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Human liver cells seeded in mouse expands 50-fold to functional organoid

Scientists work out the cellular assembly for seeding a whole new organ.

Chelsea Manning, who served more prison time than any US leaker,...

Early release needed to continue transition-related healthcare, Manning said.

Hackers Target Sundance Film Festival

Local and online box offices were temporarily knocked offline Saturday.

America's largest independent film festival became the target of a cyber attack over the weekend.

The Sundance Film Festival kicked off Friday in Park City, Utah, with movie premieres, midnight showings, and a network failure.

"Sundance Film Festival has been subject to a cyberattack, causing network outages that have shut down our box office," a spokesman told Variety, adding that "all screenings will still take place as planned."

The official Twitter account on Saturday promised that "our team is working hard to get our systems back up [as soon as possible]." Within an hour, the Salt Lake City and Gateway box offices were "back up and running," and online ticketing for future shows was quickly restored.

Update: The Salt Lake City Box Office is back up and running. #SLC #Sundance

— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 21, 2017

Update: Online ticketing for future shows is back up. #Sundance

— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 21, 2017

Update: The Festival Box Office at Gateway in #ParkCity is now up and running. #Sundance

— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 21, 2017

"Our artist's [sic] voices will be heard and the show will go on," the organizers tweeted.

The hack, according to Variety, occurred around noon MT (2 p.m. ET)—shortly after comedian Chelsea Handler led a Women's March in Park City in protest of Donald Trump. It was also the same day as several big premieres, including films about war, terrorism, Chinese dissonance, doping in sports, and race and class in America.

It remains unclear whether the incidents were related, or how many Festival guests were affected by the box office interruptions. The Sundance Institute did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

This month's showcase includes the premiere of Dear Angelica, the first animated experience created entirely in virtual reality, according to Oculus, whose in-house Story Studio produced the movie—available for Rift owners to download from the Oculus app store.

Assange weasels out of pledge to surrender if Manning received clemency

EnlargeCarl Court, Getty Images reader comments 61 Share this story Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, backed out of his pledge Wednesday that he would surrender to US authorities if President Barack Obama granted clemency to Chelsea Manning. Manning, a whistleblower serving a 35-year-sentence for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks as an army private, had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
Instead of being released in 2045, Obama said Manning could leave military detention May 17. But just days before the commutation, WikiLeaks tweeted that Assange—who is living in a self-imposed exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London amid fears he could be charged in the US for exposing the secrets Manning leaked—tweeted, "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case." As recently as Tuesday, WikiLeaks said that Assange "stands" by the promise. But on Wednesday, Assange's lawyer blinked and said no dice—that Assange would not honor his statement.

The lawyer announced a new caveat that was not stated in WikiLeaks' original statement, leading many to speculate that Assange's offer wasn't genuine. "Mr.

Assange welcomes the announcement that Ms. Manning's sentence will be reduced and she will be released in May, but this is well short of what he sought," Barry Pollack, Assange’s U.S.-based attorney, told The Hill. "Mr.

Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately," Pollack added. On Wednesday, meanwhile, Obama said he did not take into consideration Assange's original pledge when deciding to grant clemency to Manning, who has been imprisoned since 2010. "I don't pay much attention to Mr.

Assange's tweets, so that wasn't a consideration," the president said in his last televised news conference before president-elect Donald Trump is sworn in Friday to become the 45th president. Obama also reiterated what his spokesman said the day before: that Manning was shown mercy because "justice has been served." "The notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital, classified information would think that it goes unpunished, I don't think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served," Obama said. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said you also couldn't compare NSA leaker Edward Snowden's case to Manning's. Many have called for Obama to show mercy to Snowden, who is living in Russia. "Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing," Earnest said. "Mr.
Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy." The 29-year-old Army private Manning was court-martialed in 2013 for forwarding a cache of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

After being convicted of leaking more than 700,000 documents and video, Manning—then known as Bradley—announced that she is transgender and would be going by the name Chelsea. Manning said in a clemency petition to Obama that she "did not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members." She said an early release, not a pardon, was needed so she could continue her medical treatment. Assange has also skipped bail after a European arrest warrant was issued in late 2010 by Scotland Yard on behalf of Swedish officials who sought the extradition of the 45-year-old Australian in connection to sexual assault allegations.

Is Assange Coming to America? Unlikely

'I don't pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange's tweets,' President Obama said during his final press conference.

Is Julian Assange coming to the US? Probably not.

"I don't pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange's tweets, so that wasn't a consideration" in deciding to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, President Obama said today during his final press conference in office.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual misconduct charges. In January, WikiLeaks—the site he founded—tweeted that "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case."

On Tuesday, President Obama did just that, commuting Manning's sentence to time served. She will be released in May after serving seven years in a military prison. She was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 for stealing documents from a classified Defense Department network and submitting them to WikiLeaks, which published the information.

Today, Obama defended the decision, arguing that Manning served her time.

"The notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think that it goes unpunished... I don't think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served," the president said. "It has been my view that given she went to trial, that due process was carried out, that she took responsibility for her crime, that the sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received and that she had served a significant amount of time, that it made sense to commute and not pardon her sentence.

"I feel very comfortable that justice has been served," Obama added.

As for Assange, it does not look like the president will use his remaining time in office to get on the line with the exiled WikiLeaks founder. "I refer you to the Department of Justice" on that issue, he said today.

The DOJ has been investigating WikiLeaks over Iraq War data dumps.

For his part, Assange no longer appears ready to jump on a plane to the US:

Assange is still happy to come to the US provided all his rights are guarenteed despite White House now saying Manning was not quid-quo-pro.

— WikiLeaks (@WikiLeaks) January 18, 2017

Assange's lawyer tells The Telegraph that Assange wanted the president to grant Manning clemency and release her immediately rather than commuting the sentence and releasing her in May.

As The Telegraph notes, the US has not requested extradition, but Assange believes it could happen if he makes his way to Sweden.

Assange “stands by” US extradition “deal,” Swedes still want to quiz...

EnlargeBen Stansall/AFP via Getty Images reader comments 19 Share this story Julian Assange's lawyer has insisted that the WikiLeaks founder, who is wanted for questioning in Sweden over an allegation of rape, is "standing by" his promise to—as he characterises it—"agree to US extradition" in light of president Obama's decision to free whistleblower Chelsea Manning. However, no such US extradition ruling against Assange currently exists.

For Assange to be extradited to the US, it would have to be signed off by authorities in Sweden and the UK, but no such request has been made. Assange has been holed up in cramped conditions at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012. He skipped bail after a European Arrest Warrant was issued in late 2010 by Scotland Yard cops on behalf of Swedish officials who sought the extradition of the 45-year-old Australian. Assange lawyer @themtchair on Assange-Manning extradition 'deal': "Everything that he has said he's standing by." — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 18, 2017 On Tuesday, Obama—in one of his final acts as president—commuted the sentence of Manning.

The US army private was originally sentenced to serve a 35-year term for leaking a cache of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, but she will now be released in May. Last September, WikiLeaks tweeted: "If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange—despite its clear unlawfulness." On January 12, a similar tweet appeared.
It said: "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ [Department of Justice] case." Following Manning's commutation of sentence, Assange was mocked on Twitter, with many calling on him to pack his bags and leave Flat 3B, No. 3, Hans Crescent—the Ecuadorian embassy's address in Knightsbridge, London. However, because the WikiLeaks chief breached his bail conditions back in 2012, it's highly likely that Assange will be arrested by Met police if and when he steps outside the embassy. In 2015, Scotland Yard said that it was ending round-the-clock "physical presence" of officers camped outside the embassy, but added that the Met would "make every effort to arrest" Assange.
In September last year, a Swedish court upheld an earlier decision to maintain its European Arrest Warrant against him. Assange, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, initially sought political asylum nearly five years ago, after he was wanted for questioning over rape, coercion, and two counts of sexual molestation accusations brought against him by two women in Sweden.

The allegations surfaced after Assange visited the country in August 2010 to give a lecture. Swedish officials confirmed in 2015 that they would no longer be seeking answers from Assange over allegations of sexual molestation and coercion, due to a law of limitation that requires the cops to charge a suspect within a certain timeframe.

But the more serious allegation of rape remains in place until 2020. Assange has claimed that he would be extradited to the US to face espionage charges if he does leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London. On Wednesday, Assange's lawyer Barry Pollock said: Whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning serve the public interest.
She should never have been prosecuted and sentenced to decades in prison.
She should be released immediately. Likewise, publishers of truthful information serve the public interest, promote democracy, and should not be prosecuted. The war on whistleblowers should end now and should not be continued in the new administration [under Donald Trump].

For many months, I have asked the DoJ to clarify Assange's status.
I hope it will soon.

The department of justice should not pursue any charges against Mr Assange based on his publication of truthful information and should close its criminal investigation of him immediately. WikiLeaks also appeared to infer that Assange will receive better treatment from Trump.
It tweeted: "Assange is confident of winning any fair trial in the US. Obama's DoJ prevented public interest defence & fair jury." Ars sought comment from the Met on whether Assange would be re-arrested under section 7 of the Bail Act for breaching the terms of his bail, if he does indeed leave the embassy.

A spokesperson at Scotland Yard said: "We couldn't possibly speculate." This post originated on Ars Technica UK

WikiLeaks’ Assange confident of winning 'any fair trial' in the US

WikiLeaks said that its founder Julian Assange is confident of winning ‘any fair trial’ in the U.S. and indicated that the founder of the whistleblowing website would stand by all the promises he had made in return for clemency to Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. soldier who disclosed classified data relating to the Iraq War to the site. On Tuesday, Manning’s prison sentence was commuted by U.S. President Barack Obama raising questions whether Assange would keep his part of a deal he proposed online, and agree to extradition to the U.S. WikiLeaks has recently also been a thorn in the side of the Democrats in the U.S. by releasing embarrassing emails leaked from the Democratic National Committee that showed that the organization had favored candidate Hillary Clinton over her rival Senator Bernie Sanders for the party nomination for the presidential elections.
It also published mails from the account of John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s campaign. U.S. government officials including from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have pointed a finger to Russia for orchestrating the leaks, though WikiLeaks has said it does not collaborate with states in the publication of documents. Last week, WikiLeaks had tweeted that if “Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case.” On Tuesday, WikiLeaks tweeted that Assange was confident of winning any fair trial in the US. “Obama’s DoJ prevented public interest defense & fair jury,” it added.

The new administration of President-elect Donald Trump takes charge on Friday. WikiLeaks also quoted Assange’s counsel Melinda Taylor as saying that Assange is standing by everything that he has said on the “Assange-Manning extradition ‘deal’.” Assange is holed in the embassy in London of the government of Ecuador as U.K. police say they will arrest him if he comes out, to meet an extradition request from Sweden where he is wanted for questioning in a sexual assault investigation. His supporters have expressed concern that if he he is sent to Sweden he could be extradited from there to the U.S. to face espionage charges. A wrinkle is that WikiLeaks claims it does not know of an extradition request sent by the U.S.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Taylor wrote that “US authories consistently affirmed is ongoing national security prosecution against him, but refused 2 affirm/deny sent extradition request.” She added that the U.K. also refuses “to affirm or deny that they have received an extradition request -not the same thing as there being no extradition request.”  Government officials in both countries could not be immediately reached for comment after business hours. In a letter to Loretta E. Lynch, U.S.

Attorney General, Assange’s lawyer in the U.S., Barry J. Pollack, wrote in August that although the Department of Justice had publicly confirmed through court documents and statements to the press that it was conducting an on-going criminal investigation of Assange, the department did not provide him substantive information on the status of the investigation.

The letter was published online by WikiLeaks. The pending investigation into Assange, mentions of which are said to have been made in court documents in the Manning case, is plainly based on his news gathering and reporting activities, Pollack wrote.
Its intention was not to aid U.S. enemies or obstruct justice but to inform people about “matters of great public interest,” he added. In a statement on Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence, Assange said that “in order for democracy and the rule of law to thrive, the Government should immediately end its war on whistleblowers and publishers” such as WikiLeaks and himself.

The statement did not refer to his promise to face extradition to the U.S. “Mr.

Assange should not be the target of any criminal investigation.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the DOJ the status of its investigation, any request it wants to make for extradition, and its basis for such a request,” Pollack wrote in an email late Tuesday.

Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence commuted by Obama

Enlargereader comments 187 Share this story Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year term for leaking a cache of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, had her sentence commuted Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

The president, with just days remaining in his presidency, said Manning can be freed on May 17 of this year instead of 2045. The 29-year-old Army private was court-martialed in 2013 for forwarding a cache of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

After being convicted of leaking more than 700,000 documents and video, Manning—then known as Bradley—announced that she is a transgender woman and would be going by the name Chelsea. Manning has been both reviled and lauded for her 2010 document dump and has been in prison longer than any other convicted US leaker.
In a military first, Manning was approved in 2015 for hormone therapy as part of transition-related care, nearly a year after she made demands for such treatment. Along the way, Manning has had several run-ins with the authorities at the military brig at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
She has tried to commit suicide twice and even took on a hunger strike in a bid to win reassignment surgery. Manning said in a petition to Obama that she "did not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members." She said an early release, not a pardon, was needed so she could continue her medical treatment. The development begs the question of whether Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, will surrender to US authorities.

Assange has been living in a self-imposed exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, amid fears he could be charged in the US for exposing the secrets Manning had leaked to the whistleblowing site.

Five days ago, Wikileaks tweeted: "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case." WikiLeaks did not immediately respond for comment. Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker living in Russia, urged the president last week to grant leniency to Manning. "Mr. President, if you grant only one act of clemency as you exit the White House, please: free Chelsea Manning. You alone can save her life." Many have also called for the departing president to show a sign of mercy toward Snowden.

But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said there was a "pretty stark difference" between the Manning and Snowden cases. "Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing," Earnest said. "Mr.
Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy." Meanwhile, in 2013, Manning described to a military courtroom why—and in precise detail, how—she sent WikiLeaks confidential diplomatic cables and "war logs," saying: I felt we were risking so much for people who seemed unwilling to cooperate with us, leading to frustration and hatred on both sides.
I began to become depressed at the situation we found ourselves mired in year after year. [CBS News] We were obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and ignoring goals and missions.
I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general [that] might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter-terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day. [The Guardian] Manning was upset by a classified video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Iraq that was ultimately found to have killed civilians and a Reuters journalist. "For me that was like a child torturing an ant with a magnifying glass," Manning said, adding that the military "seemed" to have "bloodlust." Using Tor, Manning uploaded the video to WikiLeaks, and it went viral, becoming known as the infamous "collateral murder" video. Manning said that after deciding to leak the millions of war documents from Iraq and Afghanistan, she tried to give them to The New York Times and to The Washington Post. Manning said a message left at the Times was not returned and said the Post did not take the offer seriously. Manning also considered Politico, but ultimately didn't meet up with that site because of bad weather. She leaked the information to WikiLeaks from a Barnes & Noble in suburban Maryland. Manning saved the files on the memory stick of a camera and uploaded them from the bookstore during a 2010 mid-tour leave. Obama on Tuesday granted 209 sentence commutations, bringing to 1,385 the number of commutations, the most granted by any US president.

The president has also issued 212 pardons. "While the mercy the President has shown his 1,597 clemency recipients is remarkable, we must remember that clemency is an extraordinary remedy, granted only after the President has concluded that a particular individual has demonstrated a readiness to make use of his or her second chance," the White House said. A noteworthy pardon issued Tuesday benefited Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about having conversations with reporters and leaking information about the US reportedly using the Stuxnet virus to sabotage an Iranian nuclear facility nearly a decade ago.

Adblock Plus wins its 6th court case, brought by Der Spiegel

Enlarge / Eyeo CEO Till Faida at a conference in 2016.Getty Images reader comments 91 Share this story In the US, blocking online advertisements might land you in a heated debate. In Germany, you might have that debate in front of a judge. Eyeo GmbH, the company that makes Adblock Plus, has been through no fewer than six court cases by publishers who say blocking online ads violates German law. The ad-blocking company has now won all of its cases at the district level, and one case has been through an appeal. Other cases continue through the German appeals courts. The final lawsuit was brought by Germany's best-known media brand, Spiegel Online, run by the same company that owns the newsmagazine Der Spiegel. Yesterday, Eyeo disclosed that its lawyers were contacted by telephone to be told that the case against them has been dismissed. The judge's reasoning won't be known until a written decision is released later this week. "Every single case wants to do the same thing," said Ben Williams, Eyeo's head of communications, in an interview with Ars. "They say we shouldn't offer a service that allows users to block ads." The court case brought by Spiegel Online, like earlier claims, was based on the idea that the Eyeo business model violated Germany's unfair competition act. Eyeo requires payment from large companies to have their ads white-listed, and it also insists the "acceptable ads" must conform to certain criteria. Typically, the payment is about 30 percent of the revenue generated by Adblock Plus users viewing the acceptable ads. According to Williams, the fact that Eyeo has such a revenue stream is what enables it to take on legal battles that benefit all ad-blockers. "If they [German publishers] were able to, they'd shutter all the ad-blockers out there," said Williams. "They'd file similar claims, whether it's against Adblock Plus, uBlock origin, or a hobby developer making an ad-blocker in her basement. That would all essentially be illegal." The one case against Eyeo that has been up on appeal, brought by publisher Axel Springer, resulted in a partial win for the publisher. Eyeo was ordered to change the way it offered to white-list the publisher's websites. However, the court still found that Axel Springer would have to comply with Eyeo's "acceptable ads" criteria in order to get the white-listing. That case is now being further appealed by Eyeo. "Spiegel is a fantastic publication, despite our legal disagreements, and a journalistic observer of record in Germany," Williams wrote in the company's blog post. The post notes that Spiegel was known for publishing both Chelsea Manning's WikiLeaks disclosures as well as some of the Snowden documents. Adblock Plus and Eyeo have been based in Germany since their creation, and the product has been popular there for years. About 15 to 20 percent of German Internet users are Adblock Plus users, according to an earlier court decision that quoted Adblock Plus internal data.

Feds seized 50TB of data from NSA contractor suspected of theft

The National Security Operations Center at NSA, photographed in 2012—the nerve center of the NSA's "signals intelligence" monitoring.National Security Agency reader comments 81 Share this story In a new Thursday court filing, federal prosecutors expanded their accusations against a former National Security Agency contractor.

Federal investigators seized at least 50 terabytes of data from Harold Thomas Martin III, at least some of which was "national defense information." If all of this data was indeed classified, it would be the largest such heist from the NSA, far larger than what former contractor Edward Snowden took. Prosecutors also said that Martin should remain locked up and noted that he will soon be charged with violations of the Espionage Act.

That law, which dates back nearly a century, is the same law that was used to charge Chelsea Manning and Snowden, among others.
If convicted, violators can face the death penalty. United States Attorney Rod Rosenstein and two other prosecutors laid out new details in the case against Martin, whose arrest only became public earlier this month. Martin had been a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton and possessed a top-secret clearance. The new filing states that Martin also took “six full bankers’ boxes” worth of paper documents, many which were marked “Secret” or “Top Secret.” The documents date from between 1996 through 2016. “The weight of the evidence against the Defendant is overwhelming,” court document plainly state. The documents continue: For example, the search of the Defendant’s car revealed a printed email chain marked as “Top Secret” and containing highly sensitive information.

The document appears to have been printed by the Defendant from an official government account. On the back of the document are handwritten notes describing the NSA’s classified computer infrastructure and detailed descriptions of classified technical operations.

The handwritten notes also include descriptions of the most basic concepts associated with classified operations, as if the notes were intended for an audience outside of the Intelligence Community unfamiliar with the details of its operations. The government also presents new biographical information about Martin, noting that he has “obtained advanced educational degrees and has taken extensive government training courses on computer security, including in the areas of encryption and secure communications.” Martin allegedly used a “sophisticated software tool which runs without being installed on a computer and provides anonymous Internet access, leaving no digital footprint on the Machine,” and he tried “to run operating systems on his machines that would not leave any forensic evidence of his computer activities.” That could suggest Martin was using TAILS or another USB-bootable operating system in conjunction with Tor or a VPN. While the new filing does not specifically mention it, the New York Times reported Wednesday that Martin may have been involved in the “Shadow Brokers” dump of NSA exploits. As the Times reported: But so far, the investigators have been frustrated in their attempt to prove that Mr. Martin deliberately leaked or sold the hacking tools to the Shadow Brokers or, alternatively, that someone hacked into his computer or otherwise took them without his knowledge. While they have found some forensic clues that he might be the source, the evidence is not conclusive, according to a dozen officials who have been involved in or have been briefed on the investigation. The former NSA contractor is accused of owning 10 guns, only two of which were registered, including an “AR-style tactical rifle.” Martin’s wife, Deborah Shaw, was “very upset to learn about the Defendant’s arsenal.” According to the new court filing, Shaw asked all the firearms to be removed from her home, and they were taken away by the FBI. Among the documents seized, investigators found a letter sent in 2007 to Martin’s colleagues, in which he criticizes the government’s information security practices and refers to those same co-workers as “clowns.” Martin is set to appear before US Magistrate Judge Beth P.

Gesner for a detention hearing on Friday at 2:15pm ET in Baltimore.

Ecuador says it cut off Assange’s Internet over Clinton data dumps

Enlarge / WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange comes out on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy to address the media in central London on February 5, 2016.Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images reader comments 11 Share this story Ecuador, the nation that ...

Snowden investigator slams leaker-detector background checks

Testing reveals the past, not what someone will do once you make them bitter and twisted A former top US Government investigator into classified document leaks by Chelsea (Bradley) Manning and Edward Snowden has criticised the effectiveness of background checks saying it will not prevent further leaks. Keith Lowry, formerly US Department of Defence chief of staff, was pulled into the Office of National Counterintelligence Executive in 2010 to lead coordination efforts during the Manning and later Snowden leaks. He now says he was "intimately involved" at the time and sole recipient for all investigative material on the cases for a period of about six months. "As a professional in counterintelligence, it was the role of a lifetime," Lowry tells Vulture South during a trip to Sydney, Australia. "As a taxpayer, it made me angry … whenever someone stabs you in the back, from a professional standpoint it is a hard thing to endure." His comments come in the wake of the arrest of National Security Agency analyst Harold Thomas Martin III for allegedly hoarding top secret documents including code to help exploit systems used by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. Lowry chalked up 18 months as a counterintelligence officer for the US Food and Drug Administration before moving to the private sector with information security firm Nuix. He identifies insider leaks as a major overlooked threat, saying background checks do little to stop potential document leakers such as Manning, Snowden, and Martin III. "I don't think there is anything anyone can do using background and psychological checks to stop [Snowden leaks]," Lowry says. "Background checks and polygraphs only say who they someone is, what they have done, not what they will do." He says sweeping sentiment analysis checks of open source information, such as online and social media posts, would spark the ire of privacy advocates and probably wouldn't work anyway. "Snowden and Manning made decisions after the checks that they would do something they said they said they wouldn't do." He suggests Martin III may be a mere hoarder and was unable to dispose of work documents containing benign and classified material. The high-profile leaks of recent years have done little to shake the private sector awake, however. Organisations defrauded by staff and contractors are unwilling to air their problems in court and engage in long and costly civil disputes. "Less than five per cent of insider thefts are ever referred for prosecution, and less than 10 per cent of those go to court," he says. He says businesses will only move to address the growing problem if faced with regulation or revenue impacts. ®