Jacob Appelbaum Gives Testimony in Gottfrid Svartholm Trial

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After a controversial first few days, the hacking trial of Gottfrid Svartholm on Friday completed its second week. The Swede's Danish co-defendant took the stand for the first time and world renowned security expert and key Tor member Jacob Appelbaum appeared for the defense.

The hacking trial of Gottfrid Warg and his alleged 21-year-old Danish accomplice continued this week in Copenhagen, Denmark. While the Pirate Bay founder answered questions during week one, this Wednesday marked the first day the 21-year-old answered questions.

The man, whose identity is being protected, told the Court that while he’s had no formal IT training, he is indeed a computer security expert who had been involved in testing computer systems to see how they hold up to external threats. He admitted working for American, Australian and Danish companies.

The 21-year-old Dane refused to say whether he knows Gottfrid on the grounds that he could be attacked in prison. He did admit to having previously heard about Gottfrid, however.

“Most people in the IT sector have heard of him,” he said.

The Dane also admitted to traveling to Cambodia to visit friends and smoke cannabis, but denied that he went there to meet Gottfrid at his apartment.

The prosecution also presented some emails in which the man said that CSC, the IT company involved in the hack, was owned by the CIA, but he dismissed that comment as a joke.

Discussion also returned to the IRC conversations referenced in the first week of the trial which reportedly took place between ‘My Evil Twin’ (allegedly Gottfrid) and ‘Advanced Persistent Terrorist Threat’ (allegedly the 21-year-old).

mysterMuch was made in week one of potentially altered Internet Relay Chat (IRC) logs presented by the prosecution. This week the Dane admitted that he had been involved in some conversations and had actually met ‘My Evil Twin’. That person was not Gottfrid, he said.

In respect of the content of some chats, the Dane said the topic had indeed centered around the security of IT systems but he insisted that there we no plans to hack CSC or any other companies’ computers. Usernames and passwords of CSC systems that were allegedly exchanged during the IRC chats had been found using Google, he added.

Also of note during the day’s proceedings was the Dane’s continued refusal to provide police with encryption keys to examine the contents of his laptop.

“There is no material on my computer. I can not see how it would make this a better situation,” he told the court.

However, DR.dk reported that during the day, due to the nature of the evidence being presented, it became clear that police had managed to retrieve some information without access to the keys.

appelbaumAfter a day’s break in proceedings, on Friday renowned activist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum appeared as an expert witness for the defense. Appelbaum also appeared in Gottfrid’s Swedish trial, a case in which he was partly acquitted.

The prosecution previously complained that Appelbaum knows Gottfrid personally, so was unsuitable as an expert witness. The American denied that was the case.

“I’ve only talked a little with Gottfrid as he is not known as a sociable guy. He is not easy to approach and the times that I’ve seen him in social situations it has always been about computer security,” Appelbaum said.

Echoing his testimony in the Swedish case, Appelbaum told the Court that it certainly would have been possible for outsiders to have controlled Gottfrid’s computer to carry out the hack of CSC.

It’s unclear for how long the trial will continue but hearings have been allocated until the end of October.


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