25 November 2012
Media.MIT Interviews Cryptome
I am a student doing a research project on document processing in leaking
websites as part of a Civic Media class at MIT. Specifically, I am looking
at what steps are taken between receipt of leaked documents and before release
(things like redacting names, adding information to put the documents in
their broader context, etc.), the reasons these are taken, what tools are
used and procedures followed, and how well the current methods work and if
they could be improved. I am particularly interested in Cryptome because
it is one of the longest running leaking websites. It also differs both from
WikiLeaks (and its many spinoffs) and from tip lines connected to mainstream
news organizations, government agencies, and companies so I would like to
learn more about its process and policies.
Would you have time to be interviewed for this project in the next couple
weeks? If so, what times work best for you and what is your preferred method
of contact for the interview?
Thank you very much.
It will be a pleasure to answer your inquiry by email.
At 06:13 AM 11/25/2012, A wrote:
So I have a few questions right now but I might have some follow-up questions
too. Please feel free to not answer any questions that are sensitive. Also,
may I post these questions and your answers publicly? There is generally
not enough information openly available on the processes leaking websites
use. I think this information is crucial to improving leaking websites so
I am making my interviews available where possible and also compiling a wiki
about leaking websites, relevant tools and processes, and more which will
include almost all information I have found in my research and be open for
This exchange can be published by you and anyone else and will be published
A: What is the ideal outcome of the release of a set of documents for Cryptome?
That many other persons will disclose sensitive and informative documents
and other forms of publicly accessible, non-secret information: video,
recordings, images, talks, conversations, whisperings, singing, yodeling,
drum beating, sign language, body gestures, dance, paintings, drawings,
sculpture, grafitti, samzidats, leaflets, protests, insults, fist fights,
traffic blockage, defiance of all open and secret forms of authority in
unexpected and unprecedented ways, again and again, never-ending, alone and
in cooperation with another, with groups, with crowds, with mobs, with militants
and angry suburbanites and workers, with anybody with a grief unanswered,
avoiding leaders of all stripes, and bosses and organizers and funders and
leeches and exploiters and ideologues of self-serving deviousness, in particular
those with with socio-economo-political agendas concealed by lying promises,
secrecy and backed by backroom out-of-sight shenanigans and the deadly force
always required by authority to screw the public with innumerable,
incomprehensible taxes, high profits, pocketpicking tithes, panhandling
donations. And a lot more coming and growing and getting wilder along those
lines which have been around since humans rose from the slime to brain-wave
means and methods to dominate and cheat, kept in check only by those willing
to reduce the dominators to pulp manure.
A: What process does a document or leaked information go through before being
posted on Cryptome and what are the goals of each step? I am interested in
the whole leaking process but particularly focused on steps done between
receipt and release of the document like verifying the document, removing
people's names, adding context, etc. What are the most time consuming and/or
difficult parts of this process?
Not much. If a document will annoy, and best, deeply anger, believers in
authority then it gets published. Leaking is just one way of doing that.
Far better is to provide documents and disclosures and oppositions and protests
that are not dramatic leaks but encourage others to share information of
all kinds to buck authority and drive it insane with fear of insignificance
and uselessness, and most terrifying, dead broke facing hard labor like those
We prefer libraries over leakage in which leaks may be implanted but are
not the primary goal. Leaks are a publicity gimmick, all too often a form
of authority closely imitating media to bedazzle consumers, while libraries
foster self-education and criticism and if all goes well, thoughtfulness
rather than addictive adrenaline of leaks and infantile headline spoonfeeding.
(Leaks like pablum were invented by authoritarians to attack and dumb-down
others to their low-level with manipulative, biased screechings.)
The most time consuming is formatting for publication, but it is not that
difficult, takes far less time than reading news media, watching TV and movies,
games playing and weight lifting, putting on make-up and preening, shopping
and eyeballing useless products. About the time it takes for daily bathroom
activities, excluding manic self-pleasuring.
We occasionally remove names but not if they are supporters of authority.
Hint, leakers and leak sites are authorities in sheep's clothing. The biggest
and most prolific leakers are authorities leaking openly and covertly through
the press, through NGOs and academics, through shills and authors, through
allegedly ex-authorities, through phony dissidents, by any means to manipulate
public understanding and behavior, and make a buck and keep taxes coming
A: Do you use in any particular tools in processing documents received? Examples
could be tools to remove metadata, manage the review of documents, etc. If
so, how well do these tools work? And are there any tools that could make
the process easier?
No tools beyond what any computer user has. All done by hand, no automatic
programs -- these are not reliable and are based on an authority model like
most labor-saving devices to induce sloth and thoughtlessness. Mass production
is authoritarian and its promotional material exactly the same. Big numbers
and big data are big deceptions to avoid public, personal, face-to-face
It is cheap to run a disclosure site, nearly anyone can do it on pocket change.
Don't believe the nutty claims of needing large donations, that's the high-profit
model pushed by commercial media, fat NGOs, moneymaking education and religions,
and incurably verbose and scribbling hustlers vomiting branded messages of
public benefit (LSoS) indistinguishable from governmental and commercial
cohorts padding one another's purse with tax favoritism, bribery, PR, swapping
slobber at feasts in off-the-record salons inside the manifold global beltways
funded by financial theft centers -- the
foundations aggregated in the paper New York Times today in a two-page
braggardy serving as recovery refuges for retired scoundrels from
A: Aside from you and the source, are others involved in helping with the
leaking process? What parts of the process do others generally help with?
And is the source ever involved in the process beyond the initial submission
(for example, by providing additional background information or helping with
verification of documents)?
Sources are the heavy lifters, thousands of them busting their chops for
whatever reasons they have to provide information, we do little by comparison.
We do not believe in "context." That is authoritarian nonsense.
For the same reason, we do not believe in verification, authentication,
background, foreground, advertising, promotion, branding, corporatization,
any form that enlarges the gap between individuals and those who claim to
protect them, educate them, save them from the devil, advocate national security
racketeering, supports official, secret spying at home and abroad.
A: Do you think of leaking and whistleblowing as synonyms? How would you
define each of them (or one of them if you think of them as synonyms)? And
how do you think of Cryptome in terms of leaking and whistleblowing?
Monetized leaking and whistleblowing, like exposes and documentaries, are
publicity terms among a slew of other less melodramatic disclosure methods.
They have come to be brands that diminish the less well-known initiatives
which are more pervasive and available for wide use by non-authoritarian,
Cryptome is a place to exchange free material among thousands of others like
it, before, now and in the future. Nothing special about it. And by no means
trustworthy, quite the opposite, suspicion encouraged. Do your own, without
delusion of models to follow.
What do you think, come on, out with your villainous media.MIT-driven, government
and corporation mega-funded agenda, you "fucking spy."
A: Thank you very much.