The two have long been something like partners-in-crime, with the leaderless hactivist collective Anonymous having attacked enemies of WikiLeaks in the past — but WikiLeaks always remained carefully removed.
Monday’s leak of a vast trove of e-mails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, which they are calling the Global Intelligence Files, marks an unprecedented partnership between the two. Here’s what both groups are getting out of the closer ties:
WikiLeaks gets revived relevance to the public. As Forbes.com points out, Anonymous hasn’t had a functioning dropbox for leakers since September 2010. “With no public, secure conduit for whistleblowers, a massive collective of nameless hackers might be WikiLeaks’ most prolific new source,” Forbes writes
Anonymous gets to work closely with the media. Members of Anonymous believed to have direct knowledge of the hack told Wired that WikiLeaks was attractive because it could spread leaked information better than Anonymous could. “WikiLeaks has great means to publish and disclose,” the Anonymous member told Wired. “Also, they work together with media in a way we don’t. ... Basically, WikiLeaks is the ideal partner for such stuff.”
Update, 2:32 p.m.: Stratfor has responded to request for comment in a statement, saying that some of the emails hacked and released by Wikileaks “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic.”
“We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them,” the statement read, in part. Read the full statement here.