Wikileaks around the ‘net

The media’s authoritarianism and WikiLeaks. Remember what I’ve been saying about shifts. No longer a watchdog — for many years now — the U.S. media is behaving no better than the government. Not even a tool but an arm, it would seem. Glenn Greenwald rips Time a new one for failing to correct factual inaccuracies in its coverage of Wikileaks.

A reminder: On 28 November 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing more than 251,000 American diplomatic cables, of which over 53 percent are listed as unclassified, 40 percent are “Confidential” and just over six percent are classified “Secret”. Remember the banality of these “secrets,” as well.

Palin & her aides make the mistake of attributing the attack to a single, monolithic organization. In some ways this underscores how the governing class around the world continues to fail to understand exactly how they are being attacked. (It’s not always about you, Palin.) Exclusive: Sarah Palin Under Cyber-Attack from Wikileaks Supporters in ‘Operation Payback’*. Note that the article itself seems to understand the amorphous nature of the attacker.

Unverified: The Secret Diary of Julian Assange (via Julian Assange’s Pretentious Diary Re-Published, WikiLeaks Leader Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine).

An Interview With WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange [Forbes]: Note that Wikileaks is itself a distributed thing: “We’re totally source dependent. We get what we get. As our profile rises in a certain area, we get more in a particular area. People say why don’t you release more leaks form the Taliban. So I say hey, help us, tell more Taliban dissidents about us.”

Vanity Fair snarks at what the US government considers of importance: List of facilities ‘vital to US security’ leaked and what Anonymous has attacked: “However, many areas of outsize political importance did not make the cut. Such sites that did not rank among the most important include Wasilla, Alaska, the San Francisco offices of Twitter, Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, and Mike Allen’s rented apartment Arlington, Virginia” in Could the State Department Have Prevented the Great Tumblr Outage of 2010?. This is characteristic of framing the fallout of Wikileaks as a “cyberwar,” which I’m not sure is correct (at least beyond one simple level or so).

The stodgy Economist gets on the bandwagon: The right reaction. It is predictably conservative and government oriented. But they manage to nail one thing: “For the American government, prosecution, not persecution, offers the best chance of limiting the damage and deterring future thefts. The blustering calls for the assassination of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder now in custody in London awaiting extradition to Sweden on faintly mysterious charges of sexual assault, look both weak and repellent.”

Ron Paul Defends Wikileaks: Don’t Kill the Messenger – Stop Lying to the People! [Article includes transcript of the video clip.] Much as it grates on my progressive nature, I have to say Ron Paul seems to get part of this: “Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?” (Well this is characteristic of the whole mess — all of the participants, from Assange all the way down to the youthful hackers, are wrapped in their own ambiguities.) Emphasis mine.

Assange supporters rally in Brisbane and Pro-WikiLeaks protest rally draws 1200 supporters in Sydney. The irony, of course, is that Assange is no longer welcome back in Australia.

As predicted: Ex-staffers creating WikiLeaks spinoff site.

I’ll have more to say about narratives later, but here’s one: WikiLeaks: the week the US ran scared and a folk hero was born. “The US drive against Julian Assange backfired when his website’s supporters turned on those backing Washington”

If Assange Were In China, US Politicians Would Be Cheering Him On. This has been noted in a couple of places (and has appeared in previous Wikileaks roundups). If Assange were Chinese, publishing embarrassing secrets about that country & being persecuted, we’d defend him.

The other face of the Internet (remembering what Anonymous is): Wikileaks has finally been rick-rolled: https://www.ding.net/wikileaks/234867.txt 😀 See also: WikiWecaps Episode 1: Inside Wikileaks “Cablegate” (auto captioned). Of a more malicious nature: false cables are coming out almost faster than Wikileaks is being spawned. Again, this is due to the diffuse and decentralized nature of the Internet. Some are for humor, some are for monetary gain, some for political purposes, and yet more for whatever whim their creators had. This at once starts to degrade and devalue the information in Wikileaks itself, demonstrating once more that the real issue is not, and never has been, about the actual contents themselves.

Interview published June 7th, 2010: No Secrets. “WikiLeaks is not quite an organization; it is better described as a media insurgency. It has no paid staff, no copiers, no desks, no office. Assange does not even have a home. He travels from country to country, staying with supporters, or friends of friends—as he once put it to me, “I’m living in airports these days.” He is the operation’s prime mover, and it is fair to say that WikiLeaks exists wherever he does. At the same time, hundreds of volunteers from around the world help maintain the Web site’s complicated infrastructure; many participate in small ways, and between three and five people dedicate themselves to it full time.”

Charging Julian Assange could be unconstitutional. “Unless it can uncover clear and convincing evidence that Assange could reasonably foresee liability under American law, [the U.S. Justice Department] should not give way to the passions of the moment and launch a criminal prosecution.”

ETA:
LIFE without Julian Assange began for WikiLeaks yesterday.
Meet The New Public Face Of WikiLeaks: Kristinn Hrafnsson
(h/t @maymaym)
“Meanwhile, who’s surprised by this one? Not me: some Wikileaks team members are breaking away to form a competing organization, Openleaks, in response to differences with Assange. The money quote comes from a chat log Wired obtained in which a Wikileaks staffer says to Assange, ‘You are not anyone’s king or god, And you’re not even fulfilling your role as a leader right now. A leader communicates and cultivates trust in himself. You are doing the exact opposite. You behave like some kind of emperor or slave trader.'”
(h/t rm)

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