The latest news surrounding Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is that he has distributed encrypted files across the globe in an attempt to thwart any chance of his arrest or capture. The idea is that if he is arrested, he will release the key to these encrypted files and the file contains secret information on Bank of America, Guantanamo Bay, and the newest bit is information on our Department of Defense’s plans for how to combat terror.
It sounds a lot like a plot worthy of a ninth season of Fox’s retired hit “24”.
The question that I have, though, is what is he out to get, and would he stand to gain by releasing more?
You see, by using his own information as insurance against possible capture, Assange has basically put himself in a dilemma. If his point is to release this data, once it’s released he’ll no longer have a bargaining chip. If he can’t leak data, then his influence wanes.
And one can only assume that he is in this for influence—because the Swiss have cut off their bank account, multiple people have kicked them off their webservers and there are warrants out for his arrest.
Without new information coming to him, he can’t release his most damaging information, or he will lose his “insurance”.
Who’s Really To Blame?
I put much more blame about this predicament on the leaker than I do Assange. Therefore, I put more blame on the Federal Government than I do him as well. What kind of security was in place to prevent this kind of data leakage in the first place?
Data of this type should have been extremely secure, and only on a need to know basis, and yet someone was able to get into the network, get the files and leave with them. Why would a single person have access to such a wide range of data that wasn’t high up in the Administration?
Why are State Department files linked with Afghanistan files linked with Gitmo files?
This stinks of sloppiness.
I mean, I can understand a hacker trying to break into a database and finding things—but even then, these things seem that they shouldn’t be found together in one place. And a hacker could be detected to some extent.
Back to Assange
So, what will he do? If he’s really for having all this information out in the public, he needs to find more information. But given how everyone’s reacted to the original leaker and Assange, do you actually think that there is going to be fresh leaked material given to Assange?
My guess is that Assange will release more non-governmental papers keeping the juiciest parts to himself to keep his insurance policy going, while he simultaneously relocates himself to somewhere that’s got other things going on so that they couldn’t be bothered with ID’ing him. Think Ireland (since rumor had it he was in Great Britain) or somewhere with financial trouble coming down the pike.
He needs to be near information sources (or at least accessible to them) if he’s going to survive.
One part of me thinks that we’ll see this guy caught pretty soon, but then again, we still haven’t found Osama.