2011-11-10 WikiLeaks News: WL and Bradley #Manning Support, #Cablegate, Threats to #Whistleblowing

We call upon everyone to assist us in this important fight. We have seen clearly what bankers' greed can do to our economies. We cannot allow them to directly infringe on our basic human rights. - Kristinn Hrafnsson

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

Update: Former and current WikiLeaks associates Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp's twitter records are to be disclosed, U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady ruled today. The unsealing of docketing information pertaining to the case, and of relevance in the context of the Grand Jury investigation on WikiLeaks, was however refused.

Jacob Appelbaum reacted to the decision with the words: Today is one of those "losing faith in the justice system" kind of days.

Twitter Wikileaks Ruling


The appeal against the extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden dismissed by the High Court of London (time frame for an appeal of this decision to the Supreme Court is presently 13 days), several entities have publicly opposed the possibility of the extradition taking place, as it would for instance facilitate a subsequent extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, namely the Pirate Party UK whose statement on the matter reads:

"...It appears that Judges in the UK have acted in-line with the law, but within the restrictive framework of the EAW. There are clearly problems with these arrangements -- it is outrageous that the UK is acting within a system where a citizen of one country could be handed to another on the basis of mere allegations. Unlike most other extradition proceedings the EAW prevents UK courts from considering the facts for a case before considering extradition."

and the World Socialist Web Site.

Moreover, an online Human Rights petition was started by supporters, demanding protection by the Australian Parliament against extradition to the US.

And on the 17th November, Australians will join Christine Assange (Julian's mother) on the occasion of US President Barack Obama's visit to Australian capital Canberra, in what is to become a day of support for Julian Assange. A protest against Julian's extradition and US government actions against WikiLeaks will occur in front of the Parliament House in Canberra. Please join.

In a recent interview, Christine Assange stated:

"I'm asking Australians around the country on November 17th to refuse to
celebrate the Obama visit, and instead replace it with a day of support
for Julian (...) Both [Australian] political parties have been spineless in standing up to the US over this. (...) Whatever the US wants, the Gillard government is handing it over. And the opposition isn't much better."

[For more information on the November 17 protest see: Join the Wikicitizens' protest against wars for the 1% on Nov 17]

On another important date, November 28, coinciding with the anniversary of Cablegate and the announced launch of a new WikiLeaks online submission system, Julian Assange and Kristinn Hrafnsson will debate the topic The WikiLeaks effect: the rebirth of investigative journalism at the GEN News World Summit (Hong Kong).


Upcoming campaigns in support of Bradley Manning

Image* Starting next Monday (November 14), a Call-in to The White House and Military to Demand UN Access to Bradley Manning will take place throughout the week. Additional information will be posted on the Bradley Manning Support Network website, bradleymanning.org.

* Bradley's 24th birthday will be on December 17th. This is the second birthday the alleged whistleblower will have spent detained in a military prison, without trial. Everyone is encouraged to gather support for Bradley Manning on this day and to send small gifts and birthday cards to the following address

Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 6602

[Click here for more information on the items you can send.]


Measures Threatening Online Whistleblowing

A number of measures have in past few months been proposed and implemented by the United States Government in reaction to WikiLeaks. Most recently a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)-funded program that will generate decoy documents in classified networks with the ability to spot 'intruders' (potential whistleblowers) has been announced:

Darpa-funded researchers are building a program for “generating and distributing believable misinformation.” The ultimate goal is to plant auto-generated, bogus documents in classified networks and program them to track down intruders’ movements, a military research abstract reveals. [via Wired]

The Stop Online Piracy Act, a proposed copyright bill, constitutes another threat to online whistleblowing, with the particularity of allowing payment processors (eg. Visa, Mastercard or PayPal, that currently exert an unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks) to cease processing payments to any website voluntarily and without notice, provided there is 'reasonable belief' the website engages in copyright infringement.

That condition met, a financial blockade against any website, similar to that unlawfully imposed on WikiLeaks, would under this Act be considered legal.

1 Proposed Copyright Bill Threatens Whistleblowing and Human Rights,
2 The Stop Online Piracy Act: A Blacklist by Any Other Name Is Still a Blacklist, by Trevor Timm]

Lastly, an Executive Order on classified information signed by President Obama on the 7th October, known as the 'WikiLeaks Executive Order', explicitly aims to prevent further leaking of classified information. An article in the National Journal describes the Order as follows:

A new Insider Threat Task Force led by the Attorney General will develop a government-wide strategy to see whether agencies that handle classified information can weed out the malcontents and people whose behavior suggests they cannot handle sensitive information appropriately.
The result will be a beefing up of federal counter-intelligence programs.


Selected Recent Cablegate Press Coverage

  • U.S. lobbied against cheaper medicine law in the Philippines [philSTAR]:

'US lobbied with former senator and now Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Quirino Rep. Junie Cua against the Cheaper Medicine Act in the Philippines (a legislation intended to lower the cost of medicines in the Philippines by striking a competition among pharmaceutical firms) after American stakeholders expressed concern about the possible changes in the country’s pharmaceutical policies. The bill, according to US Ambassador Kristie Kenny was “troubling US pharmaceutical rights holders trying to retain their market share and profitability in the Philippines."'

'Secret cables from the US Embassy in Jakarta released by WikiLeaks show the US government was keen to find ways around a law banning training of military units with a history of human rights violations, to fund and train Indonesia’s military and police.'

  • China paid inducements to Nepalese border guards for apprehending Tibetans and handing them back to the Chinese authorities [WebIndia123]
  • WikiLeaks sheds light on Human Trafficking in South East Asia [3rd Degree]:

'In the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 cable, dated February 27, 2010, the Indonesian Government claims it has control over the human trafficking issue. Though information from the Australian Institute of Criminology begs to differ, stating that despite the increase in court cases against traffickers by the Indonesian Government, the estimated number of people trafficked in the region is still close to a million people a year.'

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