Week Nine: Allegiance to Wikileaks?

Hackers, crackerz, botnet, DDos… a lot of this weeks topic I had no idea about. The most I have ever heard about hacking is from my brother, when he used to “hack” into certain 1st  and 2nd generation video/mp3 players so people could download apps for free and upload burnt DVDs… illegal? And then there is Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Like most people, I have heard a lot about the two, but I didn’t exactly know how they worked and all of that.. so I went straight to TED, the website with talks and conferences about everything.

I came across this video from 2012, where Assange spoke about how WikiLeaks work.

And according to him, this is how:

“So we use this state-of-the-art encryption to bounce stuff around the Internet, to hide trails, pass it through legal jurisdictions like Sweden and Belgium to enact those legal protections. We get information in the mail, the regular postal mail, encrypted or not, vet it like a regular news organization, format it — which is sometimes something that’s quite hard to do, when you’re talking about giant databases of information — release it to the public and then defend ourselves against the inevitable legal and political attacks.”

And they hardly ever actually know who the whistleblowers are who give them or lead them to the information. Interesting. I thought that Assange and his co-workers were hacking into secret files not knowing for sure that there would be military and government secrets.

Do I agree with how the organisation, or as Raffi Khatchadourian calls it in ‘No Secrets’, the  media insurgency operates? Yes, from what I know about it, I do. After reading  Khatchadourian’s article, it is obvious that everything is very secretive, like operating in a closed off house in Iceland. And in the video, Assange explains how they have no idea who the whistleblowers are, and if they do find out at any point, they destroy the info immediately. And I guess this is how they have to operate, because if the whistleblowers were uncovered, WikiLeaks would become counteractive as governments could target the people leaking their secrets.

If you haven’t seen the video in my post, I recommend watching it!

And is there anyone in digc202  who isn’t a fan of WikiLeaks?

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8 thoughts on “Week Nine: Allegiance to Wikileaks?

  1. It’s hard to form an opinion about Wikileaks. I’m definitely in favour of Freedom of Information, but could there possible be information that, when released, has severely negative consequences? Government documents which are released can be accessed by other governments, potentially making the exposed government vulnerable to attack. But then again, one could argue that the harm caused and lives lost due to war involvement far exceeds the harm caused by Wikileaks document releases.

    • This is true, about freely released information causing an area of attack for other governments. However, hopefully governments are forced to clean up their act as they know that there is a high chance that their secrets will be revealed?

  2. Really interesting video I really enjoyed it. With the whistle blower’s being anonymous I think that this brings up an issue of credibility. Wikileaks is said to release the truth about issues and topics that are generally considered taboo however how can Wikileaks make this claim when alot of the time they don’t know who their sources are or where their sources information is coming from? So to answer your question I’m only a fan of what Wikileaks stands for.

    • Well I think that the anonymous whistleblowers let Assange/Wikileaks know the information and/or where it is, then they get into the certain networks and find it, so I’m sure that their sources are credible

  3. I’m all for WikiLeaks, im glad it exists to be honest. This guys idea was amazing, it had to be bulletproof and it is. The only way the law can get him is through a sexual assualt charge that is very vague really, not much details have come out. Supporters of assange come from all over the world as seen in this little escipade. Also if you haven’t heard about what’s coming to Ten, their new movie on Julian, details are here: http://ten.com.au/underground.htm

    Hopefully it’s good. Hopefully.

  4. Julian Assange fascinates me, personally. It was kind of funny that his phone went off after he says that they get information all the time!
    I also didn’t expect that the information they received was mostly by people who wished to stay anonymous! It’s almost crazy how they can trust these ‘whistleblowers’ for accurate government information, really.
    I like the idea of wikiLeaks and think it’s funny how-like Mr.Assange said, it has managed to release more political information than the worlds media combined: or something to that effect. I think people do have a right to know these things, and thankfully, there are ways of exposing it through encryptions, coding, etc..

    I’m hoping that the new movie about Julian Assange will be good too, Chris! It’s going to be interesting to see how much of what he did will be exposed!

  5. like you I thought that they would at least know who their whistle-blowers were, but I understand the need for a lack of knowledge. My guess and understanding would be that a lot of these anonymous contributors would have something to do with the government in order for them to get this information in the first place, so really if your working as an insider you’d never want your identity to be released. We’ve spoken a lot this week on how governments can gain information from peoples computers if they are not readily protected, so just imagine the kinds of protective systems these people would require to keep themselves under wraps. But honestly, I do agree with WikiLeaks and what it stands for, there is so much that is kept concealed from people, and I think that we deserve to be able to find out something if we so wish to find it. There are so many barriers and concealment’s, why should we not be able to find out information if we choose to seek it, it’s not as though we are living in a censored nation….is it?

  6. Really interesting post and equally as interesting video! I have to say I’m pro-wikileaks due to the way they go about releasing/finding information and the fact that they’re not making any money from doing so. I feel that the world should have a chance to know these so called ‘secrets’ – and wikileaks allows this.

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