Early this morning in Europe, the organization WikiLeaks promised the slow release of more than 5 million private emails obtained out of the intelligence organization Stratfor in a massive Anonymous hack late last year.
The hack was certainly embarrassing for a company that trades in security- particularly one that had been likened to a “shadow CIA” in the past. The first batch of leaks is out and currently being pored over by the press, and Stratfor has struck back at the full-disclosure org with a press release condemning the release of the information, a move they describe as a “deplorable, unfortunate- and illegal- breach of privacy.”
Stratfor has taken the interesting stance of refusing to deny any of the (somewhat serious) bits of misconduct leaked so far or anything that will be leaked- among the allegations are improper collusion with journalistic organizations as well as insider trading. In the release, Stratfor says:
“Some of the e-mails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic…We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them.”
Stratfor also claims that the WikiLeaks dump is an attempt to silence the intelligence organization, and also wants to add that the emails (which may or may not be forgeries, they add) were casual transmissions:
“As with last year’s hack, the release of these emails is a direct attack on Stratfor. This is another attempt to silence and intimidate the company, and one we reject. Under the continued leadership of founder and Chief Executive Officer George Friedman, Stratfor will not be silenced and will continue to publish the geopolitical analysis our friends and subscribers have come to rely upon… The emails are private property. Like all private emails, they were written casually, with no expectation anyone other than the sender and recipient would ever see them. They should be read as such.”
In relation to the information contained in the leak, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange commented that it is “of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny [by Stratfor] are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause.”