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Tech experts tie WikiLeaks soldier to database breach

Tech experts tie WikiLeaks soldier

Computer forensic experts testified on Monday that they traced break-ins to a secret U.S. government website to Bradley Manning, the American soldier charged with the biggest leak of classified files in U.S. history.


The testimony came as the court-martial of the private first class entered its second week. Manning, 25, is accused of providing more than 700,000 secret files to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks while serving in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.


He is accused of 21 charges, including aiding the enemy, and could face life in prison without parole if convicted in the case, which has raised questions about the limits of openness and secrecy in the digital age.

Ordered to hand over info

Computer experts testified that they traced break-ins to a secret website to Bradley Manning..



The trial was gathering pace as officials search for more details about an ex-CIA employee who leaked details of a top secret U.S. surveillance program in which security services monitored data about Americans’ phone calls and internet usage.


Manning, who was arrested in May 2010, is charged with downloading intelligence documents, diplomatic cables and combat videos and forwarding them to WikiLeaks. Government witnesses told the court-martial they had traced breaches of the U.S. government’s secret Intelink intelligence database to Manning’s user name and Internet Protocol address. The testimony was presented as prosecutors seek to prove that Manning orchestrated the release of documents, including secret diplomatic cables.


Manning was a low-level intelligence analyst when he allegedly released the documents to WikiLeaks, a move he said was intended to provoke a more robust debate in the United States on the military and foreign policy. U.S. officials said the breach put lives at risk.


In a written testimony, National Security Agency contractor Steven Buchanan said computer audit logs showed secret Intelink information was successfully accessed by Manning in 2009 and 2010. David Shaver, another computer expert, also testified that large amounts of classified information were downloaded from Intelink and traced to Manning’s computer.


Defense attorney David Coombs sought to cast doubt on whether all the unauthorised computer use attributed to Manning could have been done by him. Some of the more than 800 Internet searches from Manning’s computer could have resulted from malfunctioning equipment, or activity by other persons, he said.


“You don’t know who did those searches,” Coombs said while questioning Shaver, who answered that this was correct. Later, military computer crimes investigator Mark Mander said he used Internet searches to link leaks of classified information to WikiLeaks, gleaning some of the evidence from Internet sites such as Google and Archive.


Mander said the sites displayed chat logs that show when internet users post information and his review showed a large amount of classified U.S. military information was transferred without authorisation.


It appeared that the organisation WikiLeaks was the recipient of the information,” said Mander, who also reviewed postings to social media such as Twitter. WikiLeaks sometimes uses a Twitter account to send and receive messages, he said.


One January 2010 Twitter message anonymously offered secret U.S. military information to WikiLeaks, Mander said. A later WikiLeaks tweet requested U.S. military information. Defense attorneys sought to show that the evidence to prove Manning was responsible for this was weak.

Asked by Coombs if he had found any evidence that Manning personally viewed the Tweets, Mander said: “I did not.


The attorneys also argued that Mander’s knowledge of search engines was too sparse for him to be a reliable witness on Internet postings. Mander also acknowledged Manning did not display anti-American sentiments: “I did not find anything where he wanted to help the enemy,” he said.



  1. Bradley Manning continues to be nominated for that Nobel Peace Prize this season.

    Manning continues to be imprisoned since his arrest this year for seeping a relevant video showing the killing of ordinary people, including two Reuters journalists, with a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. He’s also billed with discussing the documents referred to as Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and embarrassing US diplomatic cables, using the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The recording and documents have illuminated such issues because the true number and reason for civilian casualties in Iraq, human privileges abuses by U.S.-funded companies and foreign militaries, and also the role that spying and bribes play in worldwide diplomacy.

    Although not attempted, he’s been held under solitary confinement, refused sunlight, and occassionally, clothes. Un chief torture investigator Juan Mendez went on record saying he’s “frustrated through the prevarication of america government regarding my tries to visit Mr. Manning.” All this continues to be known as harsh and punitive by Amnesty Worldwide, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich has known as it ” more in line with Kafka then your US Metabolic rate.”

    Just how can so-known as patriots still think that by supporting this government, they are fighting for that concepts which America began?

  2. Internet Neutrality does a couple of things,

    1) the initial idea of NN was to really make it illegal to charge for bandwidth (excellence of the product)

    I’m from this part to start with, not simply will the merchandise degrade because of everybody being on a single bandwidth (since companies can’t make their product better, there’s no incentive too), but customers is going to be not able to upgrade. A business or hospital should have the ability to buy a greater bandwidth than a web-based gamer or forum user. There’s another amount of significance and priority between your the previous and also the later.

    2) the 2nd area of the bill, gives government the legal right to control and limit sites from everyone.

    I’m also from this, however i suspect it was the greatest feature for that bill. NN has unsuccessful a minimum of 5 occasions, again and again again. In my opinion wikileaks gave the push to provide government this mandate. This part mirrors Farenheit 451, even the preventing reason for controlling the web has got the problem to be arbitrary, what’s an excessive amount of? How’s this measured?

    Anyways, what exactly are your ideas around the Wikileaks connection?

    What exactly are your ideas on NN? My assessment?

  3. Why has not who owns Wikileaks been charged with delivering classified information of the U.S government? May be the website Freedom of Speech, or perhaps is it libel, being a few of the information dangerous towards the U.S government? Will someone explain?

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