Background of WikiLeaks CIA release: The Amazon Connection

Background of WikiLeaks CIA release: The Amazon Connection
A screenshot montage of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (L), a tweet about the Tuesday release (TR), and an picture of the hidden image in the announcement tweet (TR), Source: Screenshot, REUTERS/Edward Szall

According to a source within the organization the WikiLeaks #Vault7 release Tuesday will contain classified CIA documents

(VERO BEACH, FLA) On Monday night at approximately 7:30 PM ET a tweet was published from the WikiLeaks verified twitter account informing the public of an upcoming release scheduled for 9 AM ET on Tuesday March 7th 2017.

The file, offered through an encrypted torrent, is roughly 500MB in size and will be accessible after a password is publicly provided by WikiLeaks. 

According to a post by Kelly Kolinsinik, a Canadian Web/App Developer, the photo attached to the WikiLeaks tweet is related to Julian Assange’s #Vault7 series — which was first teased on February 5th 2017 and later identified as a soon-to-be published major CIA leak.

Between February 5th and February 9th WikiLeaks published the following tweets from their verified account as a preview of the #Vault7 release.

A source which does contract work with WikiLeaks has confirmed that the release is not related to the seed bank in Norway — which was pictured in the February 4th teaser tweet — and that the release will include information related to the CIA’s work in Saudi Arabia.

The phase “Year Zero” included on the picture published by WikiLeaks with their Tuesday leak notification has been previously cited by the organization’s founder Julian Assange.

“If any year could be said to be the ‘year zero’ of our modern era, 1979 is it,” Assange stated in a press release published on November 28th 2016. “In 1979 it seemed as if the blood would never stop. Dozens of countries saw assassinations, coups, revolts, bombings, political kidnappings and wars of liberation,” he added in the post which accompanied the publishing of  more than half a million US diplomatic cables dated from 1979.

In a separate release published by WikiLeaks on February 16th 2017 regarding the CIA’s covert involvment in the 2012 French presidential election, WikiLeaks wrote that “the revelations are contained within three CIA tasking orders published today by WikiLeaks as context for its forth coming CIA Vault 7 series.” This further strengthens the reports that Tuesday’s release will be CIA related.

If these riddles weren't enough to solidify the CIA connection, TRUNEWS has also discovered that the picture WikiLeaks tweeted with their download instructions has a hidden image related to the CIA’s Amazon cloud services enclosed.

Upon analysis of the image revealed after adjusting contrast levels of the original, TRUNEWS discovered that the picture is a snapshot of the “Lingua”, a sculpture by American artist Jim Sanborn located at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

According to an archived 2009 page on the Washington Convention Center website regarding the Lingua, the sculpture is composed of two 16' tall cylinders, with historical text’s in Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Ethiopian, French, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Iroquois dating back as far as 1400 BC. A translation has been made available here.

The Russian-language section is a quote from Volume 3, Part 1 of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, a book ofen quoted in the world of geopolitics, and Machiavellian spy games.

The exact image of the Lingua used by WikiLeaks is featured in prominent article published in August 2013 by Gigaom, an Austin based technology, research, and analysis firm with a solid reputation in the future tech industry.

In the article titled “Why the CIA cloud contract is worth so much more than $600M; the week in cloud”, Gigaom writer Barb Darrow details how the CIA paid $600 million for a 10 year contract to use Amazon Web Services for a secret interagency cloud network.

This contract remained secret until IBM, who was also in the running to provide the cloud serves to the CIA through their comparative alternative “s ibm”, legally challenged Amazon’s bid victory — bringing the case into U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the publics sphere.

One of IBM’s chief complaints stemmed from the fact that their bid was $54 million cheaper than Amazon, which was detailed in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study commissioned on the contract. 

According to the GAO study, the CIA was looking for a private cloud, built to its specifications on government premises, but operated by a public cloud provider. The CIA required that the network had the capability of analyzing 100 terabytes of raw data on a cluster at a time. According to GAO, the CIA cloud would employ a MapReduce-based system to spread big data loads out over multiple clusters for simultaneous processing in the CIA cloud. 

MapReduce came out of a Google approach to mapping data out to a server cluster, then assigning analysis work based on which processor was closest to the relevant data. It's a way to use commodity servers with limited storage attached in a large-scale and high-speed manner.

In a report published by GAO at the end of an analysis into the contract they stated that ”while IBM's proposal offered an evaluated price advantage over five years, the (CIA) concluded that this advantage was offset by Amazon's superior technical solution.” IBM rejected the GAO findings as irrational and unfounded, especially since Amazon specialized in a public cloud, rather than the private network the CIA was seeking in the bid.

Sputnik writer Cassandra Fairbanks shared IBM’s suspicion the deal was sweetened by more than a non-existent technical advantage. In a story published on February 17th titled “WashPost Owner Secretly Doing Business With the CIA” Fairbanks noted that the huge contract victory occurred only 4 months after the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, purchased the left leaning Washington Post, an outlet which has since turned into a clearing house for anti-Trump intelligence officials to publish anonymous reports of the President’s collusion with Russian hackers.

“The contract was for a computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services, which services all 17 agencies within America’s intelligence community,” Fairbanks wrote, adding that Bezos had previously received criticism for Amazon’s decision to kick WikiLeaks off of their web hosting service following the US State Department cables release.

On February 17th, former CIA official Ray McGovern also expressed his concern that Jeff Bezos had developed a fascistic relationship with the CIA through his $600m cloud service contract.

McGovern told the World Tribune that “what emerges now is what, in intelligence parlance, is called an ‘agent of influence’ owning the Post – with a huge financial interest in playing nice with the CIA.”

McGovern added: “In other words, two main players nourishing the national security state in undisguised collaboration.”

Prior to the Amazon Web Service contract for the establishment of a secret cloud network the CIA — under the leadership of infamous former Army General David David Petraeus — was already exploring the use of smart devices for clandestine operations.

In a WIRED article titled "CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher" published in March 2012, Petraeus is quoted as saying: 

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing. The latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”

Regardless of what is actually released tomorrow morning, its a fair to say that governments, intelligence officials, and major global corporations are frankly awaiting in anticipation for another round of potentially embarrassing and debilitating classified documents to enter the public forum.

Only Julian Assange truly knows what awaits in #Vault7 release, but with the #PodestaEmails level of interest circulating around this leak, and his expulsion from the UK Ecuadorian embassy looming, the WikiLeaks founder is not likely to disappoint his legacy with a hollow bluff.

TRUNEWS copy, TRUNEWS analysis

Please contact TRUNEWS correspondent Edward Szall with any news tips related to this story.
Email: Edward.Szall@trunews.com | Twitter: @realEdwardSzall 
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