ABC’s interview with an insightful biographer of Jullian Assange, shedding some light into his childhood and mentality. It appears to me to be the most evenhanded and personal description of Assange by far. Note: the title “The Most Dangerous Man in the World” is a tribute to Daniel Ellsberg the original “Most Dangerous Man”
Wikileaks has accomplished their most important objective: to firmly established it self as a credible and safe destination for leaks and an uncensorable and responsible journalist organization. It is unforeseeable that anything can be done to undermine what they achieve at this point.
To this date, everything have turn out in favor of Wikileaks:
-They generate lots of attention
Assange tops Time’s Person of the year poll with almost 60% more votes than the second place Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the with the highest rating of 92, ahead of second highest rated (Stewart and Colbert) by 10 points. This is quite remarkable consider that Stewart previously top Time’s other poll “America’s most trusted newscaster”. Also check Google trend.
-No (evident of) harm to innocent have resulted from their leaks (link).
-No whistleblower was exposed by Wikileaks (Manning exposed him self).
-Wikileaks proves that they are uncensorable with more than 1500 mirrors of Wikileaks and increasing.
A visualization of the speed of the increase in the first few day of mirror data release.
-Support for Wikileaks is piling on
Brazil President Lula
Daniel Ellsberg and a list of formal intelligence agents
Ron Paul Republican Congressperson.
Frank la rue – UN rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression
Navi Pillay – The High Commissioner for Human Rights UN,
Rally and demonstrations in many developed countries.
Even demonstration in Pakistan.
Growing petition to stop the crackdown on Wikileaks.
The Russians (opportunistic trolls, lol)
-The establishment (Government, politicians and corporations) seal the deal for Wikileaks by attacking Wikileaks with disregard for law and due process (more here), acting like the untrustworthily power abusing thugs like Wikileaks describe them to be further justify Wikileaks action and place in our society.
All in all, even if Julian Assange is somehow found guilty on the rape charge (highly unlikely), Wikileaks will return to its fully functioning state, stronger, more credible, more legitimate and probably more donations, once the dust settles. There will be more inspired whistleblowers and other sites who try to emulate Wikileaks success. In the first twenty-first century war against tyranny, Wikileaks prevailed, and we won. Special thanks for Glenn Greenwald who was an very early supporter of Wikileaks, the people at WL Central for putting together a excellent information site in very short time frame, and everyone who care enough to actually dig through all the propaganda and find the truth.
I am going to start a series highlighting criticism of Wikileaks and respond to it.
Wikileaks and their other supporters will probably do a better job of defending against some of the most ridiculous and anti-freedom criticism, but i want to speak out too.
I know that speaking publicly in support of Wikileaks will probably hurt my chances of getting into establishment corporations, but i believe supporting freedom of information is more important.
why cant Assange just stick with one jurisdiction, says The Economist.
My gripe against Mr Assange is that he takes advantage of the protections of liberal democracies, but refuses to submit himself to them. If he wants to use the libel protections guaranteed by New York State, then he should live in New York, and commit himself to all of the safety and consequences of America’s constitution. If he wants to use Sweden’s whistleblower laws, then he should return to Sweden and let its justice system take its course. This, as we’ve written in the paper, is what distinguishes Mr Assange from Daniel Ellsberg. Mr Ellsberg did not flee America after releasing the Pentagon Papers; he stayed here and stood trial. Regardless of what you think about Mr Ellsberg’s motives, he followed the basic tenets of civil disobedience: break a law, then publicly accept the consequences. Mr Assange just protects himself.
First of all, stop tying to make this about a person. Assange is a founding member of Wikileaks, and probabbly its leader, but Wikileaks is a lot more than just Assange.
Second, I am sure Assange is more than happy to submit him self to the legal system of whichever liberal democracy he happens to be in. But, to say that the leader of an global media organization should submit him self too all the laws of the country that organization writes about its just absurd. Should the president of Sky News go live in United States whenever they break a news about United States? Or Should all news organization only report on domestic news? And how about applying this principle to business and corporations in general? Multi-national corporations has for decades design their operation and shifted their revenue and profit via various jurisdiction to take advantage of the cheapest labor, least stakeholder protective laws and other legal goodies if The Economist oppose to this too?
Third, the analogy between Assange and Daniel Ellsberg is just stupid. Wikileaks is not the insider leaker, Wikileaks is analogous to the New York Times as they are the media outlets who published leaks. The insider leaker in this case is Manning, the alleged leaker of diplomatic cables is under custody of the United States. Daniel Ellsberg by-the-way supports Bradley Manning.
gg, the economist. gg.
What Wikileaks means
1. Radically improved the incentive for potential whistleblowers.
The is achived by three important innovations, legal, technological and credibility.
Legally, Wikileaks channels received information through various jurisdiction to take advantage of the strongest press protection laws around the world. According to Wikileak:s
“Online submissions are routed via Sweden and Belgium which have first rate journalist-source shield laws. In Sweden, not only does the law provide protection against any official inquiry into journalists’ sources, but it allows a source whose identity has been revealed without permission to initiate criminal prosecutions against an unfaithful journalist who has breached his or her promise of confidentiality.”
Technological, Wikileaks established a permanent and untraceable cyber leak submission service. Wikileaks submission page allows potential whistleblowers to access it via various urls, and the server that host it are physically located is various locations around the world, which in effect render it impossible to shut down. Wikileaks submission technology does not keep any information that will allow submission to be able to trace back to its submitter.
Credibility, Wikileaks establish its self as a trust destination for wide exposure of sensitive information through its pristine record of protecting the identity of its sources, breaking of a high profile news (collateral murder, Afghan/Iraq War Diaries) and the fact that wikileaks is an outsider operation funded by non-corporate donators. This kind of credibility tells potential whistleblowers that the treatment of their submission wont be influenced by the kind of established power that they are trying to expose. This is perhaps the most important rationale for the existence of WIkileaks because most of its alternative in mainstream media are own by corporations and are entrenched with established power. See the difficulty for Daniel Ellsberg to get anyone to publish The Pentagon Papers.
The combination of legal and technical anonymity and credibility significantly reduce the cost (risk) and increase the reward (high profile exposure) for potential whistleblowers.
2. Establishing a legitimate avenue for hackers to publish confidential information of public interest anonymously.
This is the side-effect (or conspiracy theorist may suggest the original intention) of Wikileaks. It is no where specified that submitter has to have legitimate access to the information they are submitting. If the source of leaked information does not necessarily have to come from an insider, it will make it more difficult for the exposed organization to track down the leaker.
3. Insert the threat of public exposure into the consciousness of corporate boardrooms and government offices.
This threat will grow more powerful as Wikileaks emerge as a permanent and widely accepted institution. This threat means the powerful cannot reliably believe their action can stay as a secret when it is against the public interest. Knowing this may deter the powerful from doing thing they cant publicly defend.
4. Promotion of “scientific journalism”.
Scientific journalism is the idea that journalist should make the raw material that form the bases of their report available to audiences for verification purpose. Widely adaptation of this principle will bring more raw material into light and make it easier to separate the good journalist from the bad.
If we believe that transparency in governments process will make war less likely, then WIkileaks work in transparency should at least deserve a mention as a contender for Nobel Peace Prize. Or consider this, would Vietnam War have gone as it did if the The Pentagon Papers had a timely release? Would the US and its “coalition of the willing” had jump in to Iraq if we it was known to the public that there is no substantial evident of Iraq’s nuclear weapon programe or any link between Iraq and 9/11 attacks? In 2006, Nobel Commitee recognized the role of economics in promoting peace and gave the Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus for his work in micro finance. I hope in 2011 they will do the same for journalism and transparency.
More leaks please.
What hinders Wikileaks’s works (other than propagandas against them) is they do not have enough volunteer Journalist to analyse their huge backlog of submissions. Going forward, Wikileaks could remedy this problem and become even more irreplaceable by offering their submission service to other journalists and news organizations. To do this, submitters could nominate non-Wikileaks journalist or news organizations to handle the submitted information and or Wikileaks can develop journalistic partners to outsource reporting and analysis to. This will greatly speed up the publishing of submitted information. Other journalistic organization will also gain by having leaked information channel through Wikileaks’ submission service to shield them from potential lawsuits from thus freeing their hands to work on news they would otherwise have give up due to fear of legal retribution.