You are hereHuffington Post: Spy vs. Spy As Hackers Square Off Over DC Dirty Tricks

Huffington Post: Spy vs. Spy As Hackers Square Off Over DC Dirty Tricks

February 17, 2011- The mainstream media are paying increasing attention to a shocking scandal arising from retribution by pro-WikiLeaks hackers against government contractors apparently trying to sell political dirty tricks services to hurt critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bank of America.

Blogs (including by intended victims) and specialty publications provided most of the early in-depth coverage after the hacker group Anonymous announced that it had hijacked 40,000 emails from contractor HBGary Federal because the latter was compiling dossiers to hurt Anonymous, among others.

What's new this week is that traditional broadcasters and newspapers are increasingly digging into the story, which is complicated by government and media antipathy to WikiLeaks and hackers. Not surprisingly, the rebellious free-thinkers fare poorly in comparisons to the nation's commerce and homeland security giants who are closely intertwined with many media companies.

Also, the federal government is using at least two grand juries to gather evidence against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Anonymous. The latter group of hackers, who keep their identities secret, are suspected of disrupting operations of such Internet service companies as PayPal and in retaliation for their halt of customer services to WikiLeaks.

The increasingly powerful Republican fund-raiser and media pundit Karl Rove last August raised the ante against WikiLeaks by going on television to urge the U.S. government to try Assange for disclosing secret cables. Nearly two months ago, my Justice Integrity Project documented here on Huffington Post that Rove is not simply a pundit and huge Republican fund-raiser empowered by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, but was listed also on his website as having worked as a consultant for Sweden's governing Moderate Party. The New York Times, which published some of the WikiLeaks revelations last year, is among WikiLeaks-critics also -- as illustrated by Executive Editor Bill Keller's harsh criticisms of the organization recently in a Sunday magazine article and in remarks at the National Press Club.

But an apparent plot by big business to destroy political enemies with confidential data makes this a dramatic story, albeit largely relegated to the inside pages. News value also comes from the sheer audacity (or foolishness) of the players.



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