WikiLeaks begins to leak Syrian emails

Assange is at it again! WikiLeaks, the site every government loves to hate, has begun publishing over two million emails from Syria. The leaks, something WikiLeaks has garnered a reputation for, have the potential to completely change people's perceptions of the Syrian unrest currently ongoing. Not only that, but in typical Julian Assange fashion it'll probably make leaders and despots very careful with what they choose to send, lest it ends up online for the rest of the world to see.

According to WikiLeaks themselves, the data originates from 680 Syrian entities. The entities they have provided as examples are like reading a Who's Who of the enemies in the ongoing chaos, and it includes:

  • Ministry of Presidential Affairs
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Information
  • Ministry of Transport
  • Ministry of Culture

All of the emails are governmental, and none of them were likely ever intended to go anywhere beyond the recipients. Turns out the entire world just got onto the "Bcc:" field. The emails are being published in 'caches', so you won't be getting a dump of two million emails immediately. The caches are destined to be released over the course of the next few months though we'd hazard a guess that they may adopt a more aggressive release cycle if something changes in Syria.

Several media outlets are working in partnership with WikiLeaks on the Syrian email dump, and among them is the Associated Press. They're responsible for the AP Stylebook amongst other things, so when they get involved it would be wise to take heed. Julian Assange had the following to say about the files.

"The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria's opponents. It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it. The Syria Files shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another."

It'll be interesting to see how this goes down in the western world, for Julian Assange isn't exactly on any leaders' Christmas card lists. The leak consists of 2,434,899 emails. 678,752 different email addresses sending to 1,082,447 recipients, so you'll have plenty to read once it all comes out. The emails include many in Russian and Arabic, which is interesting in of itself. Russia has supported the current regime in power, while different views are appearing from Arabic countries. Qatar and Saudi Arabia for example have both encouraged the opposition's stance, though the mixture of languages might help convey the scale of discussion.

Large demonstration in the city of Homs against President Bashar Al-Assad

Syria's history is long and varied, and much too in-depth to really do justice with this article. The country is home to a great deal of culture, especially for those interested in Biblical cities and the Holy Crusades. The history of the country is one of several factors which has focused so much attention on Syria's uprising. The unrest has been ongoing in Syria since March 2011, as part of the so-called "Arab Spring", and there have been plenty of stories suggesting breaches of human rights. The emails could shed more light on what is a highly volatile situation for both the people in the country, and the United Nations.

Source: CNET
Image: Wikipedia

 

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31 Comments

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"The emails include many in Russian and Arabic, which is interesting in of itself. "

lol, yeah, how strange for an Arabic-speaking country to send e-mails in Arabic. Most unusual.

1st I don't know why this article is here. Also I doubt anything sensational will come from this. I doubt there will be emails saying how they are killing their citizens

Josh_LosAltosHills said,
1st I don't know why this article is here. Also I doubt anything sensational will come from this. I doubt there will be emails saying how they are killing their citizens

News of major cyber breaches or leaks of sensitive e-mails are always posted here.

There is also far more to it than whether the Syrian government admits to killing their citizens. There are many things at play in this conflict, and it could put a lot of people/groups/companies/governments into some very awkward positions for a variety of reasons.

But, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

stevember said,
And Assange is worried about US getting hold of him! Crazy messing Syria like that. IMHO

The US is a much greater threat to civil liberties than Syria.

stevember said,
And Assange is worried about US getting hold of him! Crazy messing Syria like that. IMHO

Syrians could have fun only inside their borders. They can't do anything outside.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,

Obviously. You're being silenced at the top of your lungs.

OWS, some of them have been beaten to death. So yeah.

kInG aLeXo said,

Syrians could have fun only inside their borders. They can't do anything outside.

They already shot down a Turkish jet and something else that is already stirring up action with Turkey and NATO.

I am very interested in what the real motivations are of the involved parties. However, this will likely change nothing as the governments care little of we think anymore.

Mystiia said,
Citizens dead on the streets, but these emails should sure change everyone's minds!

Uh, no - that's not the point. Such emails are often better evidence than knowing some people were killed, especially given the incredible difficulties in reporting *who* did it.

Kirkburn said,

Uh, no - that's not the point. Such emails are often better evidence than knowing some people were killed, especially given the incredible difficulties in reporting *who* did it.

Riiiiiiight.

Mystiia said,
Riiiiiiight.

Seriously? Have you not noticed the difficulties in accurately reporting what is going on in Syria? Do you seriously think governments and organizations on the fence would act or make a choice without actual evidence, especially evidence of the behind the scenes details? (Yes, yes Iraq war etc. ... except not every government acts like that). They don't want to risk looking stupid if something they assumed turns out to have been entirely wrong. *That* is the worth of such emails.

Kirkburn said,

Seriously? Have you not noticed the difficulties in accurately reporting what is going on in Syria? Do you seriously think governments and organizations on the fence would act or make a choice without actual evidence, especially evidence of the behind the scenes details? (Yes, yes Iraq war etc. ... except not every government acts like that). They don't want to risk looking stupid if something they assumed turns out to have been entirely wrong. *That* is the worth of such emails.

Difficulties? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/syria

Only difference between this and Libya is the fact that Russia supports/backs Syria.

Mystiia said,
Difficulties? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/syria

Only difference between this and Libya is the fact that Russia supports/backs Syria.


Yes, difficulties. That obviously doesn't mean there's *nothing* reportable, and a lot of it is second-hand evidence. (I'm not saying I don't believe it btw).

Kirkburn said,

Yes, difficulties. That obviously doesn't mean there's *nothing* reportable, and a lot of it is second-hand evidence. (I'm not saying I don't believe it btw).

Can just anyone live in your world or do you need a passport.

Pam14160 said,
Can just anyone live in your world or do you need a passport.
Seriously, I don't get what is difficult to comprehend here. The content of the emails *will* have an effect. I'm not saying it will have an earth-shatteringly huge effect, but it *will* have an effect.

Kirkburn said,
Seriously, I don't get what is difficult to comprehend here. The content of the emails *will* have an effect. I'm not saying it will have an earth-shatteringly huge effect, but it *will* have an effect.

No, they won't. Maybe an effect on average joes/citizens but governments will continue to tip-toe around the situation. I doubt anyone in the government would actually care about these emails since it's so clear as to what's going on anyway.

Not all governments are equal, and some *amazingly* do actually respond to the wishes and opinions of their citizens. But, since you're set on such extreme cynicism of governments, there's not much I can say. (Plus this also involves NGOs and businesses).

Kirkburn said,
Not all governments are equal, and some *amazingly* do actually respond to the wishes and opinions of their citizens. But, since you're set on such extreme cynicism of governments, there's not much I can say. (Plus this also involves NGOs and businesses).

Ignorance is bliss.

Mystiia said,
Ignorance is bliss.
Ignorance of what? If anything, these emails help *tackle* general ignorance, and wilful ignorance of reports coming from Syria (that could have been cast aside as 'dubious').