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Wikileaks - responsible whistleblower or terrorist organisation?

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Julian has got himself into a right pickle.

What I find even more interesting than the leaks themselves is the official response. It is far too orchestrated; too much like an Orwellian witch-hunt. It is obviously designed to bring pressure to bear on those who support Wikileaks, that it's better to distance oneself from the organisation.

I see the smear campaign has raised the "sexual assault" allegations that got main street press after the Iraq footage was released. That died down, but the press needed to trot it out again after the latest leaks. Now that that avenue appears dead, they have had to try a new tack - citing Julian an enemy combatant, and at least one politician has labelled him a terrorist. Obviously anyone hosting his site will be considered to be involved in espionage, which is essentially why Amazon acceded to US demands.

What an extraordinary allegation.

The response is way overblown. The only thing I can suggest is that governments fear what Julian has in his possession and has yet to release.

A coordinated Denial of Service attack has been launched against the website:

Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack.
In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, you will find below a list of mirrors of Wikileaks website and CableGate pages.

It is ironic to watch the Iraq footage and then listen to the US saying Julian has put our lives in danger.

Is it just me, or does the response smack of fear and a need to control our response to Wikileaks with obvious Groupthink? If you support Wikileaks, you're supporting a terrorist....If you think the site is necessary, then your also guilty of putting lives in danger.
 

prawn_86

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I say responsible whistleblower but its amazing how many people disagree.

The more transperancy the better imo
 
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I wish this fella could break into the NBN business plan and recover the lot instead of a 15 page modified version which I believe is what we will get from the Gillard Government.
 
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By Darren Bailey, Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia
Submitted on 04 December 2010
Subject: Julian Assange
Dear Prime Minister,
I wish to strongly associate myself with the letter addressed to you from NSW Supreme Court solicitor Peter Kemp, dated 4 December 2010, concerning the treatment of Mr Julian Assange.
His rights as an Australian citizen are clearly being infringed and should be vigorously protected "though the heavens may fall". As this nation's Prime Minister, and as a lawyer yourself, you ought to know this fact far better than your official statements would indicate.
Please address this issue as a matter of urgency. Demonstrate that to be an Australian citizen actually counts for something.
Sincerely,
Darren Bailey
Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia


----------------------------------------------------
Wikileaks has now been mirrored over 200 times
----------------------------------------------------


Actually thinking about the US response a little more, and how they have set the wheels in motion to discredit Julian as an enemy, it is likely that Cablegate was just the tip of an iceberg that could topple governments and namely the Obama Administration.



In the coming months, once this has died down, there will be mounting pressure on what exactly was President Obama's role in sanctioning spying by US diplomatic figures on UN officials.
I have no doubt that Julian is astute enough to have withheld some bargaining chips, and it is an assumption - but perhaps Julian has enough detail to make the President's position untenable.
 
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If anyone had made accusations against the American government, or the Chinese, Russians ect along the lines of what has been published through Wikileaks they would have been derided and denied. There would have been the routine lies and outrage. And of course the perpetuators would have been described as conspiracy theorists, anti- American/Russiam/Chines whatever.

The trouble happens when the original documents come out as gold plated State Department documents. "THE TRUTH "

Now the governments are in trouble because the truth is clear. So the only options are to suppress the real truth with whatever means possible, find and kill the messenger and scare the bejesus out of anyone else who might consider following a similar path.

I think the release of the documents is a truly heroic act. By the way there is a very thoughtful interview with Julian in the Forbes business magazine. OIne of the very good points he makes is that he wants to punish immoral businesses(through leaks) and this give more ethical ones a better go. Worth the read.

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/an-interview-with-wikileaks-julian-assange/
 

nukz

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The Australian government especially Gillard are licking America's boots because we are a pussy country. Obama comes out and denounces Assange but it is only then when Obama first makes comments that Gillard comes out and denounces his actions as well.

Wheather or not his actions are good/bad he is still a Australian citizen and time after time our wimpy government has shown that they don't give a crap about us if we get into trouble overseas.

Kevin Rudd should basiclly resign as foreign minister if there is any truth to his claims of almost suggesting possible war with China, how on earth can he act as foreign minister and meet with our biggest trade partner now this information is out. I would say the same for Hillary who has been caught up in all sorts of stuff especially claims she was spying on U.N officials.

The rape/sexual assault allegations in my opinion are complete crap, its all part of a smear campaign to discredit him, it's not the first time this has been done.

My personal opinion is i'm still unsure why we are being shown this information, what are the motives of the person who has leaked the information. It's interesting to read but it's not that supprising most the information how many people seriously didn't think America wasn't worried about being bankrolled by China.
 

Logique

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I'd like to place on record that I agree with all the above posts, and bravo to Darren Bailey too. Let's hope his plea to another South Australian lawyer is heard.
 
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By Darren Bailey, Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia
Submitted on 04 December 2010
Subject: Julian Assange
Dear Prime Minister,
I wish to strongly associate myself with the letter addressed to you from NSW Supreme Court solicitor Peter Kemp, dated 4 December 2010, concerning the treatment of Mr Julian Assange.
His rights as an Australian citizen are clearly being infringed and should be vigorously protected "though the heavens may fall". As this nation's Prime Minister, and as a lawyer yourself, you ought to know this fact far better than your official statements would indicate.
Please address this issue as a matter of urgency. Demonstrate that to be an Australian citizen actually counts for something.
Sincerely,
Darren Bailey
Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia
I just read the letter that was sent to the PM. Very thoughtful and certainly worth reinforcing the message.

I suggest it's worth the visit to the website and considering whether you want to add your comments and also let our Government know that murdering the messenger is not part of our society.
 
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When they came for me...


English Translation

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

http://wlcentral.org/node/464
 

Knobby22

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His crime is "sex by surprise".
i.e. not using a condom after a women requests it - a fine of $515 max in court.

It seems he did wear a condom but it burst and the woman claims he deliberately damaged it so it would burst while they were having sex. Maybe he did.

Hardly Interpol material.

The amazing thing is that he spoke to the prosecuters through his lawyer about doing something about it but they went to interpol anyway - within a week when normally it takes 8 weeks to issue.
This is the first time that interpol have been used for this crime.

http://specials.msn.com/A-List/Life...r-sex-by-surprise.aspx?cp-documentID=26624498

Here are the woman's translated claims.

http://www.georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/12/sex-charges-and-arrest-warrant-against.html

According to this site, she works for the CIA.

http://fromtheleft.wordpress.com/20...ed-with-us-funded-cia-tied-anti-castro-group/
 
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The rape/sexual assault allegations in my opinion are complete crap, its all part of a smear campaign to discredit him, it's not the first time this has been done.
His crime is "sex by surprise".
i.e. not using a condom after a women requests it - a fine of $515 max in court.

It seems he did wear a condom but it burst and the woman claims he deliberately damaged it so it would burst while they were having sex. Maybe he did.

Hardly Interpol material.

The amazing thing is that he spoke to the prosecuters through his lawyer about doing something about it but they went to interpol anyway - within a week when normally it takes 8 weeks to issue.
This is the first time that interpol have been used for this crime.
I have posted the "sex crimes" Wiki Twitter tweet in "The Conspiracy Theory" thread. Pages 20 and 21. Please have a look.
Seems like the Swedes have stuffed up his warrant for arrest. Assange will get out of this, no worries.

Here are the links;
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/71lm5i
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/71l2t1
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/71m62q

The Wikileaks cablegate website has also changed to Switzerland (for the moment), so the new address has a .ch at the end of it.
http://www.wikileaks.ch/

List of mirror websites which are updated every hour.
http://www.allyourleakarebelongtous.com/
 
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I personally find our government's response to this disgusting. I also think that other governments' response is dreadful.

The fact that a senior adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister appeared on CBS News on live TV calling for the assassination of Assange just shows how powerful the establishment thinks they are and how they are used to getting away with things that have been done, up to now, in secret.

Here is the link to the clip:
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/un...-canadian-pm-calls-julian-assange-assassinati
 

nulla nulla

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In Australia I believe we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of movement and freedom of the vote. In the United States of America I believe they have freedom of speech and freedom of the press written into their constitution.

I fail to see how Wikileaks publishing information on the Internet, that is suplied to them by independant sources, makes them criminals. The parties supplying the information are more likely to be guilty of breaking official secrets acts etc and subject to prosecution.

However, after the experience of former President Nixon with the watergate scandal, you would think that Presidents of the United State of America and or their staff would be more careful about taking the law into their own hands. Afterall if there is one thing that stands the test of time it is..the truth will always come out.

In my opinion, Ms Gillard and the Australian Government have an obligation that the founder of Wikileaks does not suffer the same abondonment that Mr David Hicks did from John Howard and the Liberal National Party Coalition.

At this point in time Australian politicians could do with the type of back bone displayed by the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr Robert Muldoon (piggy) when he suggested the leader of another country might like to consult a taxidermist.
 
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None of the leaks seem too incriminating yet. I suppose it's the potential power Assange has over governments that makes them so scared and reactive. Some UFO cables ready for release.... should be good for a laff!
 

Whiskers

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In Australia I believe we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of movement and freedom of the vote. In the United States of America I believe they have freedom of speech and freedom of the press written into their constitution.
That's true, but integral to freedom 'of'... comes responsibility and consequences (good and bad).

In my opinion, Ms Gillard and the Australian Government have an obligation that the founder of Wikileaks does not suffer the same abondonment that Mr David Hicks did from John Howard and the Liberal National Party Coalition.
Hicks was one individual mercenary or thrill seeker, a grass root soldier. This guy is quite a few levels up the intellectual and potential harm barometer.

I fail to see how Wikileaks publishing information on the Internet, that is suplied to them by independant sources, makes them criminals. The parties supplying the information are more likely to be guilty of breaking official secrets acts etc and subject to prosecution.
It is quite a serious crime to knowingly recieve stolen goods, even just to be in posession of them. Just being in posession of stolen car for example can land you in jail for a repeat offence.

Depending on what you then do with the knowingly stolen goods, eg resell for profit, bribery, intimidation, espionarge etc... the 'legal' consequences escalate.

Take a trading case for example... if an employee gave you inside information and you used that to profit on the market, you face suspension of business licenses, fines, even a jail term.

So you can imagine what Julian is facing for receiving and 'éxploiting' state secrets and other confidential documents if he ends up in the US.

Personally, I think a lot of this stuff is not unknown or surprising and so far will blow over fairly quickly.

My concern and I'm sure our soldiers on the front line in particular, would be concerned that he is or will endanger or effectively ambush them in the field by leaking important intelligance, strategic information and plans.

The other issue is we don't know what (if any) he is or will provide or sell to third parties ( enemies of the state or corporations etc) without openly publishing on Wikileaks. That would make him a dead man walking.

Why didn't he just leak the stuff to the regular press and stay as they say 'a secret informant'? Probably because he's an attention seeker, openly challenging the powers of the wolrd sticking his neck out on a silver platter.
 

nukz

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Sky news has just started reporting that he has been arrested in London... no more details yet.
 
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Some things to consider -

Wikileaks has been in existence since 2006. In that time, its data was happily held by Amazon S3 storage. In that time, Wikileaks has released a myriad of sensitive documents including the war video. There was no talk of a ToS violation

It is only after the government has exerted muscle recently that Amazon has terminated their hosting service for Wikileaks. That said, they have cited a breach of ToS and not the threat of "espionage" charges.

section of ToS
-------
3.4. Termination or Suspension by Us for Cause. We may suspend your right and license to use any individual Service or any set of Services, or terminate this Agreement in its entirety (and, accordingly, your right to use all Services), for cause effective as set forth below:

3.4.1. Immediately upon our notice to you in accordance with the notice provisions set forth in Section 15 below if:

[...]

(vii) we receive notice or we otherwise determine, in our sole discretion, that you may be using AWS Services for any illegal purpose or in a way that violates the law or violates, infringes, or misappropriates the rights of any third party;

-------


Clause vii is very interesting. Let me get back to that point in a moment.

Paypal also refused to support Wikileaks, citing a breach of ToS.

Actually, Paypal and Amazon had to play this card in bowing to govt pressure and how this might play out is interesting. There is a precedent that has similar overtures now, to what we saw with the demise of AllofMP3.com. This was a site hosted in Russia, and was actually used as a bartering tool by the US: Russia could join the WTO if they shut down AllofMP3. The only problem was that AllofMP3 was a lawabiding company and in a subsequent court case was proved to have paid all royalties to a royalty collection body. Once the US said it had to go though, its days were always numbered.

One of the methods used to disrupt AllofMP3s customers at the time was to remove the right to pay via Visa and Mastercard citing ToS. Once again, US govt brought pressure to bear on private corporations.

However, this opened up a huge can of worms. AllofMp3 retaliated -

"The company believes the action taken by the world’s largest payment processors is arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory because Visa and MasterCard lack the authority to adjudicate the legality of AllofMP3’s activities and its determination that the company’s activities were illegal is patently erroneous and without legal merit. AllofMP3 has not been found by any court in the world to be in violation of any law."

We have a very similar situation here. Julian has not been tried in a court of law nor is he yet guilty of using Amazon or Paypal services for illegal purposes. Therefore, the citing of ToS does not apply until a court ruling has been finalised.

In the case of AllofMP3 vs VISA -

Alltunes.com, the Russian musical resource cut off the Visa banking card payment operation has been acknowledged illegal by the Moscow court. Now Visa is at a loss: on the one hand the foreign resources force it to stop operations with Allofmp3.com and its successors, on the other, the Russian court requires resuming the payment operations.
The Moscow Arbitrary Court has satisfied the suit of Internet-Audit, the Alltunes.com musical server owner, to Rosbank, the Russian agent of Visa, the international payment system and its affiliate United Card Services (UCS), the acquiring center. Alltunes is a computer and handset program, which makes it possible to buy digital music at rather liberal prices ($0.15 per song, $ 2 per album).

The server is not connected with iTunes, a popular foreign musical server, but it is of common roots with Allofmp3.com, closed not long ago. In particular, the resources had a joint clients’ base. Last year at the request of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Visa and Mastercard blocked payments through Allofmp3.com first, then through Alltunes, as they were accused of copyright infringement (the two servers operate on the basis of the license from the Russian societies on collective management without direct talks with the copyright holders). Alltunes did not agree to the mentioned decision and sued in court against the above mentioned Visa agents, who carried out the cut off.

Having tried the case, the court determined the unilateral rejection of the defendant to execute the acquiring contract (credit and debit card payment acceptance) concluded with Alltunes illegal. “The court can try the case on the copyright infringement under the exceptional right holder suit. Neither IFPI, nor Visa are such right holders”, - the judicial decision reads.

Visa that was the third party in the procedure told Reuters the passed judgment would not be appealed against. “We intend to proceed cooperation with the Russian Visa member-banks and hunting for an acceptable decision in relation to such resources as Allоfmp3.com and Alltunes.com, their activities considered ambiguous on the part of the RF legislation”, - the payment system representative explains.


I believe Wikileaks is in a position to test this precedent in a court (assuming Amazon S3 data was held in a European bucket). If we look at the clause once again, Amazon may have potentially and erroneously overstepped the mark. They have reached a conclusion untested by courts that the works of Wikileaks is illegal. And if illegal, then it must be illegal in all buckets ( regions of the world, not necessarily US) in which wikileaks could transfer its data.

Paypal also walks a thin line, having as a private entity refused to provide a transaction service on a decision yet to be tested in a court case.

Regardless of your position on these leaks, the interests of Julian are not being looked after. There is a legal decision that needs to be made before shutting down the site ( with mirrors, thats impossible anyway) and infringing on a person's rights. There is prima facie evidence that private corporations may have been breached their own ToS clauses, and if tested has some precedent.
The decision is whether the whistleblower is guilty of publishing state secrets. This of course, occurs in publishing houses of the daily rags all the time. The difference is that journalistic standards would require a documented and verifiable source protected by a confidentiality agreement. Does Julian's work fall into the same camp?
 

Julia

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I fail to see how Wikileaks publishing information on the Internet, that is suplied to them by independant sources, makes them criminals. The parties supplying the information are more likely to be guilty of breaking official secrets acts etc and subject to prosecution.
You'd have to think that if Julian Assange has committed a crime (hard to see at this stage), then the various media which have subsequently published his leaks would also be held to have had criminal intent.
Can't see how that could possibly happen and maintain any semblance of 'freedom of the press'.

In my opinion, Ms Gillard and the Australian Government have an obligation that the founder of Wikileaks does not suffer the same abondonment that Mr David Hicks did from John Howard and the Liberal National Party Coalition.
I understand what you're getting at here, but find it impossible to view Assange and Hicks as being in remotely similar situations.


At this point in time Australian politicians could do with the type of back bone displayed by the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr Robert Muldoon (piggy) when he suggested the leader of another country might like to consult a taxidermist.
How funny, did he really! I must have missed that when I was still living there. To whom was he referring?


None of the leaks seem too incriminating yet. I suppose it's the potential power Assange has over governments that makes them so scared and reactive. Some UFO cables ready for release.... should be good for a laff!
You're right. It's mostly confirmation of what was either common knowledge or gossip anyway.

I even wonder if the whole thing could have the reverse effect of what Mr Assange is anticipating, and world leaders could sort of 'band together' to dismiss anything that's leaked. Quite different if he'd stuck to just leaking what came out of the US, but now that he's encompassing stuff from all countries, it might actually be counterproductive.

Hicks was one individual mercenary or thrill seeker, a grass root soldier. This guy is quite a few levels up the intellectual and potential harm barometer.
Agreed.

Why didn't he just leak the stuff to the regular press and stay as they say 'a secret informant'? Probably because he's an attention seeker, openly challenging the powers of the wolrd sticking his neck out on a silver platter.
Good point. Reading a mini bio about him at the weekend, it said even as a young child he was unable to mix, lacked social skills, etc.
 
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