This video is Part Four of Four parts.
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In Part Four of my interview with Daniel Domscheit-Berg, we talk about Bradley Manning, Anonymous, HB Gary, Information warfare, and source protection.
"Nothing is really changing in his situation, as much as i can tell. I amy have missed the latest news, but as far as i can see, nothing much is progressing, and that's quite disturbing. I'm not a military lawyer, so from a military legal standpoint, i don't know what can be done. I am sure that there could be more public support for him. And that is where i think there is a whole disconnect in all the publicity the legal issues get in Sweden are just peanuts compared to what this private is facing."
And that's where i feel, even when we've been in WikiLeaks, that we sort of not fulfilled the duty that we had, and where i feel terribly sorry for, and i feel quite guilty as well. We could have given him more and faster support. Just see how long it was before the first money was given- that was just in January- and we have pledged this money right from the beginning. We actually pledged far more than these 15,000 Euros, or whatever was given. There was more money that was donated for it as well. We could have been much more vocal about this whole topic."
In response to how he felt about Anonoymous' support for WikiLeaks, Daniel had this to say:
"Well, for Mastercard and VISA, that is a sentiment that i can completely understand. If a service, whoever, Paypal, Mastercard, Amazon, if they shut down a customer just for political reasons and not on a legal basis, they start to discriminate between customers, that's not something that is fair. So for most people that do not have any influence on that i can understand that they are angry and just want to do something, and they flood the network. It certainly is some kind of civil disobedience. If it is effective, that is a totally different question. We should rather make sure that no one is using these companies any more. But that is a more complicated issue because it is just too convenient to use them."
I asked him if he has been following the HB Gary issue:
"Well,you see, that is where it for me gets a bit more problematic, because the whole HB Gary as much as i can tell got triggered because Bank of America got scared because Julian made a threat. And that threat hasn't been followed by anything at all. That is making politics, and that is not what WikiLeaks should be doing."
Domscheit-Berg reiterated his previous statements regarding "which" bank the data might be from:
"We had data from the Bank of America in 2009. Julian gave an interview with Computer World announcing that we would release that data. That is where people now allege if he is speaking about a large American bank, that he refers to that Bank of America data. And there are some similarities in saying that it is from the hard drive of an executive and stuff like this. As much as i know, there wasn't anything in there that was any[way] interesting. That is why this is just a shallow threat, from my perspective. I don't know [if this is the data] Julian is threatening about,I haven't spoken to him since September. I just read that threat, and everyone made it out to be the Bank of America data, and for that, back then, it didn't appear to be very interesting.
Domscheit-Berg's response to Aaron Barr resigning from HB Gary:
"Well, they're getting some fire now. I understand that as well. The problem is not that someone is attacking HB Gary. If you read the paper that they wrote, they should be criticized for that, because they are giving a strategy paper for how to destroy an organization, or how to undermine it, whatever. That is similar to the paper that we published in 2009 sometime, maybe 2010, of how the U.S. military was looking into possibilities to destroy WikiLeaks and to discredit it and stuff like this. I understand that such services are not moral from my perspective, and therefore i understand that you should put pressure [on] them.
"The problem is that HB Gary would never have had an interest in WikiLeaks if Bank of America did not get scared. I think it is just wrong to make statements sitting on your white horse claiming that you are going to cause a big American bank trouble, and then not following up on it. Because that is information warfare. I think it should be below the standard that WikiLeaks has."
Domsheit-Berg disagreed that the existence alone of WikiLeaks and OpenLeaks is information warfare:
"It is a political statement saying that you want more transparency; but it is not taking a side. It's not making threats. There is an implicit threat, that it can shed transparency on you, but no one is saying that 'i am going to shedlight on you in two weeks time because i have something about you'. I would never say i am going to shed light on you [specifically someone]. I am not making a statement on any particular organization, without having any material. The time for that would be when you release it."
On my question about a shared idealism with a desire for things to change, and how that has changed for him, Domscheit-Berg answered:
"It hasn't changed. It's not my personal gusto to define what should be changed. I am just providing a tool. That tool can be wielded by people who have information,and that make stories out of them."
Asked if his approach with OpenLeaks is partially a construct avoid liability, he stated:
"I am an accredited journalist. Up until today, i do not see that i will have any troubles with what i am doing from a legal perspective. The reality is that i as a journalist have some more specific protections with respect how i handle source material, for example."
Asked if he believed that the average citizen should enjoy those same protections as well, Domscheit-Berg responded:
"The average citizen does not have a source. If you would give them the right to deny any statements, then you would open yourself for quite some many problems. I think freedom of speech should be protected as much as possible, and sources should be protected rather than me as a journalist being able to protect a source. It would be much better if sources were generally legally protected, so that i do not need protection for my source protection. I would rather have the source protected by law than having the duty of protecting a source. Part of the OpenLeaks approach is to avoid liability because makes things easier, but on the other hand it is MORE about making this efficient. That's what the main reason behind it is. It is just about being able to build a stronger community to be able to work with such materials, to analyze them and give them the attention they deserve.