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Tag: wikileaks

Counter-networks [lecture]

Prezi from a lecture on hackers, hacktivism, wikileaks, and a couple of other things. I start with the Enigma cryptanalysis effort (how else?), talk a bit about Rejewski and Turing, and then move on to phone phreaking in the 60s, early hacking crews (LoD, 414s, MoD, cDc), hacker subculture  [l33t sp34k], hacking in popular culture [nmap gets a mention], hacktivist case studies, and a bit on LulzSec and stuxnet.

The theater of leaks

And so the theater continues – Julian Assange lost his plea against extradition yesterday, and although his lawyers are expected to appeal, it seems that he is heading north soon. What is truly amazing in all this is that throughout the entire odyssey (which involved a 250 000 pounds bail)  he has not been officially charged with anything – he is merely wanted for questioning, you see. It is all based on a system of arrest warrants for which the phrase ‘guilty until proven innocent’ morphs into ‘guilty because…just because’. There will be many more high moments in this court drama until, in the end, it all quietly disappears from managed perceptions.

Below is a selection of useful articles on WikiLeaks:

Cracks in the wilderness of mirrors – Pepe Escobar

US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment – Simon Jenkins

WikiLeaks vs. the Political Class: Why they hate Julian Assange – Justin Raimondo

WikiLeaks’ Marketing Strategy: A Stroke of Genius – Gary North

The moral standards of WikiLeaks critics – Glenn Greenwald

 

Freedom of speech in action

Today, Julian Assange was arrested and then refused bail – even though an anonymous donor offered 60,000 pounds as surety – ostensibly for having committed the crime of using a condom which broke midway through coitus. To make this an even bigger show trial, his defense was not given access to the case documents. Whatever happens next, WikiLeaks have managed another scoop – this time exposing the total hypocrisy of the judicial system of Western democracies.

Julian Assange on conspiracies

Way too much has been written on the motives and modus operandi of WikiLeaks, based solely on their image in the media. Arguably a better way to approach their actions and motives is through the  two key theoretical essays of Julian Assange – State and Terrorist Conspiracies, and Conspiracy as Governance. I am attaching them below – my commentary to follow.

Julian Assange

WikiLeaks and information warfare

Plenty has been happening while I was immersed in the joys of fatherhood. WikiLeaks, and the whole theater of deception surrounding it, has been the most thought-provoking flow of events by far. Plenty to write about, but for now this quote from Raffi Khatchadourian’s excellent piece on Assange:

“He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by “patronage networks”—one of his favorite expressions—that contort the human spirit. He sketched out a manifesto of sorts, titled “Conspiracy as Governance,” which sought to apply graph theory to politics. Assange wrote that illegitimate governance was by definition conspiratorial—the product of functionaries in “collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population.” He argued that, when a regime’s lines of internal communication are disrupted, the information flow among conspirators must dwindle, and that, as the flow approaches zero, the conspiracy dissolves. Leaks were an instrument of information warfare. These ideas soon evolved into WikiLeaks.”

Random Links

What collapsing empire looks like by Glenn Greenwald: – The title speaks for itself. A list of bad news from all across the US – power blackouts, roads in disrepair, no streetlights, no schools, no libraries – reads like Eastern Europe after the fall of communism, only that the fall is yet to come here.

Special Operations’ Robocopter Spotted in Belize by Olivia Koski: – Super quiet rotors, synthetic-aperture radar capable of following slow moving people through dense foliage, and ability to fly autonomously through a programmed route. This article complements nicely the one above.

Open Source Tools Turn WikiLeaks Into Illustrated Afghan Meltdown by Noah Shachtman: – Meticulous graphical representation of the WikiLeaks Afghan log. The Hazara provinces in the center of the country, and the shia provinces next to the Iranian border seem strangely quiet.

Google Agonizes on Privacy as Ad World Vaults Ahead by Jessica E. Vascellaro: – A fascinating look at the inside of the Google machine. They seem to have reached a crossroad of their own making – they either start using the Aladdin’s cave of data they have gathered already, or they keep it at arm’s length and lay the foundations of their own demise. Key statement: ‘In short, Google is trying to establish itself as the clearinghouse for as many ad transactions as possible, even when those deals don’t actually involve consumer data that Google provides or sees.’