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Author Topic: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment  (Read 25824 times)

Hallams

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Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« on: December 08, 2010, 06:26:16 pm »

I'm finding all of what is going on at the moment very interesting. It has to raise big questions about the ability of the US to keep state secrets confidential. I assume if a 23 yr old US army private can get access to this info and give it to Wikileaks then none of it is news to the international "intelligence" community. What is very interesting is that this info is now open to the general public and given the western media's pittiful lack of independance, this has to be a good thing. Does this all point to the internet being a platform where the media can act as a check and balance in the democratic process?
    Now that Julian Assange has been taken into custody over possibly trumped up charges of sexual assult in Sweeden will we now se him extradited to the US to face their "justice" system?
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Chris Hallam.
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Berolzheimer

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2010, 07:04:31 pm »

Or will he experience an unfortunate accident or heart attack before then?
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Hallams

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2010, 07:17:53 pm »

I certainly hope not.........that would be a futile endevour. The real issue for the keepers of the secrets is their inability to controll the internet. There would more than likely be another Assange to take up the Wikileaks model of information dissemination.
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Chris Hallam.
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DarinK

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2010, 08:05:17 pm »

Unfortunately the only way for most Americans to learn of the lack of independence in the media is through that very same media.  The reporting about WikiLeaks is not exactly un-biased.
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Paul Cavins

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 08:16:27 pm »

Seems to me that the best way to get to the unfortunate time when the internet is "controlled" is for irresponsible fools like the Wilileaks bunch to screw it up for everyone.

The thousands of documents leaked will certainly bear revelations that please all kinds of people, that meet their ends, but it is not worth it. As much as we may have issues with the way our leaders behave, at least they are elected. Nobody elected Assange, he doesn't answer to anyone or anything except for his punk-ass conscience or lack thereof.

Wikileaks' actions only heighten the "need" for MORE control of the internet.

He is a worthless prick.



Hallams wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 19:17

I certainly hope not.........that would be a futile endevour. The real issue for the keepers of the secrets is their inability to controll the internet. There would more than likely be another Assange to take up the Wikileaks model of information dissemination.

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Barry Hufker

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 08:53:35 pm »

I see both sides of the argument but at the moment I am "pro-Assange" -- but who knows anyone's true motives, especially in this case.

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Paul Cavins

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 09:00:09 pm »

Who does Assange answer to?

Is he some paragon of transparency or a vandal?

People like him will ultimately make the world a darker, more closed-in place.
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jetbase

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 09:18:29 pm »

DarinK, from different comments I have seen from around the world (eg on Facebook) it seems to me that this is being reported by the media in a very different way in the US than it is in other parts of the world, or at least Australia.
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bblackwood

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 09:22:10 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 19:53

I see both sides of the argument but at the moment I am "pro-Assange" -- but who knows anyone's true motives, especially in this case.



Ditto.

I'm probably naive, but I think as long as the info isn't putting soldiers in harm's way (and apparently, it isn't) then it should be out there.

If it makes some politicians uncomfortable, all the better...
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 11:02:28 pm »

There was an interesting take on NPR a few days ago. Former CIA guy said that everything is secret and likened it to a giant prairie surrounded by a barbwire fence. His opinion was that shrinking the secret prairie down to a crypt with a giant fence around it was the solution. Which would also require real work and intelligent thought.

A shotgun is good at 10 feet. A rifle is good at 300 yards.

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Bill_Urick

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 11:52:48 pm »

Disturbing what a klusterphuc our national security seems to be.

Mr. Private will be prosecuted.
Mr. Assange should get a visit from John Clark.
Perhaps he will at least learn a valuable lesson in safe-sex practices.

Seem like some people who need to get embarrassed will get an opportunity. The Brit/BP/Libya thing is most interesting.

The administration could have stopped the additional leaks if they really wanted to.

Kudos to Mastercard, BTW.

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Ryan Massey

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 02:46:28 am »

jetbase wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 18:18

DarinK, from different comments I have seen from around the world (eg on Facebook) it seems to me that this is being reported by the media in a very different way in the US than it is in other parts of the world, or at least Australia.


It is being reported in a vastly different way.  While The Guardian UK (for example) is doing a number of thoughtful pieces on various cables and their implications, the SF Chronicle is mostly covering the angry reactions of the US gov, the sex allegations, and the Visa / Mastercard hacking.  TV news is about the same.

I have found the under-reporting to be disturbing.

I understand governments, businesses, etc need a certain amount of secrecy and cunning to operate effectively.  But shining a light on the sewage of international politics and the vast divide between what Americans like to think of their country and what it actually is, strikes me as a good thing.  

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sui-city

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2010, 02:59:29 am »

Paul,

It is not surprising to find someone who believes that the only way to transparency is through control.

Contradictory, no?

Now, with regards to elected officials.

When they run their campaigns, promising change to how things are done....

When they go ON RECORD in January 2010, and talk about how the Internet can be used to hold governments accountable....

And then turn their backs on their promises...

And directly contradict their statements about freedom of the Internet....

Then maybe you have to ask yourself:

Are these officials we really elected?

And if the answer is "yes", then:

Should we be electing them?

I'll say this much:

If there was a place for me to vote in someone who would help us hold these people accountable, then i would go there, and vote with my resounding support.

Members of the intelligence community have themselves said that there is no evidence that anyone has been harmed as a result of the leaks.

Our governments lie. And they don't only lie "to protect their citizens", they also lie to protect their interests. And sometimes, that is at the expense of the citizen.




Paul Cavins wrote on Thu, 09 December 2010 03:16

Seems to me that the best way to get to the unfortunate time when the internet is "controlled" is for irresponsible fools like the Wilileaks bunch to screw it up for everyone.

The thousands of documents leaked will certainly bear revelations that please all kinds of people, that meet their ends, but it is not worth it. As much as we may have issues with the way our leaders behave, at least they are elected. Nobody elected Assange, he doesn't answer to anyone or anything except for his punk-ass conscience or lack thereof.

Wikileaks' actions only heighten the "need" for MORE control of the internet.

He is a worthless prick.



Hallams wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 19:17

I certainly hope not.........that would be a futile endevour. The real issue for the keepers of the secrets is their inability to controll the internet. There would more than likely be another Assange to take up the Wikileaks model of information dissemination.



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Hallams

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2010, 03:51:55 am »

Plenty of interesting editorial commentary here:

http://www.crikey.com.au/topic/wikileaks-australia/

...and this one in particular: (sorry it's a bit long)

http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/09/welcome-to-the-internet- wars/


Welcome to the internet wars
by Bernard Keane

Whoever christened the WikiLeaks saga the first major war over the internet was right. Quite apart from what you’re seeing in the mainstream media, the internet equivalent of a shooting war has broken out and shows no signs of dying down.

The online group Anonymous – usually, but somewhat erroneously christened “hacker activists” by the mainstream media – have launched a series of attacks on the websites of those associated with the campaign against Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Targets under “Operation Payback”, coordinated via an IRC channel and Twitter, have included Joe Lieberman’s website, Sarah Palin’s website and the website of the Swedish prosecution service responsible for handling the s-xual assault case against Assange.

In the last 24 hours, however, it’s stopped being quite so symbolic. Yesterday Anonymous coordinated a distributed denial of service attack on Mastercard’s corporate website, www.mastercard.com, and took it offline for several hours. More to the point, the attacks took Mastercard’s Securecode service offline as well, preventing transactions from being processed. The website has since got back online.

This morning it was Visa’s turn. Anonymous gave a full hour’s notice via its Twitter account @Anon-Operation that it was going to target Visa. At 8am, the tweet went out:

   “TARGET: WWW.VISA.COM: FIRE FIRE FIRE!!! WEAPONS.”

They didn’t miss. The Visa site went down almost instantly, and stayed down for nearly three hours.

Twitter had by this stage woken up to the fact that its service was being used to coordinate DDOS attacks and suspended @anon_operation (Facebook had removed another Anonymous-related page earlier in the day). Anonymous was already using multiple accounts and immediately created another one, @anonops. Twitter’s action prompted participants to turn their attention to the service itself, and Twitter itself came under fire.

At that point, Anonymous appeared to secure a significant victory. Twitter was said to have advised that the deletion was “accidental” and restored the suspended account (minus previous tweets), although another ANonymous-related account remained suspended. The new account, @anonops, continued to operate. The attack on Twitter was then called off, and www.visa.com briefly went down again as the attack as redirected back at Visa.

A short while later the group declared via @anonops “IRC is not secure do not use unauthorized channels for operation #payback. We will announce next target here!! http://bit.ly/1hSngD #anonops”. Presumably law enforcement agencies had by this stage accessed the channel (it’s accessible if you know whom to ask and are happy to have the Federal Police start paying attention to you).

Meantime, in an unrelated development, PayPal had succumbed to criticism and released donations to Wikileaks.

Throughout, the mainstream media desperately tried to keep up. “Do you know more? email us” implored Fairfax, whose journalists took to haunting the birthplace of Anonymous, the 4chan site (warning – DEFINITELY NSFW) to find out what was going on. The coverage looked all a bit redundant, though, given much of what was going on was being played out under the Twitter hashtag #anonops.

This may look like a bunch of kids fooling around on the internet (one tweeter compared it to a “geek action movie”) but it’s altogether more serious than that. In the space of 24 hours two of the world’s key transactional sites have been taken offline. In the case of Visa, the company was actually given warning that it would be attacked, and yet it was still taken down for several hours. If we’re talking “critical infrastructure”, as per the WikiLeaks cables of earlier this week, we’ve had a clear demonstration of where it is on the internet.

This is the flipside of war against WikiLeaks being waged by the US Government and its proxies. Taking away its access to servers and taking away its financial conduits has undoubtedly harmed the organization – probably more so than arresting Julian Assange. It shows that, for all the decentralization of the internet, you can exploit the corporate control of key elements of the internet, particularly of financial transactions, to inconvenience or disrupt the operations of even an online entity. The further the balance tips toward private, corporate control of key online systems, the easier it becomes for governments - and other forces of centralised control, like large companies - to strike back at online opponents.

But it cuts both ways. The fragility of those transactional systems is suddenly on display with the successful attacks on Visa and Mastercard. Private control of key systems can be a vulnerability as well as a strength. And what’s been happening to key transactional systems in Australia in recent days? No one targeted NAB’s website – it managed to take itself offline without any help from “hacktivists”, causing massive financial disruption to its customers.

We’ve become dependent on online systems that are assumed to be both secure and resilient. Suddenly they look fragile, capable of disruption not just at the hands of Anonymous, but because of under-investment, or incompetence, or a single corrupted file.

There’ll doubtless be a lot of rubbish written about the Anonymous attacks, from both sides, in coming hours and days. There’ll be a strong sense of “the internet has fought back” from supporters, and law enforcement-flavoured outrage from opponents, governments and the mainstream media.

But at least one lesson is already clear – on the internet, the “critical infrastructure” may not be as resilient and stable as we all assume it is.
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Chris Hallam.
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jonathan jetter

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Re: Wickileaks-A Watershed Moment
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 09:36:14 am »

i was going to write some stuff here but james moore says it better than i could:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-moore/i-am-julian-assange_ b_793583.html

if we can't function as a nation if the world knows the truth, then we shouldn't function.
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