2010-12-31 The Guardian: Ministers must ‘wise up not clam up’ after WikiLeaks disclosures

UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham is interviewed by the Guardian:

We are strongly of the view that things should be published. Where you’re open things will not be WikiLeaked. Whatever view you take about WikiLeaks – right or wrong – it means that things will now get out. It has changed things. I’m saying government and authorities need to factor it in. Be more proactive, [by] publishing more stuff, because quite a lot of this is only exciting because we didn’t know it. You can’t un-invent WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is part of the phenomenon of the online, empowered citizen … these are facts that aren’t going to go away. Government and authorities need to wise up to that. … 

One response is that they will clam up and not write anything down, which is nonsense, you can’t run any organisation that way. The other is to be even more open. The best form of defence is transparency — much more proactive publication of what organisations do. It’s an attitude of ‘OK. You want to know? Here it is’.

2010-12-31 Democracy Now interviews with Julian Assange, Daniel Ellsberg

Democracy Now spends an hour reviewing their interviews with Julian Assange in July in London after the release of the Afghan war logs, and in October, again in London, after WikiLeaks published some 390,000 classified U.S. documents on the war in Iraq.

2010 can be defined as the year of WikiLeaks. The whistleblowing website first made headlines around the world in April when it released a video of a U.S. helicopter gunship indiscriminately firing on Iraqi civilians, killing 12 people, including two Reuters news staff. In July, WikiLeaks created a bigger firestorm when it published more than 90,000 classified U.S. military war logs of the war in Afghanistan. Then in October, WikiLeaks published some 390,000 classified U.S. documents on the war in Iraq, the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history and the greatest internal account of any war on public record. In November, WikiLeaks began releasing a giant trove of confidential State Department cables that sent shockwaves through the global diplomatic establishment.

2010-12-23 The Age: Media union waives Assange’s fees

 

The Age reports that the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance in Australia have waived Julian Assnge’s fees for a year.

 

Australia’s media union has waived Julian Assange’s fees for a year after MasterCard cancelled his credit card. …

Louise Connor, the union’s Victorian secretary, said Assange had been a union member since 1997. She said Assange had not breached the journalists’ code of ethics and that he continued to protect his sources and publish in the public interest.

 

 

2010-12-30 Updated New Whistleblowing Sites and Games

Updated from the December 19th post.

BalkanLeaks “The Balkans are not keeping secrets anymore.” According to an article in Sofia Echo this site is set up by a Paris-based Bulgarian, Atanas Chobanov and seeks confidential documents related to political, criminal or financial topics.

BrusselsLeaks This site is seeking corporation, consultancy, institution or NGO information in“Brussels – the European Capital and the place where decisions are made which impact the globe”.

Many of these decisions happen behind closed doors and we have been working to make it more transparent for many years. Journalists, activists and communications professionals have now come together to form Brussels Leaks, a place to centralise intelligence gathered on the inner-workings of the EU.

IndoLeaks Jakarta Globe says this appeared on December 10.

israeliLeaks “Requesting information on WikiLeaks Organization, Events, and Content, WikiLeaks/Israel Connection, Palestine/Israel history and current events, Hacktivism. Nothing is off limits. Linkage between otherwise divergent topics / regions / organizations / movements is highly valued. Please send any and all information that would be of interest to the public, including journalism, education, and research.”

OpenLeaks Started by ex-Wikileaks member Daniel Domscheit-Berg, this site is still “Coming Soon!” It will serve only as a conduit between whistleblowers and their media destinations without being involved in the publishing.

Pinoy Leaks is dedicated to exposing corruption in the Philippine national and local governments.

PinoyLeaks is similar to Wikileaks, except the mission is specifically focused on exposing corruption only, the scope is limited to the Philippines, and PinoyLeaks works with bloggers instead of traditional media. It is up to the bloggers whether to spread news about a leak.
This site is launching on Rizal Day, 2010. Our goal is to start publishing leaks by February 1, 2011. Please help us reach this goal by spreading the word about PinoyLeaks.

 

Pirate Leaks Started by the Czech Pirate Party to offer a service similar to Wikileaks but focusing on the Czech Republic and with transparent accounting, they want to tackle the network of political corruption and organized crime in the Czech Republic and are looking for classified materials related to crime or finance.

Rospil An extension of popular Russian blogger Alexei Navalny’s website, he is actively seeking documentation of corruption in the higher echelons of the national government and economy.

thaicables is trying to combat the Thai government’s censorship of over 300,000 websites.

We do not believe in censorship and think that everyone in Thailand should get access to any information available on the internet, which also includes Wikileaks. This is the reason for this blog.

 

Thaileaks makes all Thai-related content from the Wikileaks website available for direct download and provides magnet links to Wikileaks material.

TuniLeaks This seems, at least at present, to serve as a forum to post and discuss Wikileaks state cable releases as they relate to Tunisia, along with the Twitter hashtag #tunileaks . According to Global Voices Advocacy they have been under heavy censorship threats and actions since they were started.

2010-12-30 Julian Assange named The Nation’s Person of the Year, CNN’s Most Intriguing

Julian Assange is The Nation readers’ Person of the Year and CNN’s Most Intriguing Person of 2010.

The Nation: The response was strong and, interestingly, WilkiLeaks founder Assange was also our clear-cut winner because, as Lorna Singh pointed out, “we need to see how we were lied to,” and, as Mike Pribula wrote, “he has reminded us about the importance of integrity in diplomacy and democratic ideals in our republic.”

2010-12-30 Democracy Now: Interview with Robert Meeropol

Democracy Now interviews Robert Meeropol, the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the only U.S. citizens to be executed under the Espionage Act. He states:

Now, but it’s not surprising that the government would use conspiracy, whether it’s against my parents or whether it’s against the WikiLeaks people, because if you’re anybody who engages in conversation or discussion, and the government can get one person to testify that that discussion was to leak classified material, or to transmit information to the Soviet Union, in my parents case, they could be swept up in the dragnet. And you could get people to rat out their friends in order to get more lenient sentences. It sows distrust among the community of support. It scares other people into silence.

And so, what we see here is, if there is a criminal indictment for conspiracy, not an attack on just Julian Assange himself, but on the entire community of support that is seeking to promote the very revolutionary idea that the people have the right to know what their government is doing, that’s what this ultimately is all about. And every left-wing, every progressive organizer, every organizer, in general—how can you engage in organizing, in getting groups of people to protest and coordinating activities, without engaging in what the government would term a conspiracy? And so, it is a threat to all of us. And that is really why I issued my call for us to recognize this. This Espionage Act of 1917 has been the sword of Damocles, sitting quietly, mostly unused, ready to spring out and attack dissenters. And when you have it in the context of the growing secrecy that we face today … and an authoritarian-oriented Supreme Court, it is a danger to us all.

The entire interview is very worth watching.

2010-12-29 Pirate Parties condemn violence against employees of WikiLeaks

The following Pirate Parties of Europe have issued a joint statement condemning all attacks on the infrastructure of Wikileaks and employees of Wikileaks.

– Pirate Party of Germany
– Pirate Party of France
– Pirate Party of Italy
– Pirate Party of Austria
– Pirate Party of Russia
– Pirate Party of Switzerland
– Pirate Party of Luxembourg
– Pirate Party of the United Kingdom