Cyber-police home in on Wikileaks

Wikileaks is a website running on modified MediaWiki software which allows whistleblowers to anonymously release government and corporate documents, allegedly without possible retribution. It claims that postings are untraceable by anyone attempting to do so. It was launched in December 2006 and, as of November 2007, had contained over 1.2 million documents. It provides mirrors which can be used during outages. (Wikipedia)

I’ve always believed the masterclass would perceive the internet to be too powerful a weapon in the hands of the oppressed majority, and that by hook or by crook they would close down sites that challenged their interests or, indeed, make an attempt to close down the internet system altogether. The internet is just too powerful a medium not to attract constant master class attention. In seconds you can access the most up-to-date information, disseminate it further, and contact thousands, millions at the press of a key. Out there in cyberspace are tens of millions of documents our masters would rather we did not have access to. Thousands are added everyday, shared, links posted, info downloaded. As an instrument of subversion the internet is unsurpassable. And one thing is sure, there are more sites, blog sites, forums, putting the boot into injustice, deceit and fraud than there are promoting it.

In the past, many reputable radical sites such as Znet and Counterpunch have been attacked, even by the FBI, only to reappear. Sites the world over have been hacked, closed down, only to resurface.

Counterpunch today alerts us to the plight of Wikileaks (this is the new site link). The role of the site its mission statement points out is to develop “an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking and public analysis. Our primary interests are in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we expect to be of assistance to peoples of all countries who wish to reveal unethical behaviour in their governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact.”

The site is the brainchild of a band of hardy journalists, the whistle-blowing variety. They have leaked documents, via Wikileak, such as The Secret Rules of Engagement in Iraq, the 2003 and 2004 Guantanamo Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures, and evidence of serious banking fraud in Kenya that apparently swayed the Kenyan elections. The site has offended the Chinese government enough that they are attempting to censor it, as is the Thai military junta.

As you can imagine, it was not long before it attracted the attention of those with powerful interests to safeguard. Stephen Soldz, writing for Counterpunch reports:

“Today I received a message explaining that a California court has granted an injunction written and requested by lawyers for the Cayman Island's Bank Julius Baer. It seems that the bank is trying to keep the public from accessing documents that may reveal shady dealings. Wikileaks was only given a couple of hours notice "by email" and was not even represented at the hearing where a U.S. judge took such a drastic step attempting to totally shut down an important information outlet. The result was this totally unprecedented attempt to totally wipe out the existence of Wikileaks.

‘"Dynadot shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the wikileaks.org domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court."

“There have, of course, been previous attempts by the U.S. Government and others to block publication of particular documents, most famously in 1971 when the Nixon administration attempted to block publication by the New York Times of excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg. But trying to close down an entire site in this way is truly unprecedented. Not even the Nixon administration, when they sought to block publication of the Pentagon Papers, considered closing down the New York Times in response.

“If this injunction stands, it will set an incredible precedent for all of us who use the web to unveil misbehaviour by the rich and powerful. Fortunately, Wikileaks is fighting this unconstitutional attack on press freedom, aided by six pro bono attorneys in San Francisco. While Wikileaks has so far not issued any particular call for support, all who value freedom should stand ready to offer whatever support they need.”

The founders of Wikileaks, knowing that governments and institutions will go to extreme lengths to censor the truth, have created an extensive network of cover names from which one can access their materials or continue leaking the secrets of governments and the corrupt rich and powerful. Thus, everything is available at Wikileaks.be, among other names.

Let the leaks continue! But for how long is anyone’s guess. In the 21st Century global police state, with governments increasingly clamping down on collective and individual freedoms, I feel its only a matter of time before the bastards pull the plug on the whole damn internet system.

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