December 4, 2010

Wikiwitchhunt 2

Several things have happened since my last blog on WikiLeaks and classified information being released to the general public. Julian Assange, director of WikiLeaks, upped the ante by stating that if he was arrested he would release the rest of the (diplomatic) information without any editing whatsoever. He supported this move by making a (large) encrypted file downloadable with all the raw data. A decryption key will be made available to the public if Assange were to be arrested. Quite the power play I might say. The file in question has been downloaded thousands of times already so I reckon Assange isn't bluffing here.

Amazon, host to the WikiLeaks main website, has decided to no longer keep them on their servers. Basically what they did is kick them out, maybe because of (political) pressure or corporate policy. This didn't stop the owners of WikiLeaks and they quickly established a website on a Swiss domain. The website on Amazon was also under continuous cyber attack. Paypal, a daughter company of Ebay, canceled the bank account of WikiLeaks because of "violation of policy", meaning that they are of the opinion that their former client was engaged in illegal activity. It just so happens that WikiLeaks is highly dependent on donations and needs around 200.000 dollars every year to keep the organization going. (Since the release of U.S. diplomatic cables last week they received about 15.000 euros in donations.)

It's pretty obvious the witch hunt is well underway and personally I think it's going to end in a shit storm. Professor Tom Flanagan, a political advisor to the Canadian prime minister, flat out said on television that Assange should be assassinated. Australian authorities are looking into revoking Assange's passport - if they proceed on this matter that would mean Assange can't travel borders without setting off alarm bells. All of this is of course beside the international arrest warrant that is already out. U.K. police stated that they are aware of Assange's whereabouts and are looking into the legality of Sweden's request.

It's painfully clear that an immense amount of pressure is put on Assange to give up and that WikiLeaks is obstructed in many ways. Secrecy is apparently paramount. Democracy, freedom and transparency? My ass. My guess is that pretty soon a decryption key will be released and that the whole world can see how politicians "serve" the interests of the people.

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