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Wikileaks insists tech companies obey Assange

by on20 March 2017

Or risk being hacked

Any hope of a partnership between Wikileaks, Google, Microsoft, and Apple to fix holes that the CIA has found in their products has hit a roadblock because Julian Assange is insisting that the big three do everything the way he says.

Last week, WikiLeaks promised it would share the technical details and code of the hacking tools that the CIA has developed against Google, Apple, Microsoft and other tech companies.

This sounds useful, but it seems that Assange is only going to hand over the data if the big three do what they are told and handle it his way.

WikiLeaks included a document in the email, asking the companies to sign off on a series of conditions before being able to receive the technical details to deploy patches.

One condition was that the companies would commit to issuing a patch within three months. While you would think this is a good thing, the tech companies are worried about where Assange got the documents from.

The smart money is that the documents were given to Wikileaks in its role as publishing what even the Russian secret service wants made public. The fear is that if the Russians want this information made public then there has to be a reason and tech companies do not want to quickly rush out a patch which might actually help the Russian spooks.

This means that each patch will require special testing to make sure that one thing does not create another hole elsewhere that the Russians have software to exploit.

According to Motherboard no information has been shared.

Wikileaks is known for imposing uncompromising demands on companies it works with. In 2011, Assange enraged a series of newspapers with its demands, even after they had already started collaborating. Assange also hates Google, which might make things tricky.

The CIA has "no comment on the authenticity of purported intelligence documents released by Wikileaks or on the status of any investigation into the source of the documents... As we have said previously, Julian Assange is not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity."

Last modified on 20 March 2017
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