Glenn Greenwald NSA The Daily Banter Wikileaks

Counting Down to Julian Assange’s Potentially Dangerous Snowden Revelation

As we reported Tuesday morning, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange threatened on Monday at around 6:35 p.m. eastern to reveal within 72 hours the name of a country which Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept chose to redact in an article about a pair of NSA programs called MYSTIC and SOMALGET. These programs are tasked with helping to thwart human and narco-trafficking via the collection of cellphone conversations in the Bahamas, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and, of course, the publicly unknown country that was redacted.

The Intercept‘s redaction was intended to prevent violence and perhaps deaths in the unnamed nation, likely to be workers at a small company which supports NSA’s surveillance program there.

In the interim, Wikileaks has yet to reveal the name of the country, and as of the posting of this article there are t-minus eight-and-a-half hours until the 72 hour window closed at 6:35 p.m. eastern.


–Unclear. Wikileaks, and specifically Assange, aren’t the most centered group of people in the world. But that’s what makes them unpredictable.

–If they don’t reveal the name, they’ll look feckless — marketing in empty threats on Twitter.

–There’s an extremely vocal faction of hackers who want no redactions whatsoever, along with a complete document dump of all of the Snowden files. There is not insignificant pressure on Greenwald to do so, and Wikileaks is one of the organizations pressuring him. Likewise, hackers are pressuring Wikileaks to pressure Greenwald.

–Clearly, Wikileaks is unconcerned with endangering the lives of actual human beings as a radical means to an end. We’ll come back to this topic presently.


–There’s a chance Assange could be bluffing in order to force The Intercept to reveal the name of the country first, otherwise why offer a three day window?

–There’s also a chance that Wikileaks has copies of at least some of the files. The documents could’ve been acquired via Wikileaks’ side-man Jacob Appelbaum, who’s been working with Laura Poitras on Snowden article for Der Spiegel in Germany.

–Another alternative is… READ MORE