Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Dec 2010 12:16 UTC
Internet & Networking It looks like several companies are learning what happens when you mess with the internet - and they're learning it the hard way. Several major companies have been hit by the collective powers of Anonymous after 4chan launched several distributed denial-of-service attacks. What many have been predicting for a long time now has finally happened: an actual war between the powers that be on one side, and the internet on the other. Update: PayPal has admitted their WikiLeaks snub came after pressure from the US government, and Datacell, which takes care of payments to Wikileaks, is threatening to sue MasterCard over Wikileaks' account suspension. Update II: Visa.com is down due to the attack. Update III: PayPal has caved under the pressure, and will release the funds in the WikiLeaks account.
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Completely disagree
by runjorel on Wed 8th Dec 2010 14:32 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

Ok, since this is an opinion piece I am going to get in the brawl.

While I understand and appreciate Wikileaks trying to make the U.S. more transparent and therefore more accountable to the international community, two wrongs don't make a right. This information has been illegally obtained and the information is PRIVATE to the U.S. Government and therefore I don't think it's right (morally or legally) to distribute it.

If someone took all of your personal information and started putting EVERYTHING... every comment you made about someone, every action action you've committed etc., chances are you'd be very upset and fighting to get all of your personal information off. Truthfully, it would be an outrage. Attacking the site holding your information hostage is your only option. What are you going to do call the 'Internet Police'?

Finally, if Wikileaks was making information transparent from all over the world, then I *may* feel a little bit more compassion towards them. But the fact that all they do is attack the U.S. just doesn't seem right. You can't say you are fighting for accountability and transparency and then attack only one entity. Otherwise, they are just a bully.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Completely disagree
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 8th Dec 2010 14:48 in reply to "Completely disagree"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Government != individual.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Completely disagree
by jabbotts on Wed 8th Dec 2010 18:51 in reply to "RE: Completely disagree"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Government != Governments

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Completely disagree
by vodoomoth on Thu 9th Dec 2010 11:21 in reply to "RE: Completely disagree"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

So what would be your stance when Wikileaks publishes the weak points in the electricity distribution network of the whole USA? Or the list of CIA agents and contacts abroad?
Will you finally admit that not everything should be "transparent"?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Completely disagree
by Brunis on Wed 8th Dec 2010 14:55 in reply to "Completely disagree"
Brunis Member since:
2005-11-01

I'm getting sick of hearing this Apples to Oranges comparison of privacy. Like the US Government is some poor individual, (who's private emails revealing sexual preference or some weird shit like that) is entitled to privacy.

I don't think they should publish military tactics on a public website for all to see before they attack another non-democratic regime for personal financial gain, crying wolf about some non-existing WMD's. Guess we'll fall for it again when it's time to suppress the people of Iran. Cause surely it's up to the US to decide who get's to have A-Bombs. Because we want someone who uses them responsibly to decide that!

It's not really Wikileaks' fault that the US has so much shit to reveal and so many people ready to rat their own company out. Kill the Messenger for gods sake!!! That'll stop the corruption and whistleblowing for sure!

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Completely disagree
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Dec 2010 15:16 in reply to "Completely disagree"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The government is our employee, making daily decisions on our behalf (whether we want it to or not). It cannot have secrets for us, its employer.

We are entitled to this information and that's all there is to it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Completely disagree
by M.Onty on Wed 8th Dec 2010 21:14 in reply to "RE: Completely disagree"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

That's not all there is to it. See my response to a similar point earlier:
http://www.osnews.com/thread?452681

Edited 2010-12-08 21:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Completely disagree
by ichi on Wed 8th Dec 2010 15:19 in reply to "Completely disagree"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Finally, if Wikileaks was making information transparent from all over the world, then I *may* feel a little bit more compassion towards them. But the fact that all they do is attack the U.S. just doesn't seem right. You can't say you are fighting for accountability and transparency and then attack only one entity. Otherwise, they are just a bully.


That's not true. Check all their published information, not just the most recent items.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Completely disagree
by _txf_ on Wed 8th Dec 2010 15:50 in reply to "Completely disagree"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

But the fact that all they do is attack the U.S. just doesn't seem right. You can't say you are fighting for accountability and transparency and then attack only one entity. Otherwise, they are just a bully.


Congrats on not doing any research or even being informed on what wikileaks has done.

Even a reasonable comment is worthless if all you do is buy into the rhetoric....

Edited 2010-12-08 15:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Completely disagree
by LB06 on Wed 8th Dec 2010 16:02 in reply to "Completely disagree"
LB06 Member since:
2005-07-06

You're completely overseeing one crucial detail. The government has been democratically elected by the people. The US constitution starts with "We the people". Democracy = Demos & Kratos = People & Power. So it's the people who should be in charge in a democracy. Unfortunately we tend to forget.

The people have granted the government certain powers. Great powers that can easily be abused. That's why the first amendment is so crucial. The people have to be legally protected against a government. They have to be able to voice their opinion. They have be able to scrutinize the government and it's the press' task to inform the people about what's going on. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press. Also, the Judicial body has to be able independently review the law and again check the government adheres to the democratic laws, like the first amendment.

Right now, all these valuable principles are being violated. Without a court order, the government has taken down numerous Wikileaks facilities. Facilities that are crucial for a democracy. People do no longer have the right or the possibility to protest against the government by donating money to opposing forces. People no longer have the right to scrutinize the government, the press no longer has the right to inform the people. All this without any court approval.

I'm not suggesting that everything the government does should be a 100% transparent in the tiniest details. There's a tradeoff to be made, but right now that tradeoff is swinging toward the government. Wikileaks is simply trying to restore this balance.

Very insightful article: http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2010/12/wikileaks-and-the-long-haul/

Citizens of a functioning democracy must be able to know what the state is saying and doing in our name, to engage in what Pierre Rosanvallon calls “counter-democracy”*, the democracy of citizens distrusting rather than legitimizing the actions of the state. Wikileaks plainly improves those abilities.

On the other hand, human systems can’t stand pure transparency. For negotiation to work, people’s stated positions have to change, but change is seen, almost universally, as weakness. People trying to come to consensus must be able to privately voice opinions they would publicly abjure, and may later abandon. Wikileaks plainly damages those abilities. (If Aaron Bady’s analysis is correct, it is the damage and not the oversight that Wikileaks is designed to create.*)

And so we have a tension between two requirements for democratic statecraft, one that can’t be resolved, but can be brought to an acceptable equilibrium. Indeed, like the virtues of equality vs. liberty, or popular will vs. fundamental rights, it has to be brought into such an equilibrium for democratic statecraft not to be wrecked either by too much secrecy or too much transparency.

As Tom Slee puts it, “Your answer to ‘what data should the government make public?’ depends not so much on what you think about data, but what you think about the government.”* My personal view is that there is too much secrecy in the current system, and that a corrective towards transparency is a good idea. I don’t, however, believe in total transparency, and even more importantly, I don’t think that independent actors who are subject to no checks or balances is a good idea in the long haul.

If the long haul were all there was, Wikileaks would be an obviously bad thing. The practical history of politics, however, suggests that the periodic appearance of such unconstrained actors in the short haul is essential to increased democratization, not just of politics but of thought.

We celebrate the printers of 16th century Amsterdam for making it impossible for the Catholic Church to constrain the output of the printing press to Church-approved books*, a challenge that helped usher in, among other things, the decentralization of scientific inquiry and the spread of politically seditious writings advocating democracy.

This intellectual and political victory didn’t, however, mean that the printing press was then free of all constraints. Over time, a set of legal limitations around printing rose up, including restrictions on libel, the publication of trade secrets, and sedition. I don’t agree with all of these laws, but they were at least produced by some legal process.

Unlike the United States’ current pursuit of Wikileaks.*

I am conflicted about the right balance between the visibility required for counter-democracy and the need for private speech among international actors. Here’s what I’m not conflicted about: When authorities can’t get what they want by working within the law, the right answer is not to work outside the law. The right answer is that they can’t get what they want.

The Unites States is — or should be — subject to the rule of law, which makes the extra-judicial pursuit of Wikileaks especially nauseating. (Calls for Julian’s assassination are even more nauseating.) It may be that what Julian has done is a crime. (I know him casually, but not well enough to vouch for his motivations, nor am I a lawyer.) In that case, the right answer is to bring the case to a trial.

In the US, however, the government has a “heavy burden”, in the words of the Supreme Court, for engaging in prior restraint of even secret documents, an established principle since New York Times Co. vs. The United States*, when the Times published the Pentagon Papers. If we want a different answer for Wikileaks, we need a different legal framework first.

Though I don’t like Senator Joseph Lieberman’s proposed SHIELD law (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination*), I do like the fact that it is a law, and not an extra-legal avenue (of which Senator Lieberman is also guilty.*) I also like the fact that the SHIELD Law makes it clear what’s at stake: the law proposes new restraints on publishers, and would apply to the New York Times and The Guardian as it well as to Wikileaks. (As Matthew Ingram points out, “Like it or not, Wikileaks is a media entity.”*) SHIELD amounts to an attempt to reverse parts of New York Times Co. vs. The United States.

I don’t think such a law should pass. I think the current laws, which criminalize the leaking of secrets but not the publishing of leaks, strike the right balance. However, as a citizen of a democracy, I’m willing to be voted down, and I’m willing to see other democratically proposed restrictions on Wikileaks put in place. It may even be that whatever checks and balances do get put in place by the democratic process make anything like Wikileaks impossible to sustain in the future.

The key, though, is that democracies have a process for creating such restrictions, and as a citizen it sickens me to see the US trying to take shortcuts. The leaders of Myanmar and Belarus, or Thailand and Russia, can now rightly say to us “You went after Wikileaks’ domain name, their hosting provider, and even denied your citizens the ability to register protest through donations, all without a warrant and all targeting overseas entities, simply because you decided you don’t like the site. If that’s the way governments get to behave, we can live with that.”

Over the long haul, we will need new checks and balances for newly increased transparency — Wikileaks shouldn’t be able to operate as a law unto itself anymore than the US should be able to. In the short haul, though, Wikileaks is our Amsterdam. Whatever restrictions we eventually end up enacting, we need to keep Wikileaks alive today, while we work through the process democracies always go through to react to change. If it’s OK for a democracy to just decide to run someone off the internet for doing something they wouldn’t prosecute a newspaper for doing, the idea of an internet that further democratizes the public sphere will have taken a mortal blow.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Completely disagree
by runjorel on Wed 8th Dec 2010 16:47 in reply to "Completely disagree"
runjorel Member since:
2009-02-09

I'll say it again

While I understand and appreciate Wikileaks trying to make the U.S. more transparent and therefore more accountable...
To be clear: I DO NOT AGREE WITH GOVERNMENT SECRETS. I agree with the opinion that many others shared that there should be political transparency. I just don't agree with how the information was obtained. It's illegal and whether you like it or not, private, material.

I wish the actions of the U.S. gov't were revealed in some other legal manor. I know it sounds stupid, silly, and idealistic but that's how I feel. For example, if the U.N. actually worked, I wish it would be the U.N. legally trying to uphold transparency, etc. I fear Wikileaks vigilantism. It always starts off innocently but then can grow into a bad thing. I hope not.

Thom, I understand that Gov't != Individual. I am not trying to argue that. What I am trying to say is, What did you expect the U.S. to do to Wikileaks when all this info was released? They're not going to just sit there, they are going to attack Wikileaks. Wikileaks 'attacked' first. Whether you think the U.S. is a victim or a bully, it doesn't matter. The U.S. is going to attack back...just as ANY ONE PERSON would act if their info was 'leaked' out. I believe other countries would react the same way. Main Point: I don't understand why people are so shocked at the U.S.'s approach to the release of all this information.

Secondly, I must apologize. Please excuse me, but with my short time on Wikileaks, I did not see any other information about any other country. I have not been able to access Wikileaks since the beginning of this media blitz. So I was basing my opinion of Wikileaks with what I saw there months ago. I cannot say that I browsed the entire site and consumed all of the information. I've only seen things there relating to the U.S. . If it's true that Wikileaks is after the entire international community, then please excuse my comment on this.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Completely disagree
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 8th Dec 2010 16:53 in reply to "RE: Completely disagree"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Wikileaks 'attacked' first.


This is nonsense. WikiLeaks didn't do anything illegal. The person sharing the information did. He's in custody.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Completely disagree
by sorpigal on Wed 8th Dec 2010 17:51 in reply to "Completely disagree"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Why was this modded down? You can hardly claim anyone speaking on this subject isn't a little flaimbaity, just by its nature, but that's no excuse to mod down topical, articulate statements of opinion.

Down mod != disagreement. It's what you do to bad actors who are putting up stuff that you think others should not read.

With that said I'd like to now respond to one of the poster's points:

If someone took all of your personal information and started putting EVERYTHING... every comment you made about someone, every action action you've committed etc., chances are you'd be very upset and fighting to get all of your personal information off.

Welcome to the future. Facebook is already doing this to the extent possible. It is more true than ever that if you don't want something to be a matter of public record, keep it to yourself. Is this right? Perhaps not. Should it be legal? There are many reasons to say "No!" But, there will always be people who care little for what is technically fair and legal and who have the capacity to look up dirt on you. If there's anything to find about you that's negative someone will find it and will react to you based on it. Governments should be less exempt than most, not more.

Welcome to the tip of the iceberg.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Completely disagree
by boldingd on Thu 9th Dec 2010 00:15 in reply to "RE: Completely disagree"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Why was this modded down? You can hardly claim anyone speaking on this subject isn't a little flaimbaity, just by its nature, but that's no excuse to mod down topical, articulate statements of opinion.

Down mod != disagreement. It's what you do to bad actors who are putting up stuff that you think others should not read.


As has been often said of late, welcome to OSNews.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Completely disagree
by phoudoin on Wed 8th Dec 2010 19:32 in reply to "Completely disagree"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Attacking the site holding your information hostage is your only option.

As you said yourself, two wrongs don't make a right!

One can't fight what he consider illegal actions by using illegal means to stop them. Not without revealing his hypocricity and unilateral morality "values".

But that what's currently happening, right now: bank account are closed *and* seized without any due process, sites are closed or censored under pressure, and so on. It's not rule of law, just power.

The masks are falling, causing far more damage than what this finally disappointing cablegate will ever have done alone...

And the irony is that they do it because they don't want people to see how they look behind their masks!

Finally, if Wikileaks was making information transparent from all over the world, then I *may* feel a little bit more compassion towards them.

They are. They have leaked several other secret informations concerning other countries. Like, for instance, a list of blacklisted sites under an Australian bill against pedopornography (from memory), in which several were clearly blacklisted by mistake, or illegaly. But without the leak, main stream will have never know about overblocked sites, or the censoreship power such bill can be.

But the fact that all they do is attack the U.S.

That's not a fact, just your opinion, mostly because you didn't follow WikiLeaks history since long enough...

Reply Parent Score: 3