Leaked HBGary Documents Show Plan To Spread Wikileaks Propaganda For BofA... And 'Attack' Glenn Greenwald
from the this-is-like-out-of-a-bad-movie dept
Once again, as I've said before, I really don't think this is a good idea. The potential backlash can be severe and these kinds of attacks can create the opposite long-term incentives that the folks involved think they're creating. It also gets people a lot more focused on the method rather than the message and that seems unfortunate.
Still, the leaked emails are turning up some gems, with a key one being that Bank of America (widely discussed as Wikileaks' next target) had apparently been talking to HBGary Federal about how to disrupt Wikileaks. That link, from The Tech Herald, includes tons of details. The full proposal (embedded below) feels like something straight out of a (really, really bad) Hollywood script.
It appears that the law firm BofA was using as a part of its Wikileaks crisis response task force, Hunton and Williams, had reached out to firms asking for research and a plan against Wikileaks. HBGary Federal, along with Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies put together their pitch. According to the emails discussing this, the firms tried to come up with a plan as to how they could somehow disrupt Wikileaks , see if there was a way to sue Wikileaks and get an injunction against releasing the data.
There are two key slides in the presentation. The first is a totally bizarre plan of attack on Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been an outspoken supporter of Wikileaks. However, these three companies seem to think that they can pressure him to give up supporting Wikileaks in this case and that will somehow solve a big part of the issue.
Later on in the presentation is the plan to further disrupt Wikileaks, which is basically to create a propaganda campaign around the organization -- as if the press wasn't doing that already. They also have the idea to upload bogus info to Wikileaks, hope the bogus info gets released and then discredit Wikileaks by showing that it publishes bogus info.
It's not known whether or not BofA actually agreed to this proposal (or ever actually knew about it), though apparently HBGary Federal employees were hopeful they'd get the deal to provide these services. If so, going on to blab in the press about infiltrating Anonymous probably wasn't the best way of keeping out of the spotlight on these issues...