Wikileaks: Aaron Swartz was ally, possible source

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Wikileaks

This is interesting. Wikileaks is claiming that recently deceased Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz was an ally and may have acted as a source for the whistle-blowing network.

Wikileaks sent out a series of Tweets explaining that Swartz has helped it out in some indefinite manner and that he was in contact with founder Julian Assange. The tweets also revealed that the whistle-blowing service was investigating allegations that the US Secret Service was involved in the investigation that led to Swartz’ death:

The anonymous nature of Wikileaks’ user base means that the organisation cannot be entirely sure that Swartz was a source. The Verge’s suggestion that Wikileaks broke its own rules of anonymity because it believes that the investigation into Swartz was aimed at it (and that he died protecting the organisation) seems a little far-fetched. It seems a little less so however when you consider the perceived ferocity with which Swartz was being prosecuted.

It should be noted however that it only claims to suspect that Swartz was a source, just about keeping it within its own guidelines of anonymity:

As far as we can ascertain, WikiLeaks has never revealed any of its sources. We can not provide details about the security of our media organisation or its anonymous drop box for sources because to do so would help those who would like to compromise the security of our organisation and its sources. What we can say is that we operate a number of servers across multiple international jurisdictions and we we do not keep logs. Hence these logs can not be seized. Anonymization occurs early in the WikiLeaks network, long before information passes to our web servers. Without specialized global internet traffic analysis, multiple parts of our organisation must conspire with each other to strip submitters of their anonymity.

It’s difficult to say exactly why Wikileaks would choose to implicate Swartz in this way. Anyone with a highly developed sense of cynicism would posit that it’s just trying to ride the wave of publicity around Swartz’ death. Doing so however would mean engaging in as much speculation as taking the story at face value.

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