WikiLeaks has offered up to $10,000 for information about the reporter whose actions alledgedly led to the arrest of an NSA employee.
WikiLeaks issues a US$10,000 reward for information leading to the public exposure & termination of this 'reporter': https://t.co/W9wijCk5d3— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 6, 2017
WikiLeaks is rallying for the exposure and ultimate dismissal of the reporter, who they believe, may have directed the FBI to intelligence contractor Reality Winner.
The former NSA worker is allegedly responsible for leaking classified documents to an unnamed media outlet believed to be The Intercept. She is accused of removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.
According to the Department of Justice, Winner printed the documents around May 5 and “unlawfully retained it” before sending it to the media house. The FBI was notified of an upcoming story by the news outlet later that month, according to Winner’s affidavit.
Prosecutors say Winner admitted to intentionally leaking the document when she was arrested on June 3 in Georgia.
The documents reportedly detail that the NSA believes Russian military intelligence carried out a cyber attack, which compromised a U.S. voting software supplier days before the presidential election.
The Intercept published a four-reporter article June 5 with the headline, "Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election".
WikiLeaks has accused the reporter of sharing the documents and its origins with a government official. The postmark is believed to have been from Augusta, Georgia – where Winner lives.
The Julian Assange-founded company stated that the money is earmarked for whoever helps with the “public exposure & termination” of the reporter.
The Intercept posted a statement on Tuesday saying that they had “no knowledge” Winner was the source of the document they received. The website stated that it was “important to keep in mind” that the complaint and affidavit contain “unproven assertions.” The statement added: “Winner faces allegations that have not been proven. The same is true of the FBI’s claims about how it came to arrest Winner.”
The Intercept said it will not be commenting further, citing the ongoing investigation.
While some people are criticizing the Intercept for contacting the government to verify the document—and adding that they came from Georgia, as Wikileaks claims—some reporters are defending the news outlet.
An internal audit found that Winner was one of six people who had printed the document and that Winner had “e-mail contact” with the news outlet.
According to Errata Security, a security research blog, Winner may have been tracked down due to nearly invisible yellow dots that appear on printed pages. When decoded, the dots give a detailed log of when the page was printed and the printer’s serial number.