Posts tagged Julian Assange

Cypherpunks
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is coming out with a book next month, co-authored with Jacob Applebaum, Andy Müeller and Jérémie Zimmerman.
Via OR Books:

Assange brings together a small group of cutting-edge thinkers and activists from the front line of the battle for cyber-space to discuss whether electronic communications will emancipate or enslave us. Among the topics addressed are: Do Facebook and Google constitute “the greatest surveillance machine that ever existed,” perpetually tracking our location, our contacts and our lives? Far from being victims of that surveillance, are most of us willing collaborators? Are there legitimate forms of surveillance, for instance in relation to the “Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse” (money laundering, drugs, terrorism and pornography)? And do we have the ability, through conscious action and technological savvy, to resist this tide and secure a world where freedom is something which the Internet helps bring about?
The harassment of WikiLeaks and other Internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file sharing legislation such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the Internet have reached a crossroads. In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, “privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful”; in the other lies an Internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities.

Cypherpunks

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is coming out with a book next month, co-authored with Jacob Applebaum, Andy Müeller and Jérémie Zimmerman.

Via OR Books:

Assange brings together a small group of cutting-edge thinkers and activists from the front line of the battle for cyber-space to discuss whether electronic communications will emancipate or enslave us. Among the topics addressed are: Do Facebook and Google constitute “the greatest surveillance machine that ever existed,” perpetually tracking our location, our contacts and our lives? Far from being victims of that surveillance, are most of us willing collaborators? Are there legitimate forms of surveillance, for instance in relation to the “Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse” (money laundering, drugs, terrorism and pornography)? And do we have the ability, through conscious action and technological savvy, to resist this tide and secure a world where freedom is something which the Internet helps bring about?

The harassment of WikiLeaks and other Internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file sharing legislation such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the Internet have reached a crossroads. In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, “privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful”; in the other lies an Internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities.

Assange TV Launches with Interview of Hizballah Chief
Via Radio Free Europe:

The mystery first guest on the new television talk show hosted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah. 
Assange said it was Nasrallah’s first interview with Western media since 2006.
"I want to know: why is he called a freedom fighter by millions and at the same time a terrorist by millions of others?" Assange said.
"This is his first interview in the West since the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. His party, Hizballah, is a member of the Lebanese government."
Nasrallah, who is considered a terrorist by Israel and the United States, spoke via computer link from Beirut in the interview.

The episode can be watched on the Russian-backed, English-language RT news channel.

Assange TV Launches with Interview of Hizballah Chief

Via Radio Free Europe:

The mystery first guest on the new television talk show hosted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah. 

Assange said it was Nasrallah’s first interview with Western media since 2006.

"I want to know: why is he called a freedom fighter by millions and at the same time a terrorist by millions of others?" Assange said.

"This is his first interview in the West since the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. His party, Hizballah, is a member of the Lebanese government."

Nasrallah, who is considered a terrorist by Israel and the United States, spoke via computer link from Beirut in the interview.

The episode can be watched on the Russian-backed, English-language RT news channel.

Through this series I will explore the possibilities for our future in conversations with those who are shaping it. Are we heading towards utopia, or dystopia and how we can set our paths? This is an exciting opportunity to discuss the vision of my guests in a new style of show that examines their philosophies and struggles in a deeper and clearer way than has been done before.
Julian Assange announces that he’ll host a weekly television talk show starting in mid-March. The series will air for 10 weeks on RT, an English-language Russian satellite channel.
Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview
Under house arrest in England, the WikiLeaks founder opens up about his battle with the ‘Times,’ his stint in solitary and the future of journalism
by: Michael Hastings via Rolling Stone

It’s a few days before Christmas, and Julian Assange has just finished moving to a new hide-out deep in the English countryside. The two-bedroom house, on loan from a WikiLeaks supporter, is comfortable enough, with a big stone fireplace and a porch out back, but it’s not as grand as the country estate where he spent the past 363 days under house arrest, waiting for a British court to decide whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face allegations that he sexually molested two women he was briefly involved with in August 2010.
Assange sits on a tattered couch, wearing a wool sweater, dark pants and an electronic manacle around his right ankle, visible only when he crosses his legs. At 40, the WikiLeaks founder comes across more like an embattled rebel commander than a hacker or journalist. He’s become better at handling the media – more willing to answer questions than he used to be, less likely to storm off during interviews – but the protracted legal battle has left him isolated, broke and vulnerable. Assange recently spoke to someone he calls a Western “intelligence source,” and he asked the official about his fate. Will he ever be a free man again, allowed to return to his native Australia, to come and go as he pleases? “He told me I was fucked,” Assange says.
"Are you fucked?" I ask.

Continue reading at Rolling Stone 

Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview

Under house arrest in England, the WikiLeaks founder opens up about his battle with the ‘Times,’ his stint in solitary and the future of journalism

by: Michael Hastings via Rolling Stone

It’s a few days before Christmas, and Julian Assange has just finished moving to a new hide-out deep in the English countryside. The two-bedroom house, on loan from a WikiLeaks supporter, is comfortable enough, with a big stone fireplace and a porch out back, but it’s not as grand as the country estate where he spent the past 363 days under house arrest, waiting for a British court to decide whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face allegations that he sexually molested two women he was briefly involved with in August 2010.

Assange sits on a tattered couch, wearing a wool sweater, dark pants and an electronic manacle around his right ankle, visible only when he crosses his legs. At 40, the WikiLeaks founder comes across more like an embattled rebel commander than a hacker or journalist. He’s become better at handling the media – more willing to answer questions than he used to be, less likely to storm off during interviews – but the protracted legal battle has left him isolated, broke and vulnerable. Assange recently spoke to someone he calls a Western “intelligence source,” and he asked the official about his fate. Will he ever be a free man again, allowed to return to his native Australia, to come and go as he pleases? “He told me I was fucked,” Assange says.

"Are you fucked?" I ask.

Continue reading at Rolling Stone 

The End of WikiLeaks as we Know it?

Via David Carr, New York Times:

[T]he primary threat to the future of WikiLeaks and other like-minded organization has less to do with hacker zeal or organizational specifics than it does with information dynamics. It is as basic as supply and demand: There has never been a shortage of willing recipients of classified or private information that has significant news value, but leakers with both the motivation and access are far more rare. A great deal of leaking takes place on a retail basis, as any city hall reporter will tell you. But giant data dumps don’t happen often because many factors have to align: an aggrieved party; access to a large, consequential stash of documents that are of public importance; and a gap in security big enough to allow the lifting of such documents.

Let’s concede that WikiLeaks, whatever its excesses, represented a genuinely new paradigm for transparency and accountability. It became a fundamentally different and powerful whistle, one that could be blown anonymously — or not, as it turned out — to very remarkable effect. Whistle-blowers in possession of valuable and perhaps incriminating corporate and government information now had a global dead drop on the Web. Traditional news organizations watched, first out of curiosity and then with competitive avidity, as WikiLeaks began to reveal classified government information that in some instances brought the lie to the official story.

But while WikiLeaks reduced the friction in leaking secret documents, it did not reduce the peril to those who might choose to do so. Part of the promise of WikiLeaks was that it would eliminate digital fingerprints. While those efforts seemed to work, military prosecutors were nonetheless able to tag Pfc. Bradley E. Manning as a suspect using traditional investigative measures.  Private Manning, who is accused of leaking many of the more important WikiLeaks documents, is being held in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., accused of “aiding the enemy.” His presence there is a stark reminder that despite campaign promises about openness and transparency in governing, the Obama administration has a very hard-line approach when it comes to state secrets, one that has not only affirmed the Bush administration’s approach, but has done so with renewed focus. Just 17 months into his administration, President Obama had already prosecuted more alleged leakers than any of his predecessors.

A few notes: Carr points out that individual news organizations have followed the WikiLeaks lead and implemented anonymous-style drop boxes for whistleblowers to submit documents to. Notably, the New York Times, Al Jazeera and the Wall Street Journal. In theory, this means that if WikiLeaks as an organization doesn’t survive the idea it spawned will. 

However, the promise (or the threat, depending on perspective) of WikiLeaks is that it bypassed the guardianship of traditional news publishers in determining what was news. And as a stateless operation, it didn’t withhold information that a national news organization might because of national security “sensitivities”.

WikiLeak alternatives have sprung up, of course. OpenLeaks is the most well known but industry and state specific versions are now available as well. These include TradeLeaks, BalkanLeaks and RuLeaks (Russia) among others.

Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, their communications with each other, and their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US Intelligence.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange calls Facebook the “most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented.”

Russia Today, WikiLeaks revelations only tip of iceberg.

Don’t believe Assange? Might we turn your attention to the Onion

I do not see WikiLeaks as journalism. It is a source of information. That said, it is hard to distinguish what WikiLeaks did from what the New York Times did. That’s why the focus is rightly on Bradley Manning.

PJ Crowley, Former State Department spokesman.

Crowley resigned (read: was forcibly dismissed) from is job after he publicly criticized Manning’s detention conditions as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”

It has long been rumored that the US Justice Department is considering filing charges against Wikileaks.

Justin Elliot, Salon, Ex-official casts doubt on WikiLeaks prosecution.

shortformblog:

More Wikileaks: Steven Spielberg scores the movie rights
And Wikileaks is very unhappy about this. The mega-director, known as much for his Hollywood films as his historical pieces, has secured the rights to a book about Wikileaks, “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.” (It’s written by two journalists for The Guardian, who have kind of been on the front lines of all this.) Now, Spielberg has done great work before, but he is not a man known for keeping his films 100 percent accurate. For example, “Catch Me if You Can” was based on a real guy who pretended to be a pilot, but Tom Hanks’ character didn’t exist in real life. (Frank Abagnale is OK with this.) It’s understandable, then, that Wikileaks would say, in response to this, that “this is how bull#(&@ ends up being history.” Your move, Spielberg. (EDIT: An earlier version of this story linked to a site we perhaps shouldn’t have linked to, in an effort to support our argument with “Schindler’s List.” Thanks thedailycaveat for correcting us. We’ll stick to movies with less-sensitive content to prove our point.) source

All this drama already sounds like a movie. Just imagine the screenplay!

shortformblog:

And Wikileaks is very unhappy about this. The mega-director, known as much for his Hollywood films as his historical pieces, has secured the rights to a book about Wikileaks, “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.” (It’s written by two journalists for The Guardian, who have kind of been on the front lines of all this.) Now, Spielberg has done great work before, but he is not a man known for keeping his films 100 percent accurate. For example, “Catch Me if You Can” was based on a real guy who pretended to be a pilot, but Tom Hanks’ character didn’t exist in real life. (Frank Abagnale is OK with this.) It’s understandable, then, that Wikileaks would say, in response to this, that “this is how bull#(&@ ends up being history.” Your move, Spielberg. (EDIT: An earlier version of this story linked to a site we perhaps shouldn’t have linked to, in an effort to support our argument with “Schindler’s List.” Thanks thedailycaveat for correcting us. We’ll stick to movies with less-sensitive content to prove our point.) source

All this drama already sounds like a movie. Just imagine the screenplay!