WikiLeaks: NY Times article 'a conspiracy theory'

WikiLeaks: NY Times article 'a conspiracy theory'
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The anti-secrecy platform WikiLeaks on Wednesday night pushed back on The New York Times over an article suggesting that it acts to benefit the Russian government, calling the reporting “false” and a “conspiracy theory.”

“The conspiracy theory the article attempts to impute about the timing of WikiLeaks' publications is false and is not journalism,” the organization wrote in a response posted on Twitter.

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The Times on Wednesday published a lengthy profile of founder Julian Assange that detailed various ways in which the controversial organization’s data dumps have either directly or indirectly benefited Russia at the expense of the West.

“Has WikiLeaks become a laundering machine for compromising material gathered by Russian spies?” writers Jo Becker, Steven Erlanger and Eric Schmitt asked.

WikiLeaks in July leaked a trove of stolen Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails on the eve of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, sparking the resignation of several key officials, including former chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

The files are widely believed to have been stolen by Russian government hackers, but WikiLeaks, as is its policy, has refused to disclose how it got the emails.

The organization has drawn criticism broadly for leaking information indiscriminately, including publishing personal information of no public interest.

It is unclear how the organization vets the information it receives for accuracy.

WikiLeaks claims to have a “perfect record in document authentication” — and journalists typically treat the data released by the site as legitimate — but computer science experts aren’t so sure.

A number of recent leaks with political overtones have led some critics to argue that the group is allowing itself to act as a bullhorn for foreign intelligence services who want to damage another government — or another political party.

WikiLeaks pushed back on those assertions on Wednesday, arguing in its response to the Times that it “has published more than 650,000 documents about Russian & president [Vladimir] Putin, most of which is critical.”

“The only hard news in the article is that ‘American officials say Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services,’ ” WikiLeaks wrote, citing the article’s subhead.