Micah Profile picture
Jan 9, 2018 13 tweets 4 min read
In case you missed it when it was happening, would you like to hear a story about that time @WikiLeaks attacked brave investigative journalists for exposing Vladimir Putin's corruption?

Follow along. 1/x
In 2015 an anonymous source leaked a massive trove of tax haven data to the German newspaper @SZ. This was #PanamaPapers. It was an ABSURD amount of data. So SZ enlisted help from an international network of investigative journalists @ICIJ, who shared it further
In all, reporters working at over 100 media organizations, in 25 languages, collaborated on #PanamaPapers, and reported on dozens of huge scandals around the world. One of these partner organizations is @OCCRP, and does reporting on organized crime
In 2016, OCCRP, in collaboration with a Russian newspaper that's critical of the Kremlin, Novaya Gazeta, broke several stories about Putin. Most were specifically about Sergei Roldugin, a cellist and businessman who also happens to be Putin's best friend occrp.org/en/panamapaper…
Roldugin was linked to 3 offshore companies that laundered up to $2 billion since the 1970s. One scandal showed that $230 million that was stolen from Russian tax payers in 2007 was actually laundered through offshore accounts, and ended up in Roldugin's account
Putin was not pleased. And neither, is seems, was the "transparency organization" WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks noticed that OCCRP (a non-profit of international journalists) received funding from the Open Society Foundation (Soros's foundation) and USAID (US government)
A non-profit receiving grants from US gov/Soros is ALL the proof WikiLeaks needed. Julian put on his conspiracy cap and took to twitter, claiming that the integrity of OCCRP is "seriously undermined" because US gov "directly funded" this "attack on Putin"
The next day, WikiLeaks tweeted another attack, again saying that the Russian journalists, who were exposing Putin's corruption within Russia, lacked integrity
To be clear: The corruption was real. It was backed up by legitimate leaked documents.

There's no evidence that the US gov had anything to do with these Putin stories, or that they knew Putin's friends were in the Panama Papers at all, before the stories were published.
This didn't matter though. WikiLeaks decided to defend Putin instead of the Russian investigate journalists that were exposing his corruption. Hmm... 🤔

(BTW, Reporters Without Borders placed Russia at #148 out of 180 in press freedom index in 2016)
But even if WL's conspiracy theory were true, and the US funded OCCR specifically to attack Putin, so what?

Doesn't WL argue that it doesn't matter who their source for DNC emails are as long as the docs are real? The hypocrisy is strong.
The day after WL attacked the journalists, Putin himself cited WL's conspiracy to dismiss the scandal.

"Besides," Putin said, "we now know from WikiLeaks that officials and state agencies in the United States are behind all this."

While it's not clear if WikiLeaks has some sort of direct relationship with the Kremlin, it is abundantly clear that Julian Assange is a Putin fanboy, and that he doesn't actually give a shit about government transparency if the government in question is Russia.

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More from @micahflee

Oct 4, 2018
Wow this is wild. Chinese spies did a successful supply chain attack against US companies, affecting Amazon, Apple, US gov contractors, and many others. They implanted a tiny malicious chip into circuit boards during manufacturing
And here is Amazon's unequivocal denial that they found malicious chips, or even that they engaged in an investigation with the government aws.amazon.com/blogs/security…
Read 4 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
Close to 1,000 law professors across the country have signed a letter to the U.S. Senate stating that Brett Kavanaugh lacks the “judicial temperament” necessary for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court law.com/2018/10/03/900…
Now over 1,200 law professors have signed the letter (so far). Here's the text of it, and the first 1000+ signers' names, titles, and universities nytimes.com/interactive/20…
Now over 2,400 law professors have signed onto the letter urging the Senate to not confirm Kavanaugh because he lacks judicial temperament. Again, here is the letter along with their names, titles, and affiliated institutions nytimes.com/interactive/20…
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Aug 23, 2018
Today, whistleblower Reality Winner was officially sentenced to 63 months in prison, the longest sentence for a journalist's source in federal court history. 1/x
Shortly after her plea deal, the Mueller investigation used some of the same information that she revealed to the public to indict 12 Russian military intelligence officers for conducting "large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election."
She had no chance of a fair trial.

She was charged with the Espionage Act, so any argument she could make that revealing a GRU plot to hack local election officials was in the public interest wouldn't be admissible as evidence.
Read 6 tweets
Aug 15, 2018
We just published a Snowden document from 2006 about NSA successfully breaking the encryption and spying on VPNs run by Al Jazeera, the Iraqi military, airlines and reservation systems, and other "high potential" targets theintercept.com/2018/08/15/nsa…
VPNs are complicated. There are many protocols, and each can be configured in many ways to make it more or less secure. Exactly which VPNs NSA can crack is a closely-guarded secrets, and the Snowden archive doesn't contain the answer.

But it's clear they can't crack everything.
Analysts that discover VPN traffic can submit it to an NSA tool called VIVIDDREAM to learn whether or not NSA can likely exploit it, all while hiding sensitive info about the exploits *from the analysts themselves* theintercept.com/document/2018/…
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Jul 18, 2018
What we learned about Russian and U.S. spycraft from Mueller’s indictment of hackers theintercept.com/2018/07/18/mue…
Here are the main takeaways:

The Russians got caught because they didn't compartmentalize enough. They re-used infrastructure for their separate operations (DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, spearphishing, hacks of DCCC and DNC), confirming they were all controlled by the same people
And in my opinion, their biggest screw-up was when they accidentally, only once, logged into the @Guccifer_2 twitter account without a VPN, revealing their real IP address, which belonged to a GRU office building in Moscow thedailybeast.com/exclusive-lone…
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Jun 5, 2018
Police broke into @xychelsea's home with guns drawn last week for a "wellness check". We obtained security footage of the armed police raid theintercept.com/2018/06/05/che…
"If Chelsea had been home when these cops arrived with guns drawn, she would be dead," her close friend Janus told us, who was on the phone with her that night
"They don’t know what kind of circumstances they are entering when they enter a home,” @mcpnews captain Paul Starks said, increasingly flustered. "The fact that a weapon is drawn doesn’t mean that they are going to shoot it."
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