28 February 2012

AUSTIN, TEXAS : WikiLeaks Exposes And Embarrasses Intelligence Seller Stratfor.


      It's gloomy and drizzly today in Austin.
      Down the highway...about 15 miles south of where this news blog is cobbled together...it's much gloomier for Stratfor.
      Another PR storm...is assailing it.
     The private intelligence company is being exposed...and humiliated...as WikiLeaks releases a first batch...of more than 5 million of its stolen e-mails.
     Stratfor's computers were hacked twice in December...and more than 30,000 subscriber credit card numbers were posted on the web.
     Now with these e-mails...the quality of its work can be assessed...aside from Stratfor's  pitiful security...and critics say it is often lacking.
     It's Middle East analysts apparently used Google's Translator to read news stories...reports a Lebanon editor.
     Another critic...whom it tracked...described some of its expensive information...'we're not talking about good intelligence. We're talking about a lot of information because more information means more money. That does not mean it's smart.'
      Julian Assange claims the emails reveal a 'corrupting' effect because its 'global network of informants... includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world...' show that it acted like a shadow CIA.
       The e-mails also reveal that Stratfor had ambitious plans to expand...to trade and profit from its nuggets of gleaned info...with a hedge fund called Strat Cap.
     ALSO: Local Coverage:
     AND...Foreign OPINION: