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Ex-hacker Adrian Lamo Challenges Wikileaks' Assange To Debate; Honor Conference Committments
Former hacker Adrian Lamo challenged Assange to debate him on the merits of of the facts at a conference both are scheduled to attend.
Lamo further challenged Assange to a sidebar debate in order to clear the air of questionable accusations made by the Wikileaks Twitter account. Assange has refused to confirm or deny whether the account is official, and the controversy was featured in a recent New York Times piece.
The conference, HOPE, or "Hackers on Planet Earth", is due to occur in New York city in mid-to-late July. Assange has expressed reservations about coming to the United States, despite the absence of any overt threat by the U.S. government.
"It's my sincere hope that Assange will choose to come the U.S.," said Lamo. "Even if he doesn't feel he can debate me on the merits of the facts, the conference would undoubtedly be enriched by his presence and unconventional personality,"
"I don't believe Assange is in any danger should he enter the U.S., and I call on U.S. authorities to ensure his safe passage to the conference,"
Assange is scheduled to keynote at the conference alongside security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Assange has been the subject of speculative articles citing unnamed sources claiming the Australian is being hunted by the Pentagon.
Army investigators recently arrested Wikileaks source Bradley Manning, who claimed to have leaked 260,000 classified diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, spurring widespread interest in the previously-obscure site - but not death squads, says Lamo.
"Nobody is waiting around for him with piano wire. It may add to his mythos temporarily to appear to be in danger, but in the end fabrications only undermine the very real and important work that Wikileaks often does," Lamo concluded.
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Adrian Lamo is a threat analyst and journalist, known as a former grey hat hacker, principally for breaking into a series of high-security computer networks, and his subsequent arrest.
Best known among these were his intrusions into The New York Times. Yahoo! News and Microsoft. He is also known for identifying security flaws in computer networks of Fortune 500 companies and then notifying them of any flaws he found.
He also informed the authorities of the identity of a US Army Intelligence Specialist who is alleged to be the source of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike video leak to Wikileaks, among many other classified documents.
Lamo founded Reality Planning LLC in 2007.