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James Dolan co-created the technology that permitted WikiLeaks to acquire and publish the leaked DNC and Podesta emails, was found dead at 36 years old, ruled a “suicide.” His death comes nearly five years after the “suicide” death of his friend, and co-creator (and Reddit co-founder) Aaron Swartz.
Dolan, a former Marine, and Swartz help create the secure communications system in 2012, alongside Wired editor Kevin Poulsen, who spearheaded the project first known as “StrongBox” then later “DeadDrop.” The safe submission system has been used by The New Yorker, Washington Post, The New York Times, Associated Press and Gizmodo. These secure transactions allowed “highly secure communication between journalists and sources in possession of sensitive information or documents,” per Gizmodo.
Co-creator Aaron Swartz committed suicide on January 11, 2013, at the young age of 26. Swartz left no suicide note in his New York apartment. However, some people noted he may have been depressed and was facing jail time under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for hacking into MIT’s computer network and stealing copies of 4.8 million academic papers.
Swartz’s father believes the government “indirectly killed” Swartz. While his girlfriend at the time, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman thinks he was driven to suicide by a two-year prosecution over the MIT hacking case which had “drained all of his financial resources,” despite not fitting any of the signs of clinical depression and associated disorders.
Dolan joined the Freedom of the Press Foundation to maintain SecureDrop after co-creator Aaron Swartz took his life, as pressure mounted in a federal investigation against him that many felt was overzealous.
In a tribute post, the Freedom of the Press Foundation said that Dolan had “long suffered from PTSD from his time serving in the Marines during the Iraq war,” adding “It was an experience that affected him in multiple ways. He often cited the Iraq War as his inspiration for wanting to help journalists and whistleblowers; it made him realize governments needed to be much more transparent and accountable.”
Timm, FPF’s Executive Director, wrote: “It is impossible to overstate how fundamentally important James Dolan was to the development of both Freedom of the Press Foundation and SecureDrop.”
Conspiracy theorists say it’s eerily suspicious how all of the top WikiLeaks people and some of Julian Assange associates, end up dying from early deaths, notably suicides, over the span of one-year after WikiLeaks contributed secrets to the 2016 Presidential election. Aaron Schwarz, Seth Rich, James Dolan, and more are gone, and interestingly enough, James dies the day after the Assange got his SSID from Ecuador.
Some speculate that James Dolan, like Aaron Swartz, may not have actually committed suicide.
James Dolan is the reason we were able to see the DNC and Podesta emails. His tech knowledge was the means in which leaker Seth Rich was able to expose Hillary Clinton. James Dolan believed Seth Rich was murdered and would have said so.
As they say “Dead men don’t talk.”
The circumstances of Dolan’s death is still yet unknown.