Key points:1. Assange did not hack the computer. What came out...

  1. Osi
    7,753 Posts.
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    Key points:

    1. Assange did not hack the computer. What came out of the computer came off Manning's (excessive) password access.

    2. It seems to be alleged that Assange discussed password control with Manning but this did not result in the release of further information. In poorly controlled systems programmers and administrators may have access to tools that can access raw files without going through the usual user interface. That Manning would have access to such tools would beggar belief in the circumstances and Assange would be a fool for thinking that he did. Manning didn't have that access notwithstanding the apparently weak controls around the user interface.

    I'll now turn my views around a tad.

    Manning is a naïve idiot and a fool for thinking that a uniformed soldier can simply send a motherload of "actual" classified info to Wilileaks or to any global press agency without repercussion. I don't know the state of Manning's depression at the time but it would be within that mental state that Obama found some reason to commute Manning's sentence. Even Manning would know that everything in and out of US Defence computers is logged and that all emails and internet posts are logged and that people with high security clearances are always subject to higher scrutiny. Whether sane or insane at the time, Manning would still have known that when the send button was pushed it was all over for him/her. Manning's disclosure was suicidal .

    Assange is an arrogant pig (although it is not currently Justice Snow's place to say so). Unlike Manning, Assange has a pretty high IQ, and notwithstanding his narrow thought train, Assange knew enough to know what he was dealing with here. Assange knew that the disclosure placed Manning in jeopardy. Any respectable journo would have cautioned Manning about the likely consequences.

    Assange is a terrible journo, but none the less a journo because there is no legally defined standards for what constitutes a journo.

    Where does that leave us? For the moment I don't really know. On the one hand Assange appears to have a case to answer while on the other the case has too many layers of politics for Assange to get a fair hearing. There are jurisdictional reach issues, citizenship issues and a core issue concerning whether Assange breached UK law (with common law criminal intent) when he allegedly collaborated with Manning.

    Further to that the US needs to advise whether they will top-up the charge list because the composition of the list may impact the decision of a UK court.

    A question at the side is whether or not citizens of 5 eyes nations have a duty of confidentiality to each other's classified databases. As it is for the moment I don't believe you can legally commit treason against a "foreign power". If a foreign official agrees to release information, is there an obligation to keep that information confidential or is it a crime to simply receive it. I don't know and nor does anyone else.

    This case definitely needs to be tested and the issues need to be worked through at a government to government level (assuming we can trust this process to be stripped of political wheelbarrows …. which we can't).

    To move the issues forward perhaps the threat of incarcerating Assange needs to be taken off the table in return for his co-operation before a US court. The elephant in the room is an urgent need to resolve legal uncertainty. Few Australians want to see Assange's incarceration continued but everyone needs to see legal clarification and necessary reform.

    Last edited by Osi: Tuesday, 17:33
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