Russia today has an interesting post:
“Internet a very large-scale spying machine” – info leaking site co-founder: Cryptome.org was publishing classified and secret documents long before WikiLeaks made headlines. Cryptome co-founder John Young told RT such sites are allowed to stay online so that spy services might keep an eye on their visitors.
There is no secrecy on the Internet, John Young warned.
“In terms of their being able to see everything that we are doing, we know that we cannot keep any secrets about our site and we tell our readers, ‘You should not expect us to protect you, because we are being watched and every other site is being watched, just like WikiLeaks is being watched,’” he said. “There’s no secrecy on the Internet – that’s the lesson we’ve learned and we are now trying to spread that.”
“They [the security services] use our site to see what’s going on and that’s something that we’ve learned about sites like ours. They are left in place in order to watch who comes there and see what kind of information we’ve put up,” John Young added. “The reason we haven’t been shut down is that we are useful to them to see what kind of attention is paid to this material. We think they actually feed us material to put up as they are feeding information to WikiLeaks and many other sites that operate the same way.” Hat tip: Naked Capitalism
Of course if the security agencies could not monitor everything going to sites such as this and Wikileaks they would want people to believe they could. Encryption software is readily accessible and inexpensive. Material can be sent from internet cafes or even from open wireless hot spots or hacked networks. There are probably ways to maintain confidentiality. So call me skeptical, but bear in mind I am an economist not an IT expert.
I also accept that those not taking precautions can be traced. In authoritarian police states they may even be monitoring internet cafes. So think long and hard before incurring the wrath of the leviathan.