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Thread: Wikileaks leaks and US government is embarassed

  1. #41
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    So... what was the reasoning behind going after Mastercard and Visa...

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  2. #42
    Mod cancerinform's Avatar
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    MC and Visa stopped accepting donations for WL.
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  3. #43
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Yeah - they followed suit after Paypal. Quite a few banks have closed WL accounts as well. Seems like no one in the financial community wants to be part of this one.
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  4. #44
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    Maybe these payment gateways and internet hosts should stop making political decisions and stick to business decisions.

    Taking unilateral action based on requests from the US government is simply internet censorship, and it is a glowing example of gov't & business hand in hand to decide what is visble online.
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  5. #45
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    16 year old dutch kid arrested for being a suspect in taking down PayPal and Mastercard.

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  6. #46
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    @DP - They 'claimed' that their decisions were based on violations of their customer policies - a la using their services to promote illegal activities. Obviously, this is up to a lot of interpretation, but...so it is.
    @gerbick - like I said...these denial of service d-bags aren't able to hide very long in this day and age. While the hacker purists in the world may feel that 'freedom' is gone...there is entirely too much societal reliance on the internet to allow 16 year old punks with mad skillz to terrorize the 'net.
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-09-2010 at 11:04 PM.
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  7. #47
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    All your bareback are belong to us.
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    Dude, don't blame me for your freudian slips

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    @DP - They 'claimed' that their decisions were based on violations of their customer policies - a la using their services to promote illegal activities. Obviously, this is up to a lot of interpretation, but...so it is.
    well yes, I guess one always needs to find a 'legal' reason to make such decisions, but in the end, what illegal activities are they referring to ...activities the gov't has told them are illegal, or activites they corporately decide are illegal? ...or actual court decisions?

    I always thought legal or illegal related to law based on decisions in courts, not government hallways or corporate boardrooms.

    Is this something else I have missed in the coverage of this issue in Australia. Has there already been a court battle and legal decision about his right to present this information, and they are just waiting to grab the guilty guy from the UK and throw him in the can because his position has been already been decided by the judiciary?
    No longer a Flashkit mod, not even by stealth

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  9. #49
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Well, I think in our post-9/11 world, when it comes to US National Security, people and, in this case, corporations tend to err on the side of caution. Unfortunately, due process will continue to be considered as collateral damage.

    As far as the illegal activities...these documents in question were stolen property of the US Government. They were acquired illegally and then posted on Wikileaks. Pawn shops are not allowed to sell stolen merchandise...WL is equally not allowed to distribute stolen data. By doing so, he's an accessory after the fact. Done. Move on. His website is a conduit for nothing more than pandering to thievery which is meant to promote inflammatory reactions by releasing illegally obtained documents which are no doubt going to be taken out of context and cause public outcry. This is the wiki-equivalent of yelling fire in a theater.
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-10-2010 at 04:02 AM.
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  10. #50
    Mod cancerinform's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    As far as the illegal activities...these documents in question were stolen property of the US Government. They were acquired illegally and then posted on Wikileaks. Pawn shops are not allowed to sell stolen merchandise...WL is equally not allowed to distribute stolen data. By doing so, he's an accessory after the fact. Done. Move on. His website is a conduit for nothing more than pandering to thievery which is meant to promote inflammatory reactions by releasing illegally obtained documents which are no doubt going to be taken out of context and cause public outcry. This is the wiki-equivalent of yelling fire in a theater.
    I think similarly, but you should see the comments in some forums. I was looking at a German forum for "Der Spiegel". This journal was one of the journals which got the documents from WL. There is a real Pro-WL, anti paypal-Amazon-MC-Visa-hype now, although I start disliking Amazon since they are selling kindles with WL documents but close the servers for them.

    One of the arguments coming up is that WL was just behaving like a newspaper publishing these documents. Also the WL people are not US citizens, so they would not be guilty of treason. I think this is obviously revealing serious problems of the internet. And I'll be interested, what the overall reactions and solutions will be.

    Anyways I don't want the WL total freedom, because freedom when going too far is only freedom for some people and will be total control for most people. The American Gun law is typical. It is freedom for people who own guns but not for those who are threatened or killed with them.

    And I hate the argument: "If you don't have anything to hide then you don't have anything to fear." As long as I am not involved in criminal activity it is totally up to me what I want others to know and not the right of any organization like WL or others.
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  11. #51
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    So, I wonder if these people who are "Pro-WL, anti-Visa" are truly looking for 100% transparency in government and big business *OR* if they feel they now have a right to it because they were afforded the opportunity to see something that they were never entitled to see in the first place.

    My guess is the latter.

    The truth of it is...Wikileaks should not exist at all as an 'organization' as you put it. They've proven that their business model is purely to act as a conduit for STOLEN property. They are nothing more than a fence. A shock-value monger of illegally obtained documents. Pure and simple. Unfortunately, for them, they got a hold of something owned by an entity who is much bigger and badder than they thought. Now they're paying the price. People are upset that the US Government is engaging all powers (corporate entities, political allies, etc.) in order to bring a quick end to this matter. I get it that people don't like seeing the US in 'bully' mode, but here's a little advice for the next Wikileaks. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. If you mess with the bull, you get the horns.
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-10-2010 at 01:09 PM.
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  12. #52
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    ...you have to worry when someone types - 'The truth of it is...'

    I want it to be clear that i'm not a great supporter of diplomatic conversations being made public. Things are said behind closed doors for exactly that reason, the discussion is behind closed doors.

    I think it should be a case of 'move along, nothing to see here'. The embarrassment is major, because the security was so lax that this information could be stolen in the first place. It does not engender confidence that anyone can safely speak their mind in private conversations with US officials.

    But I do not like the fact that Assange is being painted as the evil villain. The evil villain is the person who actually stole the information and on-sold it, or gave it away for personal gain of some type, not the person who published it.

    The personal responsibilty falls to who was on watch when the information was stolen.

    <addendum> the pawn shop comparison does not hold much water really. A pawnbroker is a retail business, on-selling something they have bought. There is no proof that Assange bought anything and I have not heard that he sold anything.
    Last edited by david petley; 12-10-2010 at 04:02 PM. Reason: addendum
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  13. #53
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Agreed on all points....EXCEPT...that Assange is not the villain. He may not be the ONLY villain, but
    villain nonetheless. He's hiding behind some sort of journalistic integrity or 'organization' moniker, but that's not what he is. He's simply using that as a guise in furtherance of his illicit activities. Since the advent of the internet, the general feeling has been that it's a free world out there in cyber-land. It's not. It's subject to the same laws and rules regardless of the medium used. Think Napster, etc. These guys were heroes to the youth culture because it 'freed the music.' The problem was...the music wasn't free.

    Back to the subject at hand...you're right. Whoever stole it should be punished. Whoever was responsible for the security of it should be fired. To continue that thought...whoever is responsible for mass distribution should be responsible for their acts as well. If he truly felt that he was in the right by distributing these docs, he should have offered to hold up his 'outing' until a proper legal entity (perhaps the Hague) could determine the legality rather than just 'pants-ing' the USA to show all of their naughty bits without remorse.

    *Incidentally -- I'm enjoying this discussion as it's one of the most well argued/discussed I've been involved with on here in quite some time*
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-10-2010 at 04:27 PM.
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  14. #54
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    here are a couple of quotes from an article I was reading recently. It was written back in 1994 by the Australian Government solicitor and it relates to the legal viewpoint on 'unauthorised disclosure of government information' in Australia as it was at that time -

    It is unacceptable, in our democratic society, that there should be a restraint on the publication of information relating to government when the only vice of that information is that it enables the public to discuss, review and criticize government action.
    'The court will not prevent the publication of information which merely throws light on the past workings of government, even if it be not public property, so long as it does not prejudice the community in other respects. Then disclosure will itself serve the public interest in keeping the community informed and in promoting discussion of public affairs. If, however, it appears that disclosure will be inimical to the public interest because national security, relations with foreign countries or the ordinary business of government will be prejudiced, disclosure will be restrained. There will be cases in which the conflicting considerations will be finely balanced, where it is difficult to decide whether the public's interest in knowing and in expressing its opinion, outweighs the need to protect confidentiality.'
    Confidential information which comes into the public domain loses its confidentiality. Thus, it is not possible to restrain further publication of such information.
    My thinking on this issue is pretty close to this. There needs to be a fair trial, which may, or may not, end up with Assange and WIKIleaks needing to withdraw the information from public view. But he cannot be charged with treason (or anything like it), which requires that you are a citizen of the country where the treasonous act occurred. He does not need to be brought back to the US for such a trial to commence.

    There needs to be proof that a foreign national can be brought back to the US for trial because he disclosed information that was no longer confidential because it had already been stolen by a government employee.

    I am pretty sure the Official Secrets Act here cannot apply to foreign nationals not resident. Otherwise every damn spy ever would be transported back to where the spying had occurred for trial. And that doesn't happen, they just boot 'em out of the country, don't let them back, and punish whoever gave them information (...or kill them!).
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  15. #55
    N' then I might just
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    I really do think in this situation that Assange is being promoted as a villain simply to distract from the truly embarassing daily revelations of the Janus-like behaviour of diplomats and policitians world-wide. They need to prove he had prior knowledge of the crime as a first step in involving him as anything more than a really annoying news editor.

    It is a real beat-up and they should just throw the book at anyone in the government who has any slight involvement with theft of that government information. The horse has bolted, so they need to punish the person who didn't close the gate, and not try and lynch the guy who found a free horse wandering down his path one day.

    <addendum> that last sentence is a pretty crappy anology really. I apologise in advance of critique.
    Last edited by david petley; 12-10-2010 at 05:59 PM. Reason: apology
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  16. #56
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    My take on the rape charge
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFTe3I3jH8E

    Also apparently Anna Ardin is no longer pursuing the case
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/1..._n_794285.html

    Elsberg has a lot to say about WikiLeaks. If anyone should know about legal implications he should.
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  17. #57
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    So, if he distributed information, stolen or not, that people want to see...no harm no foul, huh? The problem here is that you cannot un-ring the bell. If Assange and his 'organization' want to hide under protections afforded to the journalist community, would not the more prudent method have been to only release those portions of the massive set of documents which made sense to release and not the entire lot of it? Rather than try to pick his battle, he decided to release his own shock and awe campaign against the US government by throwing it all in their faces. Now, after his personal gain of fame and worldwide notoriety, he wants to be excused from responsibility because of said protections. Worse even is that people feel it's now their RIGHT to be included in on some of these closed door operations and discussions since they've already gotten a taste, like a helpless crystal meth addict. When do those in government and industry gain back the 'right' to have classified material? Are those days gone? If not Assange, who? The next guy? The one after that? When do you draw the line?

    I'll ignore your horse analogy, but you keep coming back to this concept that they should go after the thief and not the guy handling stolen merchandise. They've gone after the thief. Now, they're going after the person who's distributing the stolen material. Why are those not independent in your mind? You keep coming back to this concept that one IS ok, but not the other? If they're both independently guilty of a particular crime, why can they not both be held responsible for their own individual part of the matter? I don't think Assange coerced him to steal the information, but he certainly welcomed the STOLEN MERCHANDISE with open arms. Keep in mind...this is no untagged horse galloping...this is CONFIDENTIAL DATA...stamped 'Confidential' all over it. He knew it was stolen...and knew it was confidential. This is not an unwitting participant. This is an overt predetermined act by someone looking to do it.

    @ Frets - nowhere in that so-called article does it say 'Ardin is no longer pursuing the case.' Besides...I do not know Swedish legal procedure, but in the US, felonies are 'pursued' by the District Attorney, not the victim of the crime. The DA doesn't need Ardin to do anything to 'pursue' the case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Law & Order
    In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-10-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    So you keep coming back to this concept that they should go after the thief and not the guy handling stolen merchandise. They've gone after the thief. Now, they're going after the person who's distributing the stolen material. Why are those not independent in your mind? You keep coming back to this concept that one IS ok, but not the other? If they're both independently guilty of a particular crime, why can they not both be held responsible for their own individual part of the matter? I don't think Assange coerced him to steal the information, but he certainly welcomed the STOLEN MERCHANDISE with open arms. Keep in mind...this is no untagged horse galloping...this is CONFIDENTIAL DATA...stamped 'Confidential' all over it. He knew it was stolen...and knew it was confidential. This is not an unwitting participant. This is an overt predetermined act by someone looking to do it.
    Well, there is a difference. One was a betrayal of employer trust, and possible treason if the law says it was. The other was a foreigner who published the information. I see a big difference. Trying to lump them together as the same crime makes no sense to me.

    Assange is not a US citizen. He is not bound by any oath of loyalty or allegience. He was not present when a crime was committed and he published, seemingly with every right to do so in whatever country he published in, regardless of how pissed the US gov't is about it.

    Certainly Swedish newspapers are not hesitating to publish excerpts, so does the same thinking about Assange apply to them as well? They publish the leaked documents and they are as responsible for a criminal act as Assange?

    Anyone whjo discloses any of the information, any news service, any private citizen who says 'I read this in WIKIleaks and this is what it says'??
    Last edited by david petley; 12-10-2010 at 10:02 PM.
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  19. #59
    Mod cancerinform's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    So, I wonder if these people who are "Pro-WL, anti-Visa" are truly looking for 100% transparency in government and big business *OR* if they feel they now have a right to it because they were afforded the opportunity to see something that they were never entitled to see in the first place.
    There are some fanatics in Europe, especially in Germany where is a strong support for this movement somehow. Those want 100% transparency. They are idiots, that's all I can say.
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  20. #60
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    @DP - I'm very confused by your stance here. You keep referring back to the difference between the two. I agree with you -- there is a difference. One stole the stuff...the other one accepted stolen merchandise and used it in furtherance of his cause. My argument is not that Assange needs to be treated as if he committed a treasonous act...but that he committed acts completely independent of the original act. He accepted something which was stolen and used it to support his own agenda. He knew the documents and data were stolen and not acquired in a legal manner. He knew it and still chose to dump it all onto the internet. Therein is the harm and the foul. He's not a US citizen but accepting stolen property is a crime just about everywhere that I know of.

    The swedish newspapers are printing that which is already publicly available...because of Assange. They are not accepting stolen property...he did. This is what I am saying...he rang the bell. It cannot be un-rung.

    An interesting article on this very subject (that I'll go out of my way to disclose is an op-ed piece) - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000...148451638.html
    Of course, convicting WikiLeaks could blow back on the American press, which publishes secrets all the time. But newspapers, whatever one makes of their occasional reckless treatment of classified information, very seldom in our history can be said to have operated with criminal "bad faith." That is a major reason that prosecutors have left them unmolested.

    WikiLeaks is something else. It is not informing our democracy but waging war on its ability to conduct diplomacy and defend itself. If Mr. Assange were tried before a jury and sent to jail, our security would be enhanced and our cherished freedoms not abridged one whit.
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-11-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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