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

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

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

Manning confesses: I leaked to WikiLeaks to 'spark a debate'

For the first time today, U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning explained publicly why he handed hundreds of thousands of classified files to WikiLeaks, telling a crowded military courtroom in Ft. Meade, Md., that he had hoped to "spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy."

Manning said that his decision to leak the files stemmed from increasing concern about the U.S. military's actions in the Middle East, and that his conscience led him to conclude the documents must be made public. After approaching The New York Times and The Washington Post, but finding … Read more

White House warns of dangers posed by WikiLeaks, LulzSec, other 'hacktivists'

The White House warned today of the threat posed by WikiLeaks, LulzSec, and other "hacktivist" groups that have the ability to target U.S. companies and expropriate confidential data.

A new administration-wide strategy (PDF) disclosed at a high-profile event in Washington that included Attorney General Eric Holder says the theft of trade secrets is on the rise and predicts such theft will undermine U.S. national security unless halted.

It's a "steadily increasing threat to America's economy and national security interests," Holder said at the event, which also featured officials from the State Department … Read more

Credit card companies' WikiLeaks block just fine, EU says

Credit card companies that blocked WikiLeaks a couple of years ago didn't do anything wrong, the European Union's European Commission said today.

Last year, donation collection gateway DataCell complained to the commission that it was unfair for MasterCard Europe, Visa Europe, and American Express to have blocked donations to WikiLeaks. DataCell provided payment gateway services to WikiLeaks, accepting donations for the controversial organization. It was able to facilitate those transactions by operating its datacenter in Iceland -- away from legal prying eyes.

In its complaint, which it filed in July 2011, DataCell said that the credit card companies … Read more

Bradley Manning offers partial guilty plea to military court

Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier accused of providing WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of classified documents, has offered to plead guilty. Sort of.

During a pre-trial hearing in military court today, Manning's attorney, David Coombs, proposed a partial guilty plea covering a subset of the slew of criminal charges that the U.S. Army has lodged against him.

"Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses," Coombs wrote on his blog this evening. "The court will consider whether this is a permissible … Read more

CNET Tech Voters' Guide 2012: Romney vs. Obama on the issues

Technology topics can mark a rare bipartisan area of political agreement: Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama say they would make cybersecurity a priority, and both like to talk up government funding of basic research.

If you look a bit more closely, however, differences emerge. They're perhaps most marked over federal regulation, where the two major parties have long-standing disagreements, but also exist on topics like WikiLeaks, copyright legislation, and whether to levy a new tax on broadband providers.

Keep reading for CNET's 2012 Tech Voters' Guide, in which we highlight where the four candidates -- we've … Read more

Wikileaks and Anonymous go head-to-head in 'paywall' battle

Anonymous is typically a big fan of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, but earlier today, several of its members sent out tweets calling for people to stop donating to the site until further notice.

A Twitter tit-for-tat ensued and finally ended in what looks like a success for Anonymous.

What got the online hacker group all riled up was an overlay donation page that was first seen when accessing Wikileaks' Global Intelligence Files, according to The Next Web. These files contain more than five million emails from the international intelligence company Stratfor.

Anonymous publicly labeled the donation page a &… Read more