Next generation of Wikileaks

After Wikileaks established the viability of electronic drop box, tested the legal boundary of what is publishable and prevail against the the worlds superpower and its minions. Wikileaks is bound to inspire imitations with varying operational model, specialty or focus. Wikileaks was a major mutation in the journalism meme and these are some of its offsprings that i have notice.

Variants with geographical focus – Russia. Ruleaks recently leaked the alleged photo of Putin’s palace. – Czech – Balkan region – European Union – Indonesia
Govecn.orgwas reported to build a Chinese version of Wikileaks but the site seem to redirect to Google. Not too sure what is going on. – Quebec – France and Europe area.

Variants with issue focus – environment – environment – environment

Media organization mutation
Al Jazeera Transparency Unit – a cross breed with Al Jazeera
EZ Pass Lane – a cross breed with New York Times

Other variants – a cross breed with Bit Torrent meme. – specialized only on providing electronic drop box service to conventional media organizations. I previously speculated the possibility for Wikileaks to include such service too.
Update 2011/02/16: Anonleaks (ad hoc website)- Anonymous‘ outfit.

Of course, other than these variants of Wikileaks there are other leaks site that existed even before Wikileaks, for example, Crytome.

The emergence of these organizations have provoke the established powers (governments, corporations and elite organizations) to beef up their control of information, which will in turn push journalistic organization grow even more sophisticated, the result as we will soon see is a evolutionary arm race. This is going to be very interesting and i will continue to monitor its development.

No, supporting Wikileaks will not hurt your career

I am guessing that many of those who aspire to one day to join the ranks of elites in government or corporations are asking them self “will publicly voicing my support for Wikileaks’s causes hurt my career?” “Why would a position of power which certainly encompasses handling secrets be given to a person who supported Wikileaks’s cause?” Are you asking you self these questions?, I am that students of Columbia are.

To me thats just silly. Its like asking “will supporting free speech hurt my career?”
But let me elaborate and offer you three reasons why it wont hurt your career to support Wikileaks.

1. Everyone is a potential whistleblower
Even without what Wikileaks has achieved, every employee should be treated like a potential whistleblower, regardless of whether or not s/he has supported Wikileaks in the past. Now, thats more true than ever. The success of WIkileaks in the recent saga had demarcate the legal limites of what can be published. Thus the field is set for emulators and whistleblower to sprout, just like how Napster inspire legions P2P services. The culture of transparency will proliferate. All organization should operate as if all information could be leaked. Worrying about whistleblowers will be a thing of the past.

2. You wouldn’t want to work there anyway
An organization that decline candidates who have voice support for Wikileaks in the past is an organization that fear employees who after joining the company, befriending colleagues, seeing information in context and from the perspective of the organization, might still risk losing their job, friends and open them self to law suit or even incarceration to leak information. That is an organization doing some nasty stuff, their reign wont last long, so you wouldn’t want to work there anyway. Ask you self, would you have liked to work in Enron?

3. Its good to hire candidates who publicly supported Wikileaks
Why? Because their public support of Wikileaks in the past once known will provide a public confident boost for the company that hires them. Wouldn’t it make your more confortable to know that the CEO of the maker of baby milk your daughter is drinking once supported Wikileaks? Or, that the incoming attorney general defended Wikileaks? *cough* hire me *cough*

There you have it, stand for whats right and you will be alright. 🙂

This hurts Wikileaks more than anything

DDOS, getting cut off from its DNS provider, getting cut off from financial services, “sex by surprise” allegation, and every other attacks against wikileaks combine will not do as much damage to Wikileaks as reports like this:

Paterson [military legal defender for Manning] said that despite WikiLeaks‘ promise to help fund Manning’s legal defense, the organization has not forwarded any funds. CBS News reported last week that WikiLeaks had promised $20,000. But Paterson says that he recently received a brief message from the Wau Holland Foundation in Germany, the main fundraising platform for WikiLeaks, stating that the foundation faces a possible audit by German authorities and that it cannot promise any funds at this time.

As mention in previous posts, the most powerful innovation Wikileaks bring to the table its to radically improved the incentive for potential whistleblowers. This is done by protecting whistleblowers by anonymity and legal defense (thereby reduce cost) and maximizing political impact of leaked information (increase return).

Therefore the best way to destroy Wikileaks is to reverse this improved incentives, either by punishing whistleblowers or silencing Wikileaks. Silencing Wikileaks is impossible. That leaves punishing whistleblower to be the only effective way to attack Wikileaks.
Wikileaks knows this, and they know that the US government knows this. In fact they leaked a document from Army Counterintelligence Center saying exactly that.
In the summery description of that document written by Julian Assange, it states:

Since WikiLeaks uses “trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whisteblowers”, the report recommends “The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistlblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Web site”.

So stop messing around and raise as much money as possible so the best legal defense money can buy is use to defend Manning.

More on Manning’s condition from Greenwald.

Defending Wikileaks: if its not perfect, dont do it.

I am not too sure if i should pay any attention to these dumb arguments. But since Andrew Sullivan find this criticism repeatable, i guess its worth the time to write a rebuttal.

The criticism:
“He hopes for a perfect market and believes that we can achieve perfection if we just have perfect information. He says, “To put it simply, in order for there to be a market, there has to be information. A perfect market requires perfect information.” In other words, if we can just make all information free and freely available, we can finally enjoy market perfection.

Naturally the Christian must disagree here. There can be no perfect market when markets are run by humans who are, at heart, entirely imperfect. There can be no market utopia this side of eternity. There can only be varying degrees of corruption. And what this means is that Assange’s entire philosophy is broken and impossible to achieve.” –

The rebuttal:
Wikileaks is not trying to achieve perfect information, no sane person will take on that goal, its as said impossible. The philosophy behind Wikileaks is the believe that powers (or as i like to call them “the establishment”) of the world are abusive, wikileaks wish to reform power by exposing information that the establishment want to keep secret. Perfect information is never their goal.
Furthermore, even if we assume that perfect information is a goal of Wikileaks. His imply argument in the second paragraph is still fallacious. Just because perfect information cannot be achieved does not mean that every bit of information about the abuse of power cannot help reduce abuses. The absurdity of that logic can easily be detected by adding any thing bad into the blank of the following sentence.

if we cant get rid of all _________, we should not try to get rid of even one?

For example:
if we cant get rid of all corrupt cops, we should not try to get rid of even one?
if we cant get rid of all toxic material, we should not try to get rid of even one?
if we cant get rid of all land mines, we should not try to get rid of even one?
if we cant get rid of all criminals, we should not try to get rid of even one?

See the absurdity?

There is another criticism of Wikileaks in that blog post it falls under the “slippery slope argument” which has been discussed here.


A Swedish Documentary on Wikileaks, the best one so far

Spend 1 hour to watch this documentary and you will know more than most people about Wikileaks, and why its is arguably the most important new development this year.

Below is an exclusive rough-cut of first in-depth documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind it from swedish government funded Sveriges Television. It is only available in this form until Dec 13th (tomorrow). So watch it before you go to bed tonight. You can watch it below, but i find that the video player functions better if you watch it here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

posted with vodpod

youtube version:

Check Wikileaks page for more.

How does anyone who calls for his release and the dropping of the [rape] charges know the truth?

quote of the day:

“…these women are on the receiving end of a lot of hate mail. How does anyone who calls for his release and the dropping of the [rape] charges know the truth? ” – Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic MP and a collaborator of Wikileaks on the two women who accuse Assange of “sex by surprise” (a form of rape crime in Sweden)(source).

Other posts on the rape allegations.
Glenn Beck explains Julian Assange’s Rape Case
“Sex by surprise” should not be ridiculed