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Following the plight of the oft-storied WikiLeaks organization, we see a new variant to hit the streets soon, GlobaLeaks. Apparently WikiLeaks has garnered a bit of a following with the community, along with the attraction of a fair share of consternation from governments around the world. This new effort attempts to extend that further.
Law enforcement organizations have been wrangling with how to deal with embarrassing/sensitive information being dumped out onto the web in big unsanitized buckets, arguing that this kind of thing can be life-threatening for those engaged in sensitive work. GlobaLeaks argues that we need open information anyway.
GlobaLeaks says it will focus mostly on tools to help would-be whistleblowers freely getting the word out anonymously, and so are hacking a collection of software to help them. They call the software a “Leak Amplification Platform”, and hope that the software will allow others to easily implement leak projects.
Coming to grips with data sprawl, and accompanying leakage, especially of the classified sensitive variety, has government officials up late at night. After all, they may be veteran experts in the physical arena, but the cyber arena has a different set of rules (and some that haven’t yet been defined). Also, they have to rely on much younger veterans of the new arena, who hopefully explain what they’re doing without over-geeking it, so there’s an understanding gap that has to be narrowed. Then there is carrying out a potential act to oppose this type of activity, which is still being defined in the new arena.
The good news is that law enforcement will now have some time to ramp up their efforts surrounding the project, a pressure GlobaLeaks will surely start to feel. But since the system integrates with Tor (anonymous routing system) for anonymity, they’ll have their work cut out for them. This kind of issue becomes a game of cat-and-mouse, each side trying to stay a step ahead. The bigger question, however, is whether this variant of hacktivism will resonate long after the fate is determined for Wikileaks (and other similar efforts like GlobaLeaks), or whether this brief stint will be chalked up to an internet sideshow that quickly fades from collective memory. We’ll wait and see.
Author Cameron Camp, ESET