composing precise insights assembling probable predictions predicting predictive estimations composing predictive forecasts crowdsourcing contingent wisdom mapping the future composing critical estimations forecasting accurate understanding forecasting critical predictions delivering calibrated forecasts mapping quantitative understanding formulating precise predictions exploring accurate contingencies modeling predictive futures


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will the key to any pre-2020 WikiLeaks insurance file be publicly available by 2030?

WikiLeaks is an organisation founded by Julian Assange that publishes news leaks and classified media provided by anonymous sources. From time to time, WikiLeaks publishes encrypted "insurance files".

There has been much speculation about the purpose of these files. Some of these files are intended as permanent records of upcoming releases, to ensure information is preserved. According to Julian Assange:

We openly distribute … encrypted backups of materials that we view are highly sensitive that we are to publish in the coming year… So that there is very little possibility that that material, even if we are completely wiped out, will be taken from the historical record… Ideally, we will never reveal the key… Because there is things, like, … redactions sometimes need to be done on this material.”

However, there are also theories claiming that some of these insurance files constitute a "dead man's switch" that is only to be released in case something bad were to happen to Assange or to WikiLeaks.

Resolution: If the key to any WikiLeaks insurance file released before 2020 is publicly available on January 1, 2030, this question resolves positively. In particular, it does not matter whether WikiLeaks intentionally decides to release the key or some hacker leaks it; as long as the key is publicly available, it counts.

In the past the media falsely reported that the key to insurance.aes256 was leaked. Therefore, to ensure accurate resolution, we will rely on the discretion of Metaculus moderators. As a guideline, there should be an independent, tech-savvy demonstration that the key actually unlocks the given insurance file.

For the purpose of this question, all encrypted WikiLeaks insurance files publicly released before 2020 count. I believe the following list is comprehensive, but I cannot guarantee that there are no omissions or errors.

  • Date: 2010-07-28, Size: 1.4 GB, Name: insurance.aes256
  • Date: 2012-02-22, Size: 65 GB, Name: wikileaks-insurance-20120222.tar.bz2.aes
  • Date: 2013-08-15, Size: 3.6 GB, Name: wlinsurance-20130815-A.aes256
  • Date: 2013-08-15, Size: 49 GB, Name: wlinsurance-20130815-B.aes256
  • Date: 2013-08-15, Size: 349 GB, Name: wlinsurance-20130815-C.aes256
  • Date: 2016-06-03, Size: 88 GB, Name: 2016-06-03_insurance.aes256
  • Date: 2016-11-07, Size: 512 MB, Name: 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_EC.aes256
  • Date: 2016-11-07, Size: 1.3 GB, Name: 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_UK.aes256
  • Date: 2016-11-07, Size: 3.0 GB, Name: 2016-11-07_WL-Insurance_US.aes256
  • Date: 2016-12-09, Size: 83 GB, Name: 2016-12-09_WL-Insurance.aes256
  • Date: 2017-01-25, Size: 281 MB, Name: 2017-01-25_WL-Insurance.aes256


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.