Tag Archives | Julian Assange

Cypherpunk Pioneers Warn of a “Coming Surveillance Dystopia”

Twenty years of cypherpunk* get mixed reviews in this article by the former editor of Mondo 2000 (the pre-web technology magazine which William Gibson remembers as “a focus of something that was happening”). The editor describes the 1992 conversation in which Jude Milhon first coined the term cypherpunk, and how Julian Assange posted his first words on the Cypherpunk mailing list in 1995 — “I am annoyed…”

But nearly 20 years later, contemporary cypherpunk now finds itself on the verge of what Assange calls “a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible.” On the one hand, EFF co-founder John Gilmore argues today that cypherpunk “did reshape the world” by freeing encryption from government control, while threat analyst Adrian Lamo warns that “The biggest threat to our privacy is our own limited understanding of how little privacy we truly have.”

Last September the ACLU even warned that “federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.” And this article even notes that for $10 million, one South African company “will sell you a turnkey system that can intercept all communications in a middle-sized country!”

*Wikipedia article on cypherpunk.… Read the rest

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Julian Assange To Run For Australian Senate In 2013

This is assuming he’s not jailed in an off-the-grid dark pit somewhere come next year. The Herald-Sun reports:

Julian Assange will run for a Senate seat in the 2013 federal election and his mum reckons he’ll be awesome. Christine Assange has confirmed her son’s candidacy, after WikiLeaks tweeted the news.

Queensland-born Assange, who founded the secret-leaking website WikiLeaks, announced his Senate ambition last December from Ecuador’s London embassy. He said he would run as a Senate candidate under a yet-to-be-formed WikiLeaks party banner and was recruiting others to stand with him. He sought refuge there last June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Assange fears if he goes to Sweden to be questioned over rape allegations, authorities will allow him to be extradited to the US to be questioned over WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of US diplomatic cables.

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Bradley Manning and the trial of the United States Military

via chycho

Bradley Manning is arguably one of the most important figures to emerge on the political landscape this century, both to those who admire his ‘bravery’ and to those who despise his ‘treachery’.

Manning has been accused of leaking over 250,000 U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and approximately 500,000 army reports, as well as secret videos of air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan in which journalists and civilians, mainly women and children, were shown being massacred by the U.S. military. These leaks have been dubbed Cablegate (referring to the diplomatic cables), and the Iraq War logs and the Afghan War Diary (referring to the army reports). The consequences of these leaked documents has been profound:

“The material that Bradley Manning is alleged to have leaked has highlighted astonishing examples of U.S. subversion of the democratic process around the world, systematic evasion of accountability for atrocities and killings, and many other abuses.

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Julian Assange: Obama ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’

Picture: Adam Feuer (CC)

Via Raw Story:

Assange has spoken, but will anyone listen in the afterglow of Obama’s reelection?

LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday described re-elected President Barack Obama was a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and said he expected the US government to keep attacking the anti-secrecy website.

Speaking to AFP by telephone from Ecuador’s London embassy, where he sought asylum in June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, Assange said Obama’s victory was no cause for celebration.

“Obama seems to be a nice man, and that is precisely the problem,” the 41-year-old Australian told AFP, after the president defeated Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday night to sweep back into the White House.

“It’s better to have a sheep in wolf’s clothing than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Assange complained of the “persecution” of WikiLeaks by Obama’s government.

He added: “All of the activities against WikiLeaks by the United States have occurred under an Obama administration.

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Jennifer Van Bergen: Why Julian Assange is My Hero

At RedRoom, author Jennifer Van Bergen offers a powerful defense of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as a hero and global speaker of truth to power:

But what Assange has done is not to blow the whistle on wrong-doing. He isn’t a vulnerable insider speaking out on the wrongs of his masters (like Bradley Manning, the man who is accused of leaking tens of thousands of pages of classified material to Wikileaks). What Assange has done — is doing — is to act as a witness, to be the seeing eyes from a safe distance. Assange understands the need to protect his independence from both the sources who supply material to Wikileaks and from the power abusers whose abuses the material reveals. He is the one whose eyes form a barrier between the abuser and his victim and consequently break the abuser’s hold and undo his power.

Assange’s critics fail to understand what Assange is doing.

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Julian Assange Still an Irrelevant Narcissistic Cult Leader

Disturbed at the lack of international media attention over his supposed plight, Julian Assange took the opportunity of President Obama’s speech in support of free expression at the United Nations to extol the virtues of dodging sex assault prosecution and embracing chaos over the rule of law to his gaggle of neckbearded internet fanboys.

In a video webcast from his foxhole in the Ecuadoran Embassy, Assange once again conflated the Swedish prosecution of allegations of sexual assault and rape against him with a program of persecution against the Wikileaks organization. And, unsurprisingly, his lapdogs in the web-o-sphere, and the Ecuadorean pols for whom Assange has become a superstar useful idiot love him for it. Never mind that it’s all complete nonsense, as The New Statesman’s Legal Correspondent David Allen Green has detailed:

Whenever the Julian Assange extradition comes up in the news, many of his supporters make various confident assertions about legal aspects of the case.

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What The Airforce Investigation Documents Really Say About WikiLeaks

Picture: Herder3

Wikileaks has released documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (so not technically “leaks”) detailing the investigation of an Airman working in Information Technology in the UK which in his typical grandstanding fashion Julian Assange has chosen to read as a vindication of his long held goal of becoming an International Enemy of the State:

The allegation of “Communicating with the Enemy” indicates the extremely serious threat Julian Assange and WikiLeaks face from the United States. The investigation was into the subjects support and interactions with WikiLeaks and its supporters ie her communications (or attempted communications) with Mr Assange and WikiLeaks. Therefore the term “Communicating with the Enemy” would appear to show that the US government term Mr Assange and WikiLeaks the “enemy”. By deeming them the “enemy” they can be treated under the laws of war which could include killing, capturing, detaining without trial etc.

There is one other possible interpretation of this term and that is that is that Mr Assange and WikiLeaks are not themselves the “enemy” but are a conduit to the “enemy”.

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United States Designates WikiLeaks As ‘Enemy Of The State’

For Americans in the military, contacting WikiLeaks, or people sympathetic to WikiLeaks, now may be a crime punishable by death, the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States – the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.

Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with “communicating with the enemy”, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

The documents, some originally classified “Secret/NoForn” – not releasable to non-US nationals – record a probe by the air force’s Office of Special Investigations into a cyber systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations in London.

Mr Assange’s US attorney, Michael Ratner, said…”It appears that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the ‘enemy’.

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