God damn it! I kind of promised myself i wouldn’t write this post, but i’ll do it anyway!
So the topic of the past few weeks for anyone who has even tried to follow the news, has of course, been wikileaks. For those box-dwellers among you, Wikileaks is simly a site that accepts “leaked” information sent to them by anyone. The recent hubbub started when US Private First Class Bradley Manning (currently in prison) sent in what would later be called the “Collateral Murder” video. This video shows a US helicopter gunning down innocent people, among them, two children (who survived with serious injuries), and two Reuters Journalists, who did not survive the attack.
This leak did not go over well with the US government, and the game was on.
So the next big releases concerned “war journals” from Afghanistan and Iraq, detailing many of the reported incidents of casualties and other such events. In them, we can find out how many friendly-fire incidents there have been, and how many civilians have died since 9/11. Someone equated this to one 9/11-event every 8 months. And where are the memorial events for these people? Observances of silence? Haven’t heard anything so far (no pun intended).
The thing that broke the proverbial camel’s back was what has become known as “Cablegate”. The release of over 250 000 variously classified US embassy communiques. Basically messages sent between various State leaders, US embassies around the world, and the US state-department.
Wikileaks reportedly received these from Pfc. Bradley Manning, though this isn’t entirely certain, as far as i know. Wikileaks are releasing the cables in small increments, to give justice to the material being released. So far, around 1000 documents have been released. Which means there is a lot to go, and a lot of embarrassing moments various politicians.
The response so far has been US pressure against sites and service providers, such as Amazon, Paypal, Mastercard and Visa. I’ll go into more detail later on. Basically they are thinking pretty one-dimensionally. Stop wikileaks.org, and stop the problem, right? Wrong. There are as of this writing over one thousand mirrors, providing the same content. Even though the US government is known for being pretty fucking stupid, they cannot seriously be this naïve. Once information enters the internet, it can never be taken out again. Ever.
So how did the US government think to stop this problem. Here are a few examples:
- Probably coercing Mastercard and Visa to stop taking donations to wikileaks. Wikileaks has lost a lot of money over this issue. Visa and Mastercard are both citing Terms of Service violations, but they have been vague at best, since there is still no idea of any law that Wikileaks might have broken *anywhere*. They are distributing already leaked material. Once it was leaked, it ceased to be private, and therefore, the only guilty party so far, is the person or persons who exfiltrated the data from “Secret” US government networks, such as SIPRNET.
- Secret in t his case meaning that about 3 million people worldwide have been granted access to the same data.
- Probably coercing Paypal to kill Wikileaks’ account, and so deprive them of funds that people would have donated through paypal, which i previously thought was a pretty decent company. Not anymore.
- Note, that while wikileaks is in breach of Terms of Service, you can still donate money to such admirable organizations as the Ku Klux Clan through paypal. So get those dollars flowing people!
- Forcing Amazon to stop hosting wikileaks.org in their cloud service. Of course, the DDOSing of wikileaks.org placed significant stress on Amazon’s infrastructure, but again, citing TOS violations are pretty funny.
- I can’t even being to list all the similar items either on sale, or hosted at Amazon, providing equally “damaging” information, but Wikileaks was apparently different. Or then you just wanted to play nice with the Government bullies.
- Forcing various DNS service providers from hosting wikileaks DNS records, therefore making you unable to access wikileaks.org by name.
- This as we have seen is — uh — very effective. Over a thousand mirrors have cropped up so far, offering the same exact site as the now downed wikileaks.org. Also if a DNS server is removed, you can still access a site by its IP-address, unless they take more drastic measures, such as DDOSsing sites (such as wikileaks.ch, which is down from having to serve excessive requests). Speculation suggests the attackers are affiliated with the US government, who are waging a desperate and inane war against an “enemy” they do not comprehend.
- Telling various government agencies and institutions that accessing wikileaks or any of the published cables is illegal or against regulations. These include at least the state department, military institutions (like soldiers overseas fighting for this very country). Rumors are even abound that schools are suggesting or prohibiting students from discussing or writing essays on the subject. I will repeat that these are unsubstantiated rumors.
So where do things stand now? Julian Assange, the “leader” of wikileaks is now in Brittish Custody, and soon to be turned over to Swedish authorities for trial on two alledged sex-crimes he committed. Now, while most media sources speak of rape, this is not the case. Is a journalist someone who does not check their facts? I think not. Rape has never been the charge. In stead, the crimes is that when two people agree to consensual sex in Sweden, and during intercourse, your condom breaks, the woman can sue you. Two women did. Two very interesting women. One may or may not have CIA ties. The other, a noted feminist, studied an article on how to take legal revenge on men before suing Julian.
As soon as news of the arrest came out, talk of extradition to the US appeared. Curious. A bunch of idiots have suggested he might be tried for treason, and various other ludicrous crimes. How can a non-US citizen be accused of treason? Well, in works by various other idiots, is now a revamping of the old espionage law, that would give US authorities the leverage they need to prosecute pretty much… anyone anywhere for spying and causing harm to US interests. I have no doubt in my mind that the Swedish authorities will hand him over just gladly, bending over to the will of the US government. If Julian is extradited, which is very likely to happen (if he isn’t assassinated first), he will probably never see the light of day again.
While my sympathies are with Julian and his family, taking him out of the equation will not affect Wikileaks in any way. In fact, it will only re-envigorate the cause. He would become a de-facto martyr for this “cause”, if you can call it that. Wikileaks will live on as long as the people decide it will. And there is no amount of government hoo-haa they can pull out of their ass that will change any of that. If they want to do something, i suggest owning up to the diplomatic disasters they themselves have created over the last few decades. The age of diplomatic secrecy and fucking the people of this world in the ass is over. As in nature, either you adapt, or you die. In this case, we can’t lose. Either governments will change to face this new reality, or they will crumble like a deck of cards.
Next in line is an exposé on the corrupted world of US banking! Rumors say it’s Bank of America that is being targeted, with some 5 gigabytes of data leaked from the hard drive of a bank executive, supposedly revealing a culture of corruption, fraud and worse. I say go for it. If it costs us a re-collapse of the global economy, i say bring it. I am not afraid.
The world is in need of a decent shakeup.