WikiLeaks' Julian Assange to launch new whistle-blowing platform

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange to launch new whistle-blowing platform

New study also released, covering companies developing surveillence products

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the organisation is still working on a revamped submissions platform, after the serious concerns over the platform's security that postponed a release this week.

Assange repeated WikiLeaks' concern with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol, which enables computers to exchange encrypted information.

He said SSL is no longer safe and alleged that intelligence agencies have compromised Certificate Authorities (CAs). CAs issue digital certificates used for SSL. Hundreds of intermediate CAs can issue SSL certificates linked back to a root CA.

Several intermediate CAs have reported breaches in which hackers generated digital certificates for major websites including Google, which would give the hackers the ability to intercept communications.

Assange would not say when WikiLeaks will again have an online submissions system. The organisation has developed an "offline component," he said. "At the moment, we take things in a number of ways," Assange said.

Wikileaks has also released a broad study of the brisk global trade in surveillance products, which Assange claimed exposes a risk to peoples' privacy. Assange said the study, which encompasses 160 companies in 25 countries, was undertaken as part of an obligation to sources for the whistle-blowing website, which has not accepted submissions for more than a year following security concerns.

The terrorist attacks in September 2001 in the US have proved to be a license for European countries, the US, Australia, South Africa and others to develop "spying systems that afffect all of us," Assange said.

"Who here has an iPhone?" Assange asked attendees of the press conference in London. "Who here has a Blackberry? Who here uses Gmail? Well you are all screwed. The reality is intelligence contractors are selling right now to countries across the world mass surveillance systems for all of those products."

Photo: Espen Moe


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