Tag Archives: WikiLeaks

muktware_nsa

Snowden docs reveal NSA, GCHQ spied on WikiLeaks and its supporters

The National Security Agency (NSA) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)–Britain’s top spy agency, consistently spied on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in the past years, according to new documents from communications surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents published on The Intercept reveal that the US and British governments targeted “the human network that supports WikiLeaks” besides the organization itself.

“GCHQ used its surveillance system to secretly monitor visitors to a WikiLeaks site. By exploiting its ability to tap into the fiber-optic cables that make up the backbone of the Internet, the agency confided to allies in 2012, it was able to collect the IP addresses of visitors in real time, as well as the search terms that visitors used to reach the site from search engines like Google,” the report said.

Furthermore, a third document from July 2011 reveals that NSA officials even considered designating WikiLeaks as “a ‘malicious foreign actor’ for the purpose of targeting”. Such a designation allowed the agency to target WikiLeaks “with extensive electronics surveillance – without the need to exclude U.S. persons from the surveillance searches.”

In response to these revelations, Julian Assange has released a statement through the Wikileaks website.

“WikiLeaks strongly condemns the reckless and unlawful behavior of the National Security Agency. We call on the Obama administration to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the extent of the NSA’s criminal activity against the media including WikiLeaks and its extended network,” he said.

“The NSA and its UK accomplices show no respect for the rule of law. But there is a cost to conducting illicit actions against a media organisation. We have already filed criminal cases against the FBI and US military in multiple European jurisdictions…. No entity, including the NSA, should be permitted to act against journalists with impunity. We have instructed our general counsel Judge Baltasar Garzón to prepare the appropriate response.

“The investigations into attempts to interfere with the work of Wikileaks will go wherever they need to go. Make no mistake: those responsible will be held to account and brought to justice.”

TPP

Wikileaks publishes leaked draft of SECRET copyright treaty

Wikileaks has published a draft document of a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement–the year’s most controversial secret treaty. The secretive multinational free-trade treaty is currently being negotiated by 11 Pacific Rim nations.

The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The agreement touches upon a number of areas, but the leaked draft published by WikiLeaks covers intellectual property rights, an area of law which has effects in areas like pharmaceuticals and civil liberties.

Participating nations include the US, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Brunei. The treaty aims to enhance the role of intellectual property in promoting economic and social development. But the basic idea is to enforce intellectual property rights strictly. It is supported by more than 600 corporate lobbyists, including Nike, General Motors, and Walmart.

As the TPP is an elitist agreement of corporate governance issued under the guise of being a trade agreement, it is feared that the agreement could give major corporations new rights and privileges, while making it harder for nation states to oppose them, Wired reports.

Highlights of the leaked document:
• Criminalisation of copyright infringement by all signatories;
• Stronger DRM and “technological protection measure” regimes;
• ISPs to be made liable for copyright infringement on their networks;
• A “take it down first, argue later” DMCA-like process for notifying copyright infringements;
• Patentable plants and animals;
• The evergreening of patents – this has become particularly notorious in the pharmaceutical business, where the repackaging of an out-of-patent medication is used to keep common compounds out of the public domain.

The text, according to WikiLeaks, shows America trying to enforce its highly restrictive vision of intellectual property on the world – and on itself. “The US administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly,” says Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.

“If instituted,” Assange continues, “the TPP’s intellectual property regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

When Google’s Eric Schmidt met Julian Assange: Transcript published

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange met Google Chairman (and then CEO) Eric Schmidt in 2011, secretly in the UK. Jared Cohen, a former Secretary of State advisor to Hillary Clinton and Lisa Shields of the Council for Foreign Relations were also present during this secret meeting. Shields was, according to the transcript, responsible for going through the transcript and to adjust it for accuracy and clarity. The interview was conducted to gather content for a book “The New Digital World” which is expected to be released on April 23, 2013. So this leaks is timed well to create some buzz around the upcoming book.

Jared Cohen asked Assange about the most critical element of the changes we are seeing around the world – people.”What are the patterns there in terms of the people part, rather than the…?”

Assange said, “That’s the most optimistic thing that is happening. The radicalization of internet educated youth. People who are receiving their values from the internet… and then as they find them to be compatible echoing them back. The echo back is now so strong that it drowns the original statements. Completely. The people I’ve dealt with from the 1960s radicals who helped liberate Greece and.. Salazar. They are saying that this moment in time is the most similar to what happened in this period of liberation movements in the 1960s, that they have seen.”

One may also wonder why Wikileaks only leaks Western data and not from other countries. Cohen asked, “I guess, I mean that sort of there is a larger ‘what if’ questions here. It is part what if, and part why. Like why haven’t there been people in places like Iran or North Korea or Congo, releasing documents in the same way as there have been in say in Western democracies.”

Assange replied, “Well, we have actually, we have gotten a material from Iran. I think, it’s not that easy to do a WikiLeaks, in combination of technicalities and reputation and funding and so on. It’s not that easy to do. And we… so that’s keeping a reputation.”

In many other cases, the reason for the lack of any data is:

They are not as networked. Some of them, like the Tanzanian government use kisswahili,they don’t use English as their governmental language. A lot of it is to do just whether they perceive whether WikiLeaks is a political actor within their country. So for East Timor once we started doing a little bit of East Timor, we got a lot more of East Timor. And then a sort of flood opened up. And it just became routine for them to give us material. But they need to perceive that we are part of the community. For Russia I think our… the small amount of material that we have released about Russia, although now we have this RUleaks, that has been doing pretty well, but historically a small amount of material that we have been releasing from Russia is actually a positive sign, in that the Russian internet sphere is very vibrant.

You can read the entire transcript at this WikiLeaks page.

WikiLeaks is the New Red Scare

[The article was originally published on MichaelMoore.com. This is a reprint of the article which is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. We are republishing it here because we believe it is close to the vision of Free Software Movement — Editor]

I founded and lead RevolutionTruth, a growing, global community and organization dedicated to defending WikiLeaks, whistleblowers, and legitimate democracies.

RevolutionTruth defends WikiLeaks – not because WikiLeaks is perfect or uncomplicated. The WikiLeaks (WL) phenomenon is indeed, very complex. We defend them for two primary reasons: First, the way the U.S. government has responded to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is alarming at best, and very dangerous, at worst. The U.S. government’s response to WL is so extreme, it has signaled a willingness to change U.S. laws on espionage, in order to ensnare Julian Assange.

What does this mean? It means severe curtailing of the “free” press. A press that is already highly compromised, in its corporatized, sanitized state. If the U.S. government has its way, journalists could be forced to reveal their sources, and anonymous leaks of classified information could (i.e. instances of whistleblowing) will be considered “espionage.”

If we allow this to happen, you can say goodbye to the last of our democratic freedoms. Freedoms that have been profoundly weakened since the year 2000.

Under the Bush administration, the U.S. government began to engage in unprecedented spying on U.S. citizens – both legally and extra-legally. Innocent people are being wire-tapped without cause. Journalist’s emails are monitored in an attempt to discover sources of classified information. Innocent citizens, regular people who are exercising their democratic rights of activism or protest, are monitored. Why? Because the Patriot Act allows for an unprecedented over-reach into our lives as private citizens. Moreover, hundreds of different types of groups, including environmentalists, have been classified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as “threats”. Upon examination of the policies and behaviors of our federal government over the last ten years, a picture becomes clear: the U.S. government is treating its own citizens as enemies.
This is madness. It is death of democracy by a thousand cuts that goes unnoticed by a nation.

When considering WikiLeaks, one must ponder several fundamental questions. One of them is: Is it ok for any one organization to have the power to expose state secrets, at random? The answer to this is: “No, but…” No, on the surface, it is not ok that a stateless organization have the power to release critical state secrets at will. Every democracy has need of some measure of secrecy. In a world of political realism, with countries that behave far, far worse than the U.S., this is a simple fact.

But a democracy (or a democratic republic) has to balance secrecy and transparency. A democracy is the will of the people, it IS the people; in the U.S., it is the people, allegedly governing themselves, through representation. A democracy EARNS its secrecy, by abiding by and upholding laws that serve true democratic governance. A democracy earns its secrecy by serving the best interests of its citizens. In order to survive, democracy must have functioning checks and balances against abuses of power – across all systems of government.

We are so far away from healthy and functioning democratic governance that it is mind-bending. We stand poised on a metaphorical cliff in the U.S.: Fundamental rights and freedoms remain basically intact at present, but they are perpetually either chipped away, or outright assaulted. As a people, we are too tired, too busy, too entertained, too distracted, to pay attention to what is dying in our midst.

Is it ok for any one organization to expose state secrets, at will? No, but….WikiLeaks functions as a profound course correction – a clarion call in profoundly dark times. WikiLeaks’ revelations momentarily give us, the people, the keys to the kingdom. WikiLeaks opened the door to shed light on what people in power are doing in our names. And WikiLeaks’ revelations prove, without a doubt, a systemic lack of accountability, abuses of power, lack of integrity, and unethical behavior, much of it in the name of a twisted sense of “national security” that is so bent in on itself that what it produces is the antithesis of what it is allegedly working toward – a safer nation for its citizens. The federal government’s concept of national security since 2011 is shockingly dysfunctional. And in the midst of this madness, WikiLeaks’ revelations paint a clear picture of a nation that has abandoned its democratic moorings.

Does WikiLeaks itself need a course correction? Perhaps. EVERY organization needs checks and balances, EVERY organization needs to be accountable. And an organization that wields such power as WikiLeaks absolutely has to adopt impeccable, relentless journalistic standards. Even beyond this, WikiLeaks needs to be examined for the game-changing phenomenon it is – and rational, sensible, people of the world – people who do not have a stake in denying freedoms, but who understand the dangers of political realism, need to think on best uses of, and evolution of WikiLeaks. And the outcome of these deliberations needs to be taken seriously by this organization.

But we, the people have much to think on, and much to do. We need to understand that we stand at a critical juncture – not just in our own nation’s history, but in the history of humanity. WikiLeaks has redefined the nature of that juncture. This organization has momentarily made it possible for common people to regain power – and to put their governments back in place – WikiLeaks helps us ensure legitimate democracies.
However, the U.S. government’s assaults on freedom are so effective that many people are afraid to express support for WikiLeaks. Each week I encounter at least one instance of hushed tones and hesitation, fear and reluctance and comments such as “I have a business to run” or, “I have a mortgage to pay”. Legitimate facts, however, what do these things have to do with WikiLeaks? If we support WikiLeaks openly, we may lose everything? This message, dire and drastic and unfathomable as it seems, is percolating behind the scenes. The U.S. government’s assault on our freedoms, and even on what we perceive to be our rights, has been a slow creep, since the year 2000. The people of this nation, and people elsewhere as well, have been inured to a loss of fundamental freedoms we once took for granted in the West. Self-censorship is becoming “normal.” It is reflexive to be quiet now. WikiLeaks is the new “red scare.”

RevolutionTruth supports WikiLeaks, because, if we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of building our own mental prisons, if we fail to stand up and together, and choose the course of our nations, we fail ALL of our futures. We fail to take this breath of freedom, this moment of possibility, and we slink back to allow a profoundly wayward government (and other, even more insidious powers) to define our world. If we fail to stand up, now, we sell ourselves, and our children, into modern-day, corporate, national security state slavery. Silence, now, is our enemy.

The choice is yours. Will you wait on the sidelines as the U.S. government sinks deeper into its own lies and pathology? Which side do you stand on? The truth, painful, ugly, dangerous as it may seem, or the way the truth is being taken from you, ever more lawfully?

It is up to us to shape our futures. The members of RevolutionTruth know where we stand. And it is on the right side of history.

[The article was originally published on MichaelMoore.com. This is a reprint of the article which is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. We are republishing it here because we believe it is close to the vision of Free Software Movement — Editor]