Shortly after this prediction, there was some encouraging news: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton staked out clear a position for the American Government in favor of global online freedom and against Internet censorship. But subsequent developments have been much less encouraging. In fact, as 2010 draws to an end, the United States has veered dangerously towards becoming a significant Internet censor itself.
via Electronic Frontier Foundation – 2010 Trend Watch Update: Global Internet Censorship. Censorship and the internet, what’s up with that.
In light of ongoing developments related to the release of diplomatic cables by the organization Wikileaks, and the publication of information contained in those cables by mainstream news organizations, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression see fit to recall a number of international legal principles. The rapporteurs call upon States and other relevant actors to keep these principles in mind when responding to the aforementioned developments.
via Organization of American States – Joint Statement On Wikileaks. On the plus side the UN and OAS came out pretty strongly in favor of Wikileaks and support of freedom for access to information.
If this sounds like a lame excuse, that’s because it is a lame excuse. It’s incredibly disappointing to see more service providers cutting off customers simply because they decide (or fear) that content is too volatile or unpopular to host. And the runaround that this user received from his host and its upstream provider demonstrates the broader problems with the lack of any real transparency or process around such important decisions.
Internet intermediaries — whether directly in contract with their users or further up the chain — need to stick up for their customers, not undermine their freedom to speak online. As we’ve said before, your speech online is only as free as the weakest intermediary.
via Electronic Frontier Foundation – Wikileaks Mirror Taken Down: Host Buckles Under Demands from Upstream Provider. It’s sad when we can’t even trust companies that we pay to stick up for our rights. Perhaps even worse it’s over a hypothetical future action, not current or past actions.
The misconception that what these teenagers did is ‘hacking’ needs to be corrected. Journalists need to research what they’re talking about, especially if they are doing a cover story for one of the biggest newspapers in the country.
Today, I’m stepping up to the challenge. I shall once and for all make it clear what ‘hacking’ really is, while also helping you understand how a group of kids can take down a corporate website with little to no knowledge of even the basics of hacking.
via Geek Juice – Journalists need to learn what a ‘hacker’ really is. Journalism unfortunately by it’s nature leads people with limited training in any area other than writing to report on areas upon which they have no or limited knowledge thus leading them to say incorrect/stupid stuff.
Unlike earlier disclosures by WikiLeaks of tens of thousands of secret government military records, the group is releasing only a trickle of documents at a time from a trove of a quarter-million, and only after considering advice from five news organizations with which it chose to share all of the material.
"They are releasing the documents we selected," Le Monde’s managing editor, Sylvie Kauffmann, said in an interview at the newspaper’s Paris headquarters.
WikiLeaks turned over all of the classified U.S. State Department cables it obtained to Le Monde, El Pais in Spain, The Guardian in Britain and Der Spiegel in Germany. The Guardian shared the material with The New York Times, and the five news organizations have been working together to plan the timing of their reports.
They also have been advising WikiLeaks on which documents to release publicly and what redactions to make to those documents, Kauffmann and others involved in the arrangement said.
via The Associated Press – Respected media outlets collaborate with WikiLeaks. This is an interesting aspect to the story of Wikileaks and the document dump it’s performing.
Let’s be clear — in the United States, at least, WikiLeaks has a fundamental right to publish truthful political information. And equally important, Internet users have a fundamental right to read that information and voice their opinions about it. We live in a society that values freedom of expression and shuns censorship. Unfortunately, those values are only as strong as the will to support them — a will that seems to be dwindling now in an alarming way.
On Friday, we wrote about Amazon’s disappointing decision to yank hosting services from WikiLeaks after a phone call from a senator’s office. Since then, a cascade of companies and organizations has backed away from WikiLeaks. A public figure called for the assassination of Assange. PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa axed WikiLeaks’ accounts. EveryDNS.net pulled Wikileaks’ DNS services. Unknown sources continue to cripple WikiLeaks with repeated denial of service attacks. Even the Library of Congress, normally a bastion of public access to information, is blocking WikiLeaks.
There has been a tremendous backlash against WikiLeaks from governments around the world. In the United States, lawmakers have rashly proposed a law that threatens legitimate news reporting well beyond WikiLeaks. We expect to see similar efforts in other countries. Like it or not, WikiLeaks has become the emblem for one of the most important battles for our rights that is likely to come along in our lifetimes. We cannot sit this one out.
via Electronic Frontier Foundation – Join EFF in Standing up Against Internet Censorship. What more do you need to know?
The incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says WikiLeaks should be officially designated as a terrorist organization.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the panel’s next head, asked the Obama administration today to "determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated a foreign terrorist organization," putting the group in the same company as Al Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released deadly sarin gas on the Tokyo subway.
via CNET News – Congressman wants WikiLeaks listed as terrorist org. Perhaps more interesting is what Wikipedia’s Co-Founder had to say.
@wikileaks Speaking as Wikipedia’s co-founder, I consider you enemies of the U.S.–not just the government, but the people.
Sarah Palin of course also had to speak up, but proved she doesn’t have a clue about international law, copyright and secrecy laws.
Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book “America by Heart” from being leaked,but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?
In short everybody has a reaction, overall mine is Wikileaks is a valuable service, in no way is it a terrorist organization. It’s goal does not appear to be sheer destruction of governments or organizations or even chaos of those same instutions. It is an organization driven to do one thing publish information that otherwise might not be exposed to the public.
Almost immediately, a consensus emerged that little in the files was actually secret or new. There is something to that. We did know, in a general sense, much of what they document: that the regime of President Hamid Karzai is corrupt and unpopular, that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has ties to the Taliban, that too many civilians are dying. There had been reports, including some in this magazine, of targeted killings. And we knew that the Afghan security forces were a disaster, even after we had spent twenty-seven billion dollars to train them. But knowing specifically what happened to a sixteen-year-old girl and to the man who stood up to her alleged rapist—and knowing that her attacker may have been in a position to do what he did because he was backed by our troops and our money—is different.
via The New Yorker – WikiLeaks and the war in Afghanistan. More analysis into the WikiLeaks release of documents regarding the Afghanistan war.
Barack Obama has said that the leaking of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan is a concern, but that it had not revealed any new information.
In his first public reaction to the leak, the US president said the data justified his decision to overhaul the US military strategy in Afghanistan.
via BBC News – Obama: ‘Nothing new’ in Wikileaks Afghan records leak. Wait a minute, it’s three things at once, a security concern, no new information and allows the public to have a justification for a past decision? Anybody follow the logic behind all of those?
Would-be whistle-blowers hoping to leak documents to Wikileaks face a potentially frustrating surprise. Wikileaks’ submission process, which had been degraded for months, completely collapsed more than two weeks ago and remains offline, in a little-noted breakdown at the world’s most prominent secret-spilling website.
via Wired.com – With World Watching, Wikileaks Falls Into Disrepair. What a failure, Wikileaks really is a great resource for transparency.