December 9, 2010

Wikileaks UPDATES (2010-12-10): A Call to Arms, er, Computers; and We Must ALL Be "Journalists"

First, let me refer you to Greg Mitchell's blog at The Nation, the excellent UK Guardian, and Foreign Policy's Wikileaked blog. Here are a few highlights (based as always on my own idiosyncratic interests).


"Wikileaks" Google searches exceed those for Justin Bieber.

HUGE volume of "Wikileaks" searches originating from U.S. intelligence agencies.

At least I'm not alone.

The images at right show the bunker in which the servers now hosting Wikileaks are located (thanks, Julie!), operated by the Swedish company, Bahnhof. Seriously.

You can sign a petition calling for an end to the crackdown on Wikileaks here.

TechCrunch reports DDoS attacks have hobbled Facebook, and as of 1:45pm CST, it does seem slow. Mastercard's site was down again this a.m.; "
The attack was due to begin at 2pm and within five minutes MasterCard's site was down." "Most of those participating in the attacks are using the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) DDoS tool . . . . The open-source tool . . . is being downloaded at the rate of about 1,000 copies per hour, said Tal Be'ery, the Web research team lead at Imperva's Application Defense Center." As of this a.m., I believe I read there'd been over 44,000 copies downloaded. UPDATE: Twitter is closing Anon accounts as fast as it can find them – which isn't fast enough. "#anonymous does not care why twitter is suspending accounts. we simply respawn. back to business."

Interesting article at Financial Times: "This year has seen military and security experts often warn about the prospects of 'cyberwarfare.' Few expected the most prominent assaults against large companies to come from a scattered group of anarchists and idealists with no identifiable leader, membership or nationality. . . . [One Anon said,] 'If [authorities] are willing to gun down WikiLeaks in broad daylight, they will come down on you as well.'" That reminds me, time to download a copy of this blog . . . .

A DNS provider that suffered backlash last week after it was wrongly identified as supplying and then dropping service to WikiLeaks has decided to support the secret-spilling site, offering DNS service to two domains distributing WikiLeaks content; more here.

Greg Mitchell has a great idea: "WikiLeaks should send its 249,000 unpublished cables to Bernie Sanders for him to read during his epic filibuster [of Obama's tax cut deal]; he could vet them as he goes along. Bernie now trending #1 and #2 at Twitter." He also says "[f]amed French newspaper Libération [is] now hosting a Wikileaks mirror site" (vive la France!)

Wikileaks now has a competitor: OpenLeaks

Search the entirety of the cables for particular words or phrases
Re- the Second Amendment . . . this whole affair shows that computers are the "arms" of our time, and the hazards of surrending them in favor of Cloud-based facilities owned or controlled by others. Maybe the Second Amendment should be expanded to include computers.

(New train of thought:)
We're seeing the beginning of a push to sell the claim that Wikileaks' actions are not protected by the First Amendment because what it does is not "real" journalism. I'm pretty sure this is B.S. and hope to hear more from the EFF and ACLU on this point.

And I'm not really so interested in the U.S. media's opinion as to why Wikileaks' work is not "journalism."

These are the media who utterly FAILED to report the fact that the aluminum tubes claimed by the Bush admin to have been purchased for use in a nuclear weapons program were in fact ill-adapted for such use and were more likely purchased for other reasons (a report I heard only on the BBC). On the contrary, instead of verifying the Bush admin's claim, The NYT chose to publish Judith Miller's completely uncritical – if not complicit – story, "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts" – a story substantially based on the deliberate leaking of classified information by Scooter Libby, the chief of staff of Vice President Dick Cheney.

So, it's journalism to publish without question leaked material produced by persons known to have spoken in furtherance of their own political agenda, but it's not journalism to publish leaked material produced by persons who to all appearances had no agenda other than to tell the truth?

The corporate media are also the same "journalists" who failed to analyze Bush admin claims far enough to realize that a half-dozen specious reasons to invade Iraq did not add up to one good one – something obvious to the millions who demonstrated against the invasion in "the biggest global peace protests before a war actually started." (See also, e.g., Phil Donohue pushed off the air for opposing Iraq invasion.)

Publishing facts is at least as important as the corporate media's much-vaunted "analysis."

In truth, we must ALL be journalists, which means we must ALL have access to the facts.

I'm also hearing the argument that the Wikileaks' disclosures don't deserve protection because the lies they reveal aren't as big as those revealed by the Pentagon Papers. To this I say, (1) who gets to decide? and (2) only a tiny fraction of the material held by Wikileaks has yet been published.

Terrific new essay by Naomi Wolf at HuffPo: "Espionage Act: How the Government Can Engage in Serious Aggression Against the People of the United States" – i.e., the law was created as a way to do that; and as a result, e.g., "poet E.E. Cummings spent three and a half months in a military detention camp . . . for the 'crime' of saying that he did not hate Germans."

Good essay by Ian Welsh here: "The odd thing about Wikileaks is that their success has been assured, not by what they leaked, though there is some important information there, but by their enemies. The massive and indiscriminant overreaction by both government and powerful corporate actors has ensured this, and includes but is not nearly limited to . . . ."
The latest from Anonymous:

They say access to the internet is a fundamental human right. I'm inclined to agree.

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