In an interesting collaborative effort, WikiLeaks has teamed up with everyone’s favourite hacktivist group, Anonymous, to release “The Global Intelligence Files”. The files, which contain information extracted from 5-million emails belonging to Stratfor, were first published via Pastebin. Stratfor is a “global intelligence” company that bills itself as a “subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis” which Anonymous hacked late December.
WIKILEAKS RELEASE: The Global Intelligence Files. Over 5 million emails wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.ht…
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— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 27, 2012
According to WikiLeaks, the emails date from July 2004 to late December 2011. The emails supposedly reveal: “…the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency.”
Anonymous endorsed its part in the release of the files, tweeting “Yes #Anonymous gave all 5 Million Stratfor emails to Wikileaks”.
Yes, #Anonymous gave all 5 MILLION STRATFOR emails to Wikileaks. Can’t wait for the lulzy videos Stratfor CEO Friedman will issue now. 😀
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) February 27, 2012
Though WikiLeaks’ and founder Julian Assange’s relationship with the media has been of a contentious nature in the past, the organisation claims to have partnered with 25 media outlets for this new operation, each of which will gain access to its information. Notably, former partners The Guardian and The New York Times are absent.
The emails also contained information of particular interest to WikiLeaks and its founder:
The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. There are more than 4 000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.
WikiLeaks has come under some criticism already for the files. Prominent writer and media political commentator, Daniel Drezner, tweeted calling the organisation “clueless”.
— Daniel Drezner (@dandrezner) February 27, 2012
WikiLeaks is keeping up the discussion around the Global Intelligence Files via Twitter with the hashtag #giffiles.