Wikileaks

  • Wikileaks is all over the news recently. Here are some recent developments:

    • They've released a huge number of secret internal communications which are embarrassing for the US
    • Their DNS company, Amazon, Paypal, their bank, Visa and Mastercard have all bailed out on them making excuses like terms of service violations. Twitter is still hosting their feed.
    • They're mirroring their site all over the world now, and torrents of their data are spreading widely.
    • Assange has been arrested in the UK over Swedish sex crime allegations
    • 'Anonymous' have succeeded in at least temporarily shutting down the Mastercard and Visa websites (and some others AFAIK) via DDoS in 'Operation Payback'
    • They claim to have an 'insurance leak' - the most sensitive documents they have: 2GB of torrent data heavily encrypted and already spread all over the world, and if anything happens to any Wikileaks members the key is apparently to be released.

    Some possible views on this include (all of which are pretty hard to judge)

    • The leak puts lives at risk
    • The leak exposes the extent Western governments routinely hide the truth from their electorates
    • Death threats against Assange by top level politicians are tantamount to incitement to murder
    • Wikileaks cannot be shut down
    • Wikileaks is a terrorist organisation
    • Governments and corporations must change to be either totally open and transparent, or become even more secretive (and therefore less efficient)
    • The Obama administration advocated openness and transparency but still want to shut down Wikileaks
    • The US government made pro-openness and pro-internet remarks around the China Google hacking earlier this year

    I find all this really interesting just to watch as it develops, especially with the emerging cyberwarfare twist and the potential implications for future politics. What are your thoughts?

  • I have no idea what WikiLeaks is... I am going to investigate now.

  • While there is such a thing as "Setec Astronomy", the way Wikileaks, and the people involved have dealt with it make them nothing more than vigilantes.

    Same goes for "Anonymous", and the only reason they are involved is because they're a bunch of fickle bitches, who didn't hit F5 quick enough.

    That and they have the moral memory of a goldfish.

  • If Assange was chinese, the West would have called him a dissident and awarded him the Nobel Peace prize. The hypocrisy is astounding.

  • I'm all for transparency in government, but what Assange is doing isn't much more than embarrassing to the US. None of the leaks are really all that surprising or earth-shattering, they're just confirmation of policies and opinions that are already pretty much common knowledge. It's surprising to me that he'd risk his safety and freedom over what is, relatively speaking, pretty insignificant stuff.

    It's also not surprising in the least that the rape charges against him were reinstated after the recent leak, when they had previously been dropped. The US and other governments affected are going to want to get at him any way they can. He should count himself lucky that they're trying "legal" means (I use the word loosely, since the reinstatement of the charges is flimsy at best) rather than finding he's been whisked away to a secret prison somewhere to rot for all eternity without a trial.

    As for the man himself, based on the interviews I've seen of him I find him to be kind of a smug douche, which is a shame. And his motives seem far from pure to me. There's no honor in stirring up trouble for the sake of it, that's just so much anarchist bullshit. I'd be much more inclined to side with Wikileaks if it were headed by a decent man who was actually doing some good, but as it is Assange is just making already tense foreign relations worse.

    And anyone who thinks this will help bring about more government transparency and accountability is fooling themselves. It's going to do just the opposite.

  • Paypal appears to be down now too... crazy

  • Assange is a douche, yes. WikiLeaks would be better off without his personality cult.

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  • Sorry, but unvetted, and anonymous sources will always be suspect at best, and any information coming from an organization that chooses to overlook that is tainted as well.

    Also, touche on the douche.

  • That is why the western governments are just shrugging all this leakage off, right?

    Oh wait... I guess they just shot themselves in the foot.

  • The problem is that some of the information is going to be dangerous to some people, and the locations of secure locations should not be released if it puts people in danger, whether they're military or not.

    For me, that's where WikiLeaks lets itself down.

    On the other hand, I have no problem whatsoever in the sort of information that just shows politicians for what they are.

    Whether it's embarrassing for the US government, UK government, Indian government, or any other country, a lot of these revelations do not put people in danger, and just simply highlight incompetence or hypocrisy, and I'm all for that.

    I have no opinion on Assange, as I've not looked into it that much, but I will say that if I was a head of government and needed ideas to "get this man", a bogus rape charge would be as good as any way of getting him in custody.

    Does anyone really believe it's coincidence?

    In short, great that people's shady dealings are being put in the spotlight, but things that put people's lives in danger or supply secure information that could be used against others should not be put out there.

    Let's face it.

    Only the naive would be shocked by a lot of these revelations, including the sudden rape charge for the owner of the site.

    Ironically, it proves a lot of what the site is saying.

    Unfortunately, I'll never be shocked by anything a politician gets up to.

    I feel sorry for those that believe their bull.

    It's amazing what a suit, tie, and a pious smile can get you.

    Krush.

  • I would believe the "lives in danger" argument, but I can't see any evidence that this is actually the case. Who's life has been put in danger? Has anyone directly been killed or injured by leaks?

    The goal is open, honest and accountable government - a worthy cause. Some of the content may look risky, but it is worth the risk for that goal, and without any evidence, "lives in danger" just sounds like the line delivered by the governments who are scared stiff.

    As for Assange - is it important if he's a douche? I haven't judged him that way myself, but even if he's trying to do the right thing for the wrong reasons, he's still trying to do the right thing.

  • Well said, Ashley.

  • and without any evidence, "lives in danger" just sounds like the line delivered by the governments who are scared stiff.

    Well, considering that my post supported the WikiLeaks site, and all the embarrassment it causes those who are up to no good, it's strange that you should hook on to the one thing that I think WikiLeaks has got wrong.

    You almost make it sound like I don't support the whistle-blowing.

    I even had to check my post again, in case I'd worded it wrong and given that impression.

    Very strange Ash.

    And are you really saying that locations of previously unknown military bases or private conversations concerning things like North Korea aren't going to be dangerous?

    That's just naive.

    Freedom of speech is one thing, but it can never be absolute.

    Are you happy with people reading every conversation you've had in the last week? lol

    Krush.

  • I think this is less about the message, and more about the way, and the reason it's being delivered.

    It's one thing to be a whistle blower, quite another to get up on the soapbox, and try to instill terrorism.

    Everybody's herd of "Don't kill the messenger, cause you don't like the message" , and the fact that Assange is trying to hide behind that is what makes him a douche.

  • The problem is that some of the information is going to be dangerous to some people, and the locations of secure locations should not be released if it puts people in danger, whether they're military or not.

    I would believe the "lives in danger" argument, but I can't see any evidence that this is actually the case. Who's life has been put in danger? Has anyone directly been killed or injured by leaks?

    If I recall correctly, Wikileaks voluntarily redacted the names of informants and operatives that might be put in danger due to the leak, and that at least is to their credit.

    And I'm not terribly familiar with all of the material that has been leaked, but in my opinion the most damning bits of information so far have been that the Saudi King was basically begging the U.S. to attack Iran, and Pakistan has been double-dealing with the Taliban.

    The goal is open, honest and accountable government - a worthy cause. .. even if he's trying to do the right thing for the wrong reasons, he's still trying to do the right thing.

    It is definitely a worthy cause. And I'd be inclined to overlook his personal motives if the recent leak had done anything but kick the hornet's nest. But it seems to me that kicking the hornet's nest is all he's really interested in, and the "worthy cause" is simply a convenient justification for it. Of course I can't know that for certain, it's just the impression I get from the man.

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