Wikileaks publishes emails from ‘shadow CIA’

Wikileaks has today started publishing more than five million emails from intelligence company Stratfor, which was hacked late last year by Anonymous.

Describing the company as the ‘shadow CIA’, it says the emails ‘show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods’.

The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011, when the company was hacked, and the involvement of Anonymous has been confirmed on the group’s Twitter feed.

Wikileaks says the emails include details of the monitoring of activists and NGOs on behalf of companies and government agencies including Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

“Government and diplomatic sources from aroun the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money,” says Wikileaks.

“The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.”

Stratfor has described the release of the emails as a ‘deplorable breach of privacy’, and says some of them ‘may’ have been forged or altered.

And – in language strikingly reminiscent of Wikileaks’ own – it attempts to position itself as a plucky organization fighting intimidation.

“This is another attempt to silence and intimidate the company, and one we reject,” it says in a statement.

“Under the continued leadership of founder and Chief Executive Officer George Friedman, Stratfor will not be silenced and will continue to publish the geopolitical analysis our friends and subscribers have come to rely upon.”

The new material also includes more than 4,000 emails relating to Wikileaks itself or founder Julian Assange, currently under house arrest in the UK and fighting extradition to the US over alleged sex crimes.