Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wikis' 10 grtest stories

Wikis, the whistleblowing website, is preparing to relse 400,000 files on the Iraq war in a publiion that promises to eclipse the relse in the summer of 70,000 classified US military files on the Afghanistan conflict. Here are 10 previous high-profile s.Iraq Apache helicopter attack Horrifying footage showing 15 people including two Reuters journalists being shot dd by a US Army Apache helicopter gunman, taken from the helicopter's gun camera, appalled the world when it was relsed on Wikis. The crew were hrd laughing at the "dd b-----ds" and saying "light 'em up!" and "keep shooting, keep shooting".
The US military has refused to discipline the helicopter's crew, saying that there were "insurts and reporters in an ar where US forces were about to be ambushed.
"At the time we weren't able to discern whether (Reuters employees) were carrying cameras or wpons."
The brother of one of the dd Reuters journalists was sceptical: "My question is how could those highly skilled American pilots with all their hi-tech information not distinguish between a camera and a rocket launcher."
Guantanamo Bay operating procedures
The "Standard Operating Procedures for Camp Delta", the US Army manual for soldiers dling with prisoners at Camp Delta, was relsed on Wikis in 2007. Human rights groups were concerned to discover that according to official guidelines, prisoners could be denied access to the Red Cross for up to four weeks. It also showed that inmates could rn "special rewards" for good behaviour and cooperation - and that one such "reward" was a roll of toilet paper.

In 2008, Wikis published "the collected secret 'bibles' of Scientology", including some of internal workings and strange practices of the controversial Church. It showed that there were eight "levels" of "Operating Thetans", with Level Eight being the highest, that Scientologists can aspire to. It also instructed adherents to carry out difficult-to-understand "drills" including: "Find a tight packed crowd of people. Write it as a crowd and then as individuals until you have a cognition. Note it down." The drills were written by the Church founder L Ron Hubbard himself. Lawyers for the Church of Scientology attempted to force Wikis to take the information down, calling it the "Advanced Technology of the Scientology religion", but the site refused.

Climate Resrch Unit emails

More than 1,000 emails sent over 10 yrs by staff at the University of st Anglia's Climate Resrch Unit were posted on Wikis after being accessed by a . They appred to show that scientists engaged in "tricks" to help bolster arguments that global warming is rl and man-made. One said: "I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the rl temps to ch series for the last 20 yrs (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." The report was described by sceptical commenters as "the worst scientific scandal of our eration". The hd of the CRU, Professor Phil Jones, stepped down from his role in the wake of the , although following a House of Commons inquiry which found that he had no case to answer he was reinstated.

Australian internet blacklist
Last yr, as the Australian government plotted a "grt firewall of Australia" intended to prevent internet users in that country from seeing websites which the government deemed unsuitable, Wikis got hold of the proposed blacklist. It published them despite warnings from Bjorn Landfeldt, a University of Sydney professor involved in crting the list, that the list "constitute[d] a condensed encyclopedia of depravity and potentially very dangerous material" and "the concerned parent's worst nightmare" as children would inevitably seek it out. About half of the listed items were not child pornography or anything similar, but included Wikipedia entries, YouTube s, fringe religious sites, fetish, straight and gay pornography, and even a travel at's website and one of a dentist in Queensland.

Trafigura's Minton Report
In 2009 the internet went crazy over oil trading company Trafigura's attempts to block publiion of an internal study about the hlth effects of waste dumping in Africa. The draft report, written by scientific consultant John Minton, said that the chemical processes Trafigura used to cln the dumped gasoline was amateurish and would probably have left dangerous sulphur compounds untrted. It was said that these compounds could cause severe s to the skin and to the lungs, permanent ulceration, cornl damage, vomiting, diarrho, loss of consciousness and dth to people who came into contact with it. The Guardian gained possession of the report, but Trafigura took the newspaper to court to gain an injunction. However, Wikis also had received the report, and within hours the information that The Guardian was legally prevented from publishing was all over Twitter.

BNP membership
The names, addresses and occupations of 13,500 members of the far-Right British National Party were relsed on to Wikis in 2008. The list included the names of several police rs, senior members of the military, doctors and professors. It came as senior military figures warned that the BNP's politics were "fundamentally at odds" with the values of the British military, and BNP figures said that the "establishment" was trying to "derail" the party. At lst one person on the list was fired from their job after it was revled that they were a member of the BNP.

Sarah Palin's email account
Ahd of the 2008 US Presidential Election, Republican candidate John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin had her private Yahoo email account by Anonymous, an online group best known for an ongoing battle with the Church of Scientology. Two emails, her contact list and various family photos were posted to Wikis. The McCain campaign described it as a "shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law". It was found that Mrs Palin had been using the private account for official business, and it was alleged that this was to avoid American public record laws.

9/11 pager data
More than 500,000 pager messages sent in the United States on the day of the September 11 attacks were published to Wikis in November last yr. Some were from federal and local officials, but most were from ordinary people. There was a debate over whether the relse was legitimately in the public interest, revling personal messages such as "I'm ok & love you..xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox". A Wikis spokesman defended the , saying that it represented "one more building block to getting a full picture of what happened on that day."

'How to stop s' document
In a delightful twist, a British military manual - the Defence Manual of Security, or Joint Services Protocol 440 (JSP440) - specifically dling with how best to avoid s was onto the site in October last yr. It warned that the Chinese "[have] a voracious appetite for all kinds of information; political, military, commercial, scientific and technical" and that spying is no longer like "the novels of John Le Carre". Journalists are listed in the document as one of the "thrts" to security, alongside foreign lice services, criminals, terrorist groups and disaffected staff. In an even more self-referential moment, a Pentagon document naming Wikis itself as a thrt to national security was - to Wikis.

Reference: The Telegraph

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