The diplomatic documents published by WikiLeaks Friday are only the first batch of what the group says will be a much larger release, but they've already provided an unusual level of insight into the day-to-day of Saudi diplomacy - giving a snapshot of the lavish spending habits of senior royals and the political intrigue percolating across the Middle East. Many of the scores of documents reviewed by AP appear aimed at keeping track of Iranian activity across the region or undermining Tehran's interests.
Secret documents leaked to Al Jazeera reveal a routine practice among intelligence agencies to seek the cooperation of their peers in other countries to curb political dissent. The Spy Cables reveal a torrent of politicised requests to South Africa's State Security Agency (SSA) for information on "rogue NGOs", politicians and exiled groups from intelligence agencies around the world - many of them declined as inappropriate by the South Africans.
Big Business and national governments wanted to conceal the terms of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) while keeping consumers, unions, environmentalists and the vast majority of businesses in the dark. Thanks to Wikileaks, they failed. The draft agreement Wikileaks released on June 19 is fresh, written in May. It is a model of secret law, blatant in its disregard for transparency, democratic process and history. Its opening page says the terms are to remain secret for five years after negotiations formally end or the proposed new rules take effect. Talks to refine that agreement were to resume Monday in Geneva.
But there s another danger that Snowden didn't mention that's inherent in the government s having easy access to the voluminous data we produce every day: It can imply guilt where there is none. When investigators have mountains of data on a particular target, it's easy to see only the data points that confirm their theories - especially in counterterrorism investigations when the stakes are so high - while ignoring or downplaying the rest.
Lawyers for Chelsea Manning filed a request for a pardon from President Barack Obama Tuesday, following the soldier's 35-year jail sentence for one of the biggest military intelligence leak in U.S. history. "Private Manning's pardon request was filed today by our office," attorney David Coombs said on Twitter.
The reporter who revealed mass surveillance by the US authorities has said he will not be deterred from further reporting after the British government detained his partner and confiscated electronic data. Glenn Greenwald said on Monday that the UK would regret the detention of David Miranda, who was held for nine hours under an anti-terrorism law at London's Heathrow Airport. His electronic devices were confiscated and he was questioned about his private life.
A second United States email service has shut down amid reports that the US government was attempting to gain access to encrypted messages sent by whistleblower Edward Snowden. A company named Silent Circle on Friday said it would close its secure email service, hours after Lavabit said it would shut down rather than "become complicit in crimes against the American people".
The Russians did a big favour for the freedom-loving peoples of the world, including those in the US who can still think with our own brains - The US Unable to win their case in the court of public opinion, the self-styled leaders of the free world resort to threats and bullying to get their way - which kind of sums up American foreign policy in the second decade of the 21st century. And the spectacle of US attorney general Eric Holder trying to offer Russia assurances that his government would not torture or execute Snowden speaks volumes about how far the US government's reputation on human rights - even within the United States - has plummeted over the past decade.
Manning pleaded guilty earlier this year to lesser offences that could have brought him 20 years behind bars, yet the government continued to pursue the original, more serious charges. Manning has said he leaked the material to expose the U.S military's "bloodlust" and disregard for human life, and what he considered American diplomatic deceit. He said he chose information he believed would not the harm the US, and he wanted to start a debate on military and foreign policy. He did not testify at his trial.
Edward Snowden has been reported to be "healthy and safe" by Julian Assange but his whereabouts remain a mystery as the US hunted the architect of one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history. The WikiLeaks founder on Monday said Snowden and a WikiLeaks staff member travelling with him, Sarah Harrison, were "healthy and safe and in contact with their legal team".
This trial is worth watching because of the implications for whistleblowers and the US journalistic organisations that rely on government insiders, so that Americans know what the government is doing in their name. The case also has ramifications for Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor and source of the recent Guardian stories on US intelligence agencies and their surveillance capabilities, that may well extend to the phone records of just about every American, as well as their online correspondence. Snowden is already undergoing the same kind of trial by media that Manning received before getting to court.
The US Army soldier accused of providing diplomatic cables and other secret documents to the whistle-blower WikiLeaks website, has pleaded guilty to misusing classified material, but denied the most serious charge in the case - aiding the enemy.
Bradley Manning's trial is once again postponed. A US military judge says more time is needed to determine whether the US soldier's treatment while in custody was too harsh. We examine Manning's case and how the US treats its whistleblowers.