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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:17 AM

WikiLeaks Volunteer Was a Paid Informant for the FBI

BY KEVIN POULSEN
06.27.13

On an August workday in 2011, a cherubic 18-year-old Icelandic man named Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson walked through the stately doors of the U.S. embassy in Reykjavík, his jacket pocket concealing his calling card: a crumpled photocopy of an Australian passport. The passport photo showed a man with a unruly shock of platinum blonde hair and the name Julian Paul Assange.

Thordarson was long time volunteer for WikiLeaks with direct access to Assange and a key position as an organizer in the group. With his cold war-style embassy walk-in, he became something else: the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks. For the next three months, Thordarson served two masters, working for the secret-spilling website and simultaneously spilling its secrets to the U.S. government in exchange, he says, for a total of about $5,000. The FBI flew him internationally four times for debriefings, including one trip to Washington D.C., and on the last meeting obtained from Thordarson eight hard drives packed with chat logs, video and other data from WikiLeaks.

The relationship provides a rare window into the U.S. law enforcement investigation into WikiLeaks, the transparency group newly thrust back into international prominence with its assistance to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Thordarson’s double-life illustrates the lengths to which the government was willing to go in its pursuit of Julian Assange, approaching WikiLeaks with the tactics honed during the FBI’s work against organized crime and computer hacking — or, more darkly, the bureau’s Hoover-era infiltration of civil rights groups.

“It’s a sign that the FBI views WikiLeaks as a suspected criminal organization rather than a news organization,” says Stephen Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy. “WikiLeaks was something new, so I think the FBI had to make a choice at some point as to how to evaluate it: Is this The New York Times, or is this something else? And they clearly decided it was something else.”

The FBI declined comment.

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http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/wikileaks-mole/all/

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Reply WikiLeaks Volunteer Was a Paid Informant for the FBI (Original post)
n2doc Jun 2013 OP
KoKo Jun 2013 #1
geek tragedy Jun 2013 #2
chimpymustgo Jun 2013 #3

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:29 AM

1. What a confusingly written article. Don't know quite what to make of it.

I wondered if they were ever successful in tying Assange with Bradley Manning and the article seems to leave that open.

Anyway it was interesting.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:19 PM

2. This guy sounds like a real character

 

Thordarson’s equivocation highlights a hurdle in reporting on him: He is prone to lying. Jonsdottir calls him “pathological.” He admits he has lied to me in the past.


I would think it obvious that US spy agencies would attempt to spy on those who were attempting to spy on them.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:33 PM

3. Well, they spy on EVERYONE - and infiltrate every organization they want - from Occupy to NYPD.

Scary shit.

C.I.A. Report Finds Concerns With Ties to New York Police
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: June 26, 2013 80 Comments

WASHINGTON — Four Central Intelligence Agency officers were embedded with the New York Police Department in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, including one official who helped conduct surveillance operations in the United States, according to a newly disclosed C.I.A. inspector general’s report.

That officer believed there were “no limitations” on his activities, the report said, because he was on an unpaid leave of absence, and thus exempt from the prohibition against domestic spying by members of the C.I.A.

Another embedded C.I.A. analyst — who was on its payroll — said he was given “unfiltered” police reports that included information unrelated to foreign intelligence, the C.I.A. report said.

The once-classified review, completed by the C.I.A. inspector general in December 2011, found that the four agency analysts — more than had previously been known — were assigned at various times to “provide direct assistance” to the local police. The report also raised a series of concerns about the relationship between the two organizations.

The C.I.A. inspector general, David B. Buckley, found that the collaboration was fraught with “irregular personnel practices,” that it lacked “formal documentation in some important instances,” and that “there was inadequate direction and control” by agency supervisors.

-edit-

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/nyregion/cia-sees-concerns-on-ties-to-new-york-police.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0#comments

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