DISCLAIMER and WARNING – I was arrested in March of 2001 for protesting the impending Iraq war. Subsequently, I found out that I have an FBI record that is “secret”. The reason I know this is a long story, I’m sure I’ve blogged about it somewhere. The point is that I am already a “bad guy” as far as the government is concerned, so downloading “Wikileaks Insurance” and giving instructions on how to do it isn’t going to get me into any more trouble than I already am in. YOU on the other hand, might not want to call attention to yourself.
I’m OSX based or Macintosh. For Windows computers, there area few variations.
The insurance file is large, and is distributed via the BitTorrent protocol. Basically, the protocol describes how to break big files into many smaller chunks, and how to reassemble these chunks. If many computers are sending chunks of a file to your computer at the same time, your computer can reconstruct the original file quickly. Torrents have gotten a bad rap because of the controversy over thePirateBay.com, an archive of torrent files, some of which are for copyrighted material, like blockbuster movies, bestselling books and popular CDs. There is nothing inherently illegal about torrents though, so don’t feel guilty about using this amazing technology. For example, Fxphd.com offers courses on many aspects of motion graphics and special effects for movies, and they distribute their large tutorial files as torrents.
I like the open source torrent program Transmission, (http://www.transmissionbt.com/). Click “Download Now” to start the process, open the .dmg, and move Transmission to your applications folder.
Locate and open the torrent for Insurance. I went to The Pirate Bay. Be sure to click on “Download this torrent” and NOT the green candy-like button that says “Download”
Once the torrent is downloaded, start up Transmission and either drag the torrent file to Transmission or from Transmission “File > Open Torrent” and navigate to the “insurance.aes256” torrent, probably in your “Downloads” folder A dialog box will open with the Torrent, click “Add”. Sit back and wait for the file to be reconstructed. If there are enough seeders, it should happen pretty fast.
Perform a checksum to verify that you’ve got the right file. I’ve already done this and found it to be correct, but it’s a good idea to verify for yourself. According to Wikipedia (not affiliated with Wikileaks), the SHA1 checksum for the original file is cce54d3a8af370213d23fcbfe8cddc8619a0734c. Here’s how to make your own SHA1 checksum application.
Keep Transmission running and stay connected to the internets to help others get the file.
There’s no telling what’s in the insurance file. It could be unabridged Afghan war documents or something else entirely. I’m down with the Wikileaks premise and if it makes sense to you too, then having this file is a demonstration of solidarity.