Hacker Julian Assange AKA "Nathanial Frank" May Face Espionage Charges in the USA
Assange allegedly used the alias "Nathanial Frank" when he communicated with Manning. This is a variant spelling of Nathaniel Frank, the name of the man who wrote the book Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America. This book advocates ending the policy about "don't ask don't tell" in the U.S. military.
Wired (12-19-11) has a technical account of how federal investigators uncovered the Assange-Manning chat logs. It may be that the U.S. investigators want the young Private Manning to testify against the older hacker Assange in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
The Daily Mail (12-24-11) reports:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could face spy charges in the U.S. after a court revealed his apparent 'role' in the theft of secret military documents, it emerged today.
Lawyers have produced logs of online chats they claim show him coaching U.S. Private Bradley Manning how to break passwords to gain access to military computer networks...
The prosecutors claim Manning, 24, used the online alias of 'Nobody' while talking to 'Nathanial Frank' which they claim was an alias for Mr Assange.
In one chat, the young intelligence analyst asked 'Frank' for help cracking the password on his classified computer so he could log on anonymously. (See the full text.)