Wikileaks hash-browns while they’re hot:
pre-commitment 1: John Kerry 4bb96075acadc3d80b5ac872874c3037a386f4f595fe99e687439aabd0219809
pre-commitment 2: Ecuador eae5c9b064ed649ba468f0800abf8b56ae5cfe355b93b1ce90a1b92a48a9ab72
pre-commitment 3: UK FCO f33a6de5c627e3270ed3e02f62cd0c857467a780cf6123d2172d80d02a072f74
These are for document verification. They can be used to prove prior knowledge of the contents of files.
Given a particular file, you can get a “digest” of that file by running a cryptographic “digester” like this:
Type this at a terminal:
openssl dgst -sha256 what_actually_happened_to_vince_foster.txt
See this as a result:
(The entirety of the example file above is the string “I killed him.” followed by a single newline.)
Only someone with knowledge of the exact (bit-for-bit) contents of the file could produce that particular digest.
The goals of publishing the digest may include (but are not limited to):
* Proving to someone *else* who has the file that you have the file as well, without revealing the file’s contents (this can be used as a credible threat of disclosure)
* Proving to the world (perhaps posthumously or otherwise unable to communicate) that you had the file at a certain date, without revealing the file’s contents (this is what “pre-commitment” above means)
In all likelihood this means that something has spooked Assange.
Nothing may come of this. If this is an “or else”, the other party may back down and the files would remain a shared secret.
The situation is likely fluid.
2016 really is something else folks.