On 30 July 2010, WikiLeaks uploaded a file named ‘insurance.aes256’ to the Internet. The file was 1.4 gigabytes in size – large enough to hold a mountain of leaked documents – and encrypted with a 256-character key strong enough to have the US National Security Agency’s approval for use to secure classified documents. It was also copied to dozens of USB sticks and mailed out to a cadre of WikiLeaks supporters around the world. In a letter enclosed with the USB sticks, WikiLeaks said that ‘insurance.aes256’ contained an encrypted archive:
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