Is the Kremlin about to get WikiLeaked?

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Assange and Co. may be going after Moscow next: 

"We have [compromising materials] about Russia, about your government and businessmen," Mr. Assange told the pro-government daily Izvestia. "But not as much as we'd like... We will publish these materials soon."

He then dropped a hint that's likely to be nervously parsed in Russia's corridors of power: "We are helped by the Americans, who pass on a lot of material about Russia," to WikiLeaks, he said....

Assange and another WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, who talked to the daily Kommersant Tuesday, refused to provide details. "Russians are going to find out a lot of interesting facts about their country," Ms. Hrafnsson told Kommersant, adding that WikiLeaks would soon be targeting "despotic regimes in China, Russia, and Central Asia" in a series of fresh document dumps.

"If they are going to disclose details of secret bank accounts and offshore businesses of the Russian elite, then the effect will be shocking," says Stanislav Belkovsky. president of the Kremlin-connected Institute of National Strategy. "Most Russians believe that political leaders and others have siphoned off billions of dollars into foreign accounts, but proof of something like that would be dynamite."

The question then becomes, what sort of impact this will have inside Russia. Eminent Russian intelligence reporter and past FP contributor Andrei Soldatov notes that past online leaks about the activities of the FSB never reached the public sphere because they weren't reported in the largely pro-Kremlin Russian press. 

WikiLeaks seems like it could be a different beast though. The Pentagon leaks have turned the site into something of a globla brand -- as the fact that Assange is even being interviewed by Izvestia attests. If WikiLeaks has genuinely exposive material on senior Russian political figures, it will be a tough story to kill. A Russian WikiLeaks dump could be an interesting test for whether Russia's growing Internet population can undermine a largely closed mass media environment. 


Novelist Arundhati Roy could be charged with sedition

The Indian Home Ministry has given Delhi police the go-ahead to arrest bestselling novelist andactivist Arundhati Roy on charges of sedition. The charges relate to a recent event at which Roy appeared with Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelan. Roy has issued a statement in response to the news: 

This morning’s papers say that I may be arrested on charges of sedition for what I have said at recent public meetings on Kashmir. I said what millions of people here say every day. I said what I, as well as other commentators have written and said for years. Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will see that they were fundamentally a call for justice. I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state.

Nobody seems to have accused Roy of actual ties to militant groups, and I would certainly hope that the police -- who have not yet acted on the Home Minsitry's recommendation -- would think twice about arresting one of the country's most internationally famous novelists for voicing an opinion, no matter how controversial. The comparisons with recent events in China are too easy to draw.