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Rap News 5: Wikileaks & the War on Free Speech (ft. Julian Assange)

to Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011 The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in 2011, from May 1 - May 3 in Washington, D.C. UNESCO is the only UN agency with the mandate to promote freedom of expression and its corollary, freedom of the press. The theme for next year’s commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. Highlighting the many events surrounding the celebration will be the awarding of the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize at the National Press Club on May 3rd. The Newseum will host the first two days of events, which will engage a broad array of media professionals, students, and citizen reporters on themes that address the status of new media and internet freedom, and challenges and opportunities faced by media in our rapidly changing world.

Japan syndrome shows why we need WikiLeaks The damaged third and fourth reactors of the Fukushima No1 power plant. Source: AFP IN December 2008, an official from the International Atomic Energy Agency pointed to "a serious problem" with nuclear reactors in areas of Japan prone to earthquakes. Recent earthquakes "have exceeded the design basis for some nuclear plants", he told a meeting of the Nuclear Safety and Security Group of the Group of Eight countries. Moreover, safety guides for seismic activity had been revised only three times in the past 35 years, he added. The information was recorded in a US diplomatic cable and comes to us courtesy of WikiLeaks. Unfortunately, all this information, including the original cables, was released only this week, through The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian newspapers in Britain. But without WikiLeaks most of it probably never would have seen the light of day. The Japanese government did not completely ignore the IAEA concerns: it built an emergency response centre at the Fukushima plant.

Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett: Assange Beseiged The plot thickens as our favorite hero of the Matrix; our own “Captain Neo” Julian Assange, faces danger yet again. When we last parted company with the legendary founder of WikiLeaks, he was breathing a sigh of relief after dodging spurious double-rape charges. The complaints were dropped, and our hero was free to roam the globe once again. But soap opera plots are repetitive; the story was quickly recycled and now our brave captain is again under threat of being castrated on Stockholm’s Stora Torget, or whatever the latest craven penalty is for molesting sacred Nordic virgins in a land where Vikings once ruled. In other words, the farcical rape charges have once again been leveled against the Pentagon’s Public Enemy Number One. The Swedes have a practical reason behind their deceptively slapstick police-work. The bullet can always come later, once the victim has been successfully isolated by the smear campaign. For a smear that really sticks, you need to get it from an ex-apostle.

Wikileaks : l’État, le réseau et le territoire « Mais où est-ce qu'on est ? Politique Published on décembre 12th, 2010 | by Anthony “ Infowar”, “cyber warfare”, “opération riposte”, “guerre de l’information”, … les titres couvrant l’affaire Wikileaks ont largement puisé dans le vocabulaire militaire pour décrire les événements qui ont suivi la publication des “cables” diplomatique par le site de Julian Assange. J’aimerais proposer ici l’idée que l’affaire Wikileaks relève bel et bien d’un conflit qui serait de nature territorial entre d’un côté l’État qui s’appuie sur un territoire physique délimité par des frontières au sein duquel est déployée une domination via la mise en scène d’une violence symbolique légitime et de l’autre le réseau en tant que territoire “virtuel” étranger sur lequel l’État n’aurait pas prise : tant physiquement que symboliquement. L’Internet, un territoire étranger Cela dit, la menace terroriste ou les questions de droits d’auteurs que soulèvent les usages de l’Internet attirent l’attention de l’État sur le réseau. About the Author

Amazon Defends Position on WikiLeaks e-Book | Peter Kafka | MediaMemo | AllThingsD UPDATE: Amazon UK is no longer selling the WikiLeaks book; a note on the site says the self-published title “has been removed by author.” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener says he doesn’t know why author Heinz Duthel pulled the book, and says Amazon has had no contact with him. UPDATE 2: And now it appears to be back. Here’s an interview with Duthel explaining why he pulled the book, and why he asked Amazon to start selling it again. ————————- EARLIER: Last week Amazon pulled the plug on WikiLeaks by refusing to host the group’s data on its server. But Amazon is now profiting from some of that data, via a Kindle e-book title now available through its U.K. outlet. Hypocrisy! Not at all! When reports about the book first surfaced today, the title on Amazon’s site sure made it look as if the e-book were simply a bundled version of WikiLeaks’ documents: “WikiLeaks documents expose US foreign policy conspiracies. So let me try to make Amazon’s case for them. You’re welcome, Amazon!

Hillary Clinton and internet freedom (civilized) At the beginning of 2010, her speech coincided with the incident between Google and China. This time, Clinton waited patiently for positive results from the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions before launching into her diatribe. With a storytelling air, she started her speech by referring to the temporary Internet black-out initiated by Moubarak: A few minutes after midnight on January 28, the Internet went dark across Egypt. She did not waste much time before mentioning Neda, the young Iranian women who was murdered during the demonstrations against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election. What happened in Egypt and Iran – where this week again violence was used against protesters – was about a great deal more than the Internet. Without questioning Facebook’s role in the riots inspired by Sidi Bouzid or the importance of a “downgraded channel” in an isolated Egypt, Clinton’s statement seems obvious – but it is not trivial. Hillary Clinton's discourse in 2010... ... and in 2011

Pirate Parties mirror Wikileaks to support whistleblowing worldwide Pirate Party spokespeople are always ready to give a lively, informed, and often provocative view on the issues of the day. Whether it's tech politics, civil liberties, the EU, local issues or anything else we'll have something to say. For interview requests, specific statements or quotes, or to automatically receive press releases email the Press Office at or call us on 0161 987 7880. You can find more contact details on our contact page if you would like to get in touch with a specific person or team. If you would like further information about a specific person you can find biographies and images on their profile page by searching our staff and volunteer list and you can access some of the many appearances online, in print, on TV and radio on our press archive.

“Why I nominated WikiLeaks for the Nobel Peace Prize” Could WikiLeaks, the organization that caused more than a migraine for diplomats around the world, join the ranks of other Noble Peace Prize winners? This what Snorre Valen – a member of the Norwegian Parliament – hopes. This 26 year-old blogger/musician/government official submitted his nomination to the Noble Peace Prize committee, which ultimately shook the White House. Parliament members, university chancellors, presidents, and past winners are able to suggest names of individuals and organizations for this prestigious award. It is not unusual for organizations to be nominated; since 1901, several organizations have been distinguished for their work. Although this nomination is particularly controversial, the Noble Peace Prize committee has seen worse nominations. Contacted by OWNI, Snorre Vallen explains his nomination: In theory, the nominations are supposed to remain secret for 50 years after they are submitted. The original post was published on Valen’s blog.

Julian Assange's lawyers say they are being watched | Media Lawyers representing the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, say that they have been surveilled by members of the security services and have accused the US state department of behaving "inappropriately" by failing to respect attorney-client protocol. Jennifer Robinson and Mark Stephens of the law firm Finers Stephens Innocent told the Guardian they had been watched by people parked outside their houses for the past week. "I've noticed people consistently sitting outside my house in the same cars with newspapers," said Robinson. "I probably noticed certain things a week ago, but mostly it's been the last three or four days." Stephens said he, too, had had his home watched. Asked who he thought was monitoring him, he said: "The security services." Robinson said the legal team was also experiencing "other forms of pressure" from Washington. The letter, which was released to the press, begins: "Dear Ms Robinson and Mr Assange. He added: "It does seem to be a political stunt."

The Anonymous WikiLeaks protests are a mass demo against control The Anonymous web protests over WikiLeaks are the internet equivalent of a mass demonstration. It’s a mistake to call them hacking (playful cleverness) or cracking (security breaking). The LOIC program that is being used by the group is prepackaged so no cleverness is needed to run it, and it does not break any computer’s security. The protesters have not tried to take control of Amazon’s website, or extract any data from MasterCard. They enter through the site’s front door, and it just can’t cope with the volume. Calling these protests DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attacks is misleading, too. No – the proper comparison is with the crowds that descended last week on Topshop stores. The internet cannot function if websites are frequently blocked by crowds, just as a city cannot function if its streets are constantly full by protesters. In the physical world, we have the right to print and sell books. Reading, too, is done on sufferance.

Like It or Not, WikiLeaks is a Media Entity: Tech News « The past week has seen plenty of ink spilled — virtual and otherwise — about WikiLeaks and its mercurial front-man, Julian Assange, and the pressure they have come under from the U.S. government and companies such as Amazon and PayPal, both of which have blocked WikiLeaks from using their services. Why should we care about any of this? Because more than anything else, WikiLeaks is a publisher — a new kind of publisher, but a publisher nonetheless — and that makes this a freedom of the press issue. Like it or not, WikiLeaks is fundamentally a journalistic entity, and as such it deserves our protection. Not everyone agrees with this point of view, of course. This might as well be called the WikiLeaks law, since it is clearly targeted at the organization — which did not actually leak the documents (something that is already a crime under the Espionage Act) but is clearly publishing them. So what makes WikiLeaks different from the New York Times?

If you rule by code you will fall by code: the philosophy of Wikileaks » Article Humans are animals of protocol. Our behavior is determined by rules – conscious and not. Until recently, the protocol was an instrument of hegemonic power: the rule-ing elites were makers and masters of the protocols that were used to control the people. The Internet today is the place through which humanity is coming to realise that liberty will require that we – the collective we – take control of the building and re-design of protocol. In what way are the Internet and diplomacy similar? Changing the rules of conduct What is on the surface on the web is joyful chaos, depravity, free expression, every manifestation of the kaleidoscope of humanity. Wikileaks was born of hacker culture. The will to become autonomous The world of diplomacy, the world of the rulers, is certainly no sacred realm. Whosoever rules by code will fall by code.