Tag Archives: wired

How To: Create A Hyperlocal Leaks Site

I wrote a how-to for the Wired wiki on creating a hyperlocal leak site such as JumboLeaks.

WikiLeaks has changed the way whistle-blowers, document leak sites, and media organizations operate. In its wake, other similar sites where users can anonymously submit documents are cropping up, many with a hyperlocal or topic-specific focus. Last week, The Wall Street Journal announced Safehouse; Al Jazeera has the Transparency Unit; Russia has Ruleaks; Tufts University even has JumboLeaks.

Leak sites, it seems, are here to stay. Here’s how to get one started.

Click here to read the rest at howto.wired.com


Wired.com Review

Disclosure: My father, David Dobbs, blogs on wired.com’s Wired Science section. For that reason, I’m not going to cover that section in this review, but focus on the site as a whole for the most part.

A screenshot of wired.com's main page.

Wired is one of the best-known news sources for technology and science news content. In both its magazine and online, Wired produces content covering an amazingly wide range of subjects, from diamond heists to hand-built cocaine submarines to  the science of happiness. Because of this breadth, Wired has become my one-stop-shop for interesting features and all sorts of tech news. Relating to WikiLeaks, Wired’s Threat Level blog has done a great job of covering WikiLeaks and many other privacy issues on the web.

An interesting aspect of Wired’s operations is the divide between the magazine and the website. Wired.com has its own editor-in-chief and produces the vast majority of its own original content. The magazine and the website staff also occupy separate newsrooms within the same building. Content from the magazine is confined to a single sub-section of wired.com (though some of the magazine’s headlines do end up on the front page.)

If the website was formatted differently, the divide between the magazine content and the web-only content would be a big problem, but since the site’s main page consists of a mix of the most popular or notable content from all sub-sections of the site, web users still get exposure to the bigger stories in the magazine. Magazine content goes up two weeks after the magazine is released, presumably to provide an incentive for people to buy the magazine, but once it is online it is totally free.

The best part of wired.com – and what makes it unlike nearly every other site on the internet – is the sheer breadth and depth of content on it. There are 13 blogs, more than there were a year ago (the “Playbook” sports blog is a new edition), all covering different things from serious news about net neutrality and WikiLeaks to more playful coverage of awesome tennis-playing quadricopters. This variety of coverage makes the site appealing to a very broad audience and also makes it a go-to news source for all sorts of coverage.

One aspect of wired.com that could be improved is their videos section. The videos in that section are so rarely advertised on the front page that it’s hard to find reason to even click on the section’s tab. The best videos on wired.com also tend to be embedded within a larger post, not stand-alone pieces. This is fine, but if the site has a video section, the quality and context of the videos should be better.

Overall, though, wired.com provides an exceptionally high level of content – both in quality and quantity – in an easily navigable and well-designed format. I definitely recommend the site, even to people who don’t consider themselves nerdy enough for Wired.

Al Jazeera Q&A with Manning ‘snitch’ Adrian Lamo

Adrian Lamo wears a hat with the word "snitch" across the bill.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Villamizar got an interview with Adrian Lamo, who reported Bradley Manning to the U.S. government, handing over online chat logs in which Manning allegedly confessed to leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.

Lamo claims he has received threats since he has become “one of the most hated figures in cyberspace.”

Lamo shed some light on the complexity of his position, too. Clearly, Manning trusted Lamo a great deal, sharing such damning details with him. So why did Lamo turn him in?

“I took no joy in it, it was not the right choice, it wasn’t the wrong choice, there was no right or wrong choice,” he says, adding, “I wish I could have been a friend to Bradley.”

Lamo says he did it because he “felt a responsibility as a witness to a crime, essentially,” and that his primary concern was “the well-being of the individuals who could have been harmed by the information released by private Manning.”

The Q&A also touches on the controversy surrounding the chat logs (in which Glenn Greenwald called for Wired – the sole possessor of the complete logs – to publish them, and Wired refused). Lamo says he no longer has the complete logs, and that only Wired has them. Wired has published excerpts from the logs, but they are not available in their entirety.

Lamo says that such a release would “be, essentially, on the same level as Mr. Manning in revealing information that not only am I not entitled to have, but that no one in this room is.” An odd comment, considering Lamo was a participant in these conversations.

Interactive Timeline: Bradley Manning’s Alleged Leaking

Click to view timeline.

Wired has put together an excellent “interactive timeline of Bradley Manning’s alleged leaking.

Check it out.