WikiLeaks Releases Mysterious Trove of Snowden 'Insurance' Data

Sunday, 18 Aug 2013 04:58 PM

By Greg Richter

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WikiLeaks has released 400 gigabytes of encrypted data it calls "insurance" for the protection of some of its key figures, likely its founder Julian Assange and NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

The giant trove of data was released on Facebook and Twitter, and followers were encouraged to download the data and pass along the links.


While anyone with enough hard drive space and download speed can put the documents onto their computers, they cannot be opened without an encryption key, which WikiLeaks did not release. They are intended as insurance for figures such as Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for more than a year, and Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

Sweden is seeking Assange's extradition on sex crime charges, but many believe the United States will try to extradite the Australian from Sweden if he is ever sent there. Assange's WikiLeaks has posted multitudes of U.S. secrets, including those leaked by convicted Army Pvt. Bradley Manning.

The United States also wants extradition of Snowden, an American, for leaking National Security Agency surveillance secrets earlier this year.

The implied threat with the release of the "insurance" data is that the key to open it would be made public if anything were to happen to either Assange or Snowden. The move is intended to thwart any attempt by the United States government from blocking a release of the data after it took action against either man.

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