WikiLeaks misstep: leaks thousands of DNC emails, some containing personal information

WikiLeaks misstep: leaks thousands of DNC emails, some containing personal information



The emails come from the office of seven DNC staffers, including the Communications Director and National Finance Director.

If WikiLeaks wanted to cause itself irreparable damage, it could not have done worse than to publish a huge dump of emails, some of which contain personal information such as passport or social security numbers, or credit card information.

The organization, which usually gets support from the tech and liberal media, is getting hammered for its poor judgement. Also, the source of the emails is also controversial as the hack may involve a Russian hacker.

The 19,252 emails come from the in-boxes of seven DNC employees, including Communications Director Luis Miranda and National Finance Director Jordan Kaplan, but a search of several known names deeper inside the organization turned up nothing (which show you just how easy it is to run up the number of emails coming and going through an organization).

My own name, it turns out, shows up once in an email containing a news rundown.

WikiLeaks, and after them right-wing media, is touting one email that seems to show an effort to coordinate against then candidate Bernie Sanders.

But if this is the end of the revelations one has to wonder why WikiLeaks is involved as it is merely a conversation, a “what if” type of communication rather than a detailed plan. Nonetheless, the email does leave one with the impression, that few deny, that the DNC actively worked to insure the nomination for Hillary Clinton.

But this is minor, it seems to me, than the possible exposure of personal information. But then again, if this was a hack from a Russian hacker, it means the goal was personal information – after all, a lot of money is flowing through the campaigns right now.

Photo: Hacking by Johan Viirok used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

The Coverage:

BGR, Chris Mills:

If you’ve made any contribution to the DNC, you probably want to search your own name right now to see if your details have been exposed. Identity theft protection probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

How did this happen? WikiLeaks has shown a reckless disregard for people’s personal information in the past. Unlike the Snowden leaks, which were carefully disseminated through the media, stripping out sensitive and personal information, WikiLeaks prefers to dump unredacted files directly on the internet. It’s not responsible journalism, and more the kind of thing you expect from Anonymous.

Gizmodo, Michael Nunez:

The new leak is part of the organization’s ongoing Hillary Leaks series, which launched in March as a searchable archive of more than 30,000 emails and attachments sent to and from Clinton’s private email server, while she was Secretary of State. The original email dump included documents from June 2010 to August 2014. The new release includes emails from January 2015 to May 2016.

This isn’t the first time WikiLeaks has recklessly published personal information of innocent civilians, either. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission have previously requested that WikiLeaks remove names of Afghan civilians in 77,000 classified military documents published online. The civilians were (ironically) collateral damage in the same leak that spurred the “Collateral Murder” video obtained by Wikileaks.

TechCrunch, Devin Coldewey:

Some emails are of admitted interest to someone who wanted to see how the DNC works — vetting applicants for meet-and-greets with the President, for instance, or sorting out problematic donations. Others are purely personal: one has Jordan Kaplan, the DNC’s national finance director, setting up a time to view an apartment and joking about sweatpants.

WikiLeaks and organizations like it are a valuable outlet for information that might otherwise be made deliberately difficult to get at, but the timing and spirit of this one give it a partisan feel.


A Darker Sun