New Orleans Vigilantes without boundaries, citizens only of Laptopistan, hiding in the hobbit-hole of the internet, have spent weeks now trying to muscle Wikileaks off the “air” so to speak. Some are self-identified as “patriots,” while others are using “bots” to overwhelm servers to jam up Wikileaks sites. This is all out of control and just seems wrong to me and a little too reminiscent of McCarthyism and the anti-ACORN herd attack in Congress over a year ago.
Amazon kicked them off their servers based on what seems to be little more than an inquiry from a junior g-man staffer for Senator Lieberman (?-CT). PayPal froze them out of donation collection on 24 hour notice. Both claimed “terms of service” abuse and in PayPal’s case alleged that they were involved in illegal activity.
Yes, I know there is a host of controversy around the Wikileaks doc-dumps, but someone tell me if I’m wrong, but has any legal authority even charged them with any crime yet? No, I didn’t think so, and I know I’m way out of date and old school in these times of the new vigilantes, but even when – and if – charged, some of us sentimentalists still believe that a court of competent jurisdiction would actually have to find them guilty of something before the terms “illegal activity” could be bandied about. I admit that having run a so-called “criminal enterprise” for 38 years may make me a little biased here, but what can I say.
The truth is simply that these outfits and their big billionaire owners who pride themselves on their special style and sizzle in new age, cutting edge businesses simply turned tail and ran. I’m a little more sympathetic to EveryDNS.net which controlled the wikileaks.org address because a least they admitted that they were weenies and were blocking the Wikileaks address because they were afraid their whole operation would drop like a rock under the attacks. I think they should go out of business or fix this problem if they stay in the work. What’s the point of paying them for only the days when there is sunshine outside. Read some of the articles about our friends in China and their obsession with internet control (courtesy of these Wikileaks doc drops) and man up or get stepping.
Of course the Obama Administration and the Department of Defense look sort of Chinese in the way they have now ordered government employees and subcontractors to NOT download the cables unless they have a security clearance almost 2 weeks after the fact. No problem, if they have already done so before the order not to do so, they are supposed to report it to their bosses. It also turns out that almost a million people have the necessary security clearances (yes, I’m a little surprised they have kept the lid on Pandora’s Box so long!) and with 2 million federal employees it must mean either every other one is a safe bet or more likely a lot of subcontractors are rocking and rolling out there.
These are all teachable moments for those of us on the outs and not with the in crowd, which is all organizers and advocates of those who are poorer than most, work harder and dirtier than others, live across the tracks and on the other side of the divide, and populate most of the world and its people. We better be taking notes and learning from what is happening now to Wikileaks and thinking about how it affects us and our futures in the internet age.