The WikiLeaks saga takes another twist today, as founder Julian Assange is placed under arrest by the UK police and refused bail. At the same time, VISA and MasterCard have followed in PayPal's footsteps and ceased payment acceptance on the WikiLeaks site, claiming ongoing investigations into whether the nature of the site contravened their conditions of service.
WikiLeaks may be prompting embarrassment in embassies across the world right now, but it could soon have us all looking to the skies. Founder Julian Assange has confirmed that parts of the as-yet-unpublished remainder of the cable documents passed to the site does make reference to UFOs, though he's not saying what, exactly, the confidential files are claiming.
The cat-and-mouse game to keep WikiLeaks content online and available continues today, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) denying that government intervention was their motivation for pulling the controversial site. In a new statement, the hosting company blames WikiLeaks' contravening of AWS terms of service for the decision to yank their content. Meanwhile, everydns.net ceased resolving WikiLeaks.org - effectively making the site impossible to find without knowing its IP address - claiming the ongoing DDoS attacks were impairing service for its other users.
The WikiLeaks saga continues, with Amazon pulling the plug on the site's servers only days after the group moved their hosting to avoid ongoing DDoS attacks. According to the NYT, Amazon was forced to remove WikiLeaks' content from its S3 hosting service after the US Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee demanded the retailer explain its connection with the cable-leaking group. It's a move the WikiLeaks team is already claiming violates first amendment rights.
Instead, the group will look to hosting outside of the US for more stable uptime. While Amazon is yet to comment on the move, an indignant Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the senate governmental affairs committee, has said that "no responsible company – whether American or foreign – should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials."
Documents released as part of the ongoing WikiLeaks controversy have again fingered China as directly responsible for hacking attempts on Google in January 2010, with a Chinese source apparently informing the American Embassy in Beijing that the incidents were "part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government." The attacks were supposedly prompted by a senior Politburo official finding critical sites when performing a vanity search using Google .
Privacy-promising Blackphone has begun shipping, offering a locked-down version of Android dubbed PrivatOS which claims to address some of the post-Wikileaks concerns about monitoring and tracking. The phone, announced earlier this year and sold unlocked, has access to an encrypted cloud storage service for those wary of Google Drive, uses anonymous browsing by default, and encrypts messages.
The US Justice Department has indicted five Chinese miltary officials with cyber-espionage today, the first time such criminal charges for hacking have been filed by the US against another country. The charges, announced by Attorney General Eric Holder this morning, allege the hackers targeted six American companies in the energy industry, including nuclear power.
Sony has acquired the movie rights to a book by Glenn Greenwald, detailing the Edward Snowden NSA leaks. Greenwald’s book centers around meeting Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel, and the ensuing backlash from the leaked information.
The NSA has denied knowledge of the Heartbleed bug, following allegations that not only did the security agency discover the exploit two years ago, but that it opted to keep it secret so as to use it in its spy tool arsenal. Anonymous insiders claimed earlier that the National Security Agency had identified Heartbleed - which left as many as two-thirds of websites vulnerable to password and data theft - as part of its regular efforts at hunting down potentially useful bugs and hacks.
Storm clouds are circling over Dropbox, after its decision to add former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to its board prompted a wave of negative reactions from users who disagree both with her politics and her history with wiretaps. Dropbox announced Dr. Rice's new role yesterday, alongside new apps Mailbox for Android and Carousel, leaving some cloud storage subscribers outraged at her proximity to decisions around how their data is handled, and proposing a boycott.