Wikileaks

David Appell’s recent post is excellent, so I’ll steal most of it, a quote from Hillary Clinton in January:

During his visit to China in November, President Obama held a town hall meeting with an online component to highlight the importance of the internet. In response to a question that was sent in over the internet, he defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity. The United States’ belief in that truth is what brings me here today.

(the information wants to be free so I’m allowed to steal things :-). Hypocritical scumbag (her, and Obama. Not me, obviously). But then, she is a politician. Incidentally, those complaining that the US is using extra-judicial means to achieve its ends need to be less surprised. Nothing new there.

My part in this has been limited to sending Paypal a nasty email and getting fobbed off and sending a reply about being fobbed off. If they say anything interesting I’ll tell you.

Bruce Schneier says the obvious: that leaning on wikileaks is pointless: leaking this kind of stuff (if you have it) nowadays is trivial.

Refs

* LOIC at sourceforge.
* PayPal speaks
* Some Musings On the Bradley Manning Charges
* Maribo: Wikileaks and the CRU e-mail hack

Comments

  1. #1 Magnus W
    2010/12/09

    Can’t understand Visa and all the other boycotts… apparently it is ok for them if I sponsor Ku Klux Klan but not Wikileaks…

  2. #2 GoRight
    2010/12/09

    Interesting. I haven’t actually decided how I feel about all of this so perhaps you can help me to form the proper opinion here.

    On the one hand I am certainly sympathetic to the need for a free and open internet and the need to shine a light on the tactics and practices of those who seek to control information to meet their own agendas. After all, I have been trying to do that for years now on Wikipedia as many people know. :)

    On the other hand I firmly believe in the rule of law and so if laws have been broken in this case I also feel that those who have broken those laws should be punished to the fullest extent possible within the applicable judicial systems.

    So to the extent that the original leaker is guilty of treason or espionage or whatever they should be prosecuted for those crimes and receive the punishments proscribed for the acts that they committed.

    Along those same lines to the extent that Wikileaks and Assange are accomplices in those crimes they too should be prosecuted and punished within the limits of the law.

    Do you have any problem with people being held accountable for their actions under the law? I should hope not.

    [You conflate many different things. I think it would help clarify this by beginning with some basic principles: people are innocent until proven guilty, for example. In this case, wikileaks hasn't even been charged, let alone convicted, so your jumping to a guilty verdict is distinctly premature.

    Similarly, I rather doubt that an Australian can be guilty of treason against America.

    But certainly, I am entirely happy with people being held accountable for their actions. For example, it would be nice of the US govt could be held accountable for its illegal war in Iraq; but that won't happen-W]

    Now, regarding the extra-legal pressure that Wikileaks and Assange have come under since this latest release what evidence is there that the U.S. Government has anything whatsoever to do with that? I haven’t seen any. Do I think that they would be above such tactics? No. Especially with Obama and Clinton running the show. But as of yet I have seen no actual evidence of arm twisting of the likes of Amazon, or Paypal, or Visa, or Mastercard.

    [You've seen no evidence of arm-twisting? You must have been deliberately looking the other way -W]

    These are all private organizations with their own private interests. Neither Wikileaks nor Assange have any “right” to have access to the services provided by these corporations. These companies are under no obligation to provide their services to people that they disagree with (other than to not discriminate based on a number of well defined classes of people based on race, religion, etc as proscibed by law). Being an organization that specializes in the dissemination of illegally obtained information doesn’t happen to be one of those classes as far as I know.

    [As you say: they are obliged not to discriminate. There may or may not be an explicit clause about not discriminating on the basis of political belief, or however you would describe it; but yes i would certainly like them to be neutral -W]

    So why are you upset with Paypal for making the decision to distance themselves from an organization that encourages people to commit criminal acts? (An aside: I am not familiar with what you mean when you say you were “fobbed off” by them. Does this mean they cancelled your account or what?)

    [Fobbed off has the standard meaning: rather than answering my questions they gave deliberately meaningless answers -W]

    How did you feel about the organizations who hosted the East Anglia emails that were leaked last year? On Wikipedia people were arguing that this information could not be linked to or posted because it was illegally obtained. But somehow the mood is different there with respect to how these diplomatic cables should be handled.

    Do you think that there is any difference between these two cases? After the emails were leaked last year did you feel that the people who leaked them were criminals and therefore they should be prosecuted for their actions under the law, or not?

    [Yes, I think I can distinguish between leaking private email and leaking government cables. I didn't like the leaking of the CRU email. I thought it was the wrong thing to do: it was deliberately done in order to paint a misleading picture of the state of climate science, in order to deliberately pollute public debate. In this case, I see no evidence of intent to mislead the public. You'll notice, though, that I've carefully avoided saying I agree with what wikileaks are doing.

    Snark snipped - W]

  3. #3 thomas hine
    2010/12/09

    Wot? As per the actual leaked info, I thought only the W administration would be involved in such behind the scenes “non-free info” antics (e.g. outing their own operatives). You mean this is business as usual for Dems, too (gasp)??

    Isn’t it a bore until we get the historical context? Who killed Kennedy anyways?

    and what about these guys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Carlucci (loved him in Lumumba); and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Rayner (one of the best, and one of your own)??

    And why are our terror suspects getting out of “camp” and going back to terrorism? Our terrorist rehabilitation program is broken . . .

  4. #4 Frank Rizzo
    2010/12/09

    Thanks for the Schneier link – he makes points that have been on my mind, but I’ve not been eloquent enough to say. Following the discussion among my friends on FB, I sense that few people seem to actually understand the mechanisms and technologies involved.

    I think there is a case to be made that Wikileaks should be more choosy with what they release. But that’s only in terms of their own strategy and mission statement, not for the benefit of the world. Wikileaks is just a website, nothing is solved by killing it or Assange. Other identical websites, and then bittorrent are the obvious next steps. No doubt the Pirate Bay would be happy to host the trackers.

    More importantly overall, the Internet means that as long as there are leakers, security by obscurity is over.

  5. #5 dhogaza
    2010/12/09

    What paypal has done is pretty evil, claiming illegal behavior where none has been proven (and if the NY Times accepted subscriptions paid by Pay Pal, would Pay Pal kick them off for publishing the material provided by wikileaks? I think not).

    I don’t know Amazon’s terms of service so won’t comment there, other than from a marketing perspective, the ease in which they’ve shrugged off the resulting DOS attacks is probably going to be a good selling point with those thinking of using Amazon’s hosting service …

    [:-) -W]

  6. #6 Andrew
    2010/12/09

    Re: Amazon – apparently Amazon UK are planning to release an eBook of ….. Wikileaks extracts!. If this is just a rumour, 10 out of 10 to the genius who thought it up.

  7. #7 GoRight
    2010/12/09

    Oops, missed this bit …

    WMC: Similarly, I rather doubt that an Australian can be guilty of treason against America.

    Again, you are reading more into my post than was actually stated.

    I think if you re-read my original post you will notice that I only explicitly mention Treason and Espionage as potential crimes within the context of the original leaker who is, presumably, an American citizen.

    When discussing Wikileaks and/or Assange I used the key phrases “to the extent that” and “within the limits of the law” to distinguish them from the original leaker but perhaps this was insufficient. In any case I certainly agree with you that Treason is not one of the crimes that is applicable to Assange. Espionage may be but that would depend on the nature of the relationship between the original leaker and Assange which we do not yet know.

    So I will stand my by original statement that: to the extent that Wikileaks and/or Assange were accomplices in Espionage (or other crimes), they should be held accountable within the limits of the law. Do you agree that if Assange is guilty of Espionage that he should be held accountable for that as determined in a court of law, or should he be given a pass in your opinion?

    [I don't see how it is helpful to stretch terms so far. Assange *isn't* guilty of espionage (at least as far as I can see; it is an established legal principle that The Law Is An Ass, so I am quite prepared to find that an American court might find otherwise) so your question is null. But I don't think it is really a question; it is "mood music", an attempt to argue via rhetoric rather than reality -W]

  8. #8 GoRight
    2010/12/09

    I see you have begun deleting my posts. I don’t wish to be a bother. Can we not have a civil conversation on these points?

    [You'll have to try harder to avoid snark I fear; you're displaying here the behaviour that eventually exhausted everyone's patience at wikipedia. I suggest that if you have a lot to say - and you do appear to - the correct solution is to post to a blog of your own, and link to it here in a comment -W]

  9. #9 dhogaza
    2010/12/09

    The kid in the Army didn’t spy, he made illegal copies of government documents. Since it’s the government, he’s not even guilty of copyright infringement (in the US, gov docs can’t are not covered by copyright law).

    Now that copying and distribution of said copies will get him in trouble, quite likely. But maybe not. Ellsberg beat his rap and he actually did physically steal the Pentagon Papers.

    Do you agree that if Assange is guilty of Espionage that he should be held accountable for that as determined in a court of law

    Nothing to disagree with there, but of course Assange isn’t guilty of espionage. At best you might be able to get him for receiving the copies. Why go after him rather than the NY TImes, El Pais, Le Monde and the Guardian, though? Case law in the US makes it quite unlikely that the press will be penalized for doing its job, though (and this includes WikiLeaks).

    If Assange is guilty of rape or some other sexual crime, then he should be held accountable for that, too, though it’s clear that the Swedes are coming after him in part because of his notoriety. He’s not alone in that, though, look at US efforts to get Roman Polanski back here …

  10. #10 GoRight
    2010/12/09

    dhogaza: The kid in the Army didn’t spy, he made illegal copies of government documents.

    These are not mutually exclusive. Whether he spied, or not, depends on the nature of the relationship between him and Assange which is a point I made in the deleted post.

    dhogaza: … he’s not even guilty of copyright infringement (in the US, gov docs can’t are not covered by copyright law).

    Probably true but not conclusively so to the best of my knowledge. What you say is true for the documents prepared by US government employees in the commission of their assigned duties. I don’t know if the leaks contain other documents possibly prepared by other non-US nationals. Copyright may apply to such non-US produced documents but right now copyright infringement is the least of anyone’s worries, I think.

    dhogaza: … but of course Assange isn’t guilty of espionage.

    Not yet determined. It depends on his prior relationship, if any, to the actual leaker. It also depends on whether a blanket offer to acquire such illegally obtained documents is specific enough to warrant a charge of espionage.

    I rather doubt that it would but I also accept that this is likely a notion that needs to be tested in the courts.

    dhogaza: Case law in the US makes it quite unlikely that the press will be penalized for doing its job, though (and this includes WikiLeaks).

    This is also a point I made in the now deleted post. I agree that current case law makes it unlikely that legitimate news organizations are unlikely to run afoul of the law for printing the cables. I consider it debatable as to whether Wikileaks constitutes a legitimate news organization which is entitled to the protections in the current case law and I would argue that this needs to be test in court. This is what distinguishes Wikileaks from the likes of The Guardian or The New York Times.

  11. #11 GoRight
    2010/12/09

    WMC: You’ve seen no evidence of arm-twisting? You must have been deliberately looking the other way.

    Well, not really but I admit I haven’t spent a lot of time looking either. A possibility you failed to consider, I think.

    So, if there is definitive evidence of arm twisting where is it? I would like to evaluate those things which you seem to have found so convincing.

  12. #12 melior
    2010/12/09

    Surely this government-approved list you long for of “legitimate news organizations” deserving of 1st Amendment protections won’t have any problems passing Constitutional muster. On 2nd thought, perhaps it isn’t too early for you to get started on a proposed Amendment to fix it, we could restrict coverage of Washington DC to “embedded” journalists! Theyd have to be willing to hold off on any big wiretapping stoories til after the election, of course.

  13. #13 GoRight
    2010/12/09

    WMC: I didn’t like the leaking of the CRU email. I thought it was the wrong thing to do: it was deliberately done in order to paint a misleading picture of the state of climate science, in order to deliberately pollute public debate.

    A leak is a leak. It discloses raw data and information. It allows everyone to make up their own minds on topics of import.

    In both cases we are given a peek into the inner sanctum of the principle actors involved in something that has a planet-wide impact. So to me they are pretty much comparable in terms of scope and impact.

    You seem to have formed an opinion regarding the motivations of the leakers/hackers in the case of the CRU emails. On what are you actually basing that opinion? Have the perpetrators even been identified at this point? I don’t recall.

  14. #14 GoRight
    2010/12/09

    melior: Surely this government-approved list you long for of “legitimate news organizations” deserving of 1st Amendment protections won’t have any problems passing Constitutional muster.

    Straw man. Where have I hinted at the need for a “government-approved list … of ‘legitimate news organizations’ deserving of 1st Amendment protections”? I never did.

    My comment was predicated in the notion that widely recognized and acknowledged news organizations enjoy certain protections that individuals do not in this context. The notion is no different from the notion that widely recognized and acknowledged religions enjoy some protections and advantages that we as individuals do not.

    For example, I am not free to establish some organization and then claim tax exempt status based solely on the claim that I have somehow created my own personal religion. Similarly, I doubt that I am able to simply create some organization and receive recognition as a news organization under the law based solely on my own personal claims.

    Case law no doubt establishes standards for making such determinations. So the question is, does Wikileaks meet those standards, or not? I honestly don’t know but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that Wikileaks does not meet those standards whereas The New York Times and The Guardian do. This determination can only be made in a court of law and this is the basis of why I would argue that Wikileaks should be prosecuted whereas someone like The New York Times who unquestionably meets those standards should not.

  15. #15 Charles Hixson
    2010/12/09

    A collection of reactions to various posts above:

    Legal prosecution is only just if the laws being enforced are just.

    Something being a law just means that a bunch of powerful people were willing to say it was a good idea. It doesn’t mean that it’s just. It’s frequently more likely the case that a law will by pushed by powerful people if it’s unjust than if it’s just.

    That said, given the existing laws as I know them, Mr. Asange appears to be being unjustly persecuted.

    Now as for Amazon, PayPal, etc. … they are, technically, private entities. But aren’t they also “public accommodations”? If they are, then isn’t it illegal for them to refuse to provide service to someone without legally defensible reason? I’m not sure about the legalities, or even whether they are clear. It is, however, clear that they depend for their operations on accommodations with the government officials, and that therefore they are pliable via extra-legal means. Means that probably would leave no recorded traces. I’ve seen no proof that they were “persuaded”, but then I wouldn’t expect to see such proof even if I were certain that it had happened. So in this case all I can do is make a judgment call. I’m not charging them with a crime, after all. But in my judgment they have shown themselves pliable to someone who doesn’t respect civil liberties. As such, I prefer to not do business with them.

    If you want me to take seriously about the letter of the law being obeyed, then you’ve got to convince me that you are just as serious when it’s someone powerful being charged by someone who is less powerful. This is clearly, however, not the case.

  16. GoRight:

    Where have I hinted at the need for a “government-approved list … of ‘legitimate news organizations’ deserving of 1st Amendment protections”? I never did.

    News organizations are free to discuss the leaked material precisely because of the First Amendment. And last I checked, the First Amendment applies to all Americans. So doesn’t it stand to reason tat whatever free speech protections given to news organizations are also given to all the American people?

    Or are you claiming that First Amendment rights are only reserved for ‘approved’ news organizations, and trillion-dollar mega corporations?

    So, if there is definitive evidence of arm twisting where is it? I would like to evaluate those things which you seem to have found so convincing.

    Why don’t you actually spend your time reading the news coverage on the leaked cables, instead of writing 30+ paragraphs to boast about your ignorance to the world?

    * * *

    Charles Hixson:

    If you want me to take seriously about the letter of the law being obeyed, then you’ve got to convince me that you are just as serious when it’s someone powerful being charged by someone who is less powerful. This is clearly, however, not the case.

    Right on. Where was Mr. GoRight’s indignation over the case of the suspected ‘terrorist’ who was imprisoned by the CIA for months? Nah, it’s nothing, after all the poor victim wasn’t even a True Person, unlike Amazon.com.

    * * *

    While on the subject, I’m somewhat surprised that there’s nothing in the leaked cables about the CRU cyber-attack (or at least nothing that’s been dug out yet) — I thought that SwiftHack would at least have some diplomatic significance. Though there’s some weirdness about someone trying to phish the US’s climate change envoy with a malicious PDF file (blog post by yours truly).

    frank

  17. #17 Bart Verheggen
    2010/12/10

    After the wikileaked documents began to spread, Hillary Clinton said something along the lines of “this is bad for International diplomacy”. I think she’s right.

    Diplomatic resolution of conflict requires trust, which is undermined by this leak.

    Also, some information is not meant for public consumption. Pin codes are in that category; security/police information; a list of worldwide targets that are important to the US/global security/economy that may be of interest to terrorists (now on wikileaks) also fits that bill.

    Someone somewhere wrote that if the internet/wikileaks existed during the time of the camp David accord, it would not have succeeded. The idea that any and all information, be it government related or not, should be freely available to all seems weirdly fundamentalist to me.

    That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that are important and relevant for the public to know: The Arab states asking the US secretly to be harder on Iraq, while in public being all cosy with Iraq and critical of the US, is questionable to say the least.

    I think whether such a leak is ethically right or wrong depends a.o. on the contents of what’s leaked: It has to show greater wrongdoing than the wrong that leaking it represents. And the effects have to be taken into account: Are they positive or negative in the long run? Both are of course highly subjective judgment calls.

    And as to your dig to Obama/Clinton: Presumably they referred to the right of people to access the internet freely and without government censorship. That’s a whole different cup of tea than claiming that any and all information meant for a few should suddenly be available to the world.

    [Ah, Bart, you are too reasonable! But I have to admit I agree with most of what you say. The main point is, perhaps, was all the fuss worth the released info? From what I've seen, it is rather hard to justify that. As people have commented elsewhere, very little that is truely interesting has come out - perhaps the Middle East bit is the closest, but even that is something of a shrug. Climate-wise, I've seen nothing very entertaining.

    If anything, this should just be a wake-up call to US security: the means they currently have for restricting access to "Secret" cables is clearly broken.

    As to the Clinton dig: weelll, this rather reminds me of the way politicians and police often condemn violence at demonstrations (as they did just recently in London): "we condemn all violence". But no, of course they don't, they are lying: they are happy to use violence themselves when they consider it necessary. So yes: I'm sure Clinton did indeed mean the internet. But what she really meant was that she was happy for information inconvenient to the Chinese government to be free, but that inconvenient to the US govt not so.

    Diplomatic resolution of conflict requires trust, which is undermined by this leak - a resonable point, but I think not right. The leaks here clearly do not cover high-level material, which so far remains secure. If "da Man" wakes up and realises he needs to pay a bit more attention to security, wikileaks may even have done him a favour -W]
    -W]

  18. #18 GoRight
    2010/12/10

    Thank you all for the chat. It has been made clear that I am close to wearing out my welcome here so I shall move along. Please carry on.

    [What I actually said (via email) was: You're now getting close to the level of answering everyone else's comments and starting to monopolise the conversation. Please don't; it isn't polite -W]

  19. #19 dhogaza
    2010/12/10

    As people have commented elsewhere, very little that is truely interesting has come out – perhaps the Middle East bit is the closest, but even that is something of a shrug.

    Hmmm, about 10,000 of the 260,000 cables were classified (a small percentage of those “secret”). Have the cables that have been released thus far include any marked “secret”?

    I don’t think so, I think it’s just the routine daily stuff that’s come out, judging from the lack of any real bombshells/smoking guns.

    On the other hand, my guess is that the Army has a pretty good handle on the documents that have been downloaded, as they’ve probably figured out the security holes that let this kid download so many documents in the first place.

    So perhaps the reaction is in part due to fear of the contents of some of the more sensitive documents marked “secret”. I mean, pointing out that Berlusconi is a party-hearty womanizer is hardly the kind of stuff that merits the severe response we’re getting out of the administration. They’re worried about other stuff …

    If anything, this should just be a wake-up call to US security: the means they currently have for restricting access to “Secret” cables is clearly broken.

    Or any cables, it’s not clear that some random private in intelligence analysis should have access to 260,000 such documents regardless of their classification. He’s a grunt. He should have access only to those documents (if any) related to his specific job (we’ve not been told what it is, in detail, AFAIK, but given his rank – or lack of rank, actually – it’s got to be piddlyshit clerk-level stuff).

    And obviously supervision of this dude was non-existent. Don’t they have corporals and sergeants and officers in the Army any more?

    I imagine State Department staff are extremely pissed at the Army for its lax control over access to the server(s) used to store sensitive documents.

  20. dhogaza:

    The cable covering the cyber-attack attempt on US climate change envoy Todd Stern (which I blogged about Tuesday) is certainly classified “secret”. Individual paragraphs are also marked U, SBU, C, S, S//NF, C//NF, etc.

    There aren’t any cables classified “top secret” though — reportedly, this is simply because Manning simply doesn’t have access to those.

  21. #21 dhogaza
    2010/12/10

    Frank – thanks, I haven’t followed this as closely as you, obviously.

    There aren’t any cables classified “top secret” though — reportedly, this is simply because Manning simply doesn’t have access to those.

    Ahh, so he didn’t have access to *everything*, how amazing (considering how much he had access to). Hmm, maybe the encryption passphrase for the “secret” ones was just “too many secrets”, while the passphrase for “top secret” ones wasn’t as obvious! :)

  22. #22 Wh
    2010/12/10

    # 15, Charles Hixson, December 9, 2010 8:24 PM

    I prefer to not do business with them.

    Perhaps their actions are rooted in a judgment about the number of people likely to make your decision and those likely to make the opposite decision.

  23. #23 guthrie
    2010/12/10

    The point about leaning on wikileaks is to make it clear that such behaviour is not tolerated and they’ll get you somehow. It doesn’t matter that leaking it is very easy to do, the important thing is to get anyone who actually stands up and says leaking is good.

    dhogaza #18 – the cables also revealed that the UK government are governing us for the benefit of the USA (“A pro-american regime”, and that they carefully didn’t mention a work around on the ban on cluster bombds on British territory when the legislation was being debated. There’s a few other stories, such as duplicity in dealings with SpainL
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/09/wikileaks-cables-huge-impact-spain

    Not a lot that has been released is unknown to those who are professionally or seriously interested, but there’s lots of things in there us plebs just didn’t know and it is always useful to see how much duplicity is involved in governments around the world.

  24. #24 J Bowers
    2010/12/10

    GoRight — “A leak is a leak.”

    And a hack is a hack.

    GoRight — “It discloses raw data and information.”

    And it releases test code which can be misinterpreted by the meme machine as published code.

    GoRight — “It allows everyone to make up their own minds on topics of import.”

    Ah, not when there’s a large gap in the plot which is being filled in by every aspiring scriptwriter with an axe to grind or an ideology to sell. I fail to see how 0.5% of the data could lead anyone to a satisfactory or even informed judgement.

    But you could always open your eyes a little and watch a video:
    http://climatecrocks.com/2010/12/08/more-ben-santer/

  25. #26 J Bowers
    2010/12/11

    So, if Assange is extradited to Sweden to face prosecution there, and perhaps that will mean Sweden parcels him up to face some sort of trial in the US…

    … will the US also honour its treaty with Nigeria and extradite Dick Cheney to face prosecution there?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_extradition_treaties

  26. #27 dan satterfield
    2010/12/11

    Yea paypal ignored my email completely

  27. #28 dhogaza
    2010/12/11

    Guthrie:

    dhogaza #18 – the cables also revealed that the UK government are governing us for the benefit of the USA…

    Not a lot that has been released is unknown to those who are professionally or seriously interested…

    Well, even this yank understood that Blair was bending over and dropping his pants for W, so other than details, is your statement a surprise to anyone with half a clue over there in the UK?

    but there’s lots of things in there us plebs just didn’t know and it is always useful to see how much duplicity is involved in governments around the world.

    From what I’ve been reading, there are some fascinating details, but very little news for anyone who’s the least bit a political junkie (which I admit to being).

    Hadn’t seen the bit about spain, I’ll check your link …

  28. #29 dhogaza
    2010/12/11

    There’s a few other stories, such as duplicity in dealings with Spain

    Hmmm, I’m not seeing duplicity in US dealings with spain there, just straightforward efforts to influence things …

    This sounds like duplicity:

    The last was the most complicated because the cables revealed the double speak of government and prosecutors. Our stories showed that they told US diplomats they would try to hinder or even close down the case while telling the family of the dead journalist that they would do everything they could to advance it. This has been difficult for the Socialist government to explain.

    but it’s on the part of Zapatero’s government, not the US. I can’t imagine them *openly* doing what they US asked.

  29. #30 guthrie
    2010/12/12

    Yes, I should have been clearer, duplicity with regards to their voters whilst dealing with the USA. As for the gvt here, it changed slightly from being a centrist gvt full of market worshipping authoritarians to being a right wing nutcase cabal who mostly seem to have inherited money or be very rich. It is the latter who were promising as far back as last year to continue Blairs sterling example of anglo-american friendship.

    And as I said, wonks and suchlike probably knew most of the facts already, but lots of normal people didn’t, and I’m willing to support a lot of things which help broaden our knowledge of government and corporate behaviour.

  30. #31 Hank Roberts
    2010/12/12

    > government-approved list … of
    > “legitimate news organizations”

    George III had such a list, as I recall.
    How did that work out?

  31. #32 Amoeba
    2010/12/13

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned. Over at DeSmogBlog there is a post that combines Wikileaks.fr and the CRU hack.

    Material that the French newspaper Le Monde has harvested from Wikileaks documents show that American diplomats were aware as early as the summer of 2009 that hackers were trying to break into climate scientists’ computers…..

    I am ambivalent about Wikileaks. Some good and some bad. I can’t claim to have studied the subject closely, but on the face of things, some of the reported releases would seem to have been better left secret.

  32. Amoeba:

    DeSmogBlog’s source got the story wrong. The June 2009 crack attempt was aimed at US climate change negotiators. The Guardian has the correct story, along with the original cable itself.

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