Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"No, WikiLeaks Has Not ‘Confirmed’ It Will Target Bank Of America" (BAC)

From Forbes' The Firewall blog:
In the furious storm of speculation over which institution will be the subject of WikiLeaks’ next document dump, the media’s definition of “confirmed” just got a little blurrier. But calm yourselves, Bank of America executives: your secrets are no more or less certain to be exposed than they were yesterday.

On Tuesday, the Times of London published the first newspaper interview with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange since his release from Wandsworth prison in London. In it, Assange elaborates slightly on the planned release in 2011 of a trove of documents from a major U.S. bank, which I first reported last month. “We don’t want the bank to suffer unless it’s called for,” Assange told the Times‘ Alexi Mostrous. “But if its management is operating in a responsive way there will be resignations.”

The Times only briefly mentions rumors that Bank of America might be that target. But due perhaps to the newspaper’s paywall preventing other reporters from reading the full story, the news was quickly reinvented. The newswire AFP wrote near the bottom of a story focusing on Assange’s sex crime allegations and citing the Times interview that “Assange also confirmed that WikiLeaks was holding a vast amount of material about Bank of America which it intends to release early next year.”

That statement was wrong, as the Times‘ Mostrous tells me in an email. “Assange didn’t confirm anything to me about Bank of America,”...MORE