WikiLeaks returns with ‘Global Intelligence Files'
LONDON - Daily News with wiresWikiLeaks began publishing emails it "acquired" from U.S.-based private intelligence company Stratfor today in what appears to be a second major wave of anti-secrecy activity carried out by the group.
WikiLeaks had previously published cables from U.S. diplomatic missions from around the world, angering Washington on the grounds that the group had endangered the lives of state personnel and put national security at risk.
The group is set to publish over 5 million email correspondences between Stratfor operatives and their clients and information sources under the title "The Global Intelligence Files." The dates of the messages range from July 2004 to late December 2011, WikiLeaks announced on its website.
WikiLeaks did not deny that it paired with the Anonymous collective to hack into Stratfor servers and download millions of email messages. Anonymous had said in December that they have hacked into Stratfor, acquiring electronic messages and credit card information belonging to thousands of customers who subscribe to the intelligence-gathering company, whose clients include large corporations such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
One of the emails from the Global Intelligence Files shows correspondence between Coca-Cola and Stratfor where the beverage giant asks for information on the PETA organization in Canada ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Coca-Cola reportedly sought to acquire key information such as the number of members in PETA Canada, its level of activism, as well as its degree of coordination with its American counterpart, to assess the likelihood of a protest during the Olympics.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reportedly told Reuters that their main concern was the existence of a private intelligence firm "relying on informants from the U.S. government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations and journalists."
"What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause," Assange said.
Stratfor had said in January that the "thieves" who downloaded the messages would be "hard pressed" to find anything of significance.
Texas-based Stratfor, formally known as “Strategic Forecast,” describes itself as a subscription-based publisher of geopolitical analysis with an intelligence-based approach to gathering information.