Fresh Off The Block


Dec
12
2010

It’s a cyber war, and WikiLeaks is the cause

Folks, we could be at the verge of the very first global war on technology. Or at least, that’s what the hackers want us to think.

The battle centres on Washington’s fierce attempts to close down WikiLeaks and shut off the supply of confidential US government cables. For those of you who haven’t kept up with the latest news, WikiLeaks is a well-known whistleblower site that encourages people to post secret documents they’ve managed to get their hands on, so they can be made public and the information contained within made known to everyone – and the people responsible are kept completely anonymous. Lately, WikiLeaks is responsible for leaking the content of a long chain of confidential documents and communications between the US government. Naturally, the US are a little pissed off about it. Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, said those who passed the secrets to WikiLeaks should be executed. Sarah Palin demanded the founder of WikiLeaks be hunted in the same way an al-Qaeda operative would be pursued.

Recently, the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, was arrested in Britain, after British authorities received an arrest warrant from Swedish prosecutors eager to question him on unrelated allegations of rape. News of his arrest, even on unrelated charges, pleased the US authorities. “That sounds like good news to me,” said Robert Gates, US secretary of defence. The US now want Assange to answer to the actions of those using his website to leak the government cables, and his role in helping the leaks get widespread, and have made calls for Assange to be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage.

Yet even as Assange prepared to appear in a London court last week, an unlikely alliance of defenders had begun plotting to turn on the forces circling WikiLeaks. They were beginning to attack Amazon, which had been persuaded to sever links with WikiLeaks by Joe Lieberman, who heads the US Senate’s homeland security committee; they also hit every domain name system (DNS) that broke WikiLeaks.org’s domain name: Mastercard, Visa and Paypal, which stopped facilitating donations to the site, and the Swiss post office which froze WikiLeaks’ bank account. Read the rest of this entry »

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