Online hacktivist collective Anonymous, operating under the banners Operation:Payback and "Operation Avenge Assange" have launched a series of DDoS attacks against organisations and people seen as being opposed to Wikileaks and its spokesman Julian Assange. Meanwhile, Operation:Payback itself has been subjected to counter-DDoS …
Flashback to the '70s.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to either defend or persecute WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.
There's just two words I'd like to make here, with all the blathering about Assange's, WikiLeaks', and/or Mass Media's supposed guilt or innocence:
-- Pentagon Papers
What's that? Never heard of 'em? Well, to hear the way our politicians, news anchors, and other pundits go on about things, neither have they.
So I'll provide a quick recap, for the uninitiated:
A long time ago (1969), in a political climate pretty similar to today, a dude by the name of Daniel Ellsberg copied a 4,100 page document (small by WikiLeaks' standards, but I digress) called
-- "United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense"
while working at the RAND Corporation, a non-profit think-tank with high-level FedGov connections.
After sitting on the study for a while, Ellsberg contacted Neil Sheehan, a reporter at the New York Times, and handed over the kit in February 1971. The NYT tossed the issue around internally for a spell, debating the legal ramifications of publishing the info, then started printing excerpts on June 13, 1971.
President Nixon was rather nonplussed, since the incidents described in the study occurred during the terms of his predecessors, but his Advisors and Cabinet weren't so laissez-faire. After Kissinger convinced Nixon to change his stance, Attorney General Mitchell used the Espionage Act of 1917 to obtain an injunction against the publication of further excerpts by the New York Times. The NYT appealed, and the case quickly climbed the judicial ladder and landed itself in front of the US Supreme Court:
-- New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713)
The Supreme Court ruled in the New York Times' favour, saying that material provided in the Public Interest to a news organisation cannot be censored by Prior Restraint.
A quick comparison of the legal ramifications of Cablegate (Now) and the Pentagon Papers affair (Then) provides the upshot to all this: In the United States, at least, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and the news organisations working with them are legally in the clear. By legal precedent of the United States' highest Court, the barriers against pre-publication censorship are very tall indeed, and the Government needs the mother of all ladders to climb over them.
It was a landmark case, and was a foundation of the United States' Freedom of the Press.
So what's the problem, you ask? Simple:
*** In all of the news coverage being bandied about by the talking heads on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, BBC News, C-SPAN, and other 24-hour news outlets, about the whole WikiLeaks thing, I haven't heard a SINGLE anchor or politician mention the Pentagon Papers and its subsequent legal precedent. ***
Some people say, "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it." I disagree. The saying really should be, "Those who do study history are doomed to ignore it."
Love to stay and talk more, but I gotta grab my coat, and head out to teach a History class...
I love you. That is all.
"Those who do study history are doomed to ignore it."
Daniel Ellsberg first approached the Nixon Administration and members of the Senate who wouldn't touch the Papers before he went to the Times. Afterwards, he took responsibility for what he did and surrendered himself to the authorities for trial.
He did what he did and accepted the likelihood of serious consequences for doing so.
THIS is why he's considered a hero. He walked the walk.
So far, Assange, et al, are only talking the talk.
>>"Some people say, "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it." I disagree. The saying really should be, "Those who do study history are doomed to ignore it.""
I think Aldous Huxley probably got it right:
"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach."
Apples and Oranges
"THIS is why he's [Daniel Ellsberg] considered a hero. He walked the walk.
So far, Assange, et al, are only talking the talk."
That doesn't hold, because you're comparing apples and oranges.
**Semantically**, Daniel Ellsberg equates to Bradley Manning. Julian Assange equates to the New York Times.
In the Pentagon Papers affair, Ellsberg is the one who obtained access to the documents, the same way that Manning obtained access to the diplomatic comms in Cablegate. By the same token, Ellsberg **gave** the papers to the NYT, the same way that Manning **gave** the cables to WikiLeaks.
My comments are related to legal precedent regarding a journalist's right and privilege to publish material provided to them in the Public Interest, not as to whether a crime was committed by the person who (allegedly wrongfully) provided the materials to the journalist in the first place.
WikiLeaks is most certainly, by modern definition, a publisher of journalistic information. And Bradley Manning IS considered by some to be a Hero.
...the last refuge of a scoundrel...
"..a 13 year old basement dweller surrounded by crusty socks...."
What? Like the anonymous (hah!) one whose "fire up the LOIC" alarm went off an hour late, probably due to the iPhone daylight savings debacle?
i'm 12 actually
No you moron. Anonymous is a shifting collective. Kids use the badge for stupid things, that doesn't mean they are the same Anonymous behind this. No one cared that much about the RIAA because there was no immediate threat. This current operation has recruited from far and wide, all ages and walks of life. This is about truth and justice. We have had enough of the killing of civilians, false imprisonment, funding of terrorist organisations by governments who claim to be fighting a war on terror.
Those of us with two brain cells to rub together have always known this shit happened, but enough is enough. Wikileaks gave us evidence, proof even. We have seen the light, the door has been opened just a crack. We won't let them close it.
""This is is about truth and justice. We have had enough of the killing of civilians, false imprisonment, funding of terrorist organisations by governments who claim to be fighting a war on terror."
It isn't news to most people (or at least, to most adults) that nasty things are likely to happen in wars even if they're well-conducted, and more so if they're not. That's one reason why many people think war should be a last resort.
""Those of us with two brain cells to rub together have always known this shit happened, but enough is enough. Wikileaks gave us evidence, proof even."
So the /brainy/ people (like you) always knew it happened, but still had to wait for proof before deciding to do something?
Before Wikileaks, you really didn't see any evidence that one government's freedom fighters were another government's terrorists?
You didn't see any evidence that civilians get killed in wars, or in counterinsurgency/counterterrorism operations?
Where did you get your news before Wikileaks - the Disney Channel?
Do you think DDoSing sites will actually impress grown-ups and make people more likely to decide that war is bad?
>This is about truth and justice. We have had enough of the >killing of civilians, false imprisonment, funding of terrorist >organisations by governments who claim to be fighting a war >on terror.
> Wikileaks gave us evidence, proof even.
"Funding of terrorist organizations by governments who claim to be fighting a war on terror"? If you mean Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, that's very, very old news.
@charloten, help me understand. You write like you've read the Wikileaks documents?
O.K., then point out to us the Wikileaks sections (not someone's commentary) that PROVE the DELIBERATE "killing of civilians, false imprisonment".
Hactavists related to Hactivismo?
I've heard a lot of talk around the office today about who these guys are. Some co-workers have the idea of Hactivismo and their fight for freedom of information floating around however I am willing to bet my computer, vital parts of my anatomy for reproductive purposes, and even life itself that it is not related to Cult of the Dead Cow. CDC is more concerned with bringing a good name to the term hacker as it was before the so called "Hacker war" of the 1980's. (More or less that was an invasion of privacy between different parts of Legion Of Doom.) Further more Cult of The Dead Cow has testified before congress concerning major security flaws in the US's infrastructure. If Cult of the Dead Cow wanted to wage war against a company they would not make it publicly visible. Your looking at something more juvenile like the group "anonymous". Before you jump to the conclusion that Hactivismo has something to do with these attacks think again CDC members are pros not cons.
Just a Pentagon War Game to check out their new toys.
Within weeks of forming a 'cyber war' group, the Pentagon is likely working overtime to check out it's tactics for the next U.S. inspired go-around.
Sort of proves they have a lot to learn, yet, as they have with keeping their secrets locked down.
Anon may be playing right into the hands of certain w*anking interests whose private communications are said to be the subject of the next lot of leaks.
* insert letter of choice between a and c
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