2010-12-29 Chat Logs and Adrian Lamo

The Glenn Greenwald / Kevin Poulsen exchanges this week have centred around a dispute over the alleged Bradley Manning / Adrian Lamo chat logs that form the sole evidence currently implicating Manning in leaking classified information.

As a little more background into Lamo’s reliability at the time the chat logs were published,here is a June 22, 2010 thread on Fairfax Underground where someone posted another leaked chat log involving Lamo’s wife and Nadim, a person Lamo refers to as a “disgruntled fan”.

The original poster also includes the portion of the chat logs which Lamo claims he leaked to Wikileaks, further claiming they then “outed” him as their source. This thread is discussed in anarticle in DailyTech which contains an update at the end when they discovered that Lamo had actually outed himself “in the form of a podcast interview Lamo gave to an Australian blog site”.

All of the evidence into the mental state and reliability of the sole informant in this case raises the question of why chat logs, in the hands of a self proclaimed hacker, passed on to a journalist who professes great respect for the hacking skills of this source, are being treated as reliable legal evidence. In what format were they provided to Wired (and the DoJ)? Was there third party monitoring? Why did Wired believe these logs, knowing their source? Why should anyone?

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