|Created by||John Young, Deborah Natsios|
Cryptome is a digital library host created in 1996 by American independent scholars and architects John Young and Deborah Natsios. The digital library functions as a repository for information about freedom of speech, cryptography, spying, and surveillance. According to its mission statement, "Cryptome welcomes documents for publication that are prohibited by governments worldwide, in particular material on freedom of expression, privacy, cryptology, dual-use technologies, national security, intelligence, and secret governance—open, secret and classified documents—but not limited to those."
Cryptome hosts over 70,000 files, including suppressed photographs of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, lists of people believed to be MI6 agents, detailed maps of government facilities (based upon publicly available mapping and aerial photography), a list of Stasi workers at the time of its dissolution on December 8, 1989, and 4,000 photos of the Iraq War.
Cryptome also has subsites that focus on specific topics:
- Cartome: an online archive of spatial and geographic documents related to the same topics covered by Cryptome; administered by Deborah Natsios.
- Eyeball Series: photographic documentation of sensitive sites which are customarily concealed from public view.
- Iraq Kill Maim: photographs of the Iraq War from the Associated Press along with other sources.
- Cryptome CN: publication of documents and information banned in the People's Republic of China.
- Nuclear Power Plants and WMD Series: publication of information and related documents on nuclear technology.
- Protest Photos Series: photos and essays on worldwide protests.
- Occupy Wall Street Photo and Video Series: photos and videos from the Occupy Wall Street protests.
- Cryptome XXX: documents on double-crossing deployed as a camouflage for deception by triple-crossing.
- City of Redactions: volume of original images and text on social and political redactions.
On April 20, 2007, the website received notice from its hosting company, Verio, that it would be evicted on May 4 for unspecified breaches of their acceptable use policy. The notice period of two weeks allowed Cryptome to find an alternative server host.
In February 2010, Cryptome was briefly shut down by Network Solutions for alleged DMCA violations after it posted a "Microsoft legal spy manual". Microsoft withdrew the complaint 3 days later and the website was restored. In March 2010, PayPal stopped processing donations to Cryptome and froze the account's funds.
In October 2013, the website was blocked by 크린아이("clean eye") content-control software, used for domestic internet connections by South Korea's main telecom operator KT. Cryptome was classified as a "bad site" featuring "pornography, violence, gambling etc." although the site hosts none of those and is more likely blocked for its hosting communications security and espionage information.
John Young, the creator of Cryptome, claims that the online resource database has attracted the attention of various government agencies. He reports being visited by two FBI agents from a counter-terrorism office. On another occasion, two FBI agents spoke with him on the phone. During this conversation, he claims one agent warned of "serious trouble" if a published account of the conversation contained the agents' names. In June 2013, two US Secret Service agents visited Cryptome to request removal of former presidential Bush family email allegedly hacked by Guccifer.
In March 2005, Reader's Digest published an article in its regular feature "That's Outrageous", based on an interview with Young, that was highly critical of Cryptome. It asserted that Cryptome is an "invitation to terrorists" and claimed that Young "may well have put lives at risk". Young says he welcomed the critique from an opposing political ideologue as a contribution to open public debate on the need to broaden freedom of information beyond narrow "reputable" media outlets.
- "Deborah Natsios and John Young Bibliography". 2011-10-16. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Natsios Young Architects". Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Cryptome: Email". Cryptome.
- Cryptome's John Young on Alex Jones TV 1/3: The Internet is a Police State Surveillance Grid on YouTube
- "276 Unique Names of MI6 Officers". 2006-02-22. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Public Security Investigation Agency Members". 2000-07-22. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Eyeball Series". 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- Bruce, Gary (2010). The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi. Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 9780195392050.
- "Eyeballing Iraq Kill and Maim". 2006-09-17. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Cryptome Shut by Network Solutions". 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- Gohring, Nancy (2007-04-30). "Verio dumps controversial Cryptome site". Computerworld. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- Quigley, Robert (2010-02-24). "Site Leaks Microsoft Online Surveillance Guide, MS Demands Takedown Under Copyright Law (UPDATE 6)". Geekosystem. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- Diaz, Jesus (2010-02-24). "The Secret Government Surveillance Document Microsoft Doesn’t Want You To See". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Microsoft Online Services Global Criminal Compliance Handbook" (PDF). Wired. 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Microsoft Demands Takedown of Microsoft Spy Guide". Cryptome. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Now PayPal Goes for Cryptome, Suspends Account". Fast Company. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- McCullagh, Declan (2000-07-21). "FBI Pressuring Spy Archivist". Wired. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "FBI Visits Cryptome". 2003-11-08. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "FBI Requests PSIA Lists Removal". 2000-07-22. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "A Discussion With Cryptome". Gawker. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Crowley, Michael. "That's Outrageous - Let's Shut These Websites Down". Reader's Digest. Retrieved 2013-03-09.[dead link]
- "Let's Shut Down Dangerous Websites". Cryptome. 2005-02-26. Retrieved 2013-03-09.