The muckrakers at Wikileaks have unleashed a trove of pager messages from 9/11, allegedly intercepted by “an organization that has been archiving US telecommunications prior to 9/11.” (Now, who might that be? We’re not the only ones this makes nervous. Some methods for hacking paging systems are discussed here.)
Here’s the full index. The half-million-plus messages start at 3 a.m. of September 11 and 24 hours’ worth will be dispensed.
Some journalists have confirmed that their authentic messages appear among the leaked data, though there’s no way to be sure it’s all legit unless someone gets subpoenaed (which isn’t out of the question — as users at Above Top Secret have found, a lot of private information is being disseminated).
Messages range from system outage notifications (“SYM: 30+ users are not able to log into FACS. 2nd level support has been notified”) to heartrending pleas (“I am panicking soand will assume you are dead unless I hear from you”) to suspicious stuff, about which more in a minute…
Twitter discussion ensues, with quotation of provocative messages (“WTC south tower will collapse in 1 minute“). Some of these may be invented — it’s all coming out too fast to check. At the reddit discussion, some users focus on eerie coincidences around the time of the attacks (“suddenly a lot of people need to take their medications, within a couple of minutes“).
Someone has already developed a graphical interface for the messages at 911stories.net, which emphasizes the “you are there” aspect of the transcripts. No doubt some users are willing to experience it this way, though it just makes us sick and sad. As, come to think of us, does the surveillance aspect.