Author Topic: Mafialeaks: The anonymous whistle-blowing site inspired by Wikileaks which aims  (Read 3674 times)

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Offline mayya

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Mafialeaks: The anonymous whistle-blowing site inspired by Wikileaks which aims to shatter mob code of silence






Activist claims to have already received and passed on important evidence to investigators and journalists
MICHAEL DAY 
 
ROME
 
Tuesday 12 November 2013

A handful of anonymous computer experts who say they can employ their technical skills to wage war on the mob have made headlines and raised eyebrows in equal measure.


Now one of the founders of the anonymous whistle-blowing Mafialeaks site, which aims to take on Italy’s feared mafia groups, has told The Independent what they hope to achieve and why they are feeling so confident.
The activist, who identified himself as Bobby, added that the site, which was inspired by Wikileaks, had already received and passed on important evidence to investigators and journalists. “We believe it can work. In fact, I can reveal to you now that it is already working,” he said.

He added that Mafialeaks aimed to significantly expand contacts with law enforcement agencies and media outlets by December. The central strategy is, of course, to shatter the thing that has shielded the mafia for decades – omerta or the code of silence.

Mafialeaks is supposed to allow witnesses, and particularly victims of the mob, such as shopkeepers or businessmen forced to pay protection money, to report organised crime and send information to the site, which is accessed through the untraceable Tor anonymity network. This high security site protects the identity of both witnesses and Mafialeaks staff, who are thought to number less than 10.

Organised criminals are depressingly numerous in Italy. But so, added Bobby, are the people well placed to shop them. “We want Mafiosi to understand that in any given moment, even right now, someone’s aware of their trade and sooner or later it’s going to come out into the open.

“Our message is: ‘If you’re a Mafioso and participating in organised crime, desist or someone will denounce you and you’ll never know who it is.’ The mafia cannot function without doctors to treat them, electricians and builders to make their hideouts and lawyers and accountants to hide their money. All these people have the evidence in hand.”

The arrival of Mafialeaks received a mixed response from people working in traditional roles in the fight against organised crime.
Magistrate Nicola Gratteri told La Repubblica newspaper that in principle, he welcomed the site. “Mafialeaks could be a good way of spreading a certain type of information and shattering the wall of silence surrounding organised crime”, he said. Corrado De Rosa, a psychiatrist who provides expert evidence in mafia trials was less certain. “This has been done for noble reasons and I wish them well. But we need to remain aware of the risks,” he said.

“There’s a danger we’ll see a reduction in the quality of evidence that emerges. And we should not forget that the mafia clans are already computer and internet-savvy.” He added the system might be used by people to settle scores and by some Mafiosi in order to harm rival criminals.

Bobby said if rival Mafiosi shopped each other, that might not be a bad thing. And countered that false or useless evidence “would end up in the trash” when examined by journalists and investigators. He noted too, the proliferation of digital equipment could work to the mafia’s disadvantage. 

“We believe smartphones are a real weapon and every citizen has one in his pocket. With it you can record a call, you can copy messages or emails, and photograph documents. As such every citizen is a potential whistleblower,” he said.
But Amalia De Simone, a journalist who has for many years reported on the Camorra in Naples for Corriere Della Sera newspaper, said: “An initiative such as Mafialeaks that appears to be done for all the right reasons could easily turn into a boomerang.”

Bobby and colleagues’ safety is likely to rest on their computer skills and to their credit, they have acknowledged some of Mafialeaks’ potential weaknesses, and remain upbeat. “We need the media to make people realise there’s a new method for combating the mafia that doesn’t risk the life of those who blow the whistle.

“If citizens want to do this, Mafialeaks will prove an effective weapon in the war against organised crime,” Bobby said.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/mafialeaks-the-anonymous-whistleblowing-site-inspired-by-wikileaks-which-aims-to-shatter-mob-code-of-silence-8935536.html

enrica

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WikiLeaks Inspires MafiaLeaks

 Written by Lisa Cerda
 03 Dec 2013


CERDAFIED-Corruption is under attack! Using technology to protect the whistle blowers, computer experts are finding their niche in the world of crime prevention by following the example of WikiLeaks. The newly spawned MafiaLeaks aims to tackle another sinister element of society, namely the Mafia.

Anonymous computer experts will wage their own war on the mob by allowing gangsters to anonymously divulge information on criminal activity and supply whatever evidence is available to them. The evidence will be passed on to investigators and journalists.

 

MafiaLeaks is quite confident in their ability to not only protect the whistle blower but to find an ample supply of wagging tongues. In fact, their spokesperson, an activist going by the name of Bobby, has revealed that the site is already working.

Their goal is to disintegrate the mafias code of silence, their main source of protection, and tap into the large pool of victims and eye witnesses who would otherwise be afraid to come forward.  Mafialeaks wants to reach within the organization itself. This can only be achieved by the absolute protection of the identity of the MafiaLeaks witnesses, as well as their company employees. Their site is a high security, untraceable Tor anonymity network.

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a network of numerous relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. It defends against traffic analysis, according to their website.

The second goal is to broaden their connection to legal authorities and news agencies. They expect to complete that process by the end of this year. Authorities maybe skeptical but they are willing to see if they can get meaningful leads from this new source. Some are concerned that it will produce nothing more than an avalanche of petty crime reports that will bog down the authorities. Others speculate that rival gangs will blame crimes on each other in order to get rid of the competition.

Bobby is upbeat about their mission, “We need the media to make people realize there’s a new method for combating the mafia that doesn’t risk the life of those who blow the whistle.”

He is convinced that the cell phone camera will be a great tool in providing evidence of shakedowns, money laundering, larceny, drug operations and more. It will take some time to see how effective and trustworthy the site is. After all, the mob is techno-savvy too and with so much on the line they are sure to take the threat to their criminal organization seriously.

The MafiaLeaks website is focused on the Italian mobs and is written in Italian, unlike WikiLeaks international focus. Letting the general public know about MafiaLeaks is crucial to its success. Please share this information and help with this valiant effort to unravel crime syndicates.

Perhaps someone out there will be inspired to create Policebrutalityleaks. Currently we have a Facebook and website called filmingcops.com and they are doing a great job of bringing attention to this growing abuse of power, though police are rarely fired or even reprimanded. You may send your footage to them and the information about the event.

Breaking the “Thin Blue Line” will be as difficult as breaking the mafia. So let the information leak out.  Viva la Leaks!

(Lisa Cerda is a contributor to CityWatch, a community activist, VP of Community Rights Foundation of LA.)

 
http://www.citywatchla.com/lead-stories-hidden/6107-wikileaks-inspires-mafialeaks