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Wikileaks Publishes 500,000 9/11 Pager Messages 309

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hindsight-and-voyeurism dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks is preparing to release 500,000 intercepted pager messages from a 24-hour period encompassing the September 11 terrorist attacks. The messages show emergency services springing into action and computer systems sending automated messages as buildings collapse. Wikileaks implies this data came from an organised collection effort."
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Wikileaks Publishes 500,000 9/11 Pager Messages

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  • So much raw data (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shrike82 (1471633) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:45AM (#30225808)
    Every conspircay theorist in the world just simultaneously orgasmed. All those messages to pick through; I'm sure they'll be able to prove it was the US Government/Al-Qaeda/Joseph Fritzel/The Cookie Monster/Scientologists all along.
  • Re:News to me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:53AM (#30225890) Homepage Journal

    Pagers can be more reliable than TM. And a lot of people turn off their cell phone when they are sleeping. Ringing cell phones often aren't loud enough to wake you up anyway. Not everyone has a cell phone. (I don't) A lot of automated systems are still only able to do a broadcast-style alert to multiple pagers, not text messaging. (volunteer fire departments are good examples) Pagers can run a month or more on a single AA battery which increases their reliability. Lots of reasons to stick with pagers.

  • that's nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darth_brooks (180756) <clipper377@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:54AM (#30225900) Homepage

    I'm sure this will lead to rational debate, as well as this information being added to our view of those tragic events as a whole and will finally lay to bed some of the misconceptions that have surrounded the events of 9/11, rather than becoming the source for thousands of snippets of information that will get used in barely contextualized, ill-thought out, and poorly worded conspiracy theories.

    Also, when you bring me my pony, make sure it's pink.

  • Re:News to me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:00AM (#30225954)
    You do realize that 9/11 occurred over eight years ago. Even if pagers didn't exist now, they did exist then.
  • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:13AM (#30226118) Homepage

    Tech related: intercepted private pager messages from a variety of sources. Someone managed to collate these en-masse and distribute them.
    Politically related (Slashdot has a politics section): suggestion of interception and storage of pager messages on a grand scale beyond that needed for operational reasons (this is 24-hours worth, don't forget, from several sources).
    Privacy related: A release of otherwise private information, including private communications between ordinary people, presumably gathered direct from telco's, to a website known for doing that with politically-sensitive material. If nothing else, this shows you where your "private communications" end up when you're texting something erotic to your girlfriend... not "analysed", not "anonymised", just saved onto a disk somewhere at the telco for a random person to collect and leak to the Internet.

    I think it's relevant and I have zero interest in 9/11, conspiracy theories, or even most of the things the US does.

  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:14AM (#30226126)
    If there was a conspiracy to find about 9/11, what do you think it would turn out to be?

    A. A concerted effort by the Government and Department of Defence, and related military bodies conspiring together to launch an attack on the US people in order to further the aims of the Government and selected private corporations and individuals.

    Or...

    B. A concerted effort by members of the Government and Department of Defence, and related military bodies to cover up their own inadequecies in being able to deal with an attack by a small number of persons against several targets using simplistic weapons, causing a massive over reaction over the next few years, and resulting in the inability of the largest military might in the world to subdue a country that has barely hit the 19th Century.

    Yes, there probably was a lie surrounding 9/11, but its almost certainly not the juicy one people are fantasising about...

  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:16AM (#30226146) Journal
    fnord.
  • Twitter next (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JerryQ (923802) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:17AM (#30226170)
    After the next major event it will be the twitter stream which will be subject to such analysis
  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:19AM (#30226194)

    Can there be moderation for editors please? I love how comments can be modded to oblivion, but useless editors and stories can't.

    If you log in then you can hide stories from particular editors (like that newbie CmdrTaco). Also, you have the chance to mod a story down using the Firehose [slashdot.org] before it gets approved.

    Finally, there is also the option of just not clicking on the link if you are not interested in the story. Woah, I've gone too far there!

  • Re:News to me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:19AM (#30226200) Homepage Journal
    You've never known anybody who is on call? SMS is unreliable, and if you're paying someone to be on-call, you want their service to be reliable. You don't want the message "Critical production server down, administrator needed" to be delayed 15 minutes because of some SMS issue. It doesn't matter nearly as much if "LOL, at movies" gets delayed, but the on-call message can literally be worth thousands of dollars per minute it is delayed. Of course on-call folks have cell phones too, but the pager tends to be the first method of communication employed.
  • by csartanis (863147) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:37AM (#30226422)

    This one bothers me a bit!


    2001-09-11 10:20:40 Skytel [002840776] C ALPHA Hi, I need you to call me to tell me you are ok. Everyone is calling me and is very worried about you! If you can't get thru, can you send me an email or a fax or something. Just worried about you and wish you

  • Re:News to me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:47AM (#30226550) Homepage Journal

    Pagers still exist?

    These are texts and pages from 9/11/2001, which is some 8 years ago.

  • Mmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by carp3_noct3m (1185697) <`slashdot' `at' `warriors-shade.net'> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:52AM (#30226604)
    Wikileaks is simply an outlet for sensitive information. So what you're implying is that their privacy wasn't infringed by whichever entity collected the information, but by Wikileaks? That doesn't make any sense. I do see your point, but I think the potential benefits by far outweigh the cons of such a release. Now that the data is out there, nothing can be done to get it back. On top of this, Wikileaks has some serious credibility when it comes to their methods and what and when they decide to release, I'm sure their lawyers have thought out the consequences and variations thoroughly. Their statement as to the source is “While we are obligated ... to protect our sources, it is clear that the information comes from an organization which has been intercepting and archiving national US telecommunications since prior to 9/11.” If anything, THIS is what people SHOULD be mad about, that a (potentially governmental) organization has been collecting this data without their consent in the first place.
  • by 1800maxim (702377) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:01AM (#30226742)
    Was Reichstag fire just as unbelievable as 9/11? It was done to further gov't agenda.

    From Wikipedia: The Reichstag fire... is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.

    Don't think gov'ts now aren't capable of the same thing, or that they aren't doing it.

    But then it's much more comfortable to bury one's head in the sand.
  • Re:News to me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:08AM (#30226824)

    I have a pager as a workplace emergency responder. I too have the messages sent as text to my (private) cell phone, and I receive them as a work email.

    In general my phone and the email arrive simultaneously, followed about a minute later by the pager.

    That said, at least once the phone text message stopped working when my cell phone provider changed something. At our last ERT group meeting last week, when we did a test page, at least two members did not get the texts (including one who had the week prior during an actual emergency). He was on AT someone just next to him also on AT&T got the page.

    Ultimately, we have a big team and could probably afford a few members missing the texts if we switched away from pagers entirely. However, after-hours emergencies are triggered by the security company rather than the building receptionists, and the third-party security company's system can only send numeric mass pages, not emails, so we can't switch.

  • Re:News to me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vegiVamp (518171) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:18AM (#30226948) Homepage
    Everywhere. The protocols used don't provide for guaranteed delivery.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @12:56PM (#30228172)

    Except, of coure, no one has ever proved that the Nazis staged the Reichstag fire, but please don't let that get in the way of your fantasy.

  • by Digital Autumn (664952) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @01:13PM (#30228390)
    It's like this was crafted to be the most ludicrous example of a conspiracy theory ever. The whole thing was because someone wanted the U.S. to have the tallest building in the world??? Using Jesse Ventura as expert testimony?? I'm presuming this was all meant as an ironic example of conspiracy thinking. There's conspiracy theories out there can make you stop and go hmm, it makes good sense. Then there's this one. I can just see Cheney rubbing his hands, an evil glint in his eye. "Which country will have the tallest building now?! Mwa ha ha ha."
  • by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @01:37PM (#30228718)

    A friend of mine works at Center, and he told me that the air force shot down flight 93.

    No he doesn't. Its not called 'Center' In the air pilots refer the the control center they are currently being directed by as 'center' for radio purposes, but thats where it ends.

    There isn't one 'center'. There are several around the country for handling that general area of the country, they all have names, employees don't refer to themselves as 'working at Center' They work at something like the Air Traffic Control Center, or the Washington ATRCC so people would actually know wtf they are talking about.

    Stop watching bad movies and air emergency on discovery channel and thinking you know anything about how it works in the real world.

    Your story is probably just crap made up by a 15 year old.

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