2011-07-06 #WikiLeaks fight for transparency continues on the Internet #antisec #anonops #europeanrevolution

As any keen observer must have noticed, the world-wide social turmoil of the last year is closely linked with the availability of information, or in other words, the stark quest for transparency with which corrupt Governments and corporations around the globe have suddenly come face to face with. As philosopher Slavoj Žižek recently put it in a debate held in London with Julian Assange and Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman : “We may all know that the emperor is naked, but the moment somebody publicly says the emperor is naked: everything changes.

In this massive uncovering Wikileaks’ Cablegate has played a crucial role, not only providing an ongoing stream of secret information to the general public, but by showing that a better society, one working efficiently to reach its true idealistic goals, absolutely needs transparency. In an interview with Forbes Assange used a clear metaphor to illustrate the effects of transparency in a society by comparing them to those that would occur in a market situation: “To put it simply, in order for there to be a market, there has to be information. A perfect market requires perfect information”, he also added that “WikiLeaks is designed to make capitalism more free and ethical”. In other words if a Government is to work efficiently to achieve the goals it was elected for, citizens need clear and accurate reports on their leader’s actions; if they are failing to comply then they will be forced to do so by the general electorate. It is not to be implied, however, that Wikileaks and their sudden irruption in the scene have caused all the unrest directly: the emperor was already naked, they just called it out publicly and on a huge scale.

Of course, a transparency based society is an ideal that is far away from reality. Most -if not all- states and corporations (it is against this far too powerful merger that people are gathering to fight) are built intrinsically upon secrecy, they always have an outward face delivered by propaganda or mass media, having at the same time a completely different inner reality. This masquerade is precisely what Cablegate has revealed, that is, a system where democracy is widely hailed as the motive for all economic treaties, high profile diplomatic meetings and even wars, while at the same time, behind the general citizenry’s back, private and corporate interest reign with absolutely no regard for the population. In this new light democracy is only a political catch phrase and by all means something that most Governments, according to their own actions, should be terribly afraid of. However, even though much has been already revealed, how much more is left secret? Institutions are obviously acting in the same way they have been for centuries; they have definitely felt a big shock but not big enough for them to change their behaviour.

The next step is logical but hard to achieve, because ultimate transparency means real-time transparency, something contrary to the very nature of the system. However, thanks to the Internet this is seemingly about to change. In the wake of Wikileaks, many independent copy-cats popped up over the Internet, offering to publish leaked material more or less anonymously. These lagged however, because they depended on outside momentum and anonymity is not easily achieved. Hackers, on the other hand already have to be, by definition, anonymous in the real world, and it is in this cyber-world that the war for information is being fought. The famous exploits of Twitter celebrities @Lulzsec (www.lulzsecurity.com) have sent strong proof of the possibilities that lie in searching and publishing material for yourself, instead of waiting for it to be delivered.

Even though they were active for only 50 days (their colorful final message can be found here http://pastebin.com/1znEGmHa), they managed to take down various high profile websites (the Brazilian government’s official site, the CIA, Amazon, among others) as well as stealing a total of over a million user names and passwords, as well as secret information from various targets such as FOX, the U.S. Senate, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Sony Corporation. Even though the self-defined six man group initially had no moral intentions (they did it all for the LULZ towards the end of their rampage they became politically motivated, claiming allegiance to the struggle that Wikileaks and Anonymous represent. They re-united with the larger Anon hacker group and thanks to their extremely popular Twitter account, launched Operation Anti-Security (#antisec), uniting hackers over the world under the common goal of attacking and leaking information from sources that fail to comply with the ideals of real democracy, free speech and a free Internet, among others.

The Antisec movement is still young and is just getting started. As of now, no major leaks have been produced, even though there have been information spills regarding various “corrupt” governments and corporations. Groups of hackers, however, are springing out like weeds all over the globe, with new active factions in Canada, Brazil, Italy, the U.S., Turkey and Malaysia (here are some of their Twitter accounts @LulzSecMalaysia, @LulzSecItaly, @LulzSecBrazil, @LulzRaft). They are all coordinating into tackling their own ideological enemies in any which way they are able too. Most of the time this translates into blocking web pages via DDoS attacks, a method which can be considered an Internet picket-line, the digital form of mass protest of our age.

In Europe, the new Italian group has been particularly active, taking down the websites of the far-right parties that form the current power coalition:

They are doing this to protest against moves by President Silvio Berlusconi that would actively enforce Internet censorship after pressure by the U.S. Government. Reporter Luca de Biase explains, the law being past “requires AGCOM (Italian telecommunications regulator) to adopt anti-piracy tools, but the AGCOM proposal gives the Authority itself the power to remove content from Italian websites or to block access to foreign websites accused by copyright holders to break their rights. There will be no need to go through a regular trial, no judge will be involved in the decision making. Accused sites will have only 5 days to explain their position and their right to defend themselves will be quite limited”.

In another major attack Turkish hacker group RedHack announced that they have defaced (hacked and altered) over 1000 sites explicitly following the ideological background set up by Antisec.

The next step in the chain is the recently inaugurated HackerLeaks, whose motto is “helping hackers to leak material of interest” by helping to disclose any material that might be stolen while guaranteeing the safety of the discloser. According to Commander X, editor-in-chief and founder of the site, the model is exactly the same as the one Wikileaks uses. He hopes to provide a link between stolen material and a larger conglomeration of media groups that will give it maximum attention. He also told Andy Greenberg from Forbes that he expects to be on the legal side stating that “we don’t obtain this material. We merely publish it. This violates no sane law anywhere.” With HackerLeaks protecting user’s identities and Antisec working actively to achieve any valuable secret information, it is possible that some form of real-time transparency might emerge and follow Wikileaks footsteps in shaping not only consciences but government and corporate policies. For updated information on these subjects visit http://www.thehackernews.com or follow @TheHackerNews.

DDoS attacks are an online

DDoS attacks are an online form of protest, but hacking is a crime and should not be encouraged.

Misspelled name - Schotz, not Schatz

Please excuse my misspelling of the name of the writer/psychologist E. Martin Schotz in my previous comment.

Zizek statement

The Zizek statement above: “We may all know that the emperor is naked, but the moment somebody publicly says the emperor is naked: everything changes." is profoundly true.

It also reminds me of similar insights expressed by E. Martin Schatz, a clinical child psychiatrist who has written extensively about the JFK assassination (the book, History Will Not Absolve Us, for instance). "Belief not based on knowledge or reasonable certainty, on the other hand, excuses inaction." Many people hold very well-justified beliefs and suspicions about government or corporate corruption and conspiratorial intrigues based upon incomplete information available to them. The leaks provided by WikiLeaks has enabled people (e.g., Tunisians and Egyptians) to break past mere belief to knowledge. Paraphrasing Schatz, he has written that knowledge about what happens is dangerous, because it demands response. Once the Tunisian and Egyptian people no longer merely believed, but KNEW, of their respective governments' deep corruption, their revolutionary actions were demanded of them.

Schatz has likewise declared the "emperor is naked" with respect to the JFK assassination. It has been obvious and undeniable to any impartial and clear-headed observer looking at the evidence that the official government narrative of what happened is a lie (Oswald, the supposed "lone nut" assassin), and that very high level people in the U.S. military and intelligence sphere (primarily led by the CIA) were responsible for Kennedy's murder. However, it is profoundly uncomfortable for the American people to acknowledge the truth because it would then demand action from us. The heinous political crime has profound implications about who really holds power in our society. Although the crime happened 50 years ago, the network of perpetrators responsible for it and their successors are still very much in power. Of course, the assassination of JFK was not the only political assassination or attempted assassination in our recent history - over the past 50 years - there have been a great many more and their perpetrators have all come from the same power network.

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