What puzzles me most about the whole Wikileaks uproar is that nobody seems to have asked: were all these leaked documents authentic? Did anybody verify any of them? All of them?
Note that the govt. didn't have time to even read all those thousands of documents, let alone verify them, before it started on its galumphing attack on Assange and Wikileaks. Yet it carried out its attack quite swiftly and comprehensively, as if it had planned all these tactics in advance and had only been waiting for a fitting target.
What this spells to me is that the govt. has been planning for years to censor the Internet, and used Wikileaks' leaks as an excuse.
Given the retaliation that the "Hacktivists" of the world have pulled off -- on every company that bowed to govt. pressure and abetted its attack on Wikileaks -- I'd say the govt. made a truly serious mistake.
For one thing, the govt. assumed that the hackers it had in its hire were all the best of the breed, which isn't necessarily the case; I've known plenty of hackers who, having worked for govt., swore off in disgust and vowed never to work for it again. Second, the govt. simply assumed that everybody would, knee-jerk automatically, agree that Wikileaks' leaked documents were "unpatriotic" -- which, again, isn't true; the people who have actually read some of the documents report that they simply reveal cases of corruption and incompetence, not military secrets, which nobody cares to defend. Third, it assumed that nobody was prepared for this, which is way off; computer nerds have been expecting the govt. to try something similar for more than 30 years -- and had made plans accordingly.
Now the Cyberwar is on, and it looks as if the nerds are winning. The various companies whose websites the Hacktivists shut down understood the message -- that the hackers could just as easily have hacked directly into their cash accounts -- and some of them have been retreating from their govt.-pushed positions. A bank that froze Wikileaks' account quietly released $80,000 to Assange. For every server that cut Wikileaks out, hundreds have sprung up to support it. Sympathizers have raised more than $200,000 for Assange's legal defense. Volunteer nets have been gleefully transferring the Wikileaks package all over the 'net. The govt. managed to catch exactly one of the pro-Wikileaks hacktivists: a 17-year-old boy who made an amateur's mistake in forwarding an email.
Obviously the govt. isn't stopping the hacktivists worth...ah, spit. The nerds have the skills, the numbers and the experience to win this cyberwar, and I expect they will.
But lost in all the scuffle is that basic question: were all those documents accurate? Everybody on both sides simply assumes they are, but quite simply, nobody has had the time to check out all of them. This whole eruption could have started over next to nothing.
--Leslie <;)))>< )O(