An Ex-Hacker Testifies

Dec 21st, 2011 Current Affairs, wikileaks

So I've had another change of heart, and have decided that I will again try to follow and blog about the Bradley Manning trial.  We'll see how that goes.

On Dec. 20th, 2011, Kim Zetter wrote for Wired on how ex-hacker Adrian Lamo testified against Bradley Manning.  As general background, Manning confided in Lamo about the files he had downloaded off of the SIPRNet.  Lamo contacted the authorities, and the chat logs ended up leading to Manning's arrest.  Interestingly, Lamo told Manning during their online chat that he was "either a journalist or minister", and that Manning could treat the conversation as a privileged one that "will never be published."  You can't help but laugh as you read that, then see it clearly displayed on Wired's web page.  The article noted that Lamo's testimony followed that general story; on cross, Manning's attorney hammered Lamo about the nature of the "confidential disclosure."


On Dec. 20th, 2011, Lily Kuo also reported for Reuters about the on-going Bradley Manning hearings.  The article contained the same information concerning Lamo's testimony, but Manning's defense attorney's strategy caught my eye.  The article mentions that Manning's attorneys are are trying to portray Manning as "an emotionally troubled young man whose behavioral problems should have promoted his superiors to revoke his access to classified information."

I picked up on the defense's strategy in reference to this blog post, which should just be below.  Again, with humans being the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, organizations have to know their people.  Here, the US Army may not have fully known one of its people.  The article mentions that Manning sent an e-mail to his sergeant regarding gender confusion, and how that was hurting his ability to work.  If this is true, the military may have had notice of Manning's mental condition, and still left him in a position to access classified information.  This shouldn't absolve Manning for what he did, but it does raise a question of whether the military should have revoked his access to classified information in the first place.


Have more news on the trial, or just want to confess that you've hacked the SIPRNet?  Tweet to @cyberlawblog

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography