Scroll to the bottom of this post for the mp3.
As Dave said Dec. 3rd, “We’re having a Rebooting The News moment here with WikiLeaks.” Indeed. Now we know how the open Net comes crashing down.
* First came the denial of service attacks. (Dave: “How do we know that?”)
* Next, Amazon Web Services kicked Wikileaks off its cloud servers.
* Then it was EveryDNS.net., which stopped serving the domain wikileaks.org
* Then Tableau Software removed data visualizations Wikileaks had running there.
* Then PayPal started choking off the air supply: donations.
* The U.S. Library of Congress even got into the act, shutting down access to Wikileaks at its terminals.
Look who is not on this list: Twitter. That’s important!
Dave at Scripting News: “When does the situation reach equilibrium? What’s the best outcome for the people of the planet? It seems to me that at the end of this chain is BitTorrent…. when WikiLeaks wants to publish the next archive, they can get their best practice from eztv.it, and have 20 people scattered around the globe at the ends of various big pipes ready to seed it. Once the distribution is underway the only way to shut it down will be to shut down the Internet itself.”
@xenijardin writes on Twitter: Great idea “@hrana: surprised @wikileaks hasn’t set up utorrent compatible RSS feed to automatically distribute updated #cablegate archives” (Dave: that’s what the two technologies were made for.)
“In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled ‘insurance.’ The huge file, posted on the Afghan War page at the WikiLeaks site, is 1.4 GB and is encrypted with AES256. The file’s size dwarfs the size of all the other files on the page combined. The file has also been posted on a torrent download site.”
Assange is quoted as follows: ““We have over a long period of time distributed encrypted backups of material we have yet to release. All we have to do is release the password to that material, and it is instantly available.”
Dave: We need new institutions, that is what it comes down to. One he looks to is the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard: “Is it time to ‘do something’ to create a haven for the free web?”
Dave took some heat for this at Scripting News: Boycott of Amazon? Not doing it.
Stowe Boyd, commenting to Cloud Computing Journal, looks to the Greenpeace model:
“I think ultimately WikiLeaks should become a global non-profit like Greenpeace, specifically organized to accomplish certain goals for the sake of the world, like exposing who is funding political action when laws allow it to be concealed (as in the US), or exposing the inner workings of unregulated or barely regulated industries… It should be organized like Greenpeace, as a federation of non-profits in the various countries, supported by activists in the member countries. Wikileaks is not organized in that fashion today, and it should be.”
Time’s Joe Klein: “If a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail because of a leaked cable, this entire, anarchic exercise in ‘freedom’ stands as a human disaster. Assange is a criminal. He’s the one who should be in jail.”
New York Times public editor: Assange is scum, and the Times did a great job publishing the documents he gave to the press.
Simon Jenkins in The Guardian: “Disclosure is messy and tests moral and legal boundaries. It is often irresponsible and usually embarrassing. But it is all that is left when regulation does nothing, politicians are cowed, lawyers fall silent and audit is polluted. Accountability can only default to disclosure.”
Jay: A journalist I know wrote to me today: “I’ve thinking about your wikileaks posts – the project I’m working on now concerns a large government database that was leaked to us. We’ve been doing months of reporting to find the personal stories, connect the dots and get photos. A dilemma we face is how to release as much of the information as possible, and allow users to add to what we have, without putting the source or the newspaper in greater legal risk. It’s not a new problem, but wikileaks — and the imperative of getting as much of the info out as possible – is on everyone’s mind.”
Reporters Without Borders statement on Wikileaks: “This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.”
Jay: The big divide we can see opening up is between those who are statist, who look out for the interests of the state and identify with it, and civil society. Journalists who don’t understand that their fortunes are bound up with civil society are not competent to practice their craft.
Jay: still the best thing I have read for understanding Assange. Alan Bady (zunguzungu) Julian Assange and the Computer Conspiracy; “To destroy this invisible government”.
At Jay’s Posterous, Dec. 4: Julian Assange Ducks the Question A Lot of Us Have About Wikileaks. 12,000 views and 130 comments as of showtime.
Jay’s video, Dec. 2: The watchdog press failed; what we have is Wikileaks instead.
Jay’s PressThink post from July: The world’s first stateless news organization.
Here’s the show; hope you like it.