By Raphael Satter / AP
LONDON: WikiLeaks said Monday it was publishing a massive trove of leaked emails from the US intelligence analysis firm Stratfor, shedding light on the inner workings of the Texas-based think tank.
The online anti-secrecy group said it had more than 5 million Stratfor emails and it was putting them out in collaboration with two dozen international media organizations. So far, however, only a small selection of the Stratfor emails appear to have been published to WikiLeaks’ website.
“What we have discovered is a company that is a private intelligence Enron,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told journalists at London’s Frontline Club, a reference to the Texas energy giant whose spectacular bankruptcy turned it into a byword for corporate malfeasance.
Assange accused Stratfor of running a network of paid informants, monitoring activist groups on behalf of major multinationals and making investments based on its secret intelligence.
Stratfor rejected claims that there was anything improper in the way it handled its informants.
“Stratfor has worked to build good sources in many countries around the world, as any publisher of global geopolitical analysis would do,” the company said. “We have done so in a straightforward manner and we are committed to meeting the highest standards of professional conduct.”
The Stratfor statement suggested the company wouldn’t be commenting on Assange’s other allegations.
“Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them,” the statement said.
The Austin, Texas-based Stratfor is a subscription-based publisher providing political, economic and military analysis to help customers reduce risk.
How WikiLeaks got its hands on the company’s emails remains unclear, but Stratfor’s statement said the messages appeared to be the same ones stolen by hackers over the Christmas holidays. The breach, claimed by the internet activist group Anonymous, ravaged the company’s servers and led to the disclosure of thousands of credit card numbers, among other information.
Stratfor condemned the latest disclosure as “a deplorable, unfortunate — and illegal — breach of privacy.”
The company also said its CEO, George Friedman, remained at the head of the company. An apparently bogus email circulating online had claimed that he had resigned.