Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
It appears increasingly likely that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden and turned over to the United States for criminal charges of a dubious nature.
That brings heightened urgency to this question: What is contained in the "thermonuclear device" of government files that WikiLeaks has vowed to release if harm comes to the organization or its leader?
Little is known about the files that WikiLeaks possesses but has not released, so we can only make an educated guess. But a source tells Legal Schnauzer that the files could include information about Bush-era crimes, including political prosecutions, stolen elections, U.S. attorney firings, and more.
One hint came when Assange said in a recent interview that he has "insurance files" on Rupert Murdoch and his global media company, News Corporation. But we've seen signs that WikiLeaks' "big bomb" goes way beyond anything involving Rupert Murdoch.
The strongest insight we've seen came in a recent Time magazine profile of Assange in its Person of the Year issue. WikiLeaks, it turns out, obtained sensitive information by piggybacking on the work of Chinese hackers. Time explains:
The worst--or best, in the view of advocates for radical transparency--could be yet to come. John Young, a New York City architect who left the WikiLeaks steering committee after clashing with Assange, says the group members are storing "a lot more information underground than they are publishing on the surface." Some of it comes from a hacker-on-hacker sting in 2006, when data jockeys at WikiLeaks detected what they believed to be a large-scale intelligence operation to steal data from computers around the world. The intruders were using TOR, an anonymous browsing technology invented by the U.S. Navy, to tunnel into their targets and extract information. The WikiLeaks team piggybacked on the operation, recording the data stream in real time as the intruders stole it.