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The Library of Congress has blocked access to the Wikileaks site on its staff computers and on the wireless network that visitors use, two sources tell TPM.

The error message reportedly reads:

" Ad or Website blocked by LC DNSBH. Advertisements or websites that may be malicious are blocked.
If this message appears in lieu of an advertisement (i.e., on part of the page), the advertisement site may be malicious. However the website is safe to use.
If this message appears on a page by itself, the website is blocked due to potential malicious content.
More information - LC IT Security "

A spokesman for the library could not immediately comment, but expects to have a statement shortly.

The library is a governmental institution and serves as the research arm for Congress. It was established in 1800 and, when it was burned down by the British in 1814, Thomas Jefferson donated his own personal library to replace it. (Not for free, though; Congress paid $23,950 for the books.) It has grown ever since and, according to the library, it has "more than 144 million items including more than 33 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages; more than 63 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings."

The State and Commerce departments have also reportedly told their employees not to look at the Wikileaks cables, while the Department of Education reportedly blocked it entirely.


Library of Congress Is Latest Government Institution to Block WikileaksRepublished with permission from TalkingPointsMemo.com. Authored by Rachel Slajda. Photo via Wikipedia user Raul654. TPM provides breaking news, investigating reporting and smart analysis of politics.

Source: gawker.com

 
By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 07:00:10, in en - Global Observatory, read 2446 times)

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Conservatives promised to run 'pro-American regime'

"Conservative party politicians lined up before the general election to promise that they would run a "pro-American regime" and buy more arms from the US if they came to power this year, the leaked American embassy cables show.[...]

The incoming Conservatives appear to have made some wide-ranging offers of political co-operation with the US. The cables detail a series of private meetings with Tory frontbenchers, many of whom are now in the cabinet.

Liam Fox, now the defence secretary, promised to buy American military equipment, while the current foreign secretary, William Hague, offered the ambassador a "pro-American" government. Hague also said the entire Conservative leadership were, like him, "staunchly Atlanticist" and "children of Thatcher"."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord

"Hidden behind the save-the-world rhetoric of the global climate change negotiations lies the mucky realpolitik: money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage.

The US diplomatic cables reveal how the US seeks dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming; how financial and other aid is used by countries to gain political backing; how distrust, broken promises and creative accounting dog negotiations; and how the US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the controversial "Copenhagen accord", the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009."
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Der Spiegel: "'Operation Scorched Earth': A US Hand in Yemen's Civil War"

"Yemen is becoming an important refuge for al-Qaida terrorists, but authorities in the country are more interested in pursuing its war against Shiite rebels in the north. American weapons are used in the fight -- and the US secretly pursues terrorists on their own.

His Excellency Ali Abdullah Saleh, the first and so far only president of the Republic of Yemen, ruler over 23 million inhabitants and 50 million firearms, is not a good man to have as an enemy -- but having him as a friend is even worse. In Yemen he is called "The Boss."

Since 2004, the boss has been fighting a ruthless war against the Houthi rebels in the north. They are Shiites -- and politically marginalized. In August 2009, this conflict entered a new phase when the Yemeni army launched a new offensive designed to wipe out all Houthi resistance. The president categorically rejects negotiations with the rebels: "The war will never stop no matter how much money or martyrs it costs," he said a year ago."
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El Pais: The US executed a plan to create a law against downloads in Spain

"La Embajada de Estados Unidos en Madrid convirtió la lucha contra la piratería en Internet en una de las prioridades de su agenda en el periodo 2004-2010. Según se deduce de la lectura de más de 35 cables dedicados a la protección de los derechos de propiedad intelectual, las presiones empezaron a intensificarse a partir del año 2004, tras la llegada al Gobierno del socialista José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero y se vertebraron en torno a una lista negra, la Lista Especial 301 que elabora la oficina de Comercio estadounidense.

Ante la falta de resultados en esos primeros años, diseñaron en 2007 una minuciosa hoja de ruta que incluía encuentros con ministros, secretarios de Estado y mandos intermedios de los departamentos de Cultura e Industria."
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Le Monde: WikiLeaks : les Etats-Unis en première ligne dans la lutte contre Al-Qaida au Yémen

"Qui mène la guerre contre Al-Qaida pour la péninsule arabique (AQPA), cette "filiale" créée au début de l'année 2009 et retranchée dans les confins du Yémen ? Officiellement, ce sont les forces de sécurité yéménites en coopération avec les Etats-Unis qui s'inquiètent depuis 2000 et l'attaque meurtrière à Aden contre un bâtiment de guerre de leur marine, le Cole, de la présence de djihadistes aguerris dans les camps afghans.

Le rôle américain est cependant bien plus important, comme en témoignent les notes diplomatiques obtenues par WikiLeaks et révélées par Le Monde, même s'il est tenu secret compte tenu de l'animosité que suscitent les Etats-Unis dans le pays."
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The Guardian: Diplomatic cables: Gaddafi risked nuclear disaster after UN slight

"A potential "environmental disaster" was kept secret by the US last year when a large consignment of highly enriched uranium in Libya came close to cracking open and leaking radioactive material into the atmosphere.

The incident came after the mercurial Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, suddenly went back on a promise to dispose of the weapons-grade uranium, apparently out of pique at a diplomatic slight received in New York when he was barred from pitching a tent outside the UN."
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Der Spiegel: America's 'Iran Watchers': A Coordinated Effort to Get Information about Tehran

"In 2006, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice realized that Washington needed to know a lot more about Iran. Since then, observation posts in surrounding countries have been supplying information, including rumors of a slap for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In no other country in the Middle East were US diplomats as well sourced as they were in Iran -- yet in no other country were they as off target. The fact that they didn't see the Islamic Revolution coming in 1979 -- that they didn't even see it as a possibility -- surely ranks among the biggest intelligence misjudgements in the history of US foreign policy. Even today, the painful effects of this failure can still be felt."
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El Pais: Chavez buys loyalty inside the Bolivian government

"Venezuela ha creado una estructura de asesores y lealtades compradas en Bolivia que provoca los recelos de los círculos más fieles a Evo Morales. En el mismo sentido, algunos jefes del Ejército dudan de la verdadera lealtad de las tropas, según informan los diplomáticos estadounidenses en La Paz a Washington.

El principal punto de fricción viene de los intentos del Gobierno de emplear al Ejército como fuerza policial, algo a lo que los uniformados se oponen. En sus informaciones internas Washington cree posible que en el caso de que el Ejército recibiera una orden de Morales en este sentido, podría dividirse con una facción, que recibe pagos de Caracas, que no obedecería a sus mandos. "Aunque los bonus venezolanos han cimentado algunas lealtades, también han creado mucho resentimiento entre los rangos medios y bajos al costo significativo de legitimidad para el alto mando", subraya un texto."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Yemen offered US 'open door' to attack al-Qaida on its soil

"The president of Yemen secretly offered US forces unrestricted access to his territory to conduct unilateral strikes against al-Qaida terrorist targets, the leaked US embassy cables reveal.

In a move that risked outraging local and Arab opinion, Ali Abdullah Saleh told Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser, John Brennan, in September 2009: "I have given you an open door on terrorism. so I am not responsible," according to a secret dispatch back to Washington

In reality, despite the offer of an "open door", Yemen has restricted access for US forces in order to avoid playing into the hands of Saleh's domestic critics."
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El Pais: Van Rompuy: "Copenhagen was a disaster. The climate treaty won't work."

"La frustración por el fracaso de la Cumbre del Clima de Copenhague recorrió las Embajadas de toda Europa. Pese a que el discurso oficial de los delegados europeos era que el acuerdo alcanzado allí tenía elementos positivos, los cables confidenciales de la diplomacia de EE UU obtenidos por Wikileaks y analizados por este diario revelan lo contrario: decepción por el pacto, enfado con EE UU y con China y poca fe en que la negociación internacional contra el cambio climático en la ONU llegue algún día a buen puerto. El más claro es el presidente del Consejo Europeo, el belga Herman Van Rompuy. Este, según un cable confidencial de la Embajada de Bruselas a Washington fechado el pasado 4 de enero, confesó al embajador en Bruselas que Copenhague fue "un desastre increíble", y añadió: "Las cumbres multilaterales no funcionarán"."
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Le Monde: WikiLeaks : la loi Hadopi intéresse au plus haut point Washington

"L'ambassade des Etats-Unis à Paris s'est intéressée de très près à la loi Hadopi (qui sanctionne les internautes coupables de téléchargements illicites), car en France, comme ailleurs, la majorité de la musique et des films piratés sont américains.
Les diplomates ont d'abord suivi les diverses péripéties parlementaires autour du projet de loi avec étonnement, qualifiant le comportement des députés français de "théâtre de l'absurde". Ils sont alors entrés en relation avec un conseiller juridique du ministre de la culture, qui leur racontait le cheminement du projet et tentait de les rassurer sur la victoire finale.

L'ambassade travaillait aussi en liaison constante avec les grandes associations de l'industrie américaine du show business, notamment la MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) et la RIA (Recording Industry Association). Le vote de la loi Hadopi était pour elles une "priorité très importante", d'autant qu'elle pourrait servir d'exemple aux autres pays européens."
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Source: wlcentral.org

 

Martin Kettle, The Guardian: WikiLeaks: Openness against secrecy has a rich history of struggle

"Why WikiLeaks? Or, why these leaked documents and not other ones, and why these documents now? The answers may seem obvious. Because we can. Because they're there. Because we want to. Because it is in the public interest, or at least of interest to the public, even though that's not the same thing. All these are parts of the larger answer. But they aren't the full explanation.[...]

The broad parallels with today are very strong. A war that was widely opposed; a traumatic generational experience; a collective belief that the people were deceived; a conviction that public inquiries and the opening up of documents would reveal the incriminating evidence, and a desire to change the rules, above all by making them more democratically accountable, to avoid the same thing happening again. All these were present in the generation that lived through the first world war. All are present today in the generation that has lived through the Iraq and Afghan conflicts.[...]

Why WikiLeaks? Partly because we can. But, now as in the past, it is about a needless war and the governments that chose to fight it."
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David Samuels, The Atlantic: The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange

"It is dispiriting and upsetting for anyone who cares about the American tradition of a free press to see Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Robert Gibbs turn into H.R. Haldeman, John Erlichman and John Dean. We can only pray that we won't soon be hit with secret White House tapes of Obama drinking scotch and slurring his words while calling Assange bad names.[...]

But the truly scandalous and shocking response to the Wikileaks documents has been that of other journalists, who make the Obama Administration sound like the ACLU.[...] It is a fact of the current media landscape that the chilling effect of threatened legal action routinely stops reporters and editors from pursuing stories that might serve the public interest - and anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or lying. Every honest reporter and editor in America knows that the fact that most news organizations are broke, combined with the increasing threat of aggressive legal action by deep-pocketed entities, private and public, has made it much harder for good reporters to do their jobs, and ripped a hole in the delicate fabric that holds our democracy together.

In a memorandum entitled "Transparency and Open Government" addressed to the heads of Federal departments and agencies and posted on WhiteHouse.gov, President Obama instructed that "Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing." The Administration would be wise to heed his words -- and to remember how badly the vindictive prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg ended for the Nixon Administration. And American reporters, Pulitzer Prizes and all, should be ashamed for joining in the outraged chorus that defends a burgeoning secret world whose existence is a threat to democracy."
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Editorial, The Guardian: US embassy cables: Wiki witch-hunt

"There have been various suggestions as to what to do to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, after a week in which his revelations have severely embarrassed US diplomacy. Tom Flanagan, a former aide to the Canadian prime minister, called for his assassination, and then regretted his glib remark. Mike Huckabee said that those found guilty of leaking the cables should be executed for putting national security at risk. You would expect a future Republican presidential candidate to say that. But a Democrat administration is close behind. A team from the justice department and the Pentagon are exploring whether to charge Mr Assange under the Espionage Act. The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has said this is not sabre-rattling. Are they all about to turn into minions of which Richard Nixon would have been proud?

More insidious than that was the complacent yawn emanating from from sections of the liberal commentariat for which freedom of information is a given. So what's new about the Gulf Arab Sunnis wanting America or Israel to bomb Iran, or Colonel Gaddafi's taste for blonde Ukrainian nurses, or Nicolas Sarkozy being described as mercurial and authoritarian, they sneer. Maybe for them, nothing is new. Would that we all could be so wise. But for large areas of the world which do not have the luxury of being able to criticise their governments, the revelations about the private thoughts of their own leaders are important."
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Simon Jenkins, The Guardian: In this World Cup sewer, we reptiles of British journalism hold our heads high

"Yet journalism's stock-in-trade is disclosure. As we have seen this week with WikiLeaks, power loathes truth revealed. Disclosure is messy and tests moral and legal boundaries. It is often irresponsible and usually embarrassing. But it is all that is left when regulation does nothing, politicians are cowed, lawyers fall silent and audit is polluted. Accountability can only default to disclosure. As Jefferson remarked, the press is the last best hope when democratic oversight fails, as it does in the case of most international bodies.

I found myself chastised this week for my defence of WikiLeaks, on the ground that thieves should not revel in their crime by demanding that victims be more careful with their property. But in matters of public policy who is thieving what from whom? The WikiLeaks material was left by a public body, the US state department, like a wallet open on a park bench, except that in this case the wallet was full of home truths about the mendacity of public policy.[...]

What is intriguing is the hysteria of power at seeing its inner beliefs and processes revealed. The denunciation of WikiLeaks as an "attack on America" from the political right is similar to the attitude of Britain's football authorities towards the Sunday Times and the BBC. Someone had broken wind in church. Truth briefly swept aside the deceptions of public form and left reality exposed. The players in a once subtle game that had fallen to lying and cat-calling were suddenly told to stop, pull themselves together and look each other in the eye. As the great Donald Rumsfeld said, stuff happens. The air is cleared.[...]

So thank goodness for disclosure. Thank goodness for journalism."
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Robert Niles, Online Journalism Review: Wikileaks challenges journalists: Whose side are you on?

"I hope that Wikileaks, at the very least, encourages reporters to be more aggressive in challenging authority and working with sources to get information that officials, in government or industry, would prefer to keep from the public's eyes.

Sources with government and industry want the truth to get to the public. If journalists do not provide the means to make that happen, alternate media such as Wikileaks will do it instead. Personally, as a citizen, I'm thankful for that.[...]

Reporters' reaction to Wikileaks divides us into two camps: Those who want to see information get to the public, by whatever means, and those who want to control the means by which information flows. While it's fine to want to be the reporter who always gets the scoop, I can't support journalists who imply that the public's better served by having stories go unreported than going through "Journalism-approved" channels.

If you're upset with the way that Wikileaks is getting information to the public, then you'd better try harder to gather and publish that information yourself. (As Rosen suggested yesterday, we wouldn't have Wikileaks if we had a functioning watchdog press.) And if you think that the public shouldn't have information that the government wishes to withhold, might I suggest that you are in the wrong line of work?"
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Nikki Usher, Nieman Journalism Lab: Why WikiLeaks’ latest document dump makes everyone in journalism — and the public — a winner

"Imagine this: Look at what happens when mainstream news and whatever we want to call WikiLeaks work together. The forces are not in opposition but are united with a common goal — again, informing the public — and the result is that mainstream news can do what it does best thanks to the help of the information WikiLeaks provides. (But, of course, it couldn’t do it without WikiLeaks.) This is a moment of glory for all those who talk about crowdsourcing, user-generated content, and the like. Perhaps this is the ultimate form of users helping to create and shape the news. And the result is a better-informed public.

The takeaway here: Everyone in journalism — from its practitioners to its recipients — emerges from this data drop as a winner."
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Dominique Cardon, Le Monde: En finir avec le culte du secret et de la raison d'Etat (End the cult of secrecy and reasons of state)

(Translation forthcoming)
"Au prétexte de la tyrannie de la transparence, l'affaire WikiLeaks a ranimé chez certains le culte du secret et de la raison d'Etat. Une révélation de plus, et ce sont les vertus de la politique machiavélienne qui seront réhabilitées et, avec elles, cette habitude de protéger n'importe quel agissement du pouvoir du discrétionnaire "secret défense".

C'est pourtant moins le risque de la transparence que celui de l'opacité qui menace aujourd'hui la communication des pouvoirs économique et politique. La demande d'informations issues des coulisses apparaît alors comme un contre-feu face à l'hypertrophie des stratégies de communication qui cadenassent dans une langue de plus en plus artificielle les discours du pouvoir.[...]

Quelle qu'en soit l'origine, l'abondance des données ne fait pas une "contre-démocratie" sans la mobilisation de communautés d'interprètes susceptibles de leur donner un contexte, du sens, une narration et une visibilité. La mise en conversation de la société réclame un accès plus large et plus facile aux données, mais demande avant tout que la politique suscite un désir de conversation."
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Rebecca MacKinnon, CNN: WikiLeaks, Amazon and the new threat to internet speech

"While Amazon was within its legal rights, the company has nonetheless sent a clear signal to its users: If you engage in controversial speech that some individual members of the U.S. government don't like -- even if there is a strong case to be made that your speech is constitutionally protected -- Amazon is going to dump you at the first sign of trouble.

Let's hope that there will always be other companies willing to stand up for our rights as enshrined both in the U.S. Constitution and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- and by extension their right to do business with us.

The future of freedom in the internet age may well depend on whether we the people can succeed in holding companies that now act as arbiters of the public discourse accountable to the public interest."
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Sofia Mirjamsdotter, Metro: Bara en diktatur kan förbjuda Wikileaks (Only a dictatorship would ban WikiLeaks)

(Translation forthcoming)
"Antingen tror man på demokrati och yttrandefrihet, eller också gör man det inte. Det finns inget mellanläge.

Internet möjliggör insamling och spridning inte endast av oskyldiga statusuppdateringar från privatpersoner, utan även som i fallet Wikileaks av dokument som behandlar frågor direkt kopplade till världsfred och krig.

Varje vän av demokrati måste älska detta. Varje person som tror på och förespråkar yttrandefrihet bör uppmuntra och heja på den sortens användande av internet.

Demokratin har baksidor. En är att man måste rätta sig efter majoriteten, även när majoriteten har fel. "
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Source: www.WLcentral.org

 
By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 11:00:47, in en - Global Observatory, read 2097 times)

Image

The Australian Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance issued an official statement on WikiLeaks:

Alliance condemns WikiLeaks backlash

The Alliance condemns the political attacks being made against whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and says the vital role of the press in reporting matters in the public interest and holding the powerful to account must be respected.

Amazon.com ceased to host WikiLeaks after United States officials condemned the torrent of revelations about political, business and diplomatic affairs that has given the public unprecedented access to detailed information from United States sources, much of it embarrassing to leading public figures.

“Amazon’s decision is extremely disappointing,” said Alliance federal secretary, Christopher Warren. “We need to take a step back from the hysteria. It is not known whether WikiLeaks has broken any law. It has – via a free media – upheld the public’s right to know. ”

The Alliance welcomes the decision of WikiLeaks to collaborate with respected publications, including Der Spiegel, The Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde and El Pais.

“These publications have given assurances that the material published does not put the lives of individuals or sources at risk or reveal material that compromises ongoing military operations or the location of special forces.” said Warren

The Alliance is concerned that the Australian Government has signalled that it may attempt to pressure Australian media outlets not to report some of the WikiLeaks information. “Given that WikiLeaks is working with five leading media organisations around the world to publicise the Cablegate material, any attempt to muzzle the Australian media in this instance would ultimately prove pointless,” Warren said.

The Alliance is concerned about the welfare and well-being of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning, the United States soldier who is under arrest and suspected of leaking the information.

“This is a time for calm. The leaks are astonishing in their volume, and what they reveal. But this is not the first time that government or diplomatic material has been leaked.” said Warren.

The Alliance says attacks on Assange and Manning point to a dangerous atmosphere of intolerance and persecution not just for the two men, but for all journalists investigating public affairs.

Source: wlcentral.org

 

ImageTIME magazine's December 13 edition features Julian Assange on the cover and a number of WikiLeaks-related articles, including Massimo Calabresi's cover story, WikiLeaks' War on Secrecy: Truth's Consequences, and an additional feature by Fareed Zakaria: WikiLeaks Shows the Skills of U.S. Diplomats.

Further TIME WikiLeaks coverage includes an interview with Julian Assange, features on the US relationship with Germany and Pakistan, and deception in Mideast diplomacy. TIME also spoke with Julian Assange's lawyer Björn Hurtig about the Sweden case.

We would like to remind you that you can still vote for Julian Assange in TIME's Person of the Year reader poll.

 
By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 15:00:01, in en - Global Observatory, read 1688 times)

(Parts 1-4 of this coverage series can be found here, here, here, and here.)

United States: The Office of Management and Budget today directed all federal agencies to bar employees from accessing the Wikileaks web site. Talking Points Memo obtained a copy of letter sent out by OMB, which "directed the agencies to immediately tell their employees to 'safeguard classified information' by not accessing Wikileaks over the Internet.

Classified information, the OMB notes, 'remains classified ... until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority.' Employees may not view classified info over a non-classified system (i.e., the Internet), the OMB says, 'as doing so risks that material still classified will be placed onto non-classified systems.'"
Read more

AFP, The Guardian and CNN have more on the story.

Update 1: Gawker reports that "U.S. soldiers in Iraq who try to read about the Wikileaks disclosures—or read coverage of them in mainstream news sites—on unclassified networks get a page warning them that they're about to break the law.[...]

A tipster wrote to tell us that 'the Army's unclassified, NIPRNET network in Iraq has blocked every major news website because of the Wikileaks issue,' going on to say that Foxnews.com, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, the Huffington Post, and a variety of other sites are blocked on the Army's unclassified network."

Update 2: US corporations are getting in on the censorship game too. We are informed that HP sent out a letter to all employees warning them not to visits the WikiLeaks website. Will HP censor The New York Times as well?

Canada: The Montreal Gazette reports that "Defence Department staff have been warned against using government computers to sift through secret documents released by WikiLeaks. An email dubbed 'Wikileaks Notice' in the subject line says military computers are 'not to be used to visit the Wikileaks site or any other websites containing such information.'"

Update 3: Australia: We were also informed that a letter was sent out on the Australian defence network yesterday, warning employees not to access WikiLeaks, which would be considered a security breach.

 
By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 21:00:30, in en - Global Observatory, read 1258 times)

ImageWhile some of his colleagues are calling for Julian Assange to be prosecuted as a terrorist or assassinated, in an interview on Fox News' Freedom Watch on Thursday, Republican Rep. Ron Paul said that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks should get the same kind of protections as the mainstream media when it comes to releasing information.

"In a free society we're supposed to know the truth," Paul said, quoted by Politico. "In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it."

"This whole notion that Assange, who's an Australian, that we want to prosecute him for treason. I mean, aren't they jumping to a wild conclusion?” he added. “This is media, isn't it? I mean, why don't we prosecute The New York Times or anybody that releases this?"

"What we need is more WikiLeaks about the Federal Reserve," he added. "Can you imagine what it'd be like if we had every conversation in the last 10 years with our Federal Reserve people, the Federal Reserve chairman, with all the central bankers of the world and every agreement or quid-pro-quo they have? It would be massive. People would be so outraged."

In a Twitter post on Friday, Ron Paul wrote: "Re: WikiLeaks — In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."

Read more at Politico, CBS News and Raw Story

 

By Peter Kemp, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW, on 2010-12-04

Dear Prime Minister
From the Sydney Morning Herald I note you made a comment of "illegal" on the matter of Mr Assange in relation to the ongoing leaks of US diplomatic cables.

Previously your colleague and Attorney General the Honourable McClelland announced an investigation of possible criminality by Mr Assange.

As a lawyer and citizen I find this most disturbing, particularly so when a brief perusal of the Commonwealth Criminal Code shows that liability arises under the Espionage provisions, for example, only when it is the Commonwealth's "secrets" that are disclosed and that there must be intent to damage the Commonwealth.

Likewise under Treason law, there must be an intent to assist an enemy. Clearly, and reinforced by publicly available material such as Professor Saul's excellent article:
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/dont-cry-over-wikil...
...Julian Assange has almost certainly committed no crime under Australian law in relation to his involvement in Wikileaks.

I join with Professor Saul also in asking you Prime Minister why has there been no public complaint to the US about both Secretaries of State Condaleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton being in major breach of International law ie UN Covenants, by making orders to spy on UN personnel, including the Secretary General, to include theft of their credit card details and communication passwords. Perhaps the Attorney General should investigate this clear prima facie evidence of crime (likely against Australian diplomats as well), rather than he attempts to prosecute the messenger of those crimes.

It is also disturbing that no Australian official has castigated Sweden for the shameful treatment Mr Assange has received ie his human rights abused, in that he has not been charged and served with papers in the English language regarding the evidence against him of alleged sexual offences. This is contrary to Article 6 of the European Covenant on Human Rights to which Sweden is a signatory nation.

Those offences remain unclear and the Swedish prosecutor Ms Ny appears to be making up the law as she wants. It appears now, by Ms Ny's interpretation that when consensual sex occurs but if a condom breaks, the male party is liable to 2 years imprisonment for sexual assault. All this information is publicly available.

An Australian citizen is apparently being singled out for "special treatment" Prime Minister. There are legitimate concerns among citizens here that his treatment by the Swedes is connected to US interests which are against the activities of Wikileaks, and you will note the strident, outrageous (and illegal) calls inciting violence against him in the US in demands for his assassination, by senior influential US politicians.

Granted that in western political circles, Mr Assange is not flavour of the month, but what he is doing in my opinion, and in the opinion of many here and abroad, is vitally necessary to expose American foreign policy failures and potential war crimes and crimes against humanity--not for the purpose of damaging US interests but to make them accountable.

While we have close and a good relationship with the US, there is no doubt that US influence and power is declining. That we appear to be still posturing, (given that declining power and a new paradigm of privately enforced accountability) to the US on the issue of Wikileaks is, Prime Minister, deeply disappointing.

Yours Faithfully
Peter Kemp.

(Readers are encouraged contact the Australian Prime Minister here: http://www.pm.gov.au/PM_Connect/Email_your_PM)

 
By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 23:00:34, in en - Global Observatory, read 1532 times)

PayPal joined Moneybookers, Amazon, Tableau and EveryDNS in cancelling services for WikiLeaks.

In a statement posted on its website, the company wrote: "PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action."

Daniel Ellsberg and many WikiLeaks supporters have called for a boycott of Amazon. PayPal may be next.

There are many other ways for supporters of truth and free speech to contribute to WikiLeaks, and we would like to encourage you to do so: http://213.251.145.96/support.html

 
By Admin (from 05/12/2010 @ 05:00:52, in en - Global Observatory, read 1687 times)

ImageFrontline Club: WikiLeaks - The US embassy cables

This event, held on December 1st, featured WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson and data journalist James Ball in a discussion with Colleen Graffy, former deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy (US State Department), and Sir Richard Dalton, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House. The discussion was moderated by author and broadcaster Tom Fenton.

The video recording of the event is now available on the Frontline website.

BBC HardTalk: WikiLeaks - Open Secrets

In this December 3rd panel show, Host Stephen Sackur speaks with former UK ambassador Carne Ross, former US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte, and WikiLeaks data journalist James Ball about the Cablegate disclosures.

The video is available on the BBC website until December 10th.

Image

Democracy Now!: Is WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange a Hero?

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales hosted a debate between Glenn Greenwald of Salon and Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News on December 3rd.

Glenn Greenwald: "If you look at the overall record of WikiLeaks—and let me just stipulate right upfront that WikiLeaks is a four-year-old organization, four years old. They’re operating completely unchartered territory. Have they made some mistakes and taken some missteps? Absolutely. They’re an imperfect organization. But on the whole, the amount of corruption and injustice in the world that WikiLeaks is exposing, not only in the United States, but around the world, in Peru, in Australia, in Kenya and in West Africa and in Iceland, much—incidents that are not very well known in the United States, but where WikiLeaks single-handedly uncovered very pervasive and systematic improprieties that would not have otherwise been uncovered, on top of all of the grave crimes committed by the United States. There is nobody close to that organization in terms of shining light of what the world’s most powerful factions are doing and in subverting the secrecy regime that is used to spawn all sorts of evils."

The video and full transcript are available on the Democracy Now! website.

Image

Democracy Now!: U.N. Special Rapporteur Juan Méndez: Instead of Focusing on Assange, U.S. Should Address WikiLeaks’ Disclosures of Torture

Democracy Now! interviewed Juan Méndez, the new U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, on December 2nd. The interview focused on Cablegate revelations regarding US spying on UN officials and torture committed under the Bush administration.

Juan Méndez: "What I am really worried about is that we seem to be focusing on whether disclosing these cables is legal or illegal, whether it merits some kinds of action against Mr. Assange. We’re not really discussing the merits, the substance of what some of these things reveal. And in my case, for example, I’m very concerned about the documents that show that literally thousands of people were first imprisoned by American forces and then transferred to the control of forces in Iraq and perhaps even in Afghanistan, where they knew that these people were going to be tortured. That’s a very clear violation of a standard that applies to the United States as a signatory of the Convention Against Torture, and I want to know what’s being done about getting to the bottom of that."

The full video is available on the Democracy Now! website.

 
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