In most-anticipated SXSW talk in years, Snowden fires up Austin

AUSTIN, Texas -- And on Monday, Edward Snowden showed up.

It was perhaps the most-anticipated South by Southwest Interactive talk since Mark Zuckerberg gave a keynote speech in 2008: Snowden appearing live, by teleconference, from Russia.

And though today's talk lacked the fireworks that erupted during Zuckerberg's onstage interview with Sarah Lacy, there's little doubt that the 5,000 people in the room -- plus thousands more in two nearby overflow rooms and those watching a livestream online -- were hanging on Snowden's every word. Indeed, despite reports that Dunham's talk was more popular (as … Read more

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: NSA critics got lucky because agency had no PR strategy

AUSTIN, Texas -- National security reporters are a new kind of political refugee, but for the first time they've had an extremely powerful opponent without an effective public relations strategy.

Those were two of the main points delivered by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a teleconference interview at South by Southwest today.

Assange, speaking over Skype from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, said that while the Internet had, over the last few years, been co-opted by the US National Security Agency, the Pentagon, and other government organizations in what could amount to the "most aggressive form of state surveillance" ever created, … Read more

NSA targeted WikiLeaks, Pirate Bay, leaked documents show

The National Security Agency and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters targeted WikiLeaks and Pirate Bay -- and ultimately users of those sites as well, according to leaked files.

Examining a series of classified documents leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, news site The Intercept reported on Tuesday that the NSA wanted to deem WikiLeaks a "malicious foreign actor." Such a designation would have subjected the site to extensive surveillance without the use of "defeats," an NSA action that aims to prevent US citizens from getting snared in the surveillance.

The UK's GCHQ went a step … Read more

WikiLeaks pans 'The Fifth Estate' film while leaking script

WikiLeaks has given a thumb's down to an upcoming film that tries to tell the tale of founder Julian Assange.

Headed to movie theaters next month, "The Fifth Estate" focuses on the formation and growth of WikiLeaks by Assange and former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The story also covers WikiLeaks' posting of classified US documents in 2010, an act that brought the site notoriety and provoked the wrath of the US government.

But WikiLeaks is already unhappy about with the film based on the script -- which the site itself has leaked. Labeling the movie "a … Read more

Assange's brilliant mullet-wearing, classic-miming video

If I were holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, I would be creating naked, wall-crawling videos, learning to grill marinated mongoose, and constructing a temple to the Bay City Rollers.

Julian Assange seems to be heading that way.

For he has just participated in what may be the most touchingly demented piece of video since Antoine Dodson told us to hide our kids and hide our wives.

Please let me tell you slowly how he appears in this video that is occasionally peppered with naughty words.

Well, the WikiLeaks founder dons a mullet wig. He also wears a … Read more

Military judge finds Manning guilty of most charges

Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier who provided WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of classified documents, was found guilty of nearly all the charges filed against him, but not guilty of aiding the enemy.

Col. Denise Lind, the judge presiding over an eight-week court martial in Fort Meade, Md., announced the verdict today, which could mean Manning would spend multiple decades in a military prison with only a slim chance of parole.

Manning's ultimate sentence, however, has yet to be determined and is likely to be appealed. Manning's attorney, David Coombs, previously has said he planned to … Read more

Trailer for WikiLeaks movie 'The Fifth Estate' debuts online

Does the actor who played the villain in "Star Trek Into Darkness" make a convincing Julian Assange? Judge for yourself courtesy of the new trailer for "The Fifth Estate," an upcoming film about WikiLeaks and its controversial founder.

Popping up on YouTube on Tuesday, the lengthy trailer serves up a variety of scenes from the movie.

We see the anger from U.S. government officials over WikiLeaks' posting of classified documents. We watch the budding rapport between Assange and former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a relationship that eventually turned sour. And we catch a silhouette of … Read more

WikiLeaks: Where's Snowden? We're not saying

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said Monday that Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor sought by the U.S. government, is "healthy and safe."

But Assange, in a conference call with reporters this morning, would not divulge Snowden's specific whereabouts, or even which country he might be in by now.

Last Friday, the U.S. government unsealed an indictment against Snowden, who has made international headlines over the last few weeks thanks to disclosures about classified NSA surveillance programs that he made through the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.

"Edward Snowden is not a traitor,&… Read more

Julian Assange's secret chat with Google's chairman

Eric Schmidt met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in secret in 2011, according to the transcript of a wide-ranging discussion published late Thursday by the document-leaking organization.

The transcript of the meeting, which occurred while Assange was under house arrest in the U.K., was published just days before the scheduled release of Schmidt's new book, "The New Digital Age," on Tuesday. The book's co-author, Google Ideas director Jared Cohen, was also present during the discussion, according to the transcript.

The interview, offering an intimate look into the thought processes of two of the tech world'… Read more

Wikileaks launches searchable archive of government records

You can now search among 2 million confidential, or formerly confidential, government documents courtesy of Wikileaks.

The whistle-blowing group has set up a new "public library of U.S. diplomacy" offering more than 1.7 million diplomatic files from 1973 to 1976. Dubbed "The Kissinger Cables," the files reveal diplomatic cables, intelligence reports, and congressional correspondence, many of which relate to then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

As expected, the documents focus on some hot-button issues, including U.S. involvement with dictatorships in Latin America and Greece and the 1973 "Yom Kippur war" … Read more