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Sep 21, 2020 43 tweets 18 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
DAY 10 of #JulianAssange's extradition hearing will begin in 1 hour. Our live tweets will be on this thread.

Join @Consortiumnews editor-in-chief Joe Lauria @unjoe at 5pm BST on #CNLive! for his daily account.

Court is in session. Mark Summers announces 1st witness is Prof Christian Grothoff, from the Bern Uni of Applied Sciences. Specialises in net security and cryptography. Has been asked to trace the publication of unredacted cables.
Prof Grothoff says his research would have been visible to anyone - "obscure but not hidden".

Defence: In summer 2010, you saw @Wikileaks shared a server with @davidleighx?

CG: Yes

Defence: Was the cable file encrypted?

CG: Yes & the files could only be accessed w/ password
CG: The password was the one @DavidLeighx published as a title chapter of his book?

MS: Can the password (encryption key) be changed?
CS: No, you would have to encrypt a new file.
MS Can u trace the publication time-line?

CG Initially there was only the publication of redacted cables from the media partners. There was a DDoS attack on the @Wikleaks site -an automated overwhelming of the site

MS Did it result in WL's DNS hosting being terminated?
CS Yes
MS So we know the DDoS attack was causing difficulties for the @Wikileaks site?

CS Yes to the users mainly. @Wikileaks asked people to mirror their site so people could access it. A "mirror" is a duplicate of the site, hosted on a different server.
Many ppl have mirrored it
MS Did @Wikileaks instruct on how to mirror their site?
CG Yes
MS Was the unredacted file copied at that stage?
MS But then some mirrors began to have the file?
CG They didn't follow @Wikileaks instructions. Then @DavidLeighx published the password
MS Could @Wikileaks the the file down?
CG No. They didn't have control over the mirror sites.
Then in August 2011, @derfreitag published an article about the password being in @DavidLeighx's book.

MS Cites statement from Nigel Parry. Said he found the unredacted cable file
MS Was Nigel Parry's discovery of the encrypted cable file on one of the mirror sites?

CG No. It was on another one. Lists some sites inc

MS Is the Cryptome site well known?
CG Yes in our community

MS Where else could cables be accessed?

The Pirate Bay
MS You said the US government accessed the unredacted cables file from The Pirate Bay?
CS Yes

MS Are the unreacted cables still on
CG Yes

MS Has Cryptome owner been prosecuted?
CG No, adds that's a US based site
James Lewis X-exam of Prof Christian Grothoff

Prosecution asks when Grotoff first asked to be a witness.
CG Around Feb 2020. I was asked to trace the unredacted cables.

I was given a statement by John Young (owner of Cryptome)
and records serving as evidence
Prosecution You were instructed to provide an impartial expert witness report. Reveal evidence that would contradict the @Wikileaks position.

CG Yes, and I did research anything that would disprove

Prosecutor You signed a petition to @realDonaldTrump?
CG I don't remember?
Prosecutor You are one of the initial signatories. You don't recall?
Prosecutor Do you have strong views about what the proper outcome would be?
CG I only have submitted a technical report. What I have discovered is Mr #Assange did not publish the unredacted cables first.
CG The primary publisher of the unredacted cables was other parties. It was wrong to say @Wikileaks did this, when they (and media partners) had been so diligent with redactions.

Prosecution So you are not biased, given you signed a petition?
CG No.
Prosecutor Did you download the unredacted cables file from the @Wikileaks website.

CG No. I downloaded it from

Prosecution Was it on the WL website?
CS I don't know if it was there initially.
P You said it appeared on the mirrors
CS On some of them
Prosecutor How many people had the password?
CG I don't know
P When you give it away to too many people it eventually gets out to the many, relations can sour.
CG Like with David Leigh. He was one of the few who had access to all cables.
P 50 media orgs did
CS Only to some
Prosecution Who at @Wikileaks was aware of of the password being printed in David Leigh's book?
CG I don't know who would have learned that initially

talking about mirroring of the WL site after the DDoS
Did Wikileaks encourage mirroring?

CG Yes & this hide the file
Prof Grothoff explains that multiplying mirrors of their site WITHOUT the cables file was a way of "building a haystack", reducing the risk of anyone find the file on one of the mirrors that had it.

Prosecutor: But the immediate purpose was to get help since under attack?
CS Yes
Prosecutor You looked at cables. Did any say strictly protect.
CG. Not that I saw. I looked at cables marked unclassified.
P Do you agree that Wikileaks boasted publishing in searchable format?
CG Yes
P Citing cables from different countries - in searchable format
Prosecutor: You said @DerFreitag reported that the file was on a mirror of @Wikileaks? They said it was "circulating on the web"
CG Same thing. I'm just using the technical term
P @DerSpeigel didn't report where the password was. They just said it was circulating on the web...
Prosecutor talking about specific releases of secret cables. Prof G says there were 3 types of publications:

- secret vetted & redacted by media partners
- unclassified published by collaborating media outlets
- unredacted published by other websites
Prof Grothoff is now being asked about the very first publication of the unredacted cables. He is looking for a tweet from 2011 with a link to them. Baraitser has given him 15 mins to find it.
We're back Prof Grotoff has found the tweet. 7.58pm Sept 1st 2011. You say what happened on 31st Aug & Sept 1st

Prosecutor On the 31st you say Cryptome report on the pass phrase. They don't publish until the 1st

CG Encrypted file on the 31st
Unencrypted on the 1st
Prosecution reading from Nigel Parry's blog. He's put 2+2 together, found the file. Informed @Wikileaks on 31st August.

Questions about the specific time/date: Parry discovery ---> Cryptome ---> Pirate Bay.

Now looking at timing of Wikileaks tweets / editorial
Prosecutor: After the password was out, @Wikileaks began tweeting w/ xxxxxx instead of word to be inserted? @Wikileaks has a much wider reach than Nigel Parry. They amplified it.

CG: Well it was out there.
Prosecutor: @Wikileaks servers were struggling. Wanting more capacity
Prosecutor: When was the earliest the unredascted cables were published?
CS Yoshimo torrent was probably the first, about 14 hours before Wikileaks. Cryptome was some time in between.
Prosecutor keeps coming back to @Wikileaks searchable format but still hasn't made his point. Oh, he's now saying search-ability makes information more visible. Never came out with saying we're not interested in the rabbit-hole websites. @Wikileaks had reach & were user-friendly
Joel Smith for the prosecution has finished w/ Prof Christian Grotoff. Re-exam begins. Camera swings to Julian.

Mark Summers for the defence is asking if @DavidLeighx was one of the media partners and was the only person given (reluctantly) access to the entire data.
MS Yes
MS Is talking about how #Assange and @davidleighx agued & that Leigh coerced the entire trove. Under duress, Assange capitulated and gave him the password (on a napkin).
CS confirms. The files were on a temp server, encrypted. No use w/out the password. Only Leigh could open all
Now on topic of @Wikileaks encouragement of mirroring their site. Did the mirrors contain the cables.?
CS No. The Wikileaks instructions, using the Apache method would not have included the store. Some sites were using bit torrent. Other methods
Now talking about the classification level of releases published by different countries. CG found they were all unclassified. Same number that @Wikileaks released
Defence What was @Wikileks saying about @derfreitag reporting about password?

That it was patently false. They didn't say what was false. But the essential was true. The PW was out

But then Nigel Parry told people how to find it...
Then "min99" uploaded the unredacted files
Defence: It is suggested that @Wikileaks was responsible for "the cat getting out of the bag" with the unredacted cables. Their editorial does not reveal anything that would help find the file. We have established a precise timeline of the actions of those who did facilitate that
Court is back in session. Defence wants to call Andy Worthington, a UK historian & investigative journalist. The prosecution are complaining they didn't get notified in time to prepare their cross-exam. Baraitser asking if Worthington really needs to be heard.
Worthington can confirm the public interest of @Wikileaks releases and legal importance. Enable findings in Strasbourg court that testimony was obtained under torture at Guantanamo.

The prosecution finds this irrelevant, on a claim those publications are not what JA charged for
Mark Summers needs Andy Worthington to say a few things, specifically that he mention the Senate Torture report.
Baraitser will let him adduce some of them? They are talking a lot about the scheduling of witnesses and who still needs to be called if both sides agree on testimony.
Court is back in session but both the defence and prosecution are absent.
Mark Summers is saying Mr Fitzgerald is conferring w/ Mr #Assange. The prosecution have not appeared. They need more time to work out which witnesses need to be called and whose statements can be simply read. They will report back to the judge at 4pm BST.
Court is back. Talking about reading @CassandraRules's statement. The defence are saying her statements are true. Prosecution are saying she is a supporter of #Assange, but it will now be read.
The US Government has contempt for Cassandra Fairbanks' statement being read. She does not know whether statements to her by Arthur Schwarz are true.

Defence says they assume them true and show intent to get Assange out of the Embassy and extradited + intent to use @xychelsea
Cassandra Fairbanks: Oct 2018 Arthur Swartz told me they were going to go into embassy & get #Assange.

Shaken, she went to visit #Assange. She could not figure what Swartz's role was.

2 weeks later @Wikileaks sounded the alarm. Told by Ecuador staffer embassy would be raided.
.@CassandraRules names Schwarz, Grenelle, Adelson as part of small circle around the president who were involved in getting #Assange. Also spying on him and visitors. She believes that how she was treated - "like a prisoner" & "made to speak in the conference room" enabled spying
Court ended for the day

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Follow our tweets from the courtroom on this thread.
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The #JulianAssange High Court hearing before Lord Justice Holyrode and Mrs Justice Farbey will begin soon.

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