New “top-secret” documents from the NSA and GCHQ reveal that the agencies carried out spying tactics on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in a bid to find out just how much he knows. The surveillance operations, revealed in documents leaked by Snowden, also monitored people visiting the WikiLeaks site.
The release suggests that not only were Assange and his support team targeted, but the NSA was also tracking the IP addresses and identities of anyone who visited the WikiLeaks site itself, including journalists and fellow government employees. By utilizing the talents of MUSCULAR (the NSA’s underground cables tap), agents were able to specifically target and track members of the internet community who were interested in researching or downloading information from the WikiLeaks main portal.
Talking to The Intercept, Assange was vocal in his opposition to the programs, and spoke candidly about the role the White House should be have played in this debacle from the start.
“News that the NSA planned these operations at the level of its Office of the General Counsel is especially troubling,” Assange said. “Today, we call on the White House to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the extent of the NSA’s criminal activity against the media, including WikiLeaks, its staff, its associates and its supporters.”
Other problematic thorns in the side of the U.S government mentioned in the documents include the Pirate Bay and Anonymous, who apparently rank on the same level of security concern as someone who’s been leaking classified documents for free online for millions of people to see at once.
So whether you’re openly publishing government secrets, or downloading a torrented version of the Lego Movie, you could show up on someone’s naughty list very soon.