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[liberationtech] Assange's claim about Tor losing US government support due to WikiLeaks

Jordan McCarthy jrmccarthy at stanford.edu
Sun Feb 19 15:31:42 PST 2012


There was one particularly interesting analysis that went viral a while 
back: 
http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/.  
I can't tell for certain whether or not this essay refers to the paper 
you speak of, but it certainly sounds like it.

- Jordan

My PGP Public Key <http://www.stanford.edu/%7Ejordanrm/pubkey.asc>
Sent from a computer running Free and Open Source Software

On 02/19/2012 02:53 PM, Rohan Dixit wrote:
> Thanks for the clarification, Andrew. It's dicey navigating the 
> politics of grant funding in a quasi-public forum like this one, but 
> thanks for the sincere effort.
>
> As a disclaimer, I'm completely out of the loop (nor was I ever in it, 
> actually) but I'd guess the federal government believes organizations 
> like Wikileaks are not in their long-term interests. Given the 
> political-economic context this is all happening in, it doesn't seem 
> entirely implausible that grant committees look more favorably on 
> non-controversial applicants. Whether or not that's the case here is 
> probably irrelevant..
>
> By chance, I had the opportunity to read a paper on Cryptome purported 
> to come from Mr. Assange. He describes a conspiratorial government as 
> a connected network, with "leaks" (a la Wikileaks) as methods of 
> making links between the network harder to effectively form and 
> communicate across. I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on it. It 
> seemed to me that the logical consequence of this idea is a completely 
> open surveillance of all members of government, i.e. "sousveillance" 
> (sous- below) as opposed to "surveillance" (surv- spying from 
> "above"). It's curious that things like releasing candidates' tax 
> records, and the larger and larger public scrutiny of politicians 
> generally, shows that this process is happening naturally regardless.
>
> Here's a link to the Cryptome PDF:
> http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf
>
> Best,
> Rohan
>
>
>
> On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM, SiNA <sina.rabbani at gmail.com 
> <mailto:sina.rabbani at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>     can you explain why this news is such a big deal? who cares what
>     cryptom thinks?
>
>     Why do so many people hate Jake and Tor?
>
>     On Feb 19, 2012 10:41 AM, "Evgeny Morozov"
>     <evgeny.morozov at gmail.com <mailto:evgeny.morozov at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>         Those of you who've read Assange's recent interview with The
>         Rolling Stone
>         <http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/julian-assange-the-rolling-stone-interview-20120118?print=true>
>         may have noticed this claim (in response to a question about
>         forms of pressure that US government exerted on WikiLeaks and
>         their supporters):
>
>             The Tor Project, which protects people around the world
>             from being spied on or censored, lost some $600,000 to the
>             U.S. government, as a result of one of their people, Jacob
>             Appelbaum, having filled in for me once at a conference in
>             New York. This type of indirect pressure has been applied
>             to a great many people.
>
>
>         I was a bit puzzled by it. So were people at Cryptome
>         <http://cryptome.org/2012/01/0053.htm>, who asked Tor about
>         it. Here is what Andrew Lewman (who's on this list) wrote to
>         them:
>
>             I read this statement as well. It is news to me that we
>             were penalized
>             for Jacob. Maybe wikileaks has unreleased information from
>             one of our
>             USG funders. If so, they should publish it for all to review.
>
>
>         Now, Andrew's statement is carefully worded, i.e. it does
>         allow for the possibility that Tor lost the USG money but they
>         think it was not Jacob/WikiLeaks-related.
>
>         So it would be good to know whether a) Tor did lose some or
>         all of USG support between late 2010 and early 2012? and b)
>         there is any evidence to link this to WL, as Assange did?
>
>         Whatever the motivation, USG cutting support to circumvention
>         tools is a big news item all in itself, regardless of the link
>         to Assange. I wonder why it wasn't more widely reported, if
>         true - perhaps, by Tor project itself?-  because ultimately
>         this would all be visible on Tor's financial statements.
>
>         Evgeny
>
>
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