Iceland may ban MasterCard, Visa over WikiLeaks censorship

Credit card companies that prevented card-holders from donating money to the secrets outlet WikiLeaks could have their operating licenses taken away in Iceland, according to members of the Icelandic Parliamentary General Committee.

Representatives from Mastercard and Visa were called before the committee Sunday to discuss their refusal to process donations to the website, reports Reykjavik Grapevine.

“People wanted to know on what legal grounds the ban was taken, but no one could answer it,” Robert Marshall, the chairman of the committee, said. “They said this decision was taken by foreign sources.”

The committee is seeking additional information from the credit card companies for proof that there was legal grounds for blocking the donations.

Marshall said the committee would seriously review the operating licenses of Visa and Mastercard in Iceland.

WikiLeaks’s payment processor, the Icelandic company DataCell ehf, said it would take immediate legal action against the companies to make donations possible again.

“DataCell who facilitates those payments towards Wikileaks has decided to take up immediate legal actions to make donations possible again,” DataCell CEO Andreas Fink said last week. “We can not believe WikiLeaks would even create scratch at the brand name of Visa.”

“It will probably hurt their brand much much more to block payments towards WikiLeaks than to have them occur,” Fink added.

 

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US contacts allies about WikiLeaks move

The United States has briefed its key allies, including Britain, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia ahead of the mass release of classified documents by WikiLeaks.

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks plans to release around three million leaked documents, including cables sent to Washington from American embassies throughout the world.

The website had previously posted online secret details of US military operations in war-ravaged Iraq and Afghanistan.

United States Department of State Spokesman Philip Crowley says the United States is “gearing up for the worst-case scenario.”

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Who Will Hold America Accountable for Its Crimes?

The website WikiLeaks has been garnering attention recently due to its publication of sensitive material that many in government (and elsewhere) would rather be kept private. Information on the site includes secret intelligence documents and studies commissioned by the U.S. government, which does not seem to appreciate the disclosure of such information, for fear of a public outcry over the content.

WikiLeaks was founded by human rights activists, journalists and experts in the intelligence field, with the aim of exposing intelligence agencies and governments that violate international law.

One week ago, the site published the video “Collateral Murder,” a tape whose images have since been shown on television networks around the world. It shows American military personnel in a helicopter carrying out the cold-blooded killing of twelve Iraqi civilians. WikiLeaks states that the incident occurred in 2007.

By publishing the video, the website has exposed the incident as a crime committed by the U.S. military in Iraq, as the camera mounted on a U.S. Apache military helicopter recorded the actions of the crew. Naturally, WikiLeaks has not disclosed the source that provided them with the tape, but the sound and visuals are so clear that there is no possibility of the U.S. Department of Defense refuting the fact of a crime having taken place or making skeptical remarks about the video being a fake.
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WikiLeaks: Collateral Murder

WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff. Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded. For further information please visit the special project website www.collateralmurder.com.

UK Trusted Borders: e-Borders Carrier FAQ, 1 Sep 2009

This confidential document details the UK’s mandatory air-craft passenger manifest reservation system “Trusted Borders/e-Borders“. It was written by the US military contractor Raytheon for airline companies in September 2009, and covers questions such as the practice of using false passenger manifests for heads of state (not permitted under the new system). The document was posted on the European Regions Airline Association intranet in what was meant to be a “members only” password protected area, but was discovered to be accessible by the editor of SecretBases.co.uk. On Dec 6, the UK Daily Mail ran a story on the subject, titled “Queen and all VIPs to be checked by National Border Targeting Centre“. As of Dec 7, the document has been removed, hence it’s appearance here, on WikiLeaks.
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fastest (Sweden) slow (US)

Special Interests See ‘Classified’ Copyright Treaty; You Can’t

picture-221Want to know the Language of the ever-transforming proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement?

It’s classified. And, according to the Obama administration, it carries national security implications. According to leaked documents on WikiLeaks, the proposed treaty would require ISPs to terminate repeat copyright scofflaws, criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing, subject iPods to border searches and even interfere with the legitimate sale of brand-name pharmaceutical products.

But as it turns out, the administration has shared the secret treaty’s contents with more than three dozen individuals in the private sector, from the left and the right of the copyright debate. Those individuals include Business Software Alliance attorney Emery Simon, Google copyright czar William F. Patry and president of Public Knowledge Gigi Sohn.

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Some new Wikileaks releases

US State Department Passport Acceptance Guide, Jan 2002

Missouri Information Analysis Center: Suspicious School Busses, Jan 2007

Methamphetamine in Maryland, 2 Mar 2006

2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment, Mar 2009

Classified US, Japan and EU ACTA trade agreement drafts, 2009

City of Aspen, Colorado, Police Procedures manual, Feb 2009

Click on image to view.

Obama Administration Declares Proposed IP Treaty a ‘National Security’ Secret

President Barack Obama came into office in January promising a new era of openness.

But now, like Bush before him, Obama is playing the national security card to hide details of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being negotiated across the globe.

The White House this week declared (.pdf) the text of the proposed treaty a “properly classified” national security secret, in rejecting a Freedom of Information Act request by Knowledge Ecology International.

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Free Congress’s Secret Research Reports, Lieberman Asks

Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman wants to know why Congress’s research arm hasn’t put its massive library of reports online for citizens to read and instead keeps them hidden like they are Bush-era state secrets.

So on Wednesday, Lieberman (I) wrote New York Democrat Charles Schumer, the new head of the Senate’s rules committee, urging him to do something about it.

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Major RAND study with 300 interviews: Intelligence Operations and Metrics in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nov 2008

This major November, 2008 RAND Corporation study on intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, conducted 300 interviews at all levels with US, UK and Dutch intelligence officers and diplomats.

The 318 page document could be described as part of the “Pentagon Papers” for Iraq and Afghanistan. It was confidentially prepared for the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Command and focuses on intelligence and counterinsurgency operations.

Marked “For Official Use Only” study was distribution restricted to a select group of Coalition war partners and Israel.

The study is a notable news and policy source, not for its arguments or conclusions, but rather for its wealth of candid and revealing interview quotes which are spread throughout the document, but especially in the 200 page appendix.

The material has been verified, and we ask readers to go through the document to extract key quotes for their communities. There is a wealth of interview quotes on almost every aspect of the wars. The authors of the quotes, ranging from the UK Ambassador and the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency to on the ground intelligence officers, can be discovered via the footnote appendix.

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Wikileaks cracks NATO’s Master Narrative for Afghanistan

Wikileaks has cracked the encryption to a key document relating to the war in Afghanistan. The document, titled “NATO in Afghanistan: Master Narrative”, details the “story” NATO representatives are to give to, and to avoid giving to, journalists.

The encrypted document, which is dated October 6, and believed to be current, can be found on the Pentagon Central Command (CENTCOM) website oneteam.centcom.mil.

[UPDATE: Fri Feb 27 15:18:38 GMT 2009, the entire Pentagon site is now down--probably in response to this editorial, parts of the site can still be seen in google's cache ]

The encryption password is progress, which perhaps reflects the Pentagon’s desire to stay on-message, even to itself.

Among the revelations, which we encourage the press to review in detail, is Jordan‘s presence as secret member of the US lead occupation force, the ISAF.

Jordan is a middle eastern monarchy, backed by the US, and historically the CIA‘s closest partner in its extraordinary rendition program. “the practice of torture is routine” in the country, according to a January 2007 report by UN special investigator for torture, Manfred Nowak.[1]

The document states NATO spokespersons are to keep Jordan’s involvement secret. Publicly, Jordan withdrew in 2001 and the country does not appear on this month’s public list of ISAF member states.[2]

Some other notes on matters to treat delicately are:

  • Any decision on the end date/end state will be taken by the respective national and/or Alliance political committee. Under no circumstances should the mission end-date be a topic for speculation in public by any NATO/ISAF spokespeople.
  • The term “compensation” is inappropriate and should not be used because it brings with it legal implications that do not apply.
  • Any talk of stationing or deploying Russian military assets in Afghanistan is out of the question and has never been the subject of any considerations.
  • Only if pressed: ISAF forces are frequently fired at from inside Pakistan, very close to the border. In some cases defensive fire is required, against specific threats. Wherever possible, such fire is pre-coordinated with the Pakistani military.

Altogether four classified or restricted NATO documents on the Pentagon Central Command (CENTCOM) site were discovered to share the ‘progress’ password. Wikileaks has decrypted the documents and released them in full:

Now that’s progress.

Notes

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/30/AR2007113002484_pf.html
  2. http://www.nato.int/isaf/docu/epub/pdf/isaf_placemat.pdf

Thailand official MICT censorship list, 20 Dec 2008

Wikileaks has released the secret internet censorship lists of Thailand’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT). The list was obtained by advisory board member CJ Hinke, director of Freedom Against Censorship Thailand.

The 1,203 newly blocked websites are located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Vietnam.

Click flag image for source with listof blocked sites.

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German intelligence scrubs European records after Wikileaks exposure


Between Friday night and Sunday morning, a massive deletion operation took place at the European Internet address register (RIPE) to scrub references to a cover used by Germany’s premier spy agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND.

The cleanup operation comes the night after Wikileaks revealed over two dozen covert BND networks provided by T-Systems (Deutsche Telekom). The IP addresses were assigned to an unregistered company at a Munich-based PO box linked to T-Systems.

T-Systems purged the RIPE database of all addresses exposed by Wikileaks, moving the addresses into a several giant anonymous “Class B” address pools.

The move comes just a few hours after T-Systems Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) contacted Wikileaks to demand removal of an internal T-Systems memo listing the BND cover addresses. Wikileaks refused and T-System did not respond to requests for further detail by the time of writing.

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