Kristinn Hrafnsson, a representative for Wikileaks in Iceland, said he is surprised that Wikileaks has been mentioned in the discussions surrounding the discovery of an alleged ‘spy computer’ in the office building of the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, one year ago.
The story broke in Morgunbladid and Fréttabladid yesterday when Althingi’s office manager Helgi Bernódusson confirmed the computer’s discovery to the paper, explaining that suspicion had arisen that it had been part of an espionage mission. Wikileaks was mentioned as a possible perpetrator.
In a statement from Wikileaks, Hrafnsson explained that the website’s purpose is to offer informants a safe platform to distribute information to the public, ruv.is reports.
However, Hrafnsson said the organization is not involved in hacking, although Wikileaks has been accused of such work methods as part of the US authorities’ propaganda campaign, aimed at damaging its reputation.
Hrafnsson said it is a serious matter that some Icelandic MPs are trying to implicate Wikileaks in an alleged crime. It is below Althingi’s dignity, he stated, and absolutely unacceptable.
The timing of these accusations is interesting, Hrafnsson said, given that Wikileaks is currently being probed by US authorities.
Speaker of Parliament Ásta Ragnheidur Jóhannesdóttir explained to visir.is that after the investigation of the computer concluded without a perpetrator being found it was decided not to make the discovery public to prevent speculations and suspicions that weren’t supported by any facts.
“There were no indications that anyone had been able to access the documents of MPs,” Jóhannesdóttir said. “It looked like it was used to monitor the parliament’s computer system,” she added in description of the circumstances.
The computer was half hidden and connected to the parliament’s computer system in an office complex where the political parties The Movement and Independence Party are based.
The in-house computer that was located in the room where the ‘spy-computer’ was found had been disconnected from the system. The room in question is used for Independence Party MPs and deputy MPs of The Movement.
Jóhannesdóttir said the scene had been photographed and then the computer shut down. The police launched an investigation into the case but after not having found any evidence after one week, the case was closed and labeled as inconclusive.
According to the police’s estimate, a professional had been at work who had wiped out everything which the police might have used to identify the perpetrator.
Jóhannesdóttir explained that since the discovery led to a police investigation, it wasn’t considered appropriate to discuss the matter with MPs other than the prime minister, who was notified.
Althingi’s IT department also requested that the case be kept under wraps due to safety reasons. Arrangements have now been made which are supposed to prevent such incidents from happening again.