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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

WIKILEAKS UPDATES 01 FEB. 2017 - LE PEN + BARRETT BROWN: 3 YEARS FOR WHAT?

NEWS


Southern Exposure: Cannon Beach, meet WikiLeaks
But as any self-respecting muckraking local journalist would do, I poked around on WikiLeaks and typed in the search term “Cannon Beach.”.
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Southern Exposure: Cannon Beach,

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meet WikiLeaks


A risky business
 

By R.J. MarxThe Daily Astorian Published on January 31, 2017 12:01AM
Last changed on January 31, 2017 10:16AM
 
This column could get me arrested.

Something only a little more extreme happened to journalist Barrett Brown, released in November after serving three years in federal prison for sharing a link to hacked emails from the intelligence group known as Stratfor. He was released from prison in late November 2016.

In a video on Brown’s website, Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation says Brown “took information that may have been stolen or leaked and used it to do investigative journalism in the public interest.”
While originally facing up to 100 years in prison for sharing other Stratfor hacked links in a chat room with other journalists, 11 of 12 charges were dropped and Brown ended up pleading guilty to transmitting threats, aiding hackers and obstructing authorities from carrying out a search warrant resulting in his three-year incarceration. Many of the charges were a result of the leak of credit-card numbers — six months after the hack was revealed, giving, Brown’s defense argued, credit companies plenty of time to protect the accounts.
“This was a failure on our part,” Stratfor CEO George Friedman told investigators eight days after the hack and months before the leaks were shared by Brown.
Unwisely, Brown, who said he was withdrawing from heroin at the time, threatened an FBI agent prior to his arrest in 2012. Along with jail time, Brown was ordered to pay more than $829,000 in fines.
On a journalist’s salary, he’ll still be paying that back when Donald Trump Jr. is in the White House.

Data dumps

I can assure you I am not withdrawing from heroin, printing any leaked credit-card numbers or issuing any challenges. But as any self-respecting muckraking local journalist would do, I poked around on WikiLeaks and typed in the search term “Cannon Beach.”
Who knew what juicy items I might stumble on?

Two particular items caught my attention.

One document was obtained by WikiLeaks from the U.S. Congressional Research Service.
According to the WikiLeaks site, the research service is a congressional “think tank” with a staff of around 700. Reports are commissioned by members of Congress on topics relevant to current political events.
Despite taxpayer costs of more than $100 million a year, its electronic archives are, as a matter of policy, not made available to the public.
The link to Cannon Beach?
Pretty tenuous, a mere footnote, referring to a 2005 opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the subject of property takings — usually involving disputes between property owners and municipalities.
A 1994 Supreme Court decision held that Cannon Beach’s denial of an oceanfront property owners’ permit application to construct a seawall in the dry sand area of their property “does not constitute an uncompensated taking under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” It affirmed the state’s goals of limiting development on “conditionally stable dry sand and the implementing city ordinances and department regulations do not constitute taking of the owners’ property.”
This is not the stuff of Cold War espionage — it can also be found at supremecourt.gov.

The second WikiLeaks reference to Cannon Beach comes in a hacked email from Stratfor, a global intelligence agency based in Austin, Texas.
In February 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing the Global Intelligence Files, more than five million hacked emails from the Texas headquartered Stratfor. The emails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. These were the leaks that got Brown, then a contributor to The Guardian and Vanity Fair, in trouble. According to WikiLeaks, the leaked Stratfor emails 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 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.”

The WikiLeaks site says “the emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.”

Among the material was several thousand emails exchanged by staff members between 2004 and 2011, including a short wire service report about the crash of a U.S. F-15 fighter jet into the ocean 35 miles off Cannon Beach. The single-seat aircraft, based at the Portland Air Base, was from the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon National Guard, and went down while on a training mission.
The incident was nationally reported by United Press International (cited in the leaked document) and results of the investigation — that the pilot became disoriented during flight — published by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Washington Post and others.

Protections needed

Releasing hacked emails from WikiLeaks became a characteristic of the 2016 presidential campaign, contributing to the demise of Hillary Clinton and her top aides, notably campaign vice chairwoman Huma Abedin (wife of the notorious nude Tweeter Anthony Weiner) and John Podesta, former chairman of the Clinton campaign.
To me, the email revelations were about as exciting as somebody else’s Chinese food order. But they upset a lot of people on both sides and arguably led to a Trump win, along with a nudge-nudge wink-wink from the nation’s FBI chief James Comey.

What do the Cannon Beach WikiLeaks reveal?
That a federal agency and international think tank really may not know much more than the rest of us: analysis of a 1994 Supreme Court decision and the rehashing of old news. Intelligence agencies, it appears, get the news from … the newspaper.
With huge data dumps available to anyone with an internet connection, secrecy is only as good as your encrypted software.
Even Stratfor’s intelligence information is available to the public with a subscription — $39 a month or $349 a year. A year of the Cannon Beach Gazette is a lot less and apparently has much of the same information.
According to FreeBarrettBrown.com, Brown is now working at D Magazine in Dallas, living in a halfway house while out on parole.
Brown’s defenders seek to turn him into a cause célèbre, but he is far from the only journalist at risk for doing their job.
An arrest warrant was issued for Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman when she covered the Dakota Pipeline protest story — charges later thrown out by a North Dakota judge. The Committee to Protect Journalists lists 259 jailed reporters worldwide; 81 of those are in Turkey, a U.S. ally.

On Jan. 10, we observed the anniversary of “Common Sense,” Thomas Paine’s classic plea for independence and a model of journalistic dissent.
Shockingly, the United States is listed as No. 47 out of 180 countries in the world in terms of press freedoms, described by the international journalists’ group Reporters Without Borders as especially weak in terms of federal protections for whistleblowers and lacking a federal shield law to protect sources.
Maybe I’m watching a little too much “Homeland,” but I’m wondering if a little more public information just might make us a lot safer.

R.J. Marx is The Daily Astorian’s South County reporter and editor of the Seaside Signal and Cannon Beach Gazette.

source: http://www.dailyastorian.com/columns/20170131/southern-exposure-cannon-beach-meet-wikileaks


see more:

Anonymous’ Barrett Brown Is Free—and

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 Ready to Pick New Fights

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  • Date of Publication: 12.21.16.

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    Good luck Barrett!! It took me 30 years to kick it...no fun...ed.