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The Wikileaks debate continues


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#161
Humodour

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If we're going to wish for something like a genuinely free press (not wealthy individuals' mouthpieces nor, I'd add, governmental ones, like the Beeb, Al-J or RT, though at least their biases are fairly obvious) we might as well go the whole unobtainable hog and wish for governments to be more transparent in the first place. Reality is that power will aggregate, and entities with power at any given time will seek to maintain their power, one way or the other.

So long as Anon and similar are kicking over governmental and corporate anthills I don't have any real problem with them, most governments and corporates deserve a good anthill kicking every once in a while, on principle. The 'Anonymous' label is nice for corps/ governments to have a ready-to-use boogeyman for the horrors of freedom and the benefits of the warm embrace of Total Control Society, and nice for hackers who want a bit of attention to be able to self-identify to a group with an existing reputation.


This post (and outlook) is especially relevant to the current media and mining landscape in Australia.

#162
Walsingham

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I've had a chance to think about Zor's post, and I can't agree.

Far from this 'anthill kicking' discombobulating corporations and weakening them, it simply consolidates their power. Anything remotely relating to security or government is going to be subject to standards of security which make it all but impossible for anyone who is NOT a mega-corporation to sustain them. And even if you don't have a problem with all government contracts (often 50%+ of an economy) going to big corporations on grounds of suspicion, that's not going to promote innovation or responsibility. Big corps are lazy, and always prefer to fight a contractual point rather than deliver excellence (IMO).

Meanwhile, as I've said before, what actual acccountability have Anonymous or wikileaks actually promoted? I want an answer on this point from any supporters they have here: how many court cases have derived from Wikileaks material so far?

#163
Zoraptor

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Bradley Manning :smug:
Julian Assange :smugger:

Both corporates and governments hate stuff which is embarassing or out of their control which whistleblowers are by definition. I struggle to think of a single instance in which it was someone other than the whistleblower who suffered from the whistleblowing and there are persistent attempts (see for example the current one in the US) to make any sort of uncontrolled release of info constructively illegal. You aren't actually going to get governments/ corps acting on leaked stuff if they can possibly avoid it just out of principle.

#164
Walsingham

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I may be being thick, but i don't follow you, Zor. It sounds like you agree that these 'movements' do nothing besides embarass at an almost abstract level. But i can't help feeling you were trying to say something between the lines/in that last sentence. Are you saying it's because of a reluctance to act?

My understanding is that it's not possible for action on the basis of wikileaks or hacking because the evidence chain is irretrievably corrupted.

I'd contrast this with situations where individuals have gone to major newspapers. I can't cite any examples, and correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we seen instances like the MPs expenses scandal where newspapers get action?

Pretty confused post on my part. Probably should be asleep already. :)

#165
Zoraptor

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I take embarassing corps or governments as an end to itself, certainly. Can't say I've ever been embarassed by something I should be doing.

Wikileaks did filter a lot of their stuff through the papers (Grauniad, NYT and Der Spiegel, iirc) for all the good it did them.

#166
Walsingham

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If they had ONLY released material through the papers you mention I'd have less of a problem. Although I'd still have issues with Bradley Manning holding a volunteer post and leaking sensitive material basically because he was a bit upset with Army policy towards _him_.

I'd take issue with any activity being viewed as good in itself. Using a fire extinguisher, or doing a mastectomy is only healthy if it is done at the right time, for the right reasons, and in the right way. You can't just say embarassing corporations is great because corporations are always evil. For starters - and I reckon you'll accept this, to be fair - corporations aren't always evil. I get annoyed by corporate governance and the dominant stranglehold they have on our collective psyche. But I don't pretend they're inherently evil. Just inherently a bit crap. I feel the same way about sausage rolls.

Much like a sausage roll I don't regard measures against them as being a case of proprtionate and appropriate action. If a sausage roll is actively dangerous then report it to the authorities democratically appointed to do something about it, and have them met by the full force of the law. Breaking into a bakery and chucking sausage rolls about achieves nothing.

*pause*

Ah. It would be breakfast time, then.

#167
Zoraptor

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Plenty of activities are inherently good- a mastectomy may not be, out of context, but a breast screening program would be. I don't think 'hacktivism' falls into the inherent good category, it is a context dependant good. But beyond basic auditing most corporate oversight is limited- entirely reactive- and they simply will not self report most of the time on the Turkey's Don't Vote For Early Christmas principle.

The key thing is that a corporation or government would not be embarassed if they weren't doing stuff wrong, and indeed Anon/WL would get no traction at all if they were exposing essentially nothing. If Shell distributes HIV drugs to orphan children free of charge throughout Africa, if Goldman Sachs returns money it even suspects of being dodgy and refuses to do any market manipulation those revelations are not going to embarass them at all and won't get Anon/ WL anywhere.

#168
Calax

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One of the issues is that on this wide thing called the internet, it's very easy to be divorced from the realworld implications and consequences of your actions.

The Lulzsec guys were basically a pack of **** who were yutzing around. They claim it was to show just how easy it was to crack 'net security, but honestly, when you read that their leader was using his skills to also live using four different identities and will hack a computer system to get free stuff, you can't help but think he wasn't just in it for "the lulz" or for "the betterment of mankind and the internet".

Wikileaks is a different matter. They're VERY aware of the consequences, and are running through them right now. The issue is that the main/lame/sheep/whatever you call it when you're pissed off stream media exists to serve those in power (in the US anyway). We have Fox News basically fellating the conservative mindset, and everyone else is to worried about the possibility of "burning" a source that they won't actually report any good major story. That Rolling Stone piece from a few years ago about what was actually going on in General Patreyus' HQ is a good example. A few other news outlets probably had the story, but were refusing to print it because they didn't want to "loose their contacts" within the HQ.

I think it's this daily show clip that digs into the idiocy about the Media.

#169
Walsingham

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Plenty of activities are inherently good- a mastectomy may not be, out of context, but a breast screening program would be. I don't think 'hacktivism' falls into the inherent good category, it is a context dependant good. But beyond basic auditing most corporate oversight is limited- entirely reactive- and they simply will not self report most of the time on the Turkey's Don't Vote For Early Christmas principle.

The key thing is that a corporation or government would not be embarassed if they weren't doing stuff wrong, and indeed Anon/WL would get no traction at all if they were exposing essentially nothing. If Shell distributes HIV drugs to orphan children free of charge throughout Africa, if Goldman Sachs returns money it even suspects of being dodgy and refuses to do any market manipulation those revelations are not going to embarass them at all and won't get Anon/ WL anywhere.


And the easiest - if not the best - reply to that is to demand full disclosure from the champions of full disclosure. I'm not sure anyone can withstand 100% scrutiny of everything they do. I think it's why so many marriages fail. :)

#170
obyknven

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Wow! WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange interviews Hezbollah leader

http://assange.rt.com/

http://rt.com/news/a...llah-syria-263/

#171
HoonDing

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What, is this clown still around?

#172
Walsingham

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What, is this clown still around?


Seems like it. Shame we have, you know, memories.




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