The Internet is up in arms again over Bradley Manning, the US Army soldier accused of leaking sensitive government documents to whistleblower site WikiLeaks in 2010. Hearings in his case, which is being tried by military authorities, began today in Fort Meade, Maryland.
But Manning’s supporters are planning more than just talk. A member of AntiSec, a hacker movement, told the Daily Dot that they plan to release hacked government documents to support Manning, either in conjunction with the hearings, which wrapped up earlier today, or on Manning’s birthday.
Manning turns 24 tomorrow, Saturday, December 17.
The young soldier, whose access to the Internet has been limited, probably doesn’t even know he’s a hashtag on Twitter and a hot topic on Reddit, where his decision to release information about military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan is drawing praise, albeit in Reddit’s peculiar sarcasm-speak.
“Being well-informed is terrible. I don’t know why I keep subjecting myself to this,” wrote loofahfetus, in a top comment on Reddit.
YouTubers reacted similarly to a Majority Report vlog about the case.
“Remember when soldiers ‘knowingly gave intel to the enemy’ by taking pictures of themselves while actively torturing civilians? Remember when those hundreds of soldiers were held without trial for years because of their unbecoming behaviour? Yeah, I sure as hell don’t either,” commented enlightenedone676.
But the most significant commentary on the case may come from the hacker community. Sabu, a hacker activist, called Manning his “hero” in a tweet earlier this week. He’s believed to be affiliated with AntiSec, which in turn is part of the broader Anonymous movement.
A recently released Anonymous video, “Anonymous’ LulzXmas,” hints at upcoming releases of hacked documents:
So what will AntiSec release, and how will it help Manning? Or is it even about helping Manning anymore?
As with much to do with Anonymous, that’s still a mystery.
An Antisec informant told the Daily Dot via private message the information gathered for the Bradley manning release was not published, rather, would be saved for their Christmas release, which is what the lulzxmas anonymous video is referencing. The informant did not offer any clues to what the collective would be releasing, though Antisec’s last release targetted a cybercrime agent who wasn’t related to AntiSec’s message.