After writing my article on a rift between WikiLeaks and Anonymous in which I asked Anonymous and WikiLeaks to contact me regarding the situation Anonymous was kind enough to do so. I requested an audio or studio interview but this was impossible due to their security concerns. We agreed on an e-mail interview, below are the results of the first part.
Anonymous: It is important that these questions are being answered as "Anonymous". At a later time if you would like to interview me regarding my own situation that might be possible, but on this issue I am acting as part of the Anonymous collective.
Robles: "Can you tell us any other reasons that have not been publicized as to why Anonymous has decided to part ways with WikiLeaks?"
Anonymous: No I think we were fairly clear and straightforward in the press release we forwarded to you. Assange's reply to us via his public statement on Twitter did not help the situation, as it was generally viewed as condescending and arrogant. So I would say that has exasperated the rift. Beyond that the conflict revolves around the coercive fund raising techniques and a lack of transparency regarding WikiLeaks finances.
Robles: "There have been statements that Anonymous plans to release secret files about WikiLeaks, can you give us a few details about these files and what kind of revelations they will provide?"
Anonymous: Actually the exact statement was that we would release a detailed list of what we view as WikiLeaks ethical violations and lack of transparency problems. There was never a statement made that we possessed or would release any "secret files". What we would like to see released, either legitimately or leaked to Anonymous by a WikiLeaks insider - is the WikiLeaks financial records. We do not possess these, but should they be delivered to us we would certainly disclose them. An organization that preaches transparency to the world should provide it for themselves.
Robles: "If WikiLeaks goes down the tubes how do you think this will affect Julian Assange and his current situation?"
Anonymous: In order to approach that question it is necessary first to define what exactly WikiLeaks is. There is a pervasive myth in the media and the world that WikiLeaks is this vast collective of activists making the decisions for the organization. This is not at all true. WikiLeaks is a publishing business that was solely created, owned and operated by Julian Assange. So apart from a few dozen volunteers, and a tiny cohort of employees -WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are essentially the same entity.
Julian has threatened on at least one previous occasion to pull the plug on the project because the fundraising was not meeting his expectations. It was at that time that Anonymous began planning to field our own alternative disclosure platforms. Julian desperately needs WikiLeaks, and he is the only one that can pull the plug on the project. I rather think that so long as he is in dire straights, he will not do so - despite any threats from him to the contrary.
But this does beg the question, since WikiLeaks and Assange are one and the same - what happens to the project should Julian fall? I rather think that would be an end to WikiLeaks.
Robles: "Can you tell us something no one else knows about TYLER?"
Anonymous: I could, but I am not going to. :-P
Robles: "In what ways will TYLER be better than WikiLeaks?"
Anonymous: First, TYLER is but one of several disclosure platforms fielded by Anonymous and it's allies. There is the wonderful Par-Anoia project. And last year we launched LocalLeaks and HackerLeaks with the assistance of the Peoples Liberation Front. All of these platforms have their strengths, and all are important to Anonymous ongoing mission to find a secure, inexpensive and decentralized way to do disclosure.
What makes TYLER unique as a disclosure platform is that it will not be deployed on a static server. TYLER will be P2P encrypted software, in which every function of a disclosure platform will be handled and shared by everyone who downloads and deploys the software. In theory, this makes it sort of like BitCoin or other P2P platforms in that there is virtually no way to attack it or shut it down. It would also obviously be thoroughly decentralized.
Robles: "Was there any special reason for choosing the date December 21, 2012? Some people believe that on that date when all of the planets align and when the Mayan calendar ends, the world as we know it will end."
Anonymous: Yes the date was chosen to align with the Mayan end of the world myth. However, this was done for publicity reasons - not because any of us actually believe the myth.
Robles: "What is the current status of all of the members of Anonymous who were indicted in the US? Can you give us details about where their cases currently stand?"
Anonymous: I will answer the best that I can, however there are others that can answer this question better, such as Jay Leiderman and attorney in California who acts as an un-official legal liaison for Anonymous. And there is an online tracker deployed that follows all the arrests of
The "Anonymous 16" in the USA; this group has one thing in common, they are all indicted for conspiracy, aiding and abetting and participating in Cyber-Sit Ins or DdoS attacks on political targets. One individual is indicted for organizing and facilitating a DdoS campaign against the web assets of the rock musician Gene Simmons of the band KISS for his staunch support of anti-piracy laws and policies. I have no idea where his case stands, but I know that Simmons has openly boasted of his arrest and prosecution. Another individual, known as "Commander X" aka Christopher Mark Doyon - stands indicted for organizing and participating in a DdoS of the Santa Cruz County (California) website in defense of local protesters being oppressed. His prosecution is on hold because he has, rather publicly - fled into political exile in Canada due to the indictment. The remaining 14 individuals are sometimes called separately the "PayPal 14" as they are all indicted for conspiracy, aiding and abetting and participating in the very famous DdoS attack on PayPal in defense of WikiLeaks. Their trial is, much like Bradley Manning's trial – being extremely dragged out by the US prosecutors. It has been over a year since the process began winding it's way through the courts and they are no closer to the trial itself.
Jerremy Hammond, who is alleged to have been part of the LulzSec/AntiSec hacking crew and also an Anon stands indicted for among other things breaching the servers of the private intelligence firm Stratfor and liberating the so called "GI Files" which consisted basically of Stratfor's E-Mail spool. Those files are now featured on WikiLeaks.
Hammond was denied bail, and as with the other Anons his legal process is painfully slow while he languishes in custody. Hammond remains defiant, and will challenge the case to the end I believe.
Another AntiSec hacker known as Neuron recently plead guilty to charges related to the Anonymous breach of the Sony servers in 2011. He is awaiting sentencing. There are several other cases involving LulzSec and another hacking crew called CabinCrew of which I am not familiar.
This is the end of part 1 of the interview…Stay tuned, more to come!
Just an update on WikiLeaks: I have been in regular contact with WikiLeaks number 2, Kristinn Hrafnsson, for the last few months and have conducted several interviews with him which were published here on the Voice of Russia and aired on the Voice of Russia radio. However since the paywall appeared and we published the press release detailing Assange’s wishes to influence the US Presidential Elections, WikiLeaks and Hrafnsson have gone completely silent. We can speculate but we won’t. We have been unable to get a comment from them in any form. I will keep you all up to date if this changes.