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[liberationtech] 2 WikiLeaks questions

Shava Nerad shava23 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 11:03:59 PST 2015


Who else is going to bell the damn cat, my dear?

The New Yorker, with their tips drop box subject to NSA National Security
Letters?  The many other scrappy little projects that seem not to have been
able to have put together high profile and trust in the global
consciousness?

I suppose there are some of us who, if we didn't like how they tweeted,
could offer to help.  But Wikileaks is resistant to trust, and we've left
them to live in that environment.  No one has rescued them.  No one freaked
out and made it a cause celebre the many times authorities have gone after
individuals on their staff or allies, or when the NSA requisitioned the
entire body of Google's records of Icelandic staffers on the projects
including emails and chats and such with American citizens.

You have all stood by while they have been backed into a corner, for years,
and now you complain they act like they are besieged and paranoid.

Well.

Myself, I live in the United States, on disability, with my son.  I can't
afford, literally, to be treated like Jake Appelbaum was treated for
helping Wikileaks as a spokesperson as a US citizen.

Jake is living in exile now, effectively, last I knew, being treated
although I believe uncharged as though he were one of these recent show
trials of "providing material support to terrorists."

It is a shame to my country.  But if it means that Wikileaks attracts
hotheads, I shouldn't be surprised.

It's that other aspect of "liberation:"  revolutionaries.  Many of us here
are the nonviolent faction in thought and deed, but once the State sets
oppositional, active, prosecutional and persecutional  lines in the sand,
the revolutionarily minded come out.

The Panthers, the IRA, whomever represents the option of violent direct
action or violent rhetoric in an asymmetrical conflict, those people are
ready to be a thorn in authority's side.

Often, as in the case of the Panthers, it makes the case of a formal
nonviolent option such as the SCLC viable.

So, if you want to capitalize on Wikileaks' obstreperous nature without
allying with them to improve their public face, in your opinion, go out and
create the "SCLC" counterpoint, outside of 5 Eyes jurisdictions and well
secured, with good advice from security researchers and the best of opsec.

No?  Well, then perhaps we need to support, and encourage positive change
in the current solution, rather than fussing.

We can also do this by trying to change their environment so that more
sober and level headed folks can participate more safely.  That requires
taking on the US government among others, such that Wikileaks would be able
to come in from the cold, as it were.

Your post, in a larger sense, blames the victim.  WL started out with
hotheads -- after all, Julian was there from the beginning.  However, this
has been admirably (in a certain sense) used against them by state-level
opponents on a diplo/psyops PR level.

Frankly, just as much as some project such as Silk Road is penetrated by a
government agent who ends up as their system manager, a project such as
Wikileaks is just as vulnerable to an agent provocateur placed inside to
run their twitter feed.  I'm not saying it's happened, I am just saying
that these projects tend to be accepting of pledges of ideological
solidarity.

We need something like Wikileaks.  A journalistic drop box for leaks,
international, resistant to state interference, serving folks such as The
Intercept with raw materials.  How do we get another, now that various
states realize how powerful such a mechanism can be?  Or, how do we get
Wikileaks in from the cold so they can be less defensive against all comers?

It's that corralary to "getting the government we deserve" my dears.  We
get the liberation or the revolution we derserve, as well.

Your resident government social engineer, "celebrating" over half a century
of monitoring the US surveillance state,

Shava Nerad
shava23 at gmail.com
On Nov 12, 2015 11:37 AM, "Douglas Lucas" <dal at riseup.net> wrote:

> Dear Libtech,
>
> Curious for the community's thoughts on these two questions.
>
> 1. It's not my theory, but what do you make of the theory that WikiLeaks
> would go under if it were not of the steady stream of celebrity
> endorsements (Lady Gaga, Pamela Anderson, many more)? Is hugely
> emphasized "soft power" a necessary component for a liberation
> technology cabal out to change the world? Or could, say, a cabal
> demonstrate more independence and still be supported by enough people
> who do not need their hands held to the conclusion by Lady Gaga?
>
> 2. How could/should a liberation technology organization with more than
> two million followers tweet in order to improve the world? Could it give
> the public specific, actionable instructions for overthrowing
> governments and corporations? They might have to be less specific, so as
> not to qualify as threats that would get the account closed. But the
> account could massively amplify the instructions to the public given by
> victims such as Doctors Without Borders. Or it could organize boycotts
> of private spy firms such as Stratfor. What do you think? People who
> care about branding might argue that such tweets wouldn't fit WikiLeaks'
> brand, but things can be easily framed as freedom of the press/speech or
> cryptography--e.g., something like Israel's attacks on Gaza: you can't
> publish accounts of injustice with Tor when bombed to death.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Douglas
> --
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