Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq Logs

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Manial » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:17 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:Fun fact: Australian webmasters can now be fined up to $11,000 per day for linking to Wikileaks after it was added to the banned sites list. That means, should the web filter be implemented, Wikileaks won't be accessible from inside the country. Apparently someone high up took offence to what was in that information.

Edit: the article is actually a year old, so it wasn't triggered by recent events, but that...doesn't exactly make it better.
Coincidentally, ACMA removed Wikileaks from that blacklist, just hours ago. Maybe they're watching this thread right now. :shock:

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby The Reaper » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:32 pm UTC

Manial wrote:
Hawknc wrote:Fun fact: Australian webmasters can now be fined up to $11,000 per day for linking to Wikileaks after it was added to the banned sites list. That means, should the web filter be implemented, Wikileaks won't be accessible from inside the country. Apparently someone high up took offence to what was in that information.

Edit: the article is actually a year old, so it wasn't triggered by recent events, but that...doesn't exactly make it better.
Coincidentally, ACMA removed Wikileaks from that blacklist, just hours ago. Maybe they're watching this thread right now. :shock:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art ... c61fc8033a
Police were investigating whether any Australian law was broken by the latest leaking of confidential documents by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks, the attorney-general said Monday.
Robert McClelland said he was not aware of a request from the United States to cancel WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's Australian passport. A range of options were under consideration by Australian government agencies in response to the latest disclosure of classified U.S. material, he said.
McClelland told reporters there are "potentially a number of criminal laws" that could have been breached.
Defense Minister Stephen Smith said later that a cross-government committee was studying the documents to ascertain what damage could be done by their release.
"We need to take it ... step by step, but our starting and endpoint is essentially protecting Australia's national interest," Smith said in an interview on Sky News television. "This is an act which again one has no option but to absolutely condemn it. It potentially puts national security interests and it puts the safety and welfare of individuals at stake."
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week condemned the planned leaks as reckless and potentially harmful to national security interests.
Smith said the U.S. ambassador had told the Australian government and relevant ministers about the leaks ahead of their release.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Le1bn1z » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:15 pm UTC

Called it.

BREAKING NEWS FROM THE ONION WIKILEAKS

1.) Sunnis in Middle East Don't Like Shia; Don't Want Them to Have Nuclear Weapons!
2.) American Diplomats Can be Dicks!
3.) Royal Family is a Family; Acts Human! Caught on Tape!
4.) People in Diplomatic Community May Not All Love Eachother!
5.) Rich Dudes in Same Business Hang with Each Other, Exchange Expensive Shit!
6.) China Has Hacked American Newtworks!
7.) The Earth May be Round!

Wow. I'm glad somebody got us this gamechanging information.

Here's what gets me though:

1.) How the hell, on the first round, did some friggin private or corporal manage to download friggin everything!?! Most junior high schools have better network security than that!

2.) Americans, y'all know you're diplomatically screwed, right? This essentially confirms that age old prejudice that Americans can't be trusted with big-kid secrets and that the American government is leakier than the horse you get the Budweiser from. It will be a while before diplomats, sources, allied soldiers and politicians etc. will be confident in sharing candid thoughts or important diplomatic info with American partners. Because evidently America feels the need to write down everything it hears and leave it where some 20 year old private can stroll along and whistle out the door with it without so much as a whopsiedaisy. Just saying.

3.) On the plus side, if the government does need help in figuring out elementary network security, I'm sure that there are any number of highschool kids on xkcd with a few spare hours. They'd get 'em sorted out. So, I see a productive summer job in somebody's future.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Oregonaut » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm UTC

Right. Because everyone has their piss pipes aimed squarely at the US.

Never mind.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Le1bn1z » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Right. Because everyone has their piss pipes aimed squarely at the US.

Never mind.


More or less. Except for those times when they all super need something from the USA.

Take Korea and Japan. Non stop protests against American troops, American influence, American anything.... until Kim Jong Il misses his medication one morning and decides to go Pisbury Dough Rambo on a bunch of helpless civilians. Now, all of a sudden, America is everybody's superbestfriend. At least for the next six months.

I'm just saying that America needs to find who leaked this stuff, and lay down the law. Hard. Then it needs to start taking its network security a little more seriously. Again, how the hell did the Iraq files get leaked by a friggin Corporal?!?! How does a Corporal get access to that level of stuff?!?!? It boggles the mind.

I wonder what the chances are of using that big stick America keeps lying around to stop further releases of this type in the future? Sweden is not an important partner, but any streach of the imagination. There could be ways of bringing pressure to bear. I wonder what would happen if Ikea were no longer able to import from Sweden?

If its any consolation, in the past 10 years in Canada top secret files have 1.) been left on the backseat of a car at a hockey game and stolen by some kid punck 2.) been used as leverage in a pension dispute 3.) been left by the Minister for Foreign Affairs at his biker girl friend's place for a long while.

It happens everywhere, but this is less a problem of incompetence or treachery of one person as a major flaw in the way America handles sensitive information.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Dauric » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:48 pm UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:Again, how the hell did the Iraq files get leaked by a friggin Corporal?!?! How does a Corporal get access to that level of stuff?!?!? It boggles the mind.


Not really. You don't assign menial file sorting jobs to a five-star general. Like any organization the people who actually handle the documents are fairly low on the organization chart, the higher up the chain the more likely the person is to be a manager who's overseeing the people actually handling the nuts-and-bolts of the projects. Higher up the org. chart you also have jobs that are less routine, handling exceptions and emergencies that the people lower on the char aren't paid to make those decisions, while lower on the chart are the people who handle the 'day-to-day' operations, making sure pieces of paper make it in to the correct file folders so they or another menial peon can get the right piece of paper when someone up the chain of command demands it. The leaks came from a clerk who had to file and sort the documents on a regular basis as part of a menial file handling task.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Oregonaut » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

I used to work around secret materials. Sadly, it is easier than it needs to be because they rely on trust more than they should.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby iop » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:45 pm UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:Called it.

BREAKING NEWS FROM THE ONION WIKILEAKS



Also: Politicians say one thing and do another! And since we all know that they, we don't really want to know what lies they're telling us, right?

The person who leaked the information is known and in custody already, btw., and has apparently been the sole source of all the material recently released by Wikileaks.

Le1bn1z wrote:Sweden is not an important partner, by any stretch of the imagination. There could be ways of bringing pressure to bear. I wonder what would happen if Ikea were no longer able to import from Sweden?

Sweden is also in the EU, which is an important partner of the US, so open threat of economic sanctions against them (like the US did with Switzerland, for example) would be problematic. But behind the scenes, the US is certainly putting on pressure, like they did (as we've now learned from Wikileaks) on Germany to make sure that the German who was abducted and tortured by mistake in the war against terror would not be able to take any action against the US or its personnel.

Oregonaut wrote:I used to work around secret materials. Sadly, it is easier than it needs to be because they rely on trust more than they should.

Since information weighs nothing these days, it's really hard to guarantee it doesn't get stolen, and at some point, they has to be some trust.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Oregonaut » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:53 pm UTC

Meh. All I'm seeing by looking through the leak is that the US is actually less bloodthirsty than many other nations wish it was.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby iop » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:57 pm UTC

The information about the US is nothing particularly exciting. What we learn about other countries and their leaders is a lot more interesting though, assuming the assessments about politicians are right (they're probably not too much off, since the diplomats actually meet them face to face).

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby yedidyak » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Meh. All I'm seeing by looking through the leak is that the US is actually less bloodthirsty than many other nations wish it was.


So far Ive seen two sorts of conspiracy theories about why that is.

The first is 'You see, the truth is stating to come out! Soon we will know about 9/11!!'. The second is 'Ah, this seems to show that the USA / Israel is not the root of all evil ever, therefore its wrong, therefore its a setup! Im not that stupid!'

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Belial » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:27 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Not really. You don't assign menial file sorting jobs to a five-star general. Like any organization the people who actually handle the documents are fairly low on the organization chart,


Pretty much. Until the people with the big titles and the expensive security clearances see fit to lower themselves to do administrative work, there's always going to be someone with very little investment in your organization handling your big important secret documents.

This is your daily reminder to treat your documentation staff well. We have all your things.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby The Reaper » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:33 pm UTC

Belial wrote:This is your daily reminder to treat your documentation staff well. We have all your things.

Very true. It is also something many commands in the US Military don't do. Go figure.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby PhatPhungus » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:36 pm UTC

[quote=Le1bn1z]1.) How the hell, on the first round, did some friggin private or corporal manage to download friggin everything!?! Most junior high schools have better network security than that! [/quote]

Aside from file handling considerations, have you ever seen the network security at junior high schools? It's awful. And the if the secret service is using technology from the 80's I wouldn't be surprised if the military and department of state are as well. Presumably systems from the 80s are a lot easier to hack than modern ones.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:24 pm UTC

Well, also be sure to be nice to the secretary. Seriously, she knows everything you do, where you will be at what time. A hostile secretary is nearly as dangerous as a hostile spouse...

Also be sure to be nice the the security guards and the janitor. Anyone that has keys to every door in the building is not someone you want to annoy.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Gellert1984 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:30 pm UTC

And the cook, beef and arsenic pie is not a good meal also the tea lady and the guy who replaces your water cooler bottles and the plumber and the electricion and the IT guy...In fact you should probably just be nice to everyone.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Oregonaut » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:31 pm UTC

As a secretary, I would like to point out that part of the name of our position is "secret".
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Dauric » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:35 pm UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:And the cook, beef and arsenic pie is not a good meal also the tea lady and the guy who replaces your water cooler bottles and the plumber and the electricion and the IT guy...In fact you should probably just be nice to everyone.


Well, being nice to everyone is a good idea, but the cook, tea lady, water-cooler guy, plumber, electrician don't have unrestricted access to the rooms where files are kept, and aren't as much a threat to security (unless as Oregonaut notes the facility relies far too much on trust). Janitors and security are a greater risk to espionage, as is the IT guy, since they either have all the keys, or the ability to directly access information from the server cluster in order to do their jobs.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Dark567 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:35 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:As a secretary, I would like to point out that part of the name of our position is "secret".

wikipedia wrote:The term is derived from the Latin word secernere, "to distinguish" or "to set apart," the passive participle (secretum) meaning "having been set apart," with the eventual connotation of something private or confidential. A secretarius was a person, therefore, overseeing business confidentially, usually for a powerful individual (a king, pope, etc).
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Oregonaut » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:50 pm UTC

Yeah, it was something that I used during my interview. Being male was disadvantage enough, I wanted to point out that I was used to handling secrets, and that I was intelligent enough to know what "secretary" actually meant.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Telchar » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:58 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Gellert1984 wrote:And the cook, beef and arsenic pie is not a good meal also the tea lady and the guy who replaces your water cooler bottles and the plumber and the electricion and the IT guy...In fact you should probably just be nice to everyone.


Well, being nice to everyone is a good idea, but the cook, tea lady, water-cooler guy, plumber, electrician don't have unrestricted access to the rooms where files are kept, and aren't as much a threat to security (unless as Oregonaut notes the facility relies far too much on trust). Janitors and security are a greater risk to espionage, as is the IT guy, since they either have all the keys, or the ability to directly access information from the server cluster in order to do their jobs.


Generally speaking that's why it's really hard to get security clearance to be a janitor or construction worker at a government facility where secrecy is at a premium. I have a friend who used to work manual labor at an institution in the Nevada desert who had to jump through a ton of hoops to get the contract.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby G.v.K » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:56 pm UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:And the cook, beef and arsenic pie is not a good meal also the tea lady and the guy who replaces your water cooler bottles and the plumber and the electricion and the IT guy...In fact you should probably just be nice to everyone.


don't forget the telephone sanitizers...

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Rippy » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:04 am UTC

Am I the only one who thinks this is a lot more significant than people are making it out to be? It might not sound like much to us average citizens, but logs being released of diplomats openly disparaging each other can be a pretty big deal to international relations. It may not be some spectacular tale of torture and war crimes like a lot of you seem to have been hankering for, but this definitely has implications in international politics.

As someone on reddit wrote, it seems like Wikileaks is doing the job that journalists should be doing: exposing truth. The main criticism of Wikileaks seems to be that they're "putting lives at risk", but hardly anyone is pointing out that there would be no risks if the people involved had acted responsibly in the first place. So arguing that lives are being put at risk is arguing that these things are best kept secret, which seems to be saying that they just don't want to KNOW how corrupt / irresponsible their politicians are.

And it's not even like they're just dumping entire logs onto the internet. They're redacting information that could be compromising to individuals, and they even asked the U.S. government what documents they wanted censored (the offer was refused).

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby big boss » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:32 am UTC

Everyone is quick to condemn these diplomats and politicians when they in fact know very little about how international politics is played out in practice, what gives any average citizen the authority to decide what is right and wrong in international politics when so much is done behind closed doors.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Dark567 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:42 am UTC

Rippy wrote:As someone on reddit wrote, it seems like Wikileaks is doing the job that journalists should be doing: exposing truth. The main criticism of Wikileaks seems to be that they're "putting lives at risk", but hardly anyone is pointing out that there would be no risks if the people involved had acted responsibly in the first place. So arguing that lives are being put at risk is arguing that these things are best kept secret, which seems to be saying that they just don't want to KNOW how corrupt / irresponsible their politicians are.
The thing is, I am not sure these diplomats were acting irresponsibly. As an example of something released, one US diplomat sent a cable to another saying Karzai was "an extremely weak man who did not listen to facts". Although insulting to Karzai, this is information(well at least the second part) that needs to be shared between diplomats so that they can better work with foreign diplomats, while at the same time remaining private. That is what diplomacy is.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby yedidyak » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:49 am UTC

Rippy wrote: but logs being released of diplomats openly disparaging each other can be a pretty big deal to international relations.


Exactly. Thats one reason why they shouldn't have been released. Why shouldn't a US diplomat be able to speak freely about a foreign leader in a SECRET internal diplomatic memo? Do you think the US would be better off if they only ever referred to Putin as 'that nice chap' or to Berlusconi as 'that outstandingly moral gentleman'?

Rippy wrote:The main criticism of Wikileaks seems to be that they're "putting lives at risk", but hardly anyone is pointing out that there would be no risks if the people involved had acted responsibly in the first place. So arguing that lives are being put at risk is arguing that these things are best kept secret, which seems to be saying that they just don't want to KNOW how corrupt / irresponsible their politicians are.


Sorry, dont quite get that. Who exactly was being irresponsible? The US diplomat for sending a contact's name in a secret memo?

Rippy wrote:And it's not even like they're just dumping entire logs onto the internet. They're redacting information that could be compromising to individuals, and they even asked the U.S. government what documents they wanted censored (the offer was refused).


First of all any intelligence service could pretty easily figure out whos name had been redacted from any of these documents. But in my view thats not even the main issue. Next time the Saudi King is worried about something, will he tell the US, or will he worry about his secret conversations being published for all the world to see? Will China talk privately to the US about how to deal with North Korea, or will they prefer not to risk Kim Jong Il finding out what they really think?

In an ideal world the US wouldn't have to deal with dictators who have to keep secrets from their people to stay in power, and everyone can live happily ever after. As of now, that just isnt the case. In my opinion, the true effect of these leaks will be that the rest of the world will think twice or more before trusting the US to keep a secret ever again, and thats a bad thing for us all.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Griffin » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:45 am UTC

Is it really a bad thing? If they want to stop trusting us with their secrets, maybe that will encourage us to get out of their problems.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby bobjoesmith » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:32 am UTC

...what makes me angry is WikiLeaks' self-righteousness. They are now the world's largest provider of gossip- political and diplomatic gossip, but nothing more than a potentially war-inciting National Enquirer. There's something about transparency, but something else for privacy: war logs ok, maybe release them, but diplomatic cables are essentially recorded private conversations. If someone took every single email, conversation, letter, whatever that Assange, WikiLeak's founder, had ever written, and posted it on the internet, he'd, excuse the expression, but sh*t a rope. Now imagine that Assange was the most influential country in the world, with the largest economy and the leader of the free world.

If someone say hacked my gmail and released all my chats, I'd think I'd be justified to go do some face bashing (jk, im too weak cause i spend too much time on internet forums), so US, let's go nuke this SOB.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby jestingrabbit » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:55 am UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:...what makes me angry is WikiLeaks' self-righteousness. They are now the world's largest provider of gossip- political and diplomatic gossip, but nothing more than a potentially war-inciting National Enquirer. There's something about transparency, but something else for privacy: war logs ok, maybe release them, but diplomatic cables are essentially recorded private conversations. If someone took every single email, conversation, letter, whatever that Assange, WikiLeak's founder, had ever written, and posted it on the internet, he'd, excuse the expression, but sh*t a rope. Now imagine that Assange was the most influential country in the world, with the largest economy and the leader of the free world.

If someone say hacked my gmail and released all my chats, I'd think I'd be justified to go do some face bashing (jk, im too weak cause i spend too much time on internet forums), so US, let's go nuke this SOB.


Its interesting that you call wikileaks self righteous and then go on to the assert that the US is the leader of the free world, whatever that's supposed to mean. Also, diplomatic cables aren't gossip. They're a civil servant's considered opinion about stuff, they're not idle chit chat. That would be in emails or any number of other channels that a country's foreign service can communicate through.

Wikileaks is a tool that facilitates an important part of democracy. The populace needs to be informed to make reasonable judgments about whose policies are more likely to work. In particular, this leak allows people the chance to have a good understanding of what's going on in the world, information that they can use when considering a candidate's, or a party's, foreign affairs platform.

It injects facts into the debate. How is that in any way similar to the national enquirer?
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Slavatron » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:00 am UTC

Yeah, it really sucks for US government to have someone make a bunch of their private correspondence public. Then again, they're the same organization that decided it was OK to spy on their own citizens without a reason or even probable cause. Karma? Poetic justice? I'm just asking...

I think the best thing about Wikileak's is their efforts to promote the concept of "scientific" journalism - that is the idea that journalists should be expected provide data to support their assertions the way scientists are. Can you imagine a world where people start trusting the news again?
(by the way, I'm taking my understanding of the concept of "scientific journalism" from the June 2010 New Yorker article about Wikileaks - still too new to post up links here)

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Eyat » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:24 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
Wikileaks is a tool that facilitates an important part of democracy.


Which is why democracy was unable to exist until 2006.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:27 pm UTC

Eyat wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:
Wikileaks is a tool that facilitates an important part of democracy.


Which is why democracy was unable to exist until 2006.

facilitate means "make easier", not "make possible". Leaks to the press existed before 2006 too, but they required more Deep Throat spy games.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Woofsie » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:35 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote: they required more Deep Throat spy games.


:shock:

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby yedidyak » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:47 pm UTC

Facts are great. But nobody has yet said how it benefits anyone that everyone knows thats a certain US diplomat doesnt think much of his host leader? Thats not the policy of one party, its the personal opinion, given in a private internal memo, by a career diplomat. The point being to enable the current govt to better negotiate. How does leaking that represent a 'victory for democracy'?

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:55 pm UTC

If they didn't include it, they'd be accused of cherry picking juicy tidbits out of context.
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby yedidyak » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:If they didn't include it, they'd be accused of cherry picking juicy tidbits out of context.


But i havent seen a single one of these documents that it is beneficial for the public to know. At least, that the benefit outweighs the risks of publishing.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:01 pm UTC

yedidyak wrote:Facts are great. But nobody has yet said how it benefits anyone that everyone knows thats a certain US diplomat doesnt think much of his host leader? Thats not the policy of one party, its the personal opinion, given in a private internal memo, by a career diplomat. The point being to enable the current govt to better negotiate. How does leaking that represent a 'victory for democracy'?

Imagine a fictional country, where the leader claims that the country has to go to war, right now. People ask, why? What happened that we need to go to war?

Leader answers: we have secret intelligence that the country is building WMDs. We cannot reveal the details of course, because of secret.

People: how can we be sure this is true? We have to trust the intelligence you claim to have.

Leader: our intelligence of foreign countries is excellent, made by experts who studied the subjects for many years, and who have access to secret information of high quality.

People: but we have seen the quality of secret information, and it is mostly gossip. We need more than that before we go and invade other countries.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:07 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
yedidyak wrote:Facts are great. But nobody has yet said how it benefits anyone that everyone knows thats a certain US diplomat doesnt think much of his host leader? Thats not the policy of one party, its the personal opinion, given in a private internal memo, by a career diplomat. The point being to enable the current govt to better negotiate. How does leaking that represent a 'victory for democracy'?

Imagine a fictional country, where the leader claims that the country has to go to war, right now. People ask, why? What happened that we need to go to war?

Leader answers: we have secret intelligence that the country is building WMDs. We cannot reveal the details of course, because of secret.

People: how can we be sure this is true? We have to trust the intelligence you claim to have.

Leader: our intelligence of foreign countries is excellent, made by experts who studied the subjects for many years, and who have access to secret information of high quality.

People: but we have seen the quality of secret information, and it is mostly gossip. We need more than that before we go and invade other countries.

Thank goodness such a situation could never exist in the real world, right?
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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Not really. You don't assign menial file sorting jobs to a five-star general. Like any organization the people who actually handle the documents are fairly low on the organization chart, the higher up the chain the more likely the person is to be a manager who's overseeing the people actually handling the nuts-and-bolts of the projects.


Telchar wrote:Generally speaking that's why it's really hard to get security clearance to be a janitor or construction worker at a government facility where secrecy is at a premium. I have a friend who used to work manual labor at an institution in the Nevada desert who had to jump through a ton of hoops to get the contract.


This is supposedly how the UK Parliament's Expenses came to be leaked in full. The courts had already ruled that the information should be published under FoI laws, but that line-items could be redacted. Well, the Parliament insisted on hiring people with Security Clearance to do the job, and the nearest ready supply of them happened to be the Army. They didn't take too well to discovering where their tax money was heading...if Parliament had done the job by itself we'd probably never had had the full documents and all the subsequent fun.

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Re: Next wikileaks release to be about 7X as large as Iraq L

Postby yedidyak » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:21 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
yedidyak wrote:Facts are great. But nobody has yet said how it benefits anyone that everyone knows thats a certain US diplomat doesnt think much of his host leader? Thats not the policy of one party, its the personal opinion, given in a private internal memo, by a career diplomat. The point being to enable the current govt to better negotiate. How does leaking that represent a 'victory for democracy'?

Imagine a fictional country, where the leader claims that the country has to go to war, right now. People ask, why? What happened that we need to go to war?

Leader answers: we have secret intelligence that the country is building WMDs. We cannot reveal the details of course, because of secret.

People: how can we be sure this is true? We have to trust the intelligence you claim to have.

Leader: our intelligence of foreign countries is excellent, made by experts who studied the subjects for many years, and who have access to secret information of high quality.

People: but we have seen the quality of secret information, and it is mostly gossip. We need more than that before we go and invade other countries.


Very valid point.

Providing that you are talking about intelligence reports, which you arent.

As I said, facts are great. But freedom of information is a means not an end. Publishing proof that the govt is lying to the public, go ahead. Expenses fraud, then great. Diplomatic memos? less so. The whole idea that 'wow we are publishing 250,000 secret documents! secret is bad! so publishing secrets is good!' which is what wikileaks are implying, is absurd.


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