Granted, the first two batches of leaked intelligence involved Afghanistan and Iraq battlefield reports, but the latest release of information downloaded from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), "a network used to distribute not particularly sensitive information that is classified at the secret level and below," is the diplomatic equivalent of juicy cocktail party gossip.
And since when did hackers become our heroes? Manning was busted after he contacted famed hacker Adrian Lamo, confessing his leaking of 90,000 documents revealing secret information about U.S. war strategy. Maybe Manning wanted Lamo's help. Maybe he wanted Lamo's adulation. Instead, Lamo (who has received death threats for his actions) alerted authorities:
"I went to the right authorities, because it seemed incomprehensible that someone could leak that massive amount of data and not have it endanger human life...If I had acted for my own comfort and convenience and sat on my hands with that information, and I had endangered national security ... I would have been the worst kind of coward."
And now WikiLeaks has been hit by several massive DDoS (distributed denial of service--whatever that is) hacker attacks, which have been unsuccessful in shutting down the site, but have resulted in slow downs. "The Jester," who goes by the Twitter handle th3j35t3r, is a self-described "hacktivist" who claims to have disabled terrorist and extremist sites as well.
And how is China responding to WikiLeaks? By blocking it through the "Great Firewall." Seriously. It didn't work on the Mongols, and it will only slow down the cyber onslaught.
©2010 Tammy Yee