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Hosting a Highly Inflammatory Document? 471

Posted by Soulskill
from the information-wants-to-be-free,-particularly-the-juicy-stuff dept.
IndianaKim writes "I have been asked if I can host or assist in hosting a highly inflammatory document that reflects poorly on a Police Department. I want to help, but I also do not want the headache and possible subjection to search warrants and/or illegal searches. The document is so inflammatory that it could interest the FBI and DoJ and cause them to investigate the government officials involved. I live in the same county, but not the same city, and therefore could be subject to a search (legal or not) by some of these government agencies. I have been asked to host it on a server outside of the US. At this time, I do not have the ability to do that, but I could set it up if I needed to. My question is: would you host it if you were asked? How would you go about protecting the document and yourself?"
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Hosting a Highly Inflammatory Document?

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  • I know where . . . (Score:5, Informative)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Friday May 15, 2009 @07:59PM (#27974367)
    Wikileaks dude
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:09PM (#27974477) Journal
      I third. Leave this one to the professionals.

      You wouldn't want to have your local hometown heroes shoot you and plant a dime bag on your corpse or anything.
      • by fm6 (162816) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:19PM (#27974579) Homepage Journal

        Good point about "the professionals". For one thing, Wikileaks is smart enough not to go to Slashdot for legal advice. They'd go to a lawyer, who'd tell you that local authorities can hold a local person accountable for web content, regardless of where it's hosted.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by belmolis (702863)

          Actually, he didn't come here for legal advice. It sounds like he's asking for technical advice. And your legal point is irrelevant - if he can mask his role in distributing the document, the legal powers of the police will be irrelevant. If they don't know who he is, they can't harass him.

          • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:59PM (#27974927)

            His question was neither technical nor legal. He was asking if he should do it or not.

            I think the answer given here is no, let Wikileaks do it. Good reasons for doing so are technical and legal, which I think is really the justification he was looking for.

            Other factors to consider might be whether he believes the document is "real", whether it has some supporting evidence and whether it can be used to do some good.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gparent (1242548)
            Then I'm sure the police will be glad he left his Slashdot nickname, right?
        • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:46PM (#27974823)

          Good point about "the professionals". For one thing, Wikileaks is smart enough not to go to Slashdot for legal advice.

          The fools, where else can you get expert IANAL legal advice? I mean besides Jack Thompson?

      • by Gerzel (240421) * <(moc.liamg) (ta) (terrefyllorb)> on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:59PM (#27974933) Journal

        Exactly. Wikileaks is the premier inflammatory doc hosting site out there.

        There is a system for subverting the system and you should use that system!

      • by JWSmythe (446288) <(moc.ehtymswj) (ta) (ehtymswj)> on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:00PM (#27974937) Homepage Journal

            Harassment isn't always so obvious. When I was a kid, for political reasons (that I won't go into, but it wasn't directly me), I had my own private escort to and from school by the police. They tried to not be obvious, but they weren't very good at it. I was pulled over in "routine" traffic stops at least once a week.

            Once, with my mom in the car, I noticed a patrol car pull behind me. I told her, "We're going to be pulled over.", and she said we weren't doing anything wrong. They followed for about a mile, and when we stopped in a mall parking lot, the officer told us to wait with the car. It wasn't his call, he was just told to keep us there until further notice. There wasn't even an ID check. We were just held for 15 minutes, before the harassing officers radioed over to say to let us go this time. They were busy with something else. I was just an easy target that day.

            It became a game with me. I'd spot them before they'd get close behind me, so I'd pull nice polite evasive maneuvers (3 signaled turns on side streets to get out of view, then park and lay the seat down). They may have slowed down my trip by a minute or two, but it was better than being ID'd, personally searched, vehicle searched, questioned, and finally let go.

            Once an officer followed me for 5 miles. Very obviously, because he followed my lane changes, turns, etc. I even made some nonsensical turns, like off of the main road, loop through a neighborhood, and back onto the same main road in the same direction. I pulled into a parking lot with a store, and we got out. He parked several rows over and did the same thing. We were slow about getting out of the car, so he didn't want to be obvious, and walked into the store. Once he was in with his back turned, we got back into our car, and drove away. From the exit of the parking lot, we saw him running for his car. He got caught up in traffic, where we made a clean exit (before the traffic), so we had a 2 minute advantage to get out of sight.

            I grew up thinking that's how the police treated either kids or drivers in general. It happened until I moved out of the area. I was amazed that I wasn't pulled over for anything for years after that.

            I recommend against anything that will make a law enforcement agency want to harass you. If you do, do it very very quietly. In this case, photocopies of the document mailed to the appropriate investigative agencies anonymously are a good idea. Scanning and emailing (from a dummy webmail account in a public location through proxies is good) is a good idea also. Submitting to wikileaks and other similar places is good. Is it interesting enough for the ACLU, EFF, or AlterNet to be interested in?

            The big question is, is the risk (continued harassment for years) worth the gain (busting one cop for smoking pot, or whatever?)

            You could distribute to be redistributed. It's not hard to my online info (look at my profile), and I can give a hint if it's worth the trouble. Contact me through a dummy account, but remember to check it for my response.

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:20PM (#27975087) Journal

          I'm not sure I believe your story. Police can't just randomly detain citizens, and if they did there's recourse like suing the department for violating Supreme Court rulings.

          • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:36PM (#27975193) Journal

            Sure they can, that is why 'probable cause" is such a wide open standard. I had it happen to me for about a year. The girl I was dating at the time did a lot of babysitting jobs, including a cops kid. The kid thought I was the coolest thing since sliced bread since I had the 80s feathered hair(which was in at the time, thank you very much) along with the leather jacket and a 68 Mustang. I got a feeling after the third stop the cop was hoping to catch me with "something" just to show the kid that "long hairs are bad" or some such shit.

            The funny part was he got caught taking a bribe to sneak some evidence out of the evidence room to throw a case. He didn't know that a buddy of mine that worked bail bonds got so tired of his customers jumping through hoops only to get to court and find "missing evidence" that he talked the judge into installing a hidden camera in the police evidence room. Mr. Asshat cop and a couple of his buddies got busted but good for using the evidence room as their own personal stop n' shop.

            So don't believe for a minute that the supreme court means shit. If he was in a small town the cops pretty much can do what they please. They are all asshole buddies with the judges, prosecutors, lawyers, etc and unless they do something SO outrageous that all the BS in the world won't cover it up, they will get by with it. All you can do is move or do like the above poster did and put up with it.

            • by Reziac (43301) * on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:50PM (#27975305) Homepage Journal

              Back in the 1970s, my nextdoor neighbour got harrassed like that. No good reason, he just looked like a victim, I guess. (He worked as a garbageman.)

              Anyway one day the cop who'd done most of the harrassing came on my neighbour's property without a warrant, just to give him shit, and my neighbour came out with a shotgun and ran off the cop. And that was the end of the problem -- no more harrassment.

              In the 1980s I had a bad cop move in next door. To cut to the chase, one night at 2am he and his buddy drove past and repeatedly shined their spotlight into my window, just to dick with me. I got up, flung on a coat and boots over my nightgear, and hitailed it into town, where I banged on the sheriff's contract-station door til someone finally opened it... complained to the guy on duty and got a confirm who was out in the car (my idiot neighbour and his buddy). I then drove to the main sheriff's office and complained again.

              What got the bad cop in trouble wasn't the stupid harrassment, but the fact that while on duty he was out of his jurisdiction, which was strictly the airport. (We lived on the next road over, but it still counted.) Anyway, shortly afterward he was fired, his wife left him, and his house got repo'd. I stood outside and cheered as the bank hauled off his stuff. :D

              Later another neighbour (who'd known this guy since he was a little kid) told me he'd been cashiered from the Navy "for the good of the service".

              So, yeah... there are bad cops. And given a sampling of two, seems the best reaction is to stand up to them, and raise hell with their superiors (assuming they're not corrupt).

              • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:23PM (#27975563)

                Anyway one day the cop who'd done most of the harrassing came on my neighbour's property without a warrant, just to give him shit, and my neighbour came out with a shotgun and ran off the cop. And that was the end of the problem -- no more harrassment.

                Don't try this at home, kids. Seriously. Pulling guns on anyone is a bad idea, but pulling guns on cops is truly idiotic, I don't care how in the right you are.

                • by Reziac (43301) * on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:32PM (#27975955) Homepage Journal

                  Well, you're probably right 99% of the time, but in this case it proved the right thing to do... especially since he caught the bad cop by surprise, and with no backup.

                  As to whether pulling a gun is always a bad idea... I've had to use threat of deadly force to run off scum four times myself... twice saving someone's life (one being my own). IMO, getting beat up or robbed or killed because you won't defend yourself is a worse idea. :)

                  • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Saturday May 16, 2009 @01:30AM (#27976543)

                    As to whether pulling a gun is always a bad idea... I've had to use threat of deadly force to run off scum four times myself... twice saving someone's life (one being my own). IMO, getting beat up or robbed or killed because you won't defend yourself is a worse idea. :)

                    Maybe you should try moving to a better part of town? I have never once been in a situation that would have been improved by the presence of firearms (including being robbed). I've certainly been around gun-carrying thugs before but I generally find you're left alone if you treat others with respect and without fear. I love shooting guns and I don't dispute the right to own them, but I've never felt the need or urge to run around armed myself. YMMV, I suppose.

                    • by Reziac (43301) * on Saturday May 16, 2009 @10:13AM (#27978715) Homepage Journal

                      The neighbourhood was all right when I moved there. (This was a highly rural area.) Over the years it deteriorated, as scum got run out of Los Angeles and moved out to the boonies, where the living was cheaper and no one was around to keep an eye on them.

                      After the first incident, it was several years before any of the local thugs came around again, because word got around that "there's a crazy person with a gun living on that ranch". :) (Actually, I get dead-calm in such situations, which is a lot more scary to perps than if you brandish your gun and yell.)

                      I don't live there anymore... However, I still own guns, and if you're up to no good against my person or property, I won't just crawl in a hole and let you get away with it. The cops are half an hour away at best, and meanwhile it's up to me to defend my person and my property.

                  • by s13g3 (110658) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @05:38AM (#27977477) Journal

                    Upon being stationed back in the US after being stationed over-seas the last 10 years, my father found himself with no U.S. drivers license. So, one day, still in his BDU (battle-dress uniform, aka "cammies" or camouflage) he gets in a staff vehicle and drives to the DMV, where he takes and fails the written drivers exam: the German philosophy of rechtsfahren or, "drive right", was not quite compatible with Georgia laws at the time.

                    So, having failed the driving exam, my father walks back out to his car, gets in his, starts the motor and is preparing to drive off when the rookie cop who was hanging around shooting the shit with the girl at the DMV office comes flying out of the building, runs up the drivers side door screaming "GET OUT OF THE CAR! GET OUT NOW!" and draws his .38 service revolver, pointing it through the open window at my father.

                    Now, I'm sorry, but anyone who pulls a gun on a soldier in uniform is an idiot. My father, a veteran of four combat tours as a forward observer looks over, raises his hands as is expected, and in the process neatly relieves the officer of his weapon (I've since learned the trick, it's rather useful), pulling the officer by the wrist head-first into the vehicle and introducing him to his friend, a service issue M1911A1 Colt .45. You can guess who won that argument.

                    Long story short(er), it turned out the girl in the DMV office - who was fortunately tired of the rookie cop hitting on her all day - later admitted he had said to her that he was going to wait until he got the keys in the ignition so he'd have enough of an offense to throw my old man in jail (driving without a license) and get his first real arrest. Unfortunately for said cop, my father was a duly authorized U.S. Army officer going about official military business in a U.S. Army staff vehicle and was in possession of a valid U.S. Army Drivers license which permitted him to drive said vehicle on any any all U.S. territory, domestic and abroad. The rook's excuse for drawing his gun - that he assumed my father, as a soldier, was also armed, even though up to that point his firearm had remained in his vehicle - didn't fly in state court and he found himself without a badge very quickly. No wonder my dad liked the movie Tank [imdb.com] so much when it came out a few years later.

                    Sometimes you can only fight fire with fire, and occasionally one must make a stand against harassment: most especially when it comes in the guise of a government or government official trying to abuse his standing. The same way I don't feel sorry at all for the Atlanta cops who executed a wrongly issued (complete lack of evidence of real justification) no-knock warrant on an ~80 year old grandmother who lived in a somewhat bad part of town. A couple of them got shot by an old lady trying to defend herself, thinking she was being robbed, and the cops of course blew her away. I pity the old lady and her family. The cops not at all - sadly these bunch of crooks were only injured, but it serves them right. They were just lucky it wasn't someone with better aim and a weapon bigger than a .22 revolver.

                    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson

                    As a result the city of Atlanta is much much more cautious about issuing no-knock warrants, and that whole department was reviewed rather critically, a number of people let go, and their procedures altered. I rather suspect that cops in a certain small Georgia town aren't quite so likely to pull their guns on uniformed soldiers driving Army staff vehicles, either.

                    As to whether pulling a gun is always a bad idea... I've had to use threat of deadly force to run off scum four times myself... twice saving someone's life (one being my own). IMO, getting beat up or robbed or killed because you won't defend yourself is a worse idea. :)

                    My point

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by Thing 1 (178996)

                      My point exactly. If you let people continue to get away with abusing others, where is their incentive to stop? If more people were prepared to - and did - stand up for themselves more often, especially in the face of such bullies and tyrants, perhaps there would be less people trying to step on others for their own benefit.

                      Spoken with eloquence. I applaud you, and salute your father.

                      My experience is less dramatic, but still traumatizing and ultimately encouraging. I was beat up a lot as a kid over physic

          • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:48PM (#27975287) Journal
            I've got a permanent scar from the police beating I got after lying down in the snow and putting my hands behind my head. Police can do anything they want, just like you can, and they can get away with it just fine. According to the police report, I got the scar while trying to climb a fence and escape, and three officers attested to that in writing.

            Cops are thugs who happen to work for the most powerful gang of all. That's it, that's all.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ziest (143204)

            I would guess you never tried "driving while Black" in L.A. Yes, police do randomly detain citizens. It happens more in big cities here in America then in rural areas but it does happen, especially if they don't like your politics. Trust me, an uncomfortably large percentage of cops are just bullies with a badge.

            Oh, and forget about trying to sue them. Cops lie to protect each other and courts really are not very interested in seeing cops get sued even if you have a case. Sorry guy, but when it comes to cop

          • by JWSmythe (446288) <(moc.ehtymswj) (ta) (ehtymswj)> on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:05PM (#27975429) Homepage Journal

                Fear not, every stop had a legal basis.

                Once I was driving a suspicious car. Oddly enough, it was the only one like it in the area that I knew of.

                Once it was that I kept looking in the mirror. Of course I was. A patrol car was following me around.

                Once I was told "I observed you tailgating a red truck at through ___ intersection." I clearly remembered that I was following a black car, becuse he was driving slow. I was following at 20mph (in a 35 zone) at about 8 car lengths.

                Many were "random" traffic safety stops.

                And the hold I mentioned, the officer detaining me did not have any information on why I was being detained, but to keep the situation peaceful, he politely requested me to stay with the car. He was actually very polite, because he had no clue what it was about. He did say that he didn't have legal authority to detain me, but it would likely be escalated by the local PD (he was county). Rather than cause an incident by refusing to stay, I stayed. He sat in his car waiting for further instructions. I stood by my car, and until just before he said we could leave, he wasn't on the radio. This was before the days of laptops in every patrol car, so I know he wasn't doing anything more nefarious.

                A lawsuit wouldn't go far. In the area, the "good ol' boy" system was well in place, which is why this was happening in the first place. Me, being a 16 through 19 year old boy during the period, I made enough money to buy gas for my car and a few other things. I definitely couldn't afford a lawyer. I did have several opportunities to speak with lawyers on the subject (on my side). I was advised that I would never beat them. The most I would do would be to upset them more, and find myself in more "random" trouble. My options were to:

                1) File lawsuits, and keep appealing up beyond the local "good ol' boy" system. That would be somewhere in the high 6 figures, which it was doubtful I'd ever recover.

                2) Get a different car. This worked for about 2 months.

                3) Move out of the area. I did this at about 19.

                But hey, I don't care if you believe me or not. I know most of the "harassment" stories I read are total irrational paranoia. I thought it was just me for a while, until friends and family started getting annoyed by it, especially when they were in the car with me.

                I was informally accused of several crimes. The "where were you on __ day" question was kind of hard. 6 months ago, at 10pm, where were you? I had no clue. At home asleep? At a friends house? At the movies? As the interrogation continued, it became clear that I was the only suspect in a tv/stereo store robbery. As it turned out later, it was insurance fraud, and I was just a good candidate to harass. Maybe it would have been better if they could have solicited a spontaneous confession. I was so clueless on the whole matter that I couldn't even say something wrong that would match the crime. I've since learned (now being older and wiser), STFU. If they want you to confess, even idle conversation will come back to bite you. The smart ass answer "Ok, you've seen my car. How many TV's did I fit in it?" didn't help the situation at all. Luckily, there were no stolen TV's in the crime, but they did use it to continue questioning me on being there. I wasn't.

                It would probably help if I explained more of their motive, but ... well ... honestly, I don't want to tell. It was absolutely nothing criminal in nature though.

          • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:33PM (#27975963) Homepage

            Police can't just randomly detain citizens

            Never confuse "can't" with "not supposed to". One represents an impossibility, the other a mere legal impediment that may or may not be followed or enforced.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Nitewing98 (308560)

            You must not live in the midwest (or the south) where the local cops can (and will) do whatever they can get away with, esp. in small towns and out in the county. It can be as simple as, "We knew your daddy and he was a bad apple."

            Here in Kansas City we had a sheriff whose son pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child as well as child rape.

            The "law" is only as fair as those who enforce it.

          • by malcomreynolds (1358799) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @01:26AM (#27976529)

            I'm not sure I believe your story. Police can't just randomly detain citizens, and if they did there's recourse like suing the department for violating Supreme Court rulings.

            Do you only watch Fox News? I honestly cannot believe someone said that.

      • by Toonol (1057698) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:30PM (#27975605)
        That reminds me: Be sure to record a video of yourself that can be uploaded to youtube on event of your death, so the world can know who murdered you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If this document is so inflammatory, why not print up several copies and slip them under the local news building front doors? They will be shielded relatively well from legal abuse.

    • by MikeFM (12491)

      Stick it on Google Sites too. They have the bulk to resist local police departments.

    • by evanbd (210358) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:15PM (#27974529)
      That, or Freenet.
  • Assuming you & your friend are aware or desire that once this hits the internet it is forever online for all to see, you have friends across the pond [wikileaks.org]. Yes, this is foreign hosting.

    Assuming the document is small, you could install Xerobank [xerobank.com] (formerly TorPark) and create an account on Wikileaks and upload it to Wikileaks through the Tor onion router. Your anonymity would be assured in a hilariously sound manner.

    Your website need do nothing more than link to Wikileaks and ponder how it got there.

    That would be my plan of action. I would also be careful with all the machines/devices used to transfer that file.

    Depending on how important/inflammable this document is, I might look into buying a cheap 20GB laptop hard drive, installing ubuntu, going to a star bucks, doing the above and then "disposing" of the drive and all media so that there are no questions. Sorry to sound like Harvey Keitel on Pulp Fiction but ... when you're dealing with serious stuff ...

    My question is: would you host it if you were asked? How would you go about protecting the document and yourself?

    It depends on who is asking me. There are maybe 5 or 6 people in my life that if they approached me with this request and said it was serious and said it had to be me hosting it, I would do it no questions ask. I would not read the document, I would stop them from explaining to me what is the document, I would do it and give them the link. I would then go directly to my lawyer and have a small chat with him. Then I would grab a glass of Chivas Regal and put on a record and take the battery out of my cell phone and relax.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by liquidsin (398151)

      Depending on how important/inflammable this document is,...

      i always found it odd that flammable and inflammable mean exactly the same thing...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by v3lut (123906)

        They don't.

        Inflammable is when it's MORE than Flammable.

        Just ask the Infamous El Guapo.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:10PM (#27974489)

      It's posts like this that make me fall in love with /. all over again!!

    • by v3lut (123906) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:19PM (#27974581) Homepage

      Depending on how important/inflammable this document is, I might look into buying a cheap 20GB laptop hard drive, installing ubuntu, going to a star bucks, doing the above and then "disposing" of the drive and all media so that there are no questions.

      You could probably sell the hard drive on eBay, make a few bucks. I wouldn't worry about scrubbing it tho. Nobody checks those things.

      • Depending on how important/inflammable this document is, I might look into buying a cheap 20GB laptop hard drive, installing ubuntu, going to a star bucks, doing the above and then "disposing" of the drive and all media so that there are no questions.

        You could probably sell the hard drive on eBay, make a few bucks. I wouldn't worry about scrubbing it tho. Nobody checks those things.

        Well, I have several problems with that. One is that it is uncharacteristic of me to sell something on ebay. Especially hardware like that. This could be easily seen as odd behavior leading them to the drive. The other is that it's probably becoming common to check drives for interesting stuff when you buy them on eBay. The other is that I don't care about the money a 20GB drive would net me if I'm dealing with the law.

        No, I am afraid my course of action would be to vigorously scrub the drive, take the drive apart and spot weld the platters together to make a set of ugly ass coasters with magnets attached as feet to the coaster. I would keep the set in plain view in my living room. Then one day when a guest inquired about them I could say, "Funny story ..."

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          One is that it is uncharacteristic of me to sell something on ebay.

          You don't want to sell it there, you want to buy the 20gig hard drive there. Or, go to a local used computer store. They've probably got 300 10-20 gig laptop hard drives laying around collecting dust.

          Also, if you don't have first-hand knowledge of the facts in this "inflammatory document" be sure you trust the person presenting it to you with your life (or at least your freedom). If the contents of the document point to a single person (

    • Use Tor (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RPoet (20693) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:21PM (#27974595) Journal

      Why use Xerobank, a commercial service? I recommend installing Tor (which is free) and accessing Wikileaks only through their .onion address, http://gaddbiwdftapglkq.onion/ [gaddbiwdftapglkq.onion]. That way you don't use any exit servers, so nobody can sniff your traffic or even know that you're talking to Wikileaks except Wikileaks themselves (who won't know who you are).

      • Re:Use Tor (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bircho (559727) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:58PM (#27974921)
        More important than that: DO NOT post this file(s) as a .doc, .jpg, .pdf, etc. AS IS. Those formats have metadata that can be used to trace to our source.
        • Re:Use Tor (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:17PM (#27975067)

          and for gods sake make sure you use the ransom font! un_trace_able

        • Re:Use Tor (Score:4, Informative)

          by FooAtWFU (699187) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:24PM (#27975117) Homepage
          Image file metadata for the standard formats can be erased with a good lightweight image-manipulation tool (on Windows, look for IrfanView - I'd be sure to install all the plugins just in case, too, in case one of them supports a different metadata type, et cetera). There's probably more specialized tools as well. Google it up, schmucks.

          .doc has a Microsoft "remove hidden data" widget, and you can look at a variety of the properties directly, but I still wouldn't trust it. Try text, .rtf, maybe HTML? where you can scan the entire file as ASCII and see exactly what's in there.

    • by rcw-home (122017) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:23PM (#27974619)

      Your anonymity would be assured in a hilariously sound manner.

      That's assuming there's nothing in the document itself that only a particular author would write. That's how they ended up identifying the unibomber.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by twidarkling (1537077)

        Except that would only lead them to the author, not the person who uploaded it. And if this person's trusting you that much, I doubt they'd give you up to the cops, especially when they're *the author*. Who cares about the distributor at that point, unless you're going for a "salt the earth" strategy.

      • by Lillesvin (797939) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:34PM (#27975637) Homepage

        Well, "they" didn't identify the Unabomber - his brother did, because he recognized his writing style in his published manifesto, which in turn resulted in the forensic investigation and comparison of his manifesto to some earlier stuff that he'd written. The method is called stylometry [wikipedia.org] (or stylometrics) and is used widely in forensic linguistics, but it's still only an indicator of authorship - not proof.

        In the Unabomber case, they had two sets of texts, the manifesto written by the Unabomber and the texts written by Ted Kaczynski, hence it was relatively easy to compare the two sets and see if there was reason to believe the author of both sets to be the same. In this case, you'll have a single text by an unknown author... What will you compare it to first when you have no suspect or suspected texts? Exactly... This document will have to mean the end of the world before they start trawling the web for random texts and comparing. Mind you, these stylometric comparisons must be verified by a human, even though a lot can be automated with principal component analysis.

        I'd say that the author can feel pretty safe, as long as he/she isn't a well-known author and/or uses linguistic constructions specific for his/her dialect or regiolect. Remove all meta-data from the file (e.g. go with plain text or HTML as suggested (far) above) and publish to wikileaks through Tor from a public hotspot. At least, that's what I'd do. I don't know about Brian Boitano, Buddha, Muhammed or Jesus.

        Oh, and yes, I am a linguist. :)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:25PM (#27974635)
      You could use an existing laptop with an os installed on a flash drive or a live cd, buy a cheap $10 usb wifi adapter and chuck both the cd + wifi in the trash for about $20. Just a fyi ;)
    • by Emnar (116467) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:30PM (#27974691)

      Depending on how important/inflammable this document is, I might look into buying a cheap 20GB laptop hard drive, installing ubuntu, going to a star bucks, doing the above and then "disposing" of the drive and all media so that there are no questions.

      For this to work you would also have to change your wireless interface's Ethernet MAC (hardware) address. By default this is a vendor-specific code that is probably unique enough that it could be used to link you to the upload. This would require that (a) the coffee shop kept some kind of long-term logging on their wireless device, (b) the authorities were able to trace the upload to the coffee shop, and (c) the police had some kind of suspicion of you already. All are improbable, but none are impossible.

      Most wireless cards will let you change the hardware address. I'll leave instructions for how to do that to the enterprising googler.

      The alternative is to use a cheap throwaway laptop with wireless, or a disposable wireless ethernet card.

      (Yes, it's paranoid, but so is the original question.)

      • by eatvegetables (914186) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:53PM (#27975325)

        For this to work you would also have to change your wireless interface's Ethernet MAC (hardware) address.

        (Yes, it's paranoid, but so is the original question.)

        No, none of this security "voodoo" is required at all. It's nothing but paranoid delusional compulsion driven obsessiveness.

        Really, who is going to be watch 'YOU?' You are nothing, a tiny insignificant electron fart on the massive, anonymous Internet freeway. There is no way that anyone could possibly track such a posting back to you even if you sent it from the comfort of your West Virginia trailer park, wood panelled double-wide. By the way, the cat is scratching at the door. Please let her in. The noise is driving me nuts.

        ...anyway. Like I was saying, the level of grandiosity required to believe that jack-booted, neo-conservative thugs with brush cuts and small testicles are following the every movement of this document and your friend Herb's handling of it is just beyond the bounds of all sane thought processes.

        Damn it Frank, let that frikin' cat in already. Put down the JVC multi-function remote. Holy crap, man. You DVR'ed the mud wrestling match last night while your aunt Emma was over for dinner. It's not like you can't pause the damn show. Don't you know that Princess is very sensitive to heat and humidity? Maybe you won't have to take her to the vet 20 times this summer (like you had to last year) if you leave her in air conditioning for a change.

        So, have we learned anything? No one is watching you. The government doesn't care what you do with that damn document that Herb wants you to host for him. No need to take ANY type of security/privacy countermeasure!

        We ... I mean, the government is not watching anything you do. Really. This is the voice of reason speaking to you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That's a lot of work; why not buy a cheap flash drive, copy the file to it, and then go to your starbucks or library or hotel or anywhere with a computer, and use *that* computer to upload to wikileaks? I fail to see why you need to use a specific laptop just to transfer a file.

  • by davidsyes (765062) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:00PM (#27974377) Homepage Journal

    To borrow from Captain Braxton. And, To borrow from /. and Terminator 2, and more from Trek you will need to start with:

    -- 5 million sun-block,
    -- super-mega tinfoil hat, polymorphic
    -- Federation Timeship Aeon, mk IV
    -- Subspace polarization inhibitor, non-time-domain-collapsing
    -- Fluidic Gateway to unlimited supply of Ketracel White
    -- Vidian anti-aging/anti-phaging cream

    because one, more or all of the cogizant agencies may have reasons to knock your ass across 5 timelines, 27 dimensions, dozens of gender and species reassignments, and multiple states of matter...

    GOOD LUCK!

    (I survived my own ordeal, but it was QUITE a harrowing experience eludi$_#$#@#*_#@*_*$_*&#&_$(+$%$)

  • Tor + various upload sites
    hate to say it, but spam forums (signed up w/ Tor) w/ a random link to above suggestion

    But your (possible) name and location are already on teh intertubes relating to a about-to-be-released inflammatory document.
  • Dude... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Post it on /b/. You can trust Anon. He's from the internet.

  • by bbk (33798) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:07PM (#27974447) Homepage

    I think we know where to send the black helicopters!

  • Just buy a new domain, give it anonymous contact info and stick it on a free webhost somewhere offshore.

  • am curious (Score:5, Funny)

    by bugi (8479) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:10PM (#27974487)

    Now I'm curious. Be sure to post another story pointing to the wikileaks url once it goes up.

  • More than likely, if it's that bad that you'd end up investigated or arrested or even "disappeared" it's not worth it. If they've managed to keep it hidden, they can cover it up and blame you for falsifying if they want to.

    Just don't do it. If they're corrupt enough that what you say exists really exists, they'll either trip up and fall into the public eye, or destroy you and have people rally to their side, not yours.

    • by EkriirkE (1075937)
      If this is the case, make vids like the Guatemalan guy - but frequently and post on youtube to keep the public up-to-date on your still-livingness, plus post often to somewhere online where you have a friend base. All thru tor so your movement isn't tracked.
  • Uh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moogied (1175879) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:14PM (#27974521)
    What?? Its the internet man.. no no. I take that back. Its the "Web 2.0", just throw it on EVERY social network outlet you can find, host it on blogs, etc etc. Facebook, myspace, youtube(read it.), blogspot, email it to everyone you can find in the media, etc etc. Once its on the internet it can't go away. If you want a centralized place to point to then make it a torrent on pirates bay. Not easy enough? Fine, post it on blogspot and a 20$/month web hosting service. One of two things will happen:

    1. No one will care and this won't be an issue.

    2. Someone out there will find it, talk about it, and then that one hosting site you use will have its pre-allocated bandwidth tapped out in mere hours. If that happens, it won't matter because the site pointed to the youtube, facebook, myspace, and the torrent.

  • Balls Out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:15PM (#27974531)

    Post it everywhere.
    Don't hide.
    Print that shit out and nail it to the wall, Martin Luther style.

  • Yet another reason for us all to be using it.

  • by dyfet (154716) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:16PM (#27974537) Homepage

    "Some say that power comes with responsibility, but this is not correct. Freedom is responsibility, and if one fails to be responsible for their own freedom then those who claim 'power' will become responsible for your freedom, and both will be taken from you." - me

    So basically because you fear the ability of law enforcement to abuse their powers in ways that may harm you personally, you are afraid to host this document that I have to presume relates to revealing some potentially illegal police activities? The press refuses to carry this story? And people say they live in a free society, when they are free only to be afraid of the power of government??

    Let me say this. If I had such documents, well, speaking from their presumed perspective and content, I would choose to host them. I would do so proudly. And I would share them with others to host as well, openly, without question. I would make sure they were also mirrored of course on something outside the U.S. as I do have resources for that. But I would happily apply my own resources to host them also.

    Fascism happens when the efficiency and fear of the state becomes more important than the freedom and rights of the people.

  • Post it on 4chan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jessecurry (820286) <jesse@jessecurry.net> on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:16PM (#27974543) Homepage Journal
    4Chan is where it's at... just scan it and post it.
  • ...I can think of a few interesting ways. they all start with cleaning the document of any metadata which points to you, then:

    1. drop it on many small thumbdrives around your city/county & watch just about everyone get arrested.
    2. buy a fax machine, find a landline no one's watching & fax to everywhere for which you can find a fax number.
    3. zip it, label it as the latest Britney single and put it on limewire or rapidshare
  • HavenCo (Score:2, Informative)

    by slashqwerty (1099091)
    HavenCo [wikipedia.org] used to host anything but child porn. They have a few more restrictions now but I think they would have no issue host criticism of a police department. They are based out of Sealand, an independent micronation sitting on a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort [wikipedia.org].
  • by goldcd (587052)
    Grow some would you?
    Infinite number of places you could upload it. If it's of any interest, you can be guaranteed that the copying/rehosting will preserve it.
    Mail it to a journalist or two from a paper that might be interested if you want to speed up the process.
  • Grow a pair (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Planesdragon (210349) <`slashdot' `at' `castlesteelstone.us'> on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:18PM (#27974575) Homepage Journal

    This document is "so inflamatory it might interest the DoJ or FBI"?

    Then send it to them. Or, if it's valid at all, send it to the closest trustworthy newspaper you can find. Or if nothing else, HIRE A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER so you know where the line is where you need to stop -- and so you know what to do if an illegal search comes up.

    A random document on the internet means NOTHING to an investigative agency. You might as well walk up and make a random phone call from a stolen cell phone. It's not even probable cause to investigate if you don't have a name to go with the charge.

    Go home, read the Constitution again, and decide if you want to help someone throw mud for zero effect, or if you want to actually see change. Our forefathers fought and died for our right to speak what we believe to be true; you are a coward if you will only exercise that when there is zero effect.

    (Oh, and for the main question: no, I wouldn't. And I wouldn't try hosting it overseas, either; few countries have as strong a free speech protection as the United States.)

    • If the FBI is interested in it presumably because they'd be investigating the local PD for fucking up, well then let them have a copy and do their job. You think that police on any level have a magic sense that lets them know when something is wrong? No, they have to see evidence. So if the FBI really might be interested in acting on this, then let them at it.

      As far as getting the word out in general, well the established press is a great way to go. Just about every newspaper out there -loves- seeing the go

  • by Daemonax (1204296) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:20PM (#27974589)
    Isn't this slashdot article enough to cause problems for you? If corrupt police suspect you have information that could harm them, then what is to stop them from causing problems for you? They're already corrupt aren't they?

    I would say put it on wikileaks as fast as you can.

    I'm not a lawyer though, so perhaps there are reasons to not do this? Perhaps contact a lawyer first. Give them a copy of the documents.
  • Bittorrent would be wonderful.

  • use a payphone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:23PM (#27974613)

    It's all quite easy if you can find an obscure pay phone that still works and will let you make 800 calls. Get yourself an acoustic coupler and find one of those free dial up accounts. Set up some sort of old laptop, that you found in the trash, to dial in using a script. You could also have it dial in to a bunch of different services to keep them off your track for awhile. Next set up a dyna DNS account and set up the laptop to update it. Hide the laptop somewhere in the phone booth. You will also need to steal power for the laptop from somewhere so get a dc-dc converter and steal the power off of the phone line going to the booth. No one ever uses pay phones anymore but you might want to leave something nasty in the booth to keep the homeless out.

  • by basementman (1475159) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:24PM (#27974631) Homepage

    Well the first thing I would do is post about it on Slashdot under my username. That way the cops could have absolutely no way to trace it back to me.

  • How It's done (Score:4, Interesting)

    by b4upoo (166390) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:25PM (#27974639)

    Certain lawyers have faced a very similar issue. They have learned to live outside of cities and counties that they sue. They have also learned to use drivers and never, ever drive in those cities and counties.
            I also had one friend whose home was burned when her husband ran for county sheriff.
            All in all it is better to be rather remote from the people who may feel endangered by your actions. It it involves crime it may be organized and deadly.

  • Think twice (Score:5, Funny)

    by TastelessGarbage (598415) * on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:26PM (#27974653)
    Son, you do not want to get on a police shitlist. This will impact your life in a Very Bad Way for years to come.

    Best to do it from the computer of someone that you genuinely despise. This makes it a 2-for-1 when the cops and their associates go after the other guy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Best to do it from the computer of someone that you genuinely despise.

      Good thinking. Er, can I use your computer for a few minutes?

  • by intx13 (808988) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:31PM (#27974705) Homepage
    It depends what you're worried about. If you're concerned about it being proven that you were part of the distribution of the document, then any of the suggestions posed so far will work. Buy a new hard drive, encrypt it, receive the document to it from a USB device (destroy the USB device afterwards). Upload to Wikileaks from the encrypted drive. Destroy the drive.

    However if you are more concerned with being thought to have been part of the distribution (as that is, after all, what's going to get you raided) then you have a bigger problem. You don't care so much whether in 5 years anybody can show you were involved, you only care about right now, can you stay under the radar.

    I would build a suitable alibi (get out of town) and then receive the document from the source. Afterwards, have a change of heart, convince the source that you are NOT going to host it anywhere, convince them you have destroyed the media, and lay low for a while.

    Then upload it to WikiLeaks at your leisure. If your source is convinced that you didn't upload it the Man hopefully won't think so either.
  • Paranoid much? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bluesk1d (982728)
    Good grief you are paranoid. People spread misinformation and lies about my department on a daily basis. No one cares. You really think some information of questionable validity about some local agency is going to result in a super-secret national alliance of corrupt local agency hit squad coming to find you and search your mom's basement only to have any evidence obtained thrown out for a 4th amendment violation? You watch too many movies, dude.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bluefoxlucid (723572)
      Yeah but your department may not actually be corrupt. The difference between a false accusation and a true one is you have reason to protect yourself from the true one. If I investigated your precinct, right now, on the grounds that I heard about wild hooker parties in the holding cells, I would turn up probably nothing... but if you WERE having wild hooker parties in the cells, you'd have reason to try to stop the investigation at any costs, especially given the repercussions of your gross sexual miscond
  • by Marrow (195242) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:53PM (#27975743)

    In court. With independently substantiated documentation and video.

    Better make sure the content is accurate and not fiction for the purpose of abuse.

    Better make sure you are willing to deal with the consequences and collateral damages that happen in our very human world. Will someone be harmed? Will a family be harmed. Will someone suicide? Do you want to be a part of the aftermath?

    What are the -civil- courts ramifications? Did the subject suffer serious monetary damages, lost wages, lost income, lost property. Do you want to foot the bill?

    After you are sure of all of all the answers, hire a lawyer and have him/her make sure.

    And then don't do it.

  • by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@anasazisTW ... com minus author> on Sunday May 17, 2009 @12:51AM (#27984377)

    The document is so inflammatory that it could interest the FBI and DoJ and cause them to investigate the government officials involved

    If the information is damning enough that it would interest the feds, send it to them. Why waste the time of Data-Wikileaks-PublicDisclosure-FedsGetInvolved when you can cut out the intermediate steps? If the information itself can be used to identify the source, why does it matter if it is posted off-shore?

    Ideally, I think you'd want to do both: Wikileaks as a fail-safe guarantee that it won't disappear, and contact the feds (or, more accurately, have your friends contact the feds). If they want it anonymous for witness-protection types of reasons, I imagine the Feds are much better at that than we are, short of the "STFU" principle. If there is whistle-blowing that needs to go on, it CAN be done anonymously and still be given to the feds. Heck, post it to Wikileaks and then notify the feds, if necessary. Clearly, someone things enough shady is going on that there'll be an investigation anyways.

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