WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby James » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:54 pm

Zhuanyong wrote:It is pretty comical indeed. Is this going to be this administrations version of the movie Hackers?

I guess so! He sure spins a crazy tale.

People who know little about computers probably shouldn't be writing about them from a supposed authoritative position.
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:54 pm

James wrote:In other news, Comedy.

:lol:

Indeed. Back when Bush was in power I couldn't stand the fact that people like Marc Thiessen actually had sway over the way we conducted our politics, but since the neoconservative agenda stands largely discredited, Marc's now good for a few belly laughs.

SlickSlicer wrote:He didn't commit rape. Some Swedish women were butthurt that he wouldn't take a test to see if he had STDs, so they accused him of rape later in order to bring him to court. The rape charges were dismissed and only brought to light to begin with because the laws in Sweden are absurd regarding the matter. IIRC, because his condom broke by accident on one occasion, it was considered in the Swedish law books to be the least significant form of rape.


Sorry, Slick. 'No' means 'no' - every damn time. If what they consented to was sex with a condom, and he wouldn't stop once it was off, then he committed rape, and he should be taken to task. Quite frankly, I'm glad he was arrested, so that we can get all this cleared up appropriately. The two problems at this point are: a.) unlike his victims, he's high-profile and has a lot of political power, and b.) the authorities tasked with judging him have an a priori conflict of interest when judging him.

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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby agga » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:33 pm

James wrote:
agga wrote:paypal and mastercard have both said that they've dumped wikileaks due to "illegal activities" without specifying what these are. i think it's fair to say that they can only be responding to threats of legal action from the government, i.e. "governemnt pressure".

I disagree. It isn't fair to draw that conclusion, nor do we have enough information to do so.
It is just as likely that they noticed how big an issue this was becoming and didn't want to be involved.


hasn't paypal admitted today that they received notice from the state dept that wikileaks should be considered an illegal organization?

as for "didn't want to be involve", what does that mean, exactly? visa and mastercard are involved in payments for just about anything you can imagine - if it's legal. maybe they figured out for themselves what the govt hasn't figured out just yet, i.e. how wikileaks is an illegal organization? more likely, they were told directly the govt considers stopping wikileaks to be a very high priority, and that they should get out of the way - lose nothing for themselves but the respect of a minority of anarchist-minded citizens, and gain favor with the govt.

James wrote:What you're overlooking, though, is that some of these big companies involved do not cave easily to pressure, including pressure from the government.


and as for "just as likely", isn't it also just as likely that, seeing how big the wikileaks scope is becoming, they want to remove support for an outlet that might eventually make them look bad?

wikileaks *hasn't* been defined as illegal. the justice department is trying to figure out what, any, rules can be used to stop the dissemination of information that isn't copyrighted. they can't do it. visa/mastercard/paypal aren't stupid, or afraid. they're helping the government, which has no legal recourse of its own.
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby James » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:43 pm

agga wrote:hasn't paypal admitted today that they received notice from the state dept that wikileaks should be considered an illegal organization?

I'm not sure about PayPal, specifically.
They're the spineless company in this bunch.

agga wrote:as for "didn't want to be involve", what does that mean, exactly? visa and mastercard are involved in payments for just about anything you can imagine - if it's legal. maybe they figured out for themselves what the govt hasn't figured out just yet, i.e. how wikileaks is an illegal organization? more likely, they were told directly the govt considers stopping wikileaks to be a very high priority, and that they should get out of the way.

When an issue like this becomes high profile enough companies begin to evaluate their position in all of it. It is usually a business decision. "Do we want to be a part of this? Or do we want to pitch this company and move on?" Some companies will stand up against pressure or even the government because of the message caving in would send to their customers. Google has done this many times, and this may be a factor at play for Amazon. It is not an uncommon reaction for interest services like ISPs or hosting companies. This, too, boils down to business.

My main surprise is at how readily people are willing to assume that all of these companies caved in because of the government. Are they believing this because it is what they want to believe? It just comes as a surprise when businesses are sure to act quickly for business reasons long before all those cogs really get churning. Oh, and to note, the opinion of a senator means very little to them compared to actual legislation and law. Senators have a lot of opinions and they're rarely shy to share them with businesses and people.

agga wrote:and as for "just as likely", isn't it also just as likely that, seeing how big the wikileaks scope is becoming, they want to remove support for an outlet that might eventually make them look bad?

Sure! I'm not saying any of these businesses have taken a stand for righteous reasons or anything. Few do that (Google has done it, Apple does it sometimes, most rarely do). As mentioned above, it is usually just a business decision, which plays into what you said above. PR. There is a competing factor to consider, though, and that is conveying reliability to their customers. It is why VISA isn't jumping out the gate to refuse transactions to the KKK, or whatever extreme example some drama-queen blogger has come up with. WikiLeaks gets some extra attention because they're becoming very high profile.

agga wrote:wikileaks *hasn't* been defined as illegal. the justice department is trying to figure out what, any, rules can be used to stop the dissemination of information that isn't copyrighted. they can't do it. visa/mastercard/paypal aren't stupid, or afraid. they're helping the government, which has no legal recourse of its own.

You have no proof of this. It is just an assumption, colored by your own experience and expectations. You may be right! But there are plenty of other explanations for this as well. There are plenty of extremely good reasons for a company to avoid associating with WikiLeaks. I think Amazon in particular did a very good job of highlighting a few.
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby agga » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:06 pm

James wrote:You have no proof of this. It is just an assumption, colored by your own experience and expectations. You may be right! But there are plenty of other explanations for this as well.


you're right. somehow it's as though i prefer the idea that it takes a government to really, effectively stifle something. it seems so much more banal to think that what i see as a noble organization can be rather effectively cut off from social support by independent companies that are just trying to.. what? really, i still don't get it. it seems to me there are two reasonable interpretations of events: either the companies (visa/mc/etc.) perceive a legal threat in the future that they want to avoid, and yeah, maybe we don't know how they're able to perceive this threat when apparently even the government hasn't perceived it yet; or they're trying to maintain favor with higher authorities. meanwhile they have nothing whatsoever to lose by abandoning wikileaks.

i'm not saying that obviously the government forced these companies to dump wikileaks. i'm saying that obviously wikileaks was dumped because it had pissed off the government. where i don't have "proof" is in suggesting that people in the govt must have been pressing this case to the companies. it's got to be true, though (and paypal is backing me up so far..)..
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby Ranbir » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:13 pm

“you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content… that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.”

Surely there are laws that necessitate for these kinds of policies.
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby agga » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:38 pm

Ranbir wrote:“you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content… that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.”

Surely there are laws that necessitate for these kinds of policies.


isn't this copyright boilerplate? leaked govt memos aren't copyrighted. bradley manning broke the law by stealing the information and giving it away - that's where the law stops. who controls the rights to leaked state department memos? if wikileaks violated that policy, then so has just about every newspaper on the planet for having reported on these memos and cited text, and they should all be dumped by their ISPs.
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:59 pm

Here is some more information --

The Poison Pill

This is mainly for those who read the thread and want to join the conversation. A catch-up for missed information. :)

And if those who are already active in conversation didn't get this bit then hopefully it serves as extra information.
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby agga » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:08 pm

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=12353757

amazon is selling the wikileaks files.
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Re: WikiLeaks: Revealing Open Secrets

Unread postby James » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:32 pm

agga wrote:amazon is selling the wikileaks files.

Doesn't really mean anything until Amazon responds. It is/was being sold by a third party and there is no stringent review process for the products which are added to the Amazon website. Of more interest will be seeing how Amazon follows up on this in days to come.
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