at the popular South by Southwest festival via teleconference in March 2014. Around this time, the U.S. military revealed that the information Snowden leaked may have caused billions of dollars in damage to its security structures.

In May 2014, Snowden gave a revealing interview with NBC News. He told Brian Williams that he was a trained spy who worked undercover as an operative for the CIA and NSA, an assertion denied by National Security Adviser Susan Rice in a CNN interview. Snowden explained that he viewed himself as a patriot, believing his actions had beneficial results. He stated that his leaking of information led to “a robust public debate” and “new protections in the United States and abroad for our rights to make sure they’re no longer violated.” He also expressed an interest in returning home to America.

Snowden appeared with Poitras and Greenwald via video-conference in February 2015. Earlier that month, Snowden spoke with students at Upper Canada College via video-conference. He told them that “the problem with mass surveillance is when you collect everything, you understand nothing.” He also stated that government spying “fundamentally changes the balance of power between the citizen and the state.”

On September 29, 2015, Snowden joined the social media platform Twitter, tweeting “Can you hear me now?” He had almost two million followers in a little over 24 hours.

Just a few days later, Snowden spoke to the New Hampshire Liberty Forum via Skype and stated he would be willing to return to the U.S. if the government could guarantee a fair trial.

On September 13, 2016, Snowden said in an interview with The Guardian that he would seek a pardon from President Obama. Yes, there are laws on the books that say one thing, but that is perhaps why the pardon power exists for the exceptions, for the things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page but when we look at them morally, when we look at them ethically, when we look at the results, it seems these were necessary things, these were vital things, he said in the interview.

The next day various human rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International launched a campaign requesting that Obama pardon Snowden.

Appearing via a telepresence robot, Snowden expressed gratitude for the support. “I love my country. I love my family,” he said. “I don’t know where we’re going from here. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like. But I’m glad for the decisions I’ve made. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined, three years ago, such an outpouring of solidarity.”

He also emphasized that his case resonates beyond him. “This really isnt about me,” he said. “Its about us. Its about our right to dissent. Its about the kind of country we want to have.”

A day later, on September 15th, the House Intelligence Committee released a three-page unclassified summary of a report about its two-year investigation into Snowdens case. In the summary, Snowden was characterized as a disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers, a serial exaggerator and fabricator and not a whistle-blower.

Snowden caused tremendous damage to national security, and the vast majority of the documents he stole have nothing to do with programs impacting individual privacy interests they instead pertain to military, defense and intelligence programs of great interest to Americas adversaries, the summary of the report stated.

Members of the committee also unanimously signed a letter to President Obama asking him not to pardon Snowden. We urge you not to pardon Edward Snowden, who perpetrated the largest and most damaging public disclosure of classified information in our nations history, the letter stated. If Mr. Snowden returns from Russia, where he fled in 2013, the U.S. government must hold him accountable for his actions.

Snowden responded on Twitter saying: “Their report is so artlessly distorted that it would be amusing if it weren’t such a serious act of bad faith.” He followed with a series of tweets refuting the committee’s claims and said: “I could go on. Bottom line: after ‘two years of investigation,’ the American people deserve better. This report diminishes the committee.”

Snowden also tweeted that the release of the committee’s summary was an effort to discourage people from watching the biopic Snowden, which was released in the United States on September 16, 2016.

In April 2014, well before becoming president, Donald Trump tweeted that Edward Snowden should be executed for the damage his leaks had caused to the U.S.

Following President Trumps election, in November 2016, Snowden told viewers of a teleconference in Sweden that he wasnt worried about the government increasing efforts to arrest him.

I dont care. The reality here is that yes, Donald Trump has appointed a new director of the Central Intelligence Agency who uses me as a specific example to say that, look, dissidents should be put to death. But if I get hit by a bus, or a drone, or dropped off an airplane tomorrow, you know what? It doesnt actually matter that much to me, because I believe in the decisions that Ive already made, Snowden said.

In an open letter from May 2017, Snowden joined 600 activists urging President Trump to drop an investigation and any potential charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for his role in classified intelligence leaks.

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Edward Snowden Biography – Biography

Using Encryption and Authentication Correctly (for PHP …

“Encryption is not authentication” is common wisdom among cryptography experts, but it is only rarely whispered among developers whom aren’t also cryptography experts. This is unfortunate; a lot of design mistakes could be avoided if this information were more widely known and deeply understood. (These mistakes are painfully common in home-grown PHP cryptography classes and functions, as many of the posts on Crypto Fails demonstrates.)

The concept itself is not difficult, but there is a rich supply of detail and nuance to be found beneath the surface.

Encryption is the process of rendering a message such that it becomes unreadable without possessing the correct key. In the simple case of symmetric cryptography, the same key is used for encryption as is used for decryption. In asymmetric cryptography, it is possible to encrypt a message with a user’s public key such that only possessing their private key can read it. Our white paper on PHP cryptography covers anonymous public-key encryption.

Authentication is the process of rendering a message tamper-resistant (typically within a certain very low probability, typically less than 1 divided by the number of particles in the known universe) while also proving it originated from the expected sender.

Note: When we say authenticity, we mean specifically message authenticity, not identity authenticity. That is a PKI and key management problem, which we may address in a future blog post.

In respect to the CIA triad: Encryption provides confidentiality. Authentication provides integrity.

Encryption does not provide integrity; a tampered message can (usually) still decrypt, but the result will usually be garbage. Encryption alone also does not inhibit malicious third parties from sending encrypted messages.

Authentication does not provide confidentiality; it is possible to provide tamper-resistance to a plaintext message.

A common mistake among programmers is to confuse the two. It is not uncommon to find a PHP library or framework that encrypts cookie data and then trusts it wholesale after merely decrypting it.

Message encryption without message authentication is a bad idea. Cryptography expert Moxie Marlinspike wrote about why message authentication matters (as well as the correct order of operations) in what he dubbed, The Cryptographic Doom Principle.

We previously defined encryption and specified that it provides confidentiality but not integrity or authenticity. You can tamper with an encrypted message and give the recipient garbage. But what if you could use this garbage-generating mechanism to bypass a security control? Consider the case of encrypted cookies.

The above code provides AES encryption in Cipher-Block-Chaining mode. If you pass a 32-byte string for $key, you can even claim to provide 256-bit AES encryption for your cookies and people might be misled into believing it’s secure.

Let’s say that, after logging into this application, you see that you receive a session cookie that looks like kHv9PAlStPZaZJHIYXzyCnuAhWdRRK7H0cNVUCwzCZ4M8fxH79xIIIbznxmiOxGQ7td8LwTzHFgwBmbqWuB+sQ==.

Let’s change a byte in the first block (the initialization vector) and iteratively sending our new cookie until something changes. It should take a total of 4096 HTTP requests to attempt all possible one-byte changes to the IV. In our example above, after 2405 requests, we get a string that looks like this: kHv9PAlStPZaZZHIYXzyCnuAhWdRRK7H0cNVUCwzCZ4M8fxH79xIIIbznxmiOxGQ7td8LwTzHFgwBmbqWuB+sQ==

For comparison, only one character differs in the base64-encoded cookie (kHv9PAlStPZaZJ vs kHv9PAlStPZaZZ):

The original data we stored in this cookie was an array that looked like this:

But after merely altering a single byte in the initialization vector, we were able to rewrite our message to read:

Depending on how the underlying app is set up, you might be able to flip one bit and become and administrator. Even though your cookies are encrypted.

If you would like to reproduce our results, our encryption key was 000102030405060708090a0b0c0d0e0f (convert from hexadecimal to raw binary).

As stated above, authentication aims to provide both integrity (by which we mean significant tamper-resistance) to a message, while proving that it came from the expected source (authenticity). The typical way this is done is to calculate a keyed-Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC for short) for the message and concatenate it with the message.

It is important that an appropriate cryptographic tool such as HMAC is used here and not just a simple hash function.

These two functions are prefixed with unsafe because they are vulnerable to a number of flaws:

To authenticate a message, you always want some sort of keyed Message Authentication Code rather than just a hash with a key.

Using a hash without a key is even worse. While a hash function can provide simple message integrity, any attacker can calculate a simple checksum or non-keyed hash of their forged message. Well-designed MACs require the attacker to know the authentication key to forge a message.

Simple integrity without authenticity (e.g. a checksum or a simple unkeyed hash) is insufficient for providing secure communications.

In cryptography, if a message is not authenticated, it offers no integrity guarantees either. Message Authentication gives you Message Integrity for free.

The only surefire way to prevent bit-rewriting attacks is to make sure that, after encrypting your information, you authenticate the encrypted message. This detail is very important! Encrypt then authenticate. Verify before decryption.

Let’s revisit our encrypted cookie example, but make it a little safer. Let’s also switch to CTR mode, in accordance with industry recommended best practices. Note that the encryption key and authentication key are different.

Now we’re a little closer to our goal of robust symmetric authenticated encryption. There are still a few more questions left to answer, such as:

Fortunately, these questions are already answered in existing cryptography libraries. We highly recommend using an existing library instead of writing your own encryption features. For PHP developers, you should use defuse/php-encryption (or libsodium if it’s available for you). If you still believe you should write your own, consider using openssl, not mcrypt.

Note: There is a narrow band of use-cases where authenticated encryption is either impractical (e.g. software-driven full disk encryption) or unnecessary (i.e. the data is never sent over the network, even by folder synchronization services such as Dropbox). If you suspect your problems or goals permit unauthenticated ciphertext, consult a professional cryptographer, because this is not a typical use-case.

If you wish to implement encrypted cookies in one of your projects, check out Halite. It has a cookie class dedicated to this use case.

If you want to reinvent this wheel yourself, you can always do something like this:

For developers without access to libsodium (i.e. you aren’t allowed to install PHP extensions through PECL in production), one of our blog readers offered an example secure cookie implementation that uses defuse/php-encryption (the PHP library we recommend).

In our previous examples, we focused on building the encryption and authentication as separate components that must be used with care to avoid cryptographic doom. Specifically, we focused on AES in Cipher Block-Chaining mode (and more recently in Counter mode).

However, cryptographers have developed newer, more resilient modes of encryption that encrypt and authenticate a message in the same operation. These modes are called AEAD modes (Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data). Associated Data means whatever your application needs to authenticate, but not to encrypt.

AEAD modes are typically intended for stateful purposes, e.g. network communications where a nonce can be managed easily.

Two reliable implementations of AEAD are AES-GCM and ChaCha20-Poly1305.

In a few years, we anticipate the CAESAR competition will produce a next-generation authenticated encryption mode that we can recommend over these two.

And most importantly: Use a library with a proven record of resilience under the scrutiny of cryptography experts rather than hacking something together on your own. You’ll be much better off for it.

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Using Encryption and Authentication Correctly (for PHP …

Bradley Manning Treatment Ruling – On The Matter Of …

A military judge named Colonel Denise Lind handed down a ruling yesterday in the case of Bradley Manning, the Army private who’s facing life in prison this March for having delivered various secret documents to WikiLeaks. It was the opinion of Colonel Lind that the United States government had imposed upon the imprisoned soldier a regime of incarceration that was “more rigorous than necessary,” and, further, that some of Manning’s treatment while in the brig, “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests.” For example:

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Manning was kept alone in a windowless 6-by-8-foot cell for 23 hours a day and forced while on suicide watch to sleep in only a “suicide smock,” which military officials said was standard procedure when inmates are believed to pose a risk to their own safety. In March 2011, after eight months of confinement, Manning had quipped sarcastically that he could kill himself with the elastic of his underwear if he wanted to. Manning, 25, has acknowledged contemplating suicide shortly after his arrest but said that he tried to convince guards for month that he was not a threat to himself or anyone else. At Quantico, he was monitored 24 hours a day, at times growing so bored and starved for companionship that he danced in his cell and played peekaboo with guards and with his image in the mirror – activity his defense attorney attributed to “being treated as a zoo animal.”

And then, alas, Colonel Lind took something of a dive. She ruled that, based on this treatment, Manning’s eventual sentence would be reduced by 112 days which would be cold comfort if Manning were to get socked for a couple of decades in the slam and she also ruled, spectacularly, that:

Flynn had acted appropriately to ensure that the brig staff followed procedures correctly and that they took the “high ground”. She found that there had been no intention to punish the inmate on the part of the brig staff or the chain of command, who were motivated purely by a desire to ensure that the soldier did not harm himself and that he would be available to stand trial.

This case is a mess, legally, ethically, morally and every other way. We are to believe through this ruling that Manning was treated more rigorously than was necessary and that his treatment was more excessive that legitimate government interests demanded, but that nobody in authority ordered it, nobody in authority countenanced it, and that nobody in authority will be called to account for it. It just happened, like a power outage, or a problem with the plumbing and, if there was somebody ordering it, or countenancing it, or in authority over it, it was all for Manning’s good, anyway. Both things cannot be true. If Manning’s treatment was more rigorous than was necessary and that it exceeded what was required to meet legitimate government interests, then it cannot have been done for Manning’s benefit, and somebody ordered the excesses and somebody countenanced them and somebody carried them out.

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We do not have to be children here. Bradley Manning could have been confined in conventional imprisonment and brought to a simple trial. The only reason to drag this case out, and to engage in the conduct that Colonel Lind described, was to coerce him into implicating other people. Nothing else makes any possible sense. We are not required to disengage our brains in cases like this. We are repeatedly encouraged to do so, however.

We have lost control of our criminal justice system in cases like this. Due process has become so malleable as to lose its internal logic. Between the seemingly endless echoes of the 9/11 attacks through the law, and the improvisational gymnastics the government has undertaken to do what it wants to do anyway, the country’s most fundamental principles have become lost. And yet, we keep trying to gussy up our authoritarian impulses in the robes of the law, to make marble tributes to our undying virtues out of our spontaneous terror that the rule of law is the source of our most dangerous weakness. This is not sustainable. We must be one or the other.

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Bradley Manning is only one person caught in this dim, twilight democracy. Entire legal institutions are beginning to fade into it as well. The invaluable Charlie Savage of The New York Times explored the darkening terrain whereon government lawyers are beginning to discover that the illegitimacy of the prison at Guantanamo Bay may have made it impossible to conduct legitimate trials of some of the last people still held there.

The two defendants were found guilty in 2008 by a tribunal on charges – including “material support for terrorism” – that the Justice Department concedes were not recognized international war crimes at the time of their actions. In October, an appeals court rejected the government’s argument that such charges were valid in American law and vacated the “material support” verdict against one of the men, a former driver for Osama bin Laden. Administration officials are now wrestling with whether to abandon the guilty verdict against the other detainee, a Qaeda facilitator and maker of propaganda videos. He was convicted of both “material support” and “conspiracy,” another charge the Justice Department has agreed is not part of the international laws of war, and his case is pending before a different panel of the same appeals court…Robert Chesney, a law professor at University of Texas at Austin who specializes in the law of war, said the most important part of the debate involved cases where the evidence shows a person joined or supported Al Qaeda but was not linked to a particular attack. The dispute brings to a head a long-building controversy over the ability of military commissions to match civilian courts on this issue, he said. “In the civilian court system we have powerful tools for charging people in preventative circumstances who are not directly linked to an attack, and they are the charges of conspiracy and material support,” Professor Chesney said.

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We can try people for terrorism in civilian courts. We have done that, and we have done it well. All of our clever improvisations have brought us face to face with legal and ethical failure, in the case of Bradley Manning and in the case of the Gitmo prosecutions, and generally everywhere else we have tried to get out from under the commitments we have made to each other by submitting ourselves to the Constitution. We stopped trusting it, and then we stopped trusting each other, and look where that’s gotten us. We look like fools, and worse.

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Bradley Manning Treatment Ruling – On The Matter Of …

Bradley Manning trial: 10 revelations from Wikileaks …

Bradley Manning trial: 10 revelations from Wikileaks documents on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Europe. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, is escorted as he leaves a military court at Fort Meade, Md., on Monday.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In 2010, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was detained in Iraq on suspicion of passing classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks. On Monday, after more than three years in military jail, his trial finally began at Fort Meade, Md.

Ryan Gallagher is a journalist who reports on surveillance, security, and civil liberties.

The 25-year-old intelligence analyst admitted earlier this year to passing documents to the whistle-blowing website, though he denies the charge of aiding the enemy, an offense that carries a life sentence or the death penalty. Manning said at a pretrial hearing in February that he leaked information, including diplomatic cables and U.S. military war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, in order to spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy.

Below is a list of 10 revelations disclosed by Mannings leaked documents that offer insight into the breadth and scope of what he revealed, help explain his motivation for leaking, and provide context for the ongoing trial. The list, in no particular order, is far from comprehensive but encompasses some of the most significant information brought to light by the leaked documents.

Although Mannings disclosures totaled some 720,000 recordsthe largest security breach in U.S. historythe leak still amounted to less than 1 percent of the almost 77 million documents reportedly classified by U.S. government agencies in 2010. The soldiers actions are at the center of an ongoing debate about a spike in extreme state secrecy in the U.S. since Sept. 11an issue regularly covered here on Future Tensethat has resulted in several aggressive leak investigations and surveillance of journalists. During the first day of Mannings trial, the government accused the soldier of indirectly assisting al-Qaida and leaking the information to gain the notoriety he craved. Mannings defense attorney described him as young, naive, but good intentioned, passing documents to WikiLeaks in a bid to make the world a better place.

Mannings trial is expected to last through the summer.

Future Tenseis a partnership ofSlate,New America, andArizona State University.

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Bradley Manning trial: 10 revelations from Wikileaks …

Bradley Manning apologizes for hurting U.S. on witness …

Updated at 11:14 p.m. ET

FORT MEADE, Md. Pfc. Bradley Manning took the stand Wednesday at his sentencing hearing in the WikiLeaks case and apologized for hurting his country, pleading with a military judge for a chance to go to college and become a productive citizen.

He addressed the court on a day of often emotional testimony from family members about his troubled childhood and from a psychologist who said Manning felt extreme mental pressure in the “hyper-masculine” military because of his gender-identity disorder his feeling that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body.

“I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States,” he said as he began.

The soldier said that he understood what he was doing but that he did not believe at the time that leaking a mountain of classified information to the anti-secrecy website would cause harm to the U.S.

Though he often showed little reaction to court proceedings during most of the two and a half month court-martial, Manning appeared to struggle to contain his emotions several times Wednesday during testimony from his sister, an aunt and two mental health counselors, one who treated him and another who diagnosed him with several problems.

Manning, 25, could be sentenced to 90 years in prison for the leaks, which occurred while he was working as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010. The judge will impose the sentence, though exactly when is unclear. The next session, for any prosecution rebuttal testimony, is set for Friday.

Speaking quickly but deliberately, Manning took only a few minutes to make his statement Wednesday. He appeared to be reading it from papers he was holding and looked up a number of times to make eye contact with the judge. It was an unsworn statement, meaning he could not be cross-examined by prosecutors.

He said he realizes now that he should have worked more aggressively “inside the system” to draw attention to his concerns about the way the war was being waged. He said he wants to get a college degree, and he asked for a chance to become a more productive member of society.

His conciliatory tone was at odds with the statement he gave in court in February, when he condemned the actions of U.S. soldiers overseas and what he called the military’s “bloodlust.”

Defense attorney David Coombs told Manning supporters that Manning’s heart was in the right place.

“His one goal was to make this world a better place,” Coombs said.

Manning’s apology could carry substantial weight with the military judge, said Eugene Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale.

“He faces extraordinarily long confinement and if he is coming across subjectively as contrite, I think that may do him some real good with the sentencing,” Fidell said.

Manning’s attorneys contend he showed clear signs of deteriorating mental health before and during his deployment that should have prevented commanders from sending him to a war zone to handle classified information.

Manning eventually came out to Capt. Michael Worsley, emailing the clinical psychologist a photo of himself in a long, blond wig and lipstick. The photo was attached to a letter titled “My problem,” in which Manning described his internal struggle and said he had hoped that a military career would “get rid of it.”

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a picture wearing a wig and lipstick in this undated picture provided by the U.S. Army.

AP Photo/U.S. Army

Worsley testified Wednesday that the soldier was struggling under extreme conditions.

“You put him in that kind of hyper-masculine environment, if you will, with little support and few coping skills, the pressure would have been difficult to say the least,” Worsley said.

Worsley’s testimony portrayed some military leaders as lax at best and obstructionist at worst when it came to tending to soldiers with mental health problems.

“I questioned why they would want to leave somebody in a position with the issue they had,” Worsley said.

Navy Capt. David Moulton, a psychiatrist who spent 21 hours interviewing Manning at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after his arrest, testified as a defense witness that Manning’s gender identity disorder, combined with narcissistic personality traits, idealism and his lack of friends in Iraq, caused him to conclude he could change the world by leaking classified information.

He said Manning was struggling to balance his desire to right wrongs with his sense of duty to complete his Army tasks and his fear of losing his GI benefits and the opportunity to attend college.

“His decision-making capacity was influenced by the stress of his situation for sure,” Moulton said.

Moulton also reported for the first time in open court that Manning has symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome and Asperger syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder.

Also Wednesday, Manning’s sister Casey Major, 36, testified that they grew up with two alcoholic parents in a rural home outside Crescent, Okla. She said their mother attempted suicide with a Valium overdose after Brian Manning left his wife when Bradley Manning was 12.

After looking tearfully at a series of childhood photographs presented by defense attorney David Coombs, Major said Manning has matured since his arrest.

“I just hope he can be who he wants to be. I hope he can be happy,” she said. After the court went into recess, Manning went to his sister, hugged her and said something while touching his right hand to his heart.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the only currency the military will take is Manning’s humiliation, and he believed the apology was forced.

“Mr. Manning’s apology is a statement extorted from him under the overbearing weight of the United States military justice system. It took three years and millions of dollars to extract two minutes of tactical remorse from this brave soldier,” Assange said in a statement.

At least 46 international journalists and 78 spectators were in attendance. Many spectators wore black “Truth” T-shirts.

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Bradley Manning apologizes for hurting U.S. on witness …

WikiLeaks replaces Julian Assange as its editor-in-chief …

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses the media from the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London in 2017.

Julian Assange, who has served as WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief since he founded the document-leaking site in 2006, has been replaced as the site’s top editor.

WikiLeaks, in a tweet announcing the appointment of a new editor, cited the organization’s inability to communicate with Assange for the past six months as the reason behind the move. Kristinn Hrafnsson, a journalist from Iceland, will become the site’s new top editor, but Assange will remain its publisher, WikiLeaks said Wednesday.

Assange has been holed up in a small room in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than six years, initially entering it to avoid extradition for a rape charge in Sweden. The country dropped that charge but he’s still facing a UK charge of skipping bail.

The UK maintains that Assange’s exile is self-imposed, and in February a judge upheld a warrant for his arrest. But Ecuadorian officials have apparently grown weary of Assange’s presence in the embassy, saying in January that his situation is “not sustainable.”

Assange — a frequent Twitter user — lost his internet privileges in March when the Ecuadorian government said he violated an agreement with the country not to interfere in its relations with other countries.

Assange is concerned that if he leaves the embassy the US may also seek to extradite him on espionage charges. Last year, the US Justice Department was reportedly considering filing criminal charges against WikiLeaks and Assange in connection with the 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents.

Over the past 12 years, WikiLeaks says it’s released more than 10 million secret government documents through its website. The leaks range from a video showing an American Apache helicopter in the Iraq War shooting and killing two journalists, to emails from the Democratic National Committee exposing alleged misconduct during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Justice Department under former President Barack Obama declined to press charges for revealing the sensitive secrets, concluding that WikiLeaks was working in a capacity akin to journalism. But the case was never formally closed, and the Justice Department under President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to take another look at the case.

In June, an international group of lawyers appealed to the UN’s Human Rights Council regarding concerns that Assange’s protracted confinement is having a severe impact on his physical and mental health.

Security: Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.

Blockchain Decoded: CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin — and soon, too, a myriad services that will change your life.

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WikiLeaks replaces Julian Assange as its editor-in-chief …

Julian Assange replaced as Wikileaks editor-in-chief | TheHill

Julian Assange has been replaced as editor in chief of Wikileaks, according to the online publisher.

Former spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, an Icelandic investigative journalist, will take over the role.

I condemn the treatment of Julian Assange that leads to my new role, Hrafnsson said in a statement, according to a Daily Dot report, an online publication that covers internet culture. “But I welcome the opportunity to secure the continuation of the important work based on WikiLeaks ideals.

Assange, 47, founded Wikileaks in 2006 but has been isolated in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid being arrested over sexual assault allegations.

WikiLeaks noted that while Assange will stay on as its publisher.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Assange appoints Hrafnsson Editor-in-Chief after six months of effective incommunicado detention, remains publisher [background: https://t.co/2jOgvSu5bG%5D pic.twitter.com/0Fwvf3SrkL

Six months ago, Assange had all communications from theembassy cut by Ecuadors newly-elected president, Lenn Moreno.

Wikileaks slammed the move, calling it an illegal effort to censor Assange’s opinion.

“Ecuador’s Moreno confirms he (illegally) isolated Assange to censor his opinion on U.S. and Spain,” reads a Thursday tweet from Wikleaks’ official Twitter account.

Ecuador’s Moreno confirms he (illegally) isolated Assange to censor his opinion on US & Spain https://t.co/FUAVSDOISz

(Note however two gross libels from AP. The entirely unsourced claim Assange ‘hacked politicians’ and was ‘charged’) @ClaudiaTorrens.https://t.co/FUAVSDOISz pic.twitter.com/Vx5U8GLP6n

Earlier this month, the FBI indicated that Russian military intelligence handed over emails to Wikileaks accessed from John Podesta, who served as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHouse GOP groupcuts financial support for Coffman, Bishop GOP lawmaker’s campaign shares meme comparing Ford to Hillary Clinton Voter registration on the rise in Nevada MOREs campaign chairman during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to The Associated Press. Democrats argue Wikileaks played a key role in turning the election to Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTop consumer bureau official blasts colleague over blog posts dismissing racism Trump ‘baby blimp’ going to Washington state for Pence visit House GOP groupcuts financial support for Coffman, Bishop MORE.

It was also reported that Assange attempted to obtain a Russian visa in 2010.

I, Julian Assange, hereby grant full authority to my friend, Israel Shamir, to both drop off and collect my passport, in order to get a visa, said a letter obtained by the AP written by Assange in Nov. 2010.

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Julian Assange replaced as Wikileaks editor-in-chief | TheHill