Last December, someone – hacktivists from the Anonymous movement take credit for it – stole the internal emails of the middling intelligence firm Stratfor. The emails eventually made their way to Julian Assange. And now WikiLeaks, just when everyone thought it might be finished, is publishing them in chunks. WikiLeaks wouldn't be WikiLeaks if everything had gone smoothly: as it was preparing to publish the latest batch of Stratfor emails last week, its website went down, with Assange blaming a series of crippling cyberattacks (a group called AntiLeaks – led by someone known as Diet Pepsi – has claimed responsibility). The emails in question detail Stratfor's dealings with TrapWire Inc, a security company in Virginia. But it didn’t need WikiLeaks to reveal TrapWire’s activities: the company boasts about them on its website.
When the protests that followed Iran's presidential election in 2009 began to fizzle out, the state-controlled media put photos of the demonstrations online, with the faces of unidentified troublemakers highlighted. Viewers were asked to help identify them and even track them down. If the Iranian authorities are to be believed, arrests were made as a result. Today, as the web is being undermined by the rapid dominance of apps for smartphones and tablets, the Iranian police would probably, as the jargon has it, ‘go multiplatform’. That, at any rate, is what their colleagues in the Metropolitan Police have just done: unveiling, ahead of the Olympics, a new app called Facewatch ID.