Home > Online Reputation Management, Radical Transparency, Social Media, Social Networking > The Most Important Aspect of the WikiLeaks Debate

The Most Important Aspect of the WikiLeaks Debate

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Wikileaks LogoThere’s a lot of thoughtful discussion going on about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in light of the publication of the 250,000 cables between the US and other foreign governments.  Some of the best I’ve read comes from Clay Shirky (“WikiLeaks and the Long Haul”), Jeff Jarvis (“WikiLeaks: Power Shifts From Secrecy to Transparency”) Evan Hansen (“Why WikiLeaks is Good for America”) and Ethan Zuckerman (“Why Amazon Caved, and What it Means for the Rest of us”)

If you’re interested in reading more commentary, Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic is doing a great job cataloging essays and editorials here.

As with so many things, the moral question of whether or not WikiLeaks should exist or should publish this sort of information is nearly irrelevant.  The REALITY is that it DOES exist and CAN publish these documents and videos.

Every communication sent by anyone, be it a lowly government official or a head of state, carries with it the inherent risk of disclosure either through breaching the security of the channel through which it is sent or via the disclosure by the sender/recipient.

Rather than expending so many resources trying vainly to conduct so much policy through a (nonexistent) veil of silence (which invariably increases scrutiny) organizations need to consider the possibility that it benefits them to be more transparent, particularly in light of the new paradigms that affect communication.

 

 

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  1. request
    December 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    With all the sympathy to this Cinderella story I can’t help but to wonder :

    1) The USA government/CIA/NSA controlled internet knots/servers handle ALL the traffic in the world , hence with a few key strokes the Wikileaks/affiliates would ceased to exists/post .
    That simple , end of headaches . Yet the Wikileaks still leaks/leaked for more than two years , including the encrypted insurance file !!

    2) The encrypted Insurance file :

    a) in this poker game Assange presents the CIA/NSA with an Ace that has no value because it can not be checked ! Further more , on the scale of Dangers , disclosing quickly and publicly usually Saves the poster . But threatening yet not presenting verifiable evidence will usually Kill the ‘perpetrator’ . So Assange is doing it all wrong , against the grain … yet he survives !
    b) if the Insurance file is so Damming and Revealing than Why was not been made public un-encrypted long ago ( saving Assange’s butt in the process as well ) ? After all Wikileaks advertises it self as a Disclosure organization , not a Teasing one …

    3) The Media hype :

    Considering the US government statements on how ‘dangerous’ those leaked files are for the safety of soldiers/spies it is utterly ridiculous and insulting to our intelligence to see the Media super hype over the issue , basically inviting people around the world to take notice , visit the site and enjoy those top secret documents !
    Yet the same Media outlets obey with no problems any Censorship imposed by the CIA/NSA/etc as it happened in the past . Collusion ??
    Intent to manipulate people by directing them in purpose to take note of those secret documents ?? You bet !! And in your face !

    Those serious anomalies make me think that Wikileaks is a ploy to make it the darling of people , gain public trust so if Wikileaks says/discloses documents stating ( in between the lines ) that we must fight Now the Russians/Chinese/North Korea/Iran/Taliban , ya , we must Believe it and allow our corrupt governments to waste our money and lives on wars and War Industries ( owned by the Bilderbergs ) . It’s the same deceiving ploy ( of ‘trust’ ) used to promote Barak Obama as you may remember .

    Conclusion : Say NO to war , the War Industries , corrupt politicians , Bilderbergs and the manipulations of the corrupt corporate ‘main’ Media .
    Or , change this world , see How , the Solution and what will happened to the Elite at Recipe for a Nation ( future shocking ) found at WordPress.com . Read it and spread it , unless you want to go back to dust …

    http://RecipeForaNation.Wordpress.com , future shocking !

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 9:27 am

      I don’t know that the government can pull the plug completely on Wikileaks (or they likely would have done so already given that there’s a lot of support for treating Wikileaks as a “terrorist” organization among the American public).

      In addition, as Anonymous illustrated, there are too many people whose skills are comparable to those of the best security experts in the private sector and the US government that angering that crowd could enlist more support to keep the Wikileaks info flowing. To say nothing of the reality that there are too many people with myriad forms of access to the internet and all sorts of encryption technologies that the information could easily pour through the public in a fashion similar to a torrent site.

      It is disappointing though to see much of the media taking an uncritical and less-than-thoughtful position in handling the leak of the cables (but that’s an example of Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model at work).

      Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 10:11 am

        Except Anonymous isn’t “a lot of people.” Having been part of a few weird Anonymous schemes in the past (especially where Scientology is concerned), it’s mostly – maybe – three dozen people who run scripts to instigate attacks along several large lateral networks.

        A lot of people who claim to be in Anonymous aren’t. They are mostly supporters of Anon who have no experience in instigating DoS attacks or anything remotely similar to cracking. In fact, they incorrectly call it “hacking” because that’s what the news media calls it.

        I’m not impressed with Anonymous, really. They aren’t doing it for the reasons they state – they are doing it for the fun of it. And it can be totally random who they attack and when.

        Like

  2. December 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    While it’s interesting that this SHOULD be making people more aware of the abuse the US has with secrecy in this era, it’s not.

    In fact, it’s having the exact opposite impression.

    While there are people frustrated and upset with the information released in the last few leaks, a majority of Americans and foreign governments are mostly shrugging it off as “business as usual in a digital age.” A great deal of people are actually turning against Assange and WikiLeaks. The rest of us are mostly sitting it out.

    We’re in an age of apathy, where our own little worlds are more important than the larger world in general. WikiLeaks seems to tell us what we already knew – that government is somewhat corrupt, that we spy on other nations, that the CIA and FBI kidnap people and then dump them in Eastern European nations. In fact, most people I ask don’t care about Assange being in jail or even that WikiLeaks is losing all sorts of money and places to operate from.

    Me … I stopped caring about this stuff a long time ago. To me, this is a unpleasant distraction being used by politicians while they sit around and do nothing. The timing couldn’t be worse, and the material is bland to the regular citizen.

    Now, release a bunch of documents detailing real dangerous secrets of not just the US but other nations, and I’ll be more inclined to care again.

    Like

    • Bo
      December 8, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      You’re obviously an American! He’s a hero in Australia and other places in the world. He has a HUGE supportive following. Get your head out of your butt.

      Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 9:40 am

        I don’t disagree that he has a huge following in Internet circles.

        My point was that his point was to break secret channels to undermine corruption in government communications. Mostly by motivating people who are in those countries to see the underlying problem.

        It hasn’t really motivated anyone in the US. It’s up to the US citizens to run with it. However, we are stuck in an age of apathy because a majority of people who vote and can influence change are stuck in their own little world. Or they are a part of the problem and refuse to change because they prefer the status-quo. We already knew our government was corrupt and doing illegal shit all over the place. It’s been government policy since the 1940’s.

        The leaked cables has had the exact opposite effect of what was intended – the US isn’t becoming more transparent in their dealings. Instead, they are tightening the communication system, and re-arranging how information flows.

        I’m not hating on WikiLeaks. I’m just saying I don’t see the “revolution” happening anywhere except for a lot of words on the Internet. And maybe giving 4Chan /b script kiddies something to do.

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    • December 9, 2010 at 5:09 am

      Wikileaks had existed since 2006, in which time they have leaked on corruption in the Kenyan government, internet censorship in Iran, Thailand, Australia… everywhere except America actually. They received international awards for it and high praise from politicians.

      It’s only when they put America where America’s mouth is that WikiLeaks became a “terrorist organisation.”

      If you can’t do your research, at least read the Wikipedia article.

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      • December 9, 2010 at 8:33 am

        I couldn’t agree more! In my opinions, this is often the case. When other people, other countries are the ‘injured’ party then it’s ok but when it’s America, somebody call 9-1-1! Whatever, America is no longer the authority on anything, least of all morality, integrity and anything along those lines. I say GO WIKILEAKS GO!

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      • December 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

        True – there is a lot of hypocrisy out there; that is an unfortunate standard for US foreign policy.

        Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 10:01 am

        So tell us something new. None of this is actually new. It just re-affirms everything we already suspected or knew if we actually paid attention to the world at large.

        If you couldn’t figure out that Iran was censoring the Internet before 2006, you were an idiot. Or that the Kenyan government was corrupt when they’ve been forcing certain legal landowners out to expand government power as reported in 2002. Or that Thailand has been super stupid corrupt in the past. Or that American diplomats are spying on people and making stupid assessments about other countries? Who honestly didn’t know or suspect that?

        Honestly, I have awfully high expectations for WikiLeaks. My point was that the entire thing didn’t seem to actually motivate or change anything in America. We’re still sitting on our asses not caring. And a lot of world leaders are sitting on their asses not caring (or working to turn Assange into a villain with no place to go or money to operate).

        I think WikiLeaks has an interesting place in the recent move to change how governments actually operate in the world arena. It is an Internet phenomenon. I don’t think they should be criminalized, although I think Assange could be little less intellectually elitist so the rest of us don’t feel like we’re being lectured about something we already know. And stop writing paranoid manifestos. We get it.

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    • December 9, 2010 at 9:29 am

      I think there is a sizable contingent of support for Wikileaks; there are a lot of people who have long been upset about the over-use of the “classified” status of documents.

      I think that when the information about the banking institutions is leaked, and Americans begin to see a direct correlation between their finances/taxes and what happened during the collapse that support may grow even more for Assange and Wikileaks.

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      • December 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

        I’m actually hoping that will be effective and more interesting than the stuff I’ve read from the diplomatic cables recently. There’s maybe one or two good things out of hundreds of inane cables where they just babble.

        My fear is that we’re going to have to rely on the media or another organization to translate the bank documents because it will be so heavy in finance and economic terms. Or even worse, have some crazy math that puts people to sleep after a few paragraphs. Hopefully, it will shed some light on the destructive attitudes bank have with our life savings and investments. Anything that can have a positive impact is a good thing. I just hope it has an impact.

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  3. December 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I love the breakdown of this article. Brief but great in content!

    Like

  4. December 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Wikileaks is my hero. I think many people are apathetic because they DO care. And that, understandably, scares them.

    We’ve all seen activists recently be charged with:
    • “terrorism” for tweeting!- activists homes were ransaked, computers, files and taken, http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/09/29/fbi-raids-folo/;

    • “material aid for terrorism” or “inciting a riot” or serious manufactured charges simply for the mere act of literally speaking, blogging, speaking out publicly or putting up a simple website. The RNC 8, Sherman Austin, October 22nd Coalition, etc.

    • massive illegal spying on antiwar and other progressive groups, mostly for free speech, http://www.aclu.org/spy-files/spying-first-amendment-activity-state-state

    Many continue to speak out. Julian Assange will probably be arrested, tortured, charged with treason and held in isolation by the U.S. government to hide their illegal treatment of him. He is first. If we don’t stand up for him our braver friends, church leaders, family members, etc. will be next. When will you act?

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    • akahata
      December 9, 2010 at 3:08 am

      They came first for the Communists,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

      Then they came for me
      and by that time no one was left to speak up.

      Like

  5. December 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    great read. thnx!

    Like

  6. A.F Walking
    December 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    We will all once more be dust, of that we can be certain – and we ought not to fear this.

    However, it is not my intent to be facetious. I get your point, and I agree.

    I am open to the conspiracy theory, it is possible and it is probable. But we do not, and are unlikely to have this suspicion confirmed or denied. So, it is at best an educated guess.

    It is also possible that it is not, and that the all-reaching power you assume our shadowy and unaccountable para-military intelligence agencies have is not held. That they do not have the degree of control you think. If they did, why would they need a created problem such as Wikileaks to give them the excuse to clamp down? They would not. And so, it remains possible and probable that Wikileaks is for real. In which case it is serving our human planetary interest as you suggest. The time for shadows and divisions, and war driven by selfish greed, and the sickening specter of “Government control and authority” to end has come.

    You say “Rather than expending so many resources trying vainly to conduct so much policy through a (nonexistent) veil of silence (which invariably increases scrutiny) organizations need to consider the possibility that it benefits them to be more transparent, particularly in light of the new paradigms that affect communication.”, and I agree wholeheartedly – all Government communications should be uploaded for public viewing, all meetings should be streaming live and archived online. They serve us, we the people. Time for change is here.

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    • December 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

      Indeed; the sad part is – if all of these cables had been published in a lump somewhere by the government – the newsmedia likely would have ignored them outright as there wasn’t a sensational angle to take with them. It was the act of declaring them secret and prosecuting Wikileaks that make them newsworthy.

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      • December 9, 2010 at 10:19 am

        Which brings up another point –

        That could be the strategy of the US government. By turning this into a sensationalist phenom, it weakens the impact by overloading us with information.

        Apathy can be inspired by overloading people with information. If it gets too big, it could virtually collapse on itself because no one cares or is persuaded that its too big for anyone to do anything.

        And that makes me apathetic, really. It’s so easy to say, “REVOLT! CHANGE! CONSPIRACY!” on the Internet and then do absolutely nothing because physical change is hard work. I vote, I blog and I volunteer to help people. Half the people I hear chanting or advocating violent, sudden change in the government can’t even be bothered to get off their fat asses and do the actual work. Which makes me roll my eyes and continue to not care about these things.

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  7. December 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    The morality of the situation is nearly irrelevant?

    This reminds me of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal: He did it. No he didn’t. Yes, he did. So what, it doesn’t matter. Yes, it does. No, it doesn’t.

    Or, for Obama: He’s a marxist. No he’s not. Yes he is. So what, it doesn’t matter. Yes it does. No, it doesn’t.

    Yes, the reality is that Wikileaks exists and that “secret” information can continue to come to light. The fact is that this scenario was always the case, it’s just that the technology now exists to make it more widely and quickly available.

    The real story behind all of this is laws, and underneath that, yes, morality.

    The fact is that Assange and his gang have broken laws because effectively they and others – specifically all of you who quietly or publicly support them – feel that such laws and secrecy are irrelevant. Transparency is all important to you. Your and their ideological framework is based on relativism. You ignore national laws in favor of your own.

    It is interesting to note the majority of people who’re supportive of Assange and his compatriots. Anarchists, Communists and in general, hard-core leftists. The goal is chaos and to take down the US.

    For good or ill here, the US is not in the wrong in this situation. Assange is in the wrong. He has broken national and international laws to suit his own ends. If his own relative views on things said it was right to do what he did, then the US by the same thinking is right to go after him and bury him.

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    • Bo
      December 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      What a totally selfish point of view. Free people in a free/open and democratic society place their trust in elected representatives who purport to conduct domestic and international affairs on their behalf. I do not for one minute believe that the populations of free and democratic societies support representatives who go behind their backs and set up or undermine other governments, supply arms and finance to terrorist organisations and many other unscrupulous activities to suit their own ends. Yes – we all agree that there is a great deal of corruption in ALL governments and especially within major corporations, especially the banking sector, but that does not mean that we support it. Dealings made on our behalf by representatives elected by us should be open and honest. If we need to protect ourselves and our interests by initiating war or participating in war – then we MUST be given ALL the facts and have a say in whether or not our men and women should go off to foreign countries and lay down their lives. Why must our children, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers be blown to bits or shot up in foreign lands? Tell the bloody truth and give us a say. And who the hell made America the world’s policeman anyway?

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      • December 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm

        Well said. We have seen through the lens of history what travesties and crimes US covert operations have committed. The time of secrecy has ended. Free democratic societies do deserve disclosure and honesty.

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      • December 9, 2010 at 9:58 am

        We are not in a free and open society. We do have freedoms and we do have some openess. We are not in a democracy. We are in a democratic republic. There are sharp differences.

        We did not make ourselves the policemen of the world, the world made us their policemen every time they came running to us for protection and everytime they vilified us because we wouldn’t come running.

        The ends do not justify the means. Breaking laws to prove unscrupulous behavior does not an excuse make. If we ignore laws to prove points, then our laws stand for nothing and we become a nation and world of anarchy, where we each assert our own personal “laws”.

        That is chaos and confusion. And it is not surprising then that so many anarchists and communists are fully supportive of Mr. Assange.

        Anarchy and full democracy contrarily provides little real freedom.

        Assange has largely put forth information that the public pretty much already knew about our government and particular events/situations. However, he has also put forth information that literally puts the lives of Americans, specifically soldiers in grave danger.

        The releasing of this information is not like the Pentagon papers because the Pentagon papers were about uncovering actual lies. And still, the ends did not justify the means because that information was gotten thru criminal actions.

        You work thru and with the system to fix the system, otherwise we are no better than a mob society.

        The “time of secrecy” may be over, but beware of what you ask for. You just might find that you’ll not like the eventual outcome of all of this. The eventual results might be far worse than had we at least some measure of status quo within the current system.

        And as for secrecy being over? Puhleeze. Let me guess, you bought into Obama’s campaign of hopenchange and algor’s baking planet.

        All of you supporters of Assange are the truly deluded ones.

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      • December 9, 2010 at 10:29 am

        The problem is that you assume that the human race is capable of maintaining a free and open society with a government that is truly democratic and fair. That a majority are ready to give up easy lives and/or stability for a length of turmoil that is required to reach true change.

        As long as there are two or more human beings working together, there will always be an ulterior motive and a secret agenda to gain more benefit than the other human beings they represent or manage. 99% of human beings are focused on survival by any means necessary, and then to add comfort and power afterwards. Those truly altruistic are easily used by those who are not. Even if they oppose it.

        I applaud efforts to try to bring us closer to the ideal government that really represents and helps people. That we all get freedom and have some sort of equal footing. The only way that’s going to happen, though, is if you instigate an internal war that disrupts everyone’s basic needs and doesn’t rely on the Internet to function. Once this fight starts, we’ll lose power, communications, clean water, etc. So the only way to create the ultimate society is to eliminate all human beings. And most people are afraid of that so they stick to the status quo.

        Or start a society governed by robots. And if I’ve learned anything from Hollywood, it’s that you can’t trust robots (because they’ll eventually kill us all anyway).*

        ———–

        *Since we’re going to talk paranoid conspiracy and unrealistic goals, I thought I’d add that last bit.

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    • December 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

      Actually, I disagree. Assange runs a website for whistle blowers. He would be wrong if he a) manufactured this information or b) worked for the US and in his professional capacity, stole these documents. He did neither! He was given information, which is he published.

      This idea that he is an evil/bad/awful person because he did what many disagree with is riduculous because many other agree with him and because that’s the business he’s in.

      What’s truly disheartening is the typica US approach to problems; bullying and manipulating. His arrest is an orchestrated attempt to shut him up, which happens to a lot of whistle blowers.

      I whole heartedly agree with his choice to leak these documents, if for no other reason than to stand up to a bully.

      Like

      • Bo
        December 9, 2010 at 8:03 pm

        The irony is that governments routinely ‘leak’ information and documents to the media to suit their own agendas and gain whatever advantage the leaked information gives them. In this case, someone else leaked their information and they are a tad upset out it because they have lost their advantage ie: the ability to control how much their population should be allowed to know about their secret dealings, which if they knew about, they might just protest about or worse. Just like a hollywood production really – if you can’t control it, eat it or screw it – kill it.

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    • December 9, 2010 at 9:37 am

      I don’t mean to imply that the rule of law is irrelevant and should be discarded – and I understand your point.

      I think the position of many of the people in support of Wikileaks is that it was a great deal of law-breaking on the part of the US government that gave validity to Wikileaks and the disclosure of these sensitive documents.

      Looking specifically at the past decade or so, the US government has broken not only its own laws – but international laws to which it is a signatory. That has seriously harmed the US government’s credibility to appeal for support/sympathy (for lack of a better word) when it comes to positioning Assange/Wikileaks as villains.

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  8. December 8, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Great summary and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Your last paragraph perfectly mirrors my sentiment on the topic. The world is changing – and that change is especially rapid in the methods, formality and pervasiveness of our communication.

    It seems that the adaptability of our organizations is under fire more than anything else (and not just the US even though they are most in the limelight right now). Over here in Oz we are watching with interest to see how the situation is managed.

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

      Holy smokes – I hadn’t realized that I’d been pressed until you mentioned it! Thanks for the kind words!

      Like

  9. December 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    freedom of information

    Like

    • December 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      Understand, people…and I speak to ALL the world’s citizens when I say this…the sex allegations against Julian Assange are COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to this controversy!!
      What he’s done is the very SAME thing Daniel Ellsberg did 40 years ago (with the Pentagon Papers): expose the hypocrisy in the U.S. government. “Terrorist”? Sorry, the REAL terrorists in America are the fucking Tea Party fascists (who will soon assume the House of Representatives come January) and all the OTHER religious mobsters (televangelists, et.al.) who CONTINUE to shove their warped sense of “morality” down the throats of NORMAL-THINKING Americans!!
      Why do I deal with stupidity in this country? I ask, WHY?

      Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

        I ask myself the same thing. Often.

        My only answer is:

        “Well, I’d rather be here where I have a job and feel good about working and not living off the dole like a lot of other people in other countries, like Canada or England or Australia, where then I would feel obligated to riot at the drop of a hat because they are taking my lazy lifeblood away. At least here, right where I sit, I can ignore the morons hooting at me about some sort of false sense of patriotism and just eat my pizza while playing both my PS3 and XBox 360 or watching Netflix for a mere $8 a month. I can volunteer to help kids and be a tutor and not worry about having to endoctrinate anyone yet.”

        Not saying that you’re one of those living on the dole or lazy or even living in one of those places. I’m just commenting on how I feel when I watch the BBC, French TV or German news programs.

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  10. December 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    The big question is are the little masked bandits from Anon-Operation Payback doing anyone any favors?

    If anyone needs public relations assistance at this point they certainly qualify.

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Anon often only responds when there’s a spotlight to be had, and then only randomly with mixed results.

      While there may be a few good intentions in a few operators within Anonymous, most are just script kiddies with time to burn and a chip on their shoulder. Or love causing problems for the lolz.

      Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 10:54 am

      I wouldn’t envy the PR pro that has to represent the group responsible for things like “Operation: Slickpubes.” :-]

      Like

  11. stoptheinvasionoforegon
    December 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    what is also important is how Congress has bullied and lied and betrayed the American people . Does everyone know that Lieberman wants to pass a law making it a felony for Americans to give money to wikileaks? I hope wikileaks brings the US congress to its knees not the other way around. I am so sick of media black outs, kiss ass journalists, Bullies in Congress. tell me this isnt 1984
    long live the Hackers

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 8:46 am

      If this is true then it’s total crap. I resent the idea that entire corporations/companies and even countries can be bullied into submission because the US or any other govt for that matter wants to prove a point. Shame on these companies that lack a backbone.

      Like

    • Bo
      December 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      Long live freedom of information, and may we some day be blessed with genuine and honest politicians…..yeah, yeah Bo – dream on!

      Like

  12. December 8, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    The appearance of and strength of Wikileaks, and even 4Chan, signal a new age of transparency….and accountability.
    Granted, there is an element of roguishness inherent in these ‘policing’ forces but I would say that their fierce independence and unpredictable nature has positives as well as negatives.

    Just as each individual who lives on the internet is well acquainted with not only a surveilled lifestyle, but a gladly willing engagement in a transparently and widely accountable lifestyle, governments and corporations will be turning onto this new development. (golly that’s a long sentence!)

    National boundaries are being opened to the global view of empowered individuals. Yes, more folks are voting and not just at the ballot box. We are learning how to consume and live more ethically (slowly–some say too slowly, at the risk of the environment). Governments and corporations will be held to higher standards just as the World Trade Organization and World Bank and DynCorp and Halliburton, Mastercard, Visa, etc.

    As we debate the strengths and challenges of Wikileaks, Anonymous, 4Chan /b/, and others, we still need to hold fast to the information that they reveal. As we look at Julian Assange, let’s keep in the conversation the US foreign policy practices.

    It is complicated holding all this at once, but it is part and parcel of being involved in the internet empowerment. Our ethics and political involvement will have to step up to respond and advocate for those of the world’s poor. Colonization, exploitation, and war mongering can be ended and we all can play our part.

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 9:31 am

      4Chan?

      Are you serious?

      A bunch of script kiddies from /b getting their jollies off by supporting random Internet causes are the saving grace of the United States?

      Holy shit. You’re killing me with laughter.

      Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 10:56 am

        While many of the people at 4chan/Anonymous might fit that description, one can’t discount the impact they’re having:

        Anonymous recruits Wikileaks ‘data army’
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11957367

        Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

        To Derek:

        They are having an impact because they have the spotlight.

        Had there been no spotlight, there would have been no Anonymous there.

        It’s for the lolz, and the popularity to get more people to come to 4Chan to punk for the lolz. Their real mission statement (not the YouTube video made a couple years ago to fight Scientology that’s been farmed out for every operation they’ve run ever) even mentions it about 5 times.

        They’ve got nothing to do and are bored. They found something to do that puts them in the spotlight. Guarantee in a month, they’ll be out attacking Hello Kitty fans or something else and not doing much for WikiLeaks.

        Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

        True; it’s all for the lulz as they say. That notwithstanding, it’s compelling that this group has the power to disrupt commerce (if only in a minor way). It portends what may happen if something more outrage-inspiring happens.

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  13. request
    December 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    … amazing how using the same information three themes emerged : supporting , crucifing and non-believers .
    Yet sure enough there are only three themes to logic applied to this subject : lyers , truth-spokers and non-believers .
    If we do a boolean by ANDing the above only the non-believers survive , a natural selection …

    That’s why self-evolution as seen in the Recipe for a Nation is indeed future shocking .

    Like

  14. December 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Nice review dude.
    We can see WikiLeaks as ‘watchdog’ who live in a democracy system which is always be promoted by US and its allies, but we should remember that sometimes ‘dog’ bites !!!

    Like

  15. December 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    It’s interesting to see how times changed.

    During WWII, it was “loose lips sink ships”

    now it seems to be a race to disclose.

    I have to think though, perhaps the disclosure is a good thing when it reveals a lot of government corruption.

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 11:04 am

      Indeed; there is certainly a lot less trust in government now than there was back in the 1940s.

      Like

  16. December 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I have some serious doubts about wikileaks and more so with the release of the cables. Israel came out on top as much what was released fit right into their agenda against Iran, one could mistake the founder of wikileaks to be a member of Israel government. I mean come off it, Lebanon war with Israel, Israel war and bombardment of Palestinians, Israel military strike on Syria’s Nuclear facilities, Israel attack on Turkish boat, all this that happened and all wikileaks could provide is some minor or no details about it. There is a serious agenda around the release of these cables and I doubt Israel are innocent around this.

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 11:28 am

      Assange has said it himself.

      He does this to embarass the United States government who he has a beef with. Plus, the US is a particularly easy target to steal info from. We haven’t exactly been great at controlling data at the military level.

      Like

    • Bo
      December 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      My my – time certainly hasn’t erased the love of Jewish libels that have been around for hundreds of years has it? Whenever anything happens anywhere in the world that is controversial, or has a negative impact on any society – there’s always the Jews to blame for it. Some things never change!

      Like

      • December 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm

        For sure, much what happens in US, EU and ME most likely has an some sort of influence with Israel or those so called ‘zionist’. The problem with people today is they just don’t get it. If people decide not to believe an ‘official’ story they are labelled it as a conspiracy. Well for me, history has proven official stories later are proven to be a inside job.

        Right now, what matters the most in US, EU and ME is the security of Israel, is there any reason why much of what was released in the leaks pointed a finger at Iran, when around the corner we have similar states such as Pakistan, India, North Korea, etc who have proven to have such arsenal with a weak government?

        Just read some of the covert operations Hitler was up to to bring down a nation prior to attacking it, we have since moved on by technology and warfare but our development of thinking outside of the box or given official story has still not matured.

        The boogie man is still alive (Mr Osama) so our freedom is at the hands of our government – nice

        Like

  17. NELSON SALINAS ROA
    December 8, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    R/C. LA PREGUNTA SOBRE TACAÑOS, SI SON MUY TACAÑOS Y AVAROS LOS EMPRESARIO CHILENOS (MULTIMILLONARIOS) QUE PAGAN SUELDOS MISERABLES A LOS ESCLAVOS, ESTAMOS 4° junto a ZAMBIA en la PEOR DISTRIBUCION DE LA RIQUEZA EN EL MUNDO. A LOS JUBILADOS PEOR, SON INDIGENTES .-

    Like

  18. December 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    The wikileaks situation reminds me of just what is it small for small people. This is simple loss of control and necessary proof to prove so of a population who believes their on top of America amongst a population of control, who push very little and control less than that. Their all mom’s and dads slapping others on the wrists and sometimes turning their head as one of them do something awful to their own population.

    Some of the decisions made in America simply show their generations mindset. Watch a 1960’s depiction of Batman. They were all little jokers and Batman was a naked man caught on the wrong stage. While there are things to learn from previous generations, they do not have the public trust. Their always worried about it because their often not doing anything that would help themselves if they were in any other situation. Which makes them what? More nothing than anything at all. Sometimes I wonder if we switched the White House with Hollywood, if we would end up better off. We would have better acting and a group of people who want to be something completely in the right.

    Like

    • Bo
      December 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      I love your sense of humor.

      Like

  19. oldetrip
    December 9, 2010 at 1:21 am

    How Julian Assange ( Editor-in-chief and spokesperson for WikiLeaks ) will end

    http://olderime.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/how-julian-assange-editor-in-chief-and-spokesperson-for-wikileaks-will-end/

    Like

  20. December 9, 2010 at 1:26 am

    When hearing of this, my first reaction was “Off with his head.” Upon further reading regarding the actual disclosures, it seems none of these documents are “Classied” documents by the U.S. Military Government.

    In my four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, one of my duties was that of a Classified Documents Control Specialist in a NATO command in Iceland, for a year of that four years of active duty. I had the highest rating that anyone in military service could have, and that was Cosmic Top Secret. This meant that any disclosure of those rated documents would even adversely affect the NATO alliance. It was a well known fact that many documents were over-classified. For example, many documents marked “Confidential,” in many cases could be looked up by anyone in the public domain.

    Regardless, the penalties were harse in their disclosure by anyone in the military or otherwise. As an example, in taking over the classied document section of my NATO command, I was required to sign a document that even I lost or misplaced a document, even by honest error, I was subject to twenty years of hard labor. You can be assurred that was a difficult document for me to sign at the tender age of twenty, as a young buck sergeant in the U. S. Air Force.

    In the event that these communications on the part of the NATO alliance or just the United States are of a clsssifed nature, then the U.S. Military should insure their marking and handling in their transmissions. In that event, discussion of whether a crime had been accomplished would be a foregone conclusion.

    Like

  21. criticalgrasp
    December 9, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Thanks for the links Derek!

    Like

  22. December 9, 2010 at 2:36 am

    nice posting… i also review it in my blog http://eljinjizy.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/wikileaks-red-dan-take-down/ (indonesian version) ;-)
    it will be better also we see this video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fedMe4x2iwg

    Like

  23. December 9, 2010 at 2:52 am

    One lesson is that Israel seems to be the only country in the Middle East that honestly speaks its mind: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/wikileaks-and-israel/

    Apart from that, I am shocked how much gossip our diplomats are writing down.

    Like

  24. December 9, 2010 at 4:42 am

    I agree with you that organizations need to consider being more transparent. If they would, no doubt people would have more faith in them, and would not be deprived of their faith. The government needs to understand that the faith of the people is what a true democracy is.
    Ashley

    Like

  25. alva
    December 9, 2010 at 5:27 am

    I think it’s the best importan thing. Wikileaks shows us how the people take the power and they forget the real people only for money or to be powerful.
    In my country we have two queens and two kings. Franco and the king Juan Carlos I de Borbón. THAT’S THE MOST HORRIBLE! We don’t have any liberty, we married with franco and then we can chose one, or both two, or another one, but always you can find in the street one or two kings.
    If you stay here like a tourist you don’t have an special liberty. All citys (madrid and barcelona) is likes a towns very closet and very littles. Only you can see: fachas people, kings people, and … all that! You don’t have any more positions, all topics and all laugh at you because you don’t choise.
    When I stay in internet, I see more people, more gentelman and ladys very confortables. Don’t laugh at you and that people understand you. In spain don’t get that. that’s all.

    http://moullieperiodico.wordpress.com/ (it’s spanish)

    Like

  26. claresiobhanpr
    December 9, 2010 at 6:13 am

    “The REALITY is that it DOES exist and CAN publish these documents and videos.”

    This needed to be said, so that this side of the debate can end. And to those still debating whether the leaks documents have anything to say, they should check this website http://sowhyiswikileaksagoodthingagain.com/

    Anyone who can honestly click through those messages and not feel that the right thing has been done by WikiLeaks has a very cold heart.

    I’ve blogged my feelings here http://claresiobhanpr.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/the-wikileaks-debate-who-is-the-guilty-party/

    Like

  27. December 9, 2010 at 7:18 am

    You put it well.
    We no longer live in the wonderful world of state secrets and should realize that at some point in history these things come out anyway… with or without a hacker. But wasn’t espionage, and undermining governments, fun while it lasted? Ah, well.

    Diplomats are appointees whose incompetence can wreak havoc with international relationships, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty of that coming out of these cables. Read the 1979 cable from Tehran, for instance. Diplomat, shitlomat.

    http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/1979/08/79TEHRAN8980.html

    Like

  28. jean-philippe
    December 9, 2010 at 7:19 am

    The United States can’t stand by its first amendment and blame Assange for using it. Nor stand by its fourth amendment and praise Assange’s arrest.

    You can’t have it both ways. It’s a Democracy or it’s not. Pick one.

    Like

    • December 9, 2010 at 7:32 am

      I’m having trouble figuring out how the U.S. government can have any say at all about Assange. The man is not a U.S. citizen. Can the U.S. go around the world and eliminate and/or prosecute anyone who steps on those oh-so delicate toes?

      The problem, I believe, is that the State Department knows what Wikileaks has– and it’s really scary. Poor Obama, just one more disaster to deal with. Republicans must be doing some real soul-searching.

      Like

      • December 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

        I was thinking the same thing. I have to say that I’m very very proud of Australia for sticking with their citizen. It’s important for citizens to know that their home country will not just throw them with the bath water because America says so. If the shoe was on the other foot, I do believe the US would defend Assange if he was American and had leaked cables on Australia and other countries.

        Like

  29. December 9, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Well written.

    With the UK comprising a unwritten constitution; isn’t transparency of powers important for democracy and liberalisation??

    journeytoliberty.blogspot.com

    Like

  30. December 9, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I’m wondering if other people are even aware of some of the other discussions regarding Assange and wikileaks? Here, let’s get you up to speed:

    http://gardenserf.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/is-assassination-an-option/

    Like

  31. December 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I think the real fear is that these leaks will show that America is engaged in spreading terror like it’s enemies.

    Like

  32. scottanne08
    December 9, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Actually, I view the whole leak as simply IMPOLITE.

    Sure, it’s wrong to flatter our one side of your mouth then backbite out the other. But come on… In real life, which of us is not guilty of that nearly every day?

    Have you ever criticized your boss’ latest ‘genius idea’ with your colleagues over lunch? When you were praising him to his face just minutes before? Well, what do you feel about one of your mates not only snitching to the boss about your laughs, but taking video evidence to submit to the higher ups as well? Remember, you’re in the wrong to not be honest in the first place, right?

    Or who among you will be the first to tell Josephine, the sweetest and most helpful and also most emotionally fragile person around, that her breath really stinks?

    The only way I’ll respect Wikileaks and Assange for what they do is if they dare to release all their own internal communications for all to see, scrutinize and mock. Otherwise, they’re just another bunch of hypocrites posing for attention.

    Like

  33. December 9, 2010 at 10:13 am

    eloquently put…enjoyed this post.

    Like

  34. citizen 4311212
    December 10, 2010 at 11:13 am

    WikiLeak too much Change for Obama?
    Know It’s roller coaster, still xx harder for totalitarian states.

    We NEED transparency for our global society that we created an cannot control. To many crises. We’d never gone to Iraq if we read the cables first?

    How can a few wise leaders alone solve complex global issues pending ?
    People need to be involved/need same info on these complex issues to let our global society decide & survive.

    If democracy fails, the only solution is More democracy.
    E-vote(power), not E-commerce(money) that changes our world!
    so think ..our 200 y old democracy, then we compete china! yes, only way is up.

    Like

  35. December 10, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Politicians ask us for our vote but then don’t trust us with the full facts. For example, the revelation that Saudi Arabia asked the West to bomb Iranian nuclear sites is damn important for us to know and cuts through the whole “Islamic World v the West” hyperbole that is spouted by the Iranian leadership (and even many Saudi clerics).

    I say hoorah for democracy, and I completely support what wikileaks has divulged.

    http://www.twago.com/expert/programmer/Delphi-programmer

    Like

  36. Cain and Todd Benson's Art
    December 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

    “Batman and Robin” Starring Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev. Art, image.

    http://cainandtoddbenson.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/batman-and-robin-starring-vladimir-putin-and-dmitry-medvedev/

    Like

  37. December 15, 2010 at 7:51 am

    great discussion.

    Like

  38. October 21, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Great blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Thanks a lot!

    Like

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  1. December 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm
  2. December 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm
  3. December 9, 2010 at 6:47 am
  4. December 9, 2010 at 11:26 am
  5. December 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm

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