Wikileaks got the blame for putting a US embassy cable regarding Zimbabwe into the public domain. They were soundly condemned by the media and various pundits for endangering Morgan Tsvangirai and the potential for some semblance of democracy in Zimbabwe. As it happens, Wikileaks did not choose to release the cable into the public domain and publish it. It was the Guardian newspaper which made the decision.
UPDATE: Here’s Glenn Greenwald’s piece on the issue.
“INTERVIEWER: You regard addiction as an illness but also a central human fact, a drama?
BURROUGHS: Both, absolutely. It’s as simple as the way in which anyone happens to become an alcoholic. They start drinking, that’s all. They like it, and they drink, and then they become alcoholic. I was exposed to heroin in New York - that is, I was going around with people who were using it; I took it; the effects were pleasant. I went on using it and became addicted. Remember that if it can be readily obtained, you will have any number of addicts. The idea that addiction is somehow a psychological illness is, I think, totally ridiculous. It’s as psychological as malaria. It’s a matter of exposure. People, generally speaking, will take any intoxicant or any drug that gives them a pleasant effect if it is available to them. In Iran, for instance, opium was sold in shops until quite recently, and they had three million addicts in a population of twenty million. There are also all forms of spiritual addiction. Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways, that is, if we have sufficient knowledge of the processes involved. Many policemen and narcotics agents are precisely addicted to power, to exercising a certain nasty kind of power over people who are helpless. The nasty sort of power: white junk, I call it - rightness; they’re right, right right - and if they lost that power, they would suffer excruciating withdrawal symptoms. The picture we get of the whole Russian bureaucracy, people who are exclusively preoccupied with power and advantage, this must be an addiction. Suppose they lose it? Well, it’s been their whole life.”
The vicious intimidation campaign against WikiLeaks is a dangerous attack on freedom of expression and the press. Top US politicians have branded WikiLeaks a terrorist organization, and urged corporations to shut it down. Commentators have even suggested assassinating its staff.
Whatever we think of WikiLeaks, legal experts say it has likely broken no laws, and the group works with leading newspapers (NYT, Guardian, Spiegel) to carefully vet what it publishes - so far less than 1% of the cables leaked to it.
We urgently need a massive public outcry to defend our basic democratic freedoms. Sign the petition to stop the crackdown — let’s reach 1 million voices this week!
And if anyone needs reminding as to WHY we NEED WikiLeaks, check this out.
“We therefore call upon you to condemn, on behalf of the Australian Government, calls for physical harm to be inflicted upon Mr Assange, and to state publicly that you will ensure Mr Assange receives the rights and protections to which he is entitled, irrespective of whether the unlawful threats against him come from individuals or states.
We urge you to confirm publicly Australia’s commitment to freedom of political communication; to refrain from cancelling Mr Assange’s passport, in the absence of clear proof that such a step is warranted; to provide assistance and advocacy to Mr Assange; and do everything in your power to ensure that any legal proceedings taken against him comply fully with the principles of law and procedural fairness.”
(Please click through to read the full text of the letter)
Jeff Sparrow, editor of Overland Journal and Lizzie O’Shea from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have written an excellent open letter to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard regarding Julian Assange. The letter has been signed by many prominent people including Noam Chomsky, and has attracted nearly 3,500 comments (at the time of me hitting “create post”), the majority of which are signing their name in support. Please consider commenting on the original post to add your name. My family and I have also printed the open letter, signed it in pen and I will post it to Prime Minister Julia Gillard tomorrow. (or you can email her here) Julia Gillard’s postal address is:
Hon Julia Gillard MP
Australian Labor Party
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
The forces of Anonymous have taken aim at several companies who are refusing to do business with WikiLeaks. 4chan’s hordes have launched distributed denial-of-service attacks against PayPal, Swiss bank PostFinance, and other sites that have hindered the whistleblowing site’s operations.
A self-styled spokesman for the group calling himself “Coldblood” has said that any website that’s “bowing down to government pressure” is a target. PayPal ceased processing donations to the site, and PostFinance froze WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s account. The attacks are being performed under the Operation: Payback banner; Operation: Payback is the name the group is using in its long-running attacks on the RIAA, MPAA, and other organizations involved with anti-piracy lawsuits. (via 4chan rushes to WikiLeaks’ defense, forces Swiss banking site offline)
click to go to download page for the insurance file
seed, tell your friends, transfer to offline media, upload to other servers, post on messageboards, make encrypted backups, distribute widely, etc., etc.
It’s still here…
The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in “client states”; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.
This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
I was wondering what the big deal was when this morning as I was making my lunch for work the ABC News people said to go and look on the internet because the news about Cablegate was too big for them to cover… Not sure if that’s because it only broke as they were filming, or if one of the remaining stalwarts of the ‘old news media’ in Australia just admitted that they can’t keep up.
The “superfantastic” twist to “National Opt-Out Day”: If you feel the screenings are humiliating, let the government share your embarrassment (pun intended) by wearing a kilt. And if you’re, ahem, ballsy enough, join the protest wearing it like a true Scotsman, sans underpants.
The idea was first suggested by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who writes: Think about it — if you’re a male, and you want to bollix-up the nonsensical airport security-industrial complex, one way to do so would be to wear a kilt. If nothing else, this will cause TSA employees to throw up their hands in disgust. If you want to go the extra extra mile, I suggest commando-style kilt-wearing. While it is probably illegal to fly without pants, I can’t imagine that it’s illegal to fly without underpants. If you are Scottish, or part Scottish, or know someone who is Scottish, or eat Scottish salmon, or enjoy Scotch, or have a vestigial affection for “Braveheart” despite Mel Gibson, you can plausibly claim some sort of multicultural diversity privilege — the term “True Scotsman” refers to soldiers who honor their tradition and heritage by wearing kilts without drawers underneath.
“[Nov. 24 is] the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government’s desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an ‘enhanced pat down’ that touches people’s breasts and genitals,” the organizers of “National Opt-Out Day” declared on their web site. “You should never have to explain to your children, ‘Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.’
I bolded that bit at the end for emphasis. Fuck the TSA. I hope the Australian government don’t go down the same crazy path.
It’s time for the tombstone to be upgraded for the 21st century. A team of creative designers has developed a Bluetooth enabled grave that will allow mourning friends and family members to sync with digital media while weeping over your death. The E-Tomb, featured on Yanko Design, is a concept piece that tries to connect the emerging importance of social networking with the traditional form of cemeteries. A solar panel in the headstone powers a hidden hard drive that stores information from key webpages like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to the E-Tomb can interact with this data via their smart phones and the Bluetooth connection. Mourners will still be discussing their lives with the dearly departed, only now they’ll be doing it through the medium that we’ve grown accustomed to: the internet.
via Singularity Hub
How about a few terabytes of solid state storage and wifi, so we can seed torrents of our prodigious movie/warez/pr0n collections long after death, too?
Online reputation can be hacked. Release the flood gates.
Pretty sure I’ve come across this before, but still very interesting.
The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily so they can meet their quota of getting FREE FOOD donated every day to abused and neglected animals in their shelters.
It takes less than a minute (only about 15 seconds actually) to go to their site and click on the purple box titled, ‘Click Here to Give - it’s FREE!’. Every click gives about .6 bowls of food to sheltered dogs. You can also click daily!
Keep in mind that this does not cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. [via.]
Go to the website here.
If you can’t even do this once, you have no heart.