As so-called insurance for itself, WikiLeaks -- the online organization founded by Julian Assange that is known for making nonpublic information public -- released a massive amount of encrypted data via social media Friday. These data are in three files ranging in size from 3.6 gigabytes to 49 GB to 349 GB, totaling more than 400 GB of encrypted data.
The files are available through WikiLeaks’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as its online site. To protect the files, the organization used the advanced encryption standard variant called AES-256, making them nearly impossible to decrypt using current technology.
According to WikiLeaks:
WikiLeaks releases encrypted versions of upcoming publication data ("insurance") from time to time to nullify attempts at prior restraint.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 17, 2013
The key to the recently disseminated data would presumably be released should something happen to either WikiLeaks or individuals associated with it. As to what the mystery chunks of insurance data contain, online users can only speculate.
WikiLeaks has gained global attention since its founding in 2006, with its activities including the release of the “Collateral Murder” a video of an AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship firing on Iraqi journalists; secret files about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp run by the U.S.; and a number of U.S. diplomatic cables.
Some of these leaked data encompassed information from Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army soldier who first was arrested and then convicted of several violations of the Espionage Act last month.
WikiLeaks is also responsible for aiding the flight to Moscow from Hong Kong of Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower at the center of the U.S. National Security Agency domestic-surveillance scandal.