FBI Paid Off Wikileaks Insider To Be An Informant: Imagine If It Was The NY Times
from the that's-insane dept
People like to debate whether or not Wikileaks is or is not a “media property,” but I can’t see any definition of a media property under which Wikileaks would not fall. Yes, it publishes leaked documents, but so do many other media properties. Yes, it has a strong ideological viewpoint, but so do many other media properties. So it’s rather stunning to read about the fact that a Wikileaks insider apparently spent some time as a paid informant for the FBI, handing over a variety of internet information on things happening within Wikileaks. Imagine if this was the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal, and it came out that an employee was getting paid by the FBI to reveal what those newspapers were working on. People would be up in arms, just like they were over the DOJ’s spying on AP reporters and a Fox News reporter. Except, this wasn’t just spying on a reporter, this was flat out paying off an insider to share internal information. That’s incredible.
The entire story from Kevin Poulsen at Wired is worth reading, about how Icelandic teen Sigurdur Thordarson was taken under Julian Assange’s wing and given a fair amount of autonomy within Wikileaks. The details suggest that Thordarson abused that position in many ways, including setting up a t-shirt sales site, supposedly to benefit Wikileaks, but where all the money went directly to his own bank account. But, that’s really minor considering the key point: that the FBI actively worked with and continued to push Thordarson to get more info from Wikileaks, even after he’d left the organization. The DOJ is supposed to have rules about investigations of media properties for a variety of reasons, and paying off an insider seems like it goes way, way beyond what’s appropriate.