Wikileaks posts an Insurance policy
It seems that Wikileaks has posted a massive (1.4 GB, 10x larger than all the other files on the page combined) heavily encrypted file on their dedicated "Afghan War Diary" page labeled simply "Insurance". (See link above)
Possibly in response to the harsh rhetoric issuing from the US DoD regarding Wikileak's founder Julian Assange (including the rumored price on his head), sometime last Sunday afternoon the new file was quietly uploaded with no explanation.
Investigators from the Pentagon are flocking out and "are desperately searching" for the white-haired sage of openness and accountability. The US is apparently convinced that whistleblower Bradley Manning, who was arrested two weeks ago, did indeed hand over 260,000 US diplomatic cables concerning the Middle East over (sic) to Wikileaks....
The US intelligence apparatus is currently trying to figure out how to come to terms with Wikileaks. A counterintelligence report called the site "a potential force protection, counterintelligence, operational security (OPSEC, and information security(INFOSEC) threat to the US Army". It recommended “the identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this centre of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org web site".
As Wired puts it,
Cryptome, a separate secret-spilling site, has speculated that the new file added days later may have been posted as insurance in case something happens to the WikiLeaks website or to the organization’s founder, Julian Assange. In either scenario, WikiLeaks volunteers, under a prearranged agreement with Assange, could send out a password or passphrase to allow anyone who has downloaded the file to open it.
It’s not known what the file contains but it could include the balance of data that U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning claimed to have leaked to Assange before he was arrested in May.
It would seem that the only way "Insurance" will work is if many, many, many people download that particular file and save it for a rainy day, no???
Wikileaks Insurance file link
Ed. note, Nov 28, 2010
The "Insurance" file is encrypted, nearly impossible to open until WikiLeaks provides the passwords. But experts suggest that if anyone can crack it — it would be the National Security Agency. It depends on how much time and effort they want to put into it, said James Bamford, who has written two books on the NSA.
The NSA has the largest collection of supercomputers in the world. And officials have known for some time that WikiLeaks has classified files in its possession. The agency, he speculated, has probably been looking for a vulnerability or gap in the code, or a backdoor into the commercial encryption program protecting the file.
At the more extreme end, the NSA, the Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies — including the newly created Cyber Command — have probably reviewed options for using a cyber attack against the website, which could disrupt networks, files, electricity, and so on. "This is the kind of thing that they are geared for," said Bamford, "since this is the type of thing a terrorist organization might have — a website that has damaging information on it. They would want to break into it, see what's there and then try to destroy it."
The vast nature of the Internet, however, makes it essentially impossible to stop something, or take it down, once it has gone out over multiple servers. In the end, U.S. officials will have to weigh whether a more aggressive response is worth the public outrage it would likely bring. Most experts predict that, despite the uproar, the government will probably do little other than bluster, and the documents will come out anyway.
"Once you start messing with the Internet, taking things down, and going to the maximum extent to hide everything from coming out, it doesn't necessarily serve your purpose," said Bamford. "It makes the story bigger than it would have been had the documents been released in the first place. If, in the end, the goal is to decrease the damage, you have to wonder whether pouring fuel on the fire is a reasonable solution," he said.
If there is a takedown of Wikileaks, the insurance.aes256 file will be available through Cryptome along with the entire files of the Wikileaks website which have been archived.