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Entries in WikiLeaks (4)

Friday
Jul012011

WikiLeaks Spoofs Mastercard Commercials

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- WikiLeaks’ latest fundraising video takes a jab at Mastercard, one of the major credit card companies that is blocking over $15 million in donations to the anti-secrecy group. It also suggests the group’s work in exposing thousands of secret American diplomatic cables and military documents was the catalyst for the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Spoofing Mastercard’s signature “Priceless” ads, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes an appearance in the minute-long video which tallies the group’s various expenses associated with running the website and defending it from attack and legal challenges.

Among the costs, according to the video: 20 secure phones priced at $5,000, legal bills in five countries valued at $1 million, upkeep of servers in over 40 countries costing $200,000, the loss donations lost due to banking blockade worth $15 million, and an extra $500,000 to cover costs associated with Assange’s court-ordered house arrest in Great Britain.

The clip delivers the kicker as the camera tilts up to a slightly smiling, slightly smirking Assange watching crowds protest during an Arab Spring uprising: “Watching the world change as a result of your work: priceless,” the narrator says. “There are some people who don’t like change. For everyone else there’s WikiLeaks.”

Last fall WikiLeaks released the first batch of State Department cables which exposed unfiltered American diplomatic correspondence between its embassies abroad and the headquarters in Washington, D.C. As the Arab Spring took hold in early 2011 WikiLeaks suggested the uprisings were inspired by evidence of corruption in those countries that was exposed in the leaked cables.

The State Department, meanwhile, has argued the uprisings had little to do with the leaked cables and more to do with homegrown movements building on longstanding frustrations with governments in the region.

So far there’s been no response from Mastercard, which has taken legal action against parodies of its ads in the past. In 2000 the company sued presidential candidate Ralph Nader who released a political ad that mimicked the Mastercard commercials. In 2004, however, a court ruled in favor of Nader.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar152011

Hacker Group Discloses Alleged Bank of America Mortgage Fraud

Davis Turner/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Bank of America, the nation's largest bank, was put in the position of defending itself Monday when someone from a hacker group calling itself "Anonymous" posted e-mails, allegedly from a former BOA employee who accused his old employer of keeping regulators from seeing foreclosure information.

The e-mails from an unidentified person who worked for Balboa Insurance, a mortgage and car insurer obtained by BOA, show that employees were instructed to change mortgage loan information in such a way that it could presumably be used to unjustly increase foreclosures among its clients.

Anonymous posted the e-mails on the website BankofAmericaSuck.com.

BOA fired back Monday, accusing the former Balboa employee of pilfering documents, adding "he will not be able to substantiate his outlandish assertions."

In the meantime, the bank continues its anxious wait for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to come through on his threat to publish thousands of classified and potentially damaging documents about a major bank, which everyone has come to assume is BOA.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec082010

MasterCard's Website Hacked by WikiLeaks Supporters

Photo Courtesy - MasterCard(PURCHASE, N.Y.) -- Hackers launched a coordinated attack on MasterCard's website Wednesday in response to the company's decision to cut off money transfers to WikiLeaks.

The credit card company issued a statement saying its corporate website, MasterCard.com, was "experiencing heavy traffic" and that its "working to restore normal speed of service."

An activist group known as 4chan and an online hacking group called Anonymous are reportedly behind the attack that's being called "Operation: Payback.  They are believed to be targeting companies that have severed ties with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Following the attack, Anonymous posted on their twitter account Wednesday: "http://www.mastercard.com/ is DOWN! #ddos #wikileaks Operation:Payback (is a [expletive]!) #PAYBACK."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec022010

'We Did Not Stop Hosting WikiLeaks Because of Government, Site Attacks,' Says Amazon

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Amid reports that government inquiry caused Amazon not to serve WikiLeaks, Amazon Web Services (AWS) posted a message on its blog stating "that is inaccurate."

AWS Thursday claimed that WikiLeaks simply did not follow the terms of service, which was cause for removal from the server.  For example, Amazon's terms state that one must "represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content...that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity."

Amazon said it was "clear that WikiLeaks doesn't own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content."

AWS, which has been storing data for its customers for over four years, also said that controversial information is not an issue for them as much as violation of terms.

"Some of this data is controversial, and that's perfectly fine.  But, when companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn't rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won't injure others, it's a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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