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WikiLeaks Launches New Platform, Privacy Study 96

Posted by timothy
from the tools-for-racking-the-mud dept.
itwbennett writes "WikiLeaks has launched a new submissions platform, along with a study of the global trade in surveillance products. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told press conference attendees in London that all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users in the crowd were 'screwed.' 'The reality is intelligence contractors are selling right now to countries across the world mass surveillance systems for all of those products,' Assange said."
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WikiLeaks Launches New Platform, Privacy Study

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  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:06PM (#38226684)
    New allegations surface that Julian Assange was sacrificing babies to Satan while raping women in Sweden! More at 10...
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Well, telling people that "they're screwed" probably doesn't help. I daren't search from work, but I expect there's already a "YOU GONNA GET ASSANGED" memepic doing the rounds.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What has always bothered me about that, besides the obvious conspiracy theories, is that he effectively allowed that accusation to take form.

      Your mockery appears to have no basis - but the case against him does... there really are two completely random women, and he has admitted to having sex with them. What was he thinking?

      One can say "well he's only human" - but somebody in his rather extraordinary position can't be 'only human' because the slightest of slip-ups just means you give 'the enemy' ammunition

      • by Gibgezr (2025238) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:22PM (#38227690)
        "there really are two completely random women, and he has admitted to having sex with them. What was he thinking?" Really? I wish there was a mod selection for "written by a nerd with no apparent connection to reality".
      • by Shompol (1690084)

        there really are two completely random women

        Yes, a US agency hired two random women to have sex with Assange only to report about it to police shortly. Is that what you mean?
        If not, care to explain why these two events "randomly" happened at the same time?

      • What has always bothered me about that, besides the obvious conspiracy theories, is that he effectively allowed that accusation to take form.

        You're an idiot. That's not how character assassination works. The reason it works is that the enemies sit down and review an existing profile of the victim, and then twist some convenient detail they find into something bad. That works with anybody, because the details of the "bad" can always be different and always tailored to the one individual.

        So you've got

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Indeed you are right, good citizen!

          A quick review: everyone involved in this appears to be financially related to the Bonnier family whose tabloid publication (now where have we heard that term lately???) first appealed to be the sole publisher of Julian Assange's Wikileaks -- which he turned them down on when he was back in Sweden, originally.

          Next, we see Ardin, convincing a younger female and recent intimate of Assange's, to go to the Swedish police with her about Assange. The case is dropped, then pic

      • http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Canadians+targets+sexpionage/5793483/story.html [montrealgazette.com]
        http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2011/12/01/sexpionage-are-chinas-hotel-rooms-bugged/ [tucsoncitizen.com]

        Sexpionage is standard MO for many world governments and large corporations. What happened to Assange looks very similar, but with lawsuits instead of blackmail. Read the first article; it can be very hard to combat this kind of attack, especially when all the immediate parties are unwitting at the time of the event.

    • ... Satan says he was coerced into making a statement by an overzealous detective.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:20PM (#38226868)

    In response to questions about privacy concerns, various government intelligence organizations from around the world, along with industry representative from Google, Apple, et. al. assembled at the first annual "Nope, Nothing to See Here" Privacy and Security Conference in London. "We are very pleased to report that there is nothing to these silly rumors. We've examined the concerns and determined that there is no need to worry," announced conference chair Janet Napolitano. The conference closed several minutes later, with industry representatives congratulating each other on dealing with all the privacy concerns in their products. "See, I told you there was no need to worry," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, shaking hands with Google CEO Larry Page.

  • Whatever Julian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by darien.train (1752510) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:21PM (#38226872) Journal

    No matter how many acts of journalism this guys commits I will never see him as a journalist. I have to like someone personally first and also make sure they have a flawless record using a standard that I set and reserve only for him. Until this impossible standard is met I will bash in any way I can regardless of logic and back calls for his extrajudicial murder.

    It's really the only sensible path Very Serious People can take.

  • by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:30PM (#38226962) Homepage
    Running one's own email & XMPP server FTW and most of the privacy-invading features of Android can be disabled

    Also no my life hasn't turned to shit, I don't spend 6 hours every evening trying to manage these things while wearing a tinfoil hat. Yes sometimes changes need to be made when SSL certificates expire (although I prefer self-signed for a lot of this stuff, as Governments can compel CA's to issue false certs I consider them of little value) or what recently happened was the guy who wrote my mail server stopped developing it and IMAP was always just around the corner so I finally had to install a "proper" email server which had a bit of a learning curve but it's not terribly unweildly either.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is kind of the problem with privacy.

      I think it's important and people need to be taking action now before it is too late to go back.. however I _personally_ don't feel the impact from invasions of my privacy.

      I don't have any medical issues I'd like to keep secret, I don't have any embarrassing purchases, I don't care if people know how much money I have or my current location (well, I wouldn't want my location public to anyone who wants it for personal safety reasons.. but government/law enforcement..

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You are exactly the kind of person that oppressive governments want, boring, complacent, not a threat to the status quo. But the instant you try to make waves, to make any changes for the better, that's when they will come for you.

        The continuing increases in surveillance, loss of privacy, militarization of the police, increased use of "non-lethal" weapons for crowd control, erosion of people's rights, corporate dominance over governments, union busting, dismantling public education, etc., etc., are all jus

      • From your first sentence I thought you were going to point out that the problem with privacy is that you have to be a computer security expert to achieve it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I like to think of privacy this way:

        I live with my wife in a small apartment. We both urinate with the door to the bathroom left open since we just don't care. However, when its time to go #2, we both close and lock the door. (Why is this? I don't know.) But the point is, that both of these are natural human functions, neither is any less embarrassing than the other (presumably), but yet, I can infer the bodily function by the state of the bathroom door.

        If you closed and locked the door for each to

        • That's a really useful way of thinking of it. Also, I'd love for this explanation to appear on TV news.
    • by morgauxo (974071)
      Do you host them at home or are you using some collocation service? I ask because some years back I used to do this. One of the main reasons that I stopped was that my messages started getting flagged as spam. It turned out that the customer ip ranges for Comcast, the biggest cable internet provider in the US was listed in a bunch of blacklists. They just assumed that anything originating from a non-commercial home internet connection was either spam or a malware infection. That was years ago and I have
      • Host at home using static IP, paid ISP one-off fee for this and they update my PTR if I need it, though I believe the practice of mail servers requiring this to be set is going out of fashion as it isn't much trouble for a spammer to do either
  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:37PM (#38227038) Homepage Journal
    When non government organizations end up doing the tasks governments should be doing, but not doing, and end up getting prosecuted for it.
    • "When non government organizations end up doing the tasks governments should be doing, but not doing, and end up getting prosecuted for it."

      This is what happens when you become a free market ideologue and worship corporate power. When the public worships capitalism this is the natural result. Most people have never lived through times of being killed by capitalists, most americans are so ignorant and illiterate of history as to make their opinions about much of anything seriously suspect.

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told press conference attendees in London that all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users in the crowd were 'screwed.'

    Yes, now they will know that I messaged my girlfriend to grab some coffee on her way home. I'm definitely screwed!

    Does this guy realize that the vast majority of us aren't political dissidents (practically tautologically, since once the vast majority of us hold a political view it becomes the orthodoxy against which the minority dissent) or whatever else he imagines is actually worth someone's time to read my messages out of the billions of electronic messages that exist?

    Surely if the government compromises

    • Human Rights (Score:5, Informative)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:16PM (#38227580)
      From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

      No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

      You have the right to privacy; that right is not predicated on being a political dissident. The fact that these companies are undermining that right is what Assange is referring to when he says that you have been screwed.

      • Yeah, you know, because those articles are SO well enforced.
      • I don't think the USA agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I can't see them doing so in a meaningful way these days.

        • From the constitution of the United States:

          The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

          American citizens have a right to privacy and are supposed to be free from broad, non-specific searches (e.g. like the NSA wiretapping program). The fact that we have strayed from our founding principles is another story entirely; the right has not been official revoked so much as simply ignored.

        • So LAWFUL=RIGHT?

          • by grcumb (781340)

            So LAWFUL=RIGHT?

            Given that you're using an assignment operator, then if you're government, the answer is 'yes'

            But if you meant $LAWFUL == $RIGHT, then the answer is 'no'.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I don't think the USA agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I can't see them doing so in a meaningful way these days.

          The US helped write the UDHR. The UDHR is a non-binding declaration, but was instrumental in creating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is a legally binding agreement the US has ratified. Too bad we took an exception saying it's not self-ratifying, so it can't actually force change in US law. Nyah.

          (Oh, and Articles 2.1 and 25 guarantee the right to representation. As a DC resident without a vote in Congress, I can tell you we've ignored that part as well.)

        • by pdxer (2520686)

          I don't think the USA agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I can't see them doing so in a meaningful way these days.

          They helped write it and voted for it. A simple google would have shown you that.

          Regardless, it's not a treaty nor is it law. It's one of many meaningless yet diplomat-ego-inflating things the UN has done.

      • You have the right to privacy; that right is not predicated on being a political dissident. The fact that these companies are undermining that right is what Assange is referring to when he says that you have been screwed.

        I didn't say that the right is predicated on being a political dissident, I only noted that I am not really materially screwed in any sense because my private information is just not interesting enough for anyone to care about. Whether or not I have such a right to privacy is sort of immaterial in such case where I don't care if it's violated. It's like saying that it matters that we have a Fourth Amendment in a case where I want to invite a police officer into my apartment for dinner. It only matters when

    • Yes, now they will know that I messaged my girlfriend to grab some coffee on her way home. I'm definitely screwed!

      Over here in the UK we've got a little bit of a scandal going on, about listening in to other people's voice messages. That came about because people were accessing official sources (eg PNC, DVLA) and getting phone numbers and such like.

      Thing is, if they don't need to go the official route - they just go via some app installed on people's phones, or through their email system - then there is lit

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How would you feel if somebody followed you around and took notes of what you did during your day? Wouldn't you find that creepy? Even if they said they were doing it for marketing purposes, wouldn't you be creeped out?

      I would be, and I'm just as creeped out that companies track me and collect data on me through electronic devices.
      But most of all, my main concern is control over that information. There's a lot of stuff I'd be comfortable sharing if I could know how it is used, who has access to it, and what

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If intelligence and law enforcement weren't looking into this type of surveillance they wouldn't be doing their jobs. The capability has to exist for them to function in the modern world. When it should be used is the legal question.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @09:29PM (#38233626)
      Funny how law enforcement officers were able to do their jobs before mass surveillance technologies became available. You know, back in the days where privacy was guaranteed by the technical limitations of law enforcement? Before wiretapping, before CALEA, before the crypto wars, back when privacy rights were actually respected in free societies, the police were still able to do their jobs.

      Law enforcement agencies are more powerful today than at any other point in human history. Why are we not talking about reducing that power?
      • Law enforcement agencies are more powerful today than at any other point in human history. Why are we not talking about reducing that power?

        It would cut into the X-Factor finals.

  • by fluor2 (242824)

    Whatever happens now, both WikiLeaks and Facebook are driving "free thoughts" in some way.

    And they try changing from both sides:
    - Facebook is making way for a free world by not stopping hangouts for protesters, making way for the democracy as we know it; capitalism and "free" governments.
    - Wikipedia, on the other hand, is trying to show us how far this has gone in our own free world.

    There's no longer dictatorship but somehow there still are forces that try control us. That can be a good thing, however there

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I didn't quite follow your argument, but there are definitely some salient points in what you say.

      Facebook and WikiLeaks are both about trying to make information freely available. WikiLeaks concentrates on governments, and Facebook concentrates on everyone else. Both provide a nice concentrating and filtering interface to make it easy for the interested parties to find what they're looking for.

      To rephrase:
      Wikileaks: takes from the government and large corporations and gives to the masses
      Facebook: takes f

    • Facebook has become the world's biggest distraction, and people living under authoritarian governments are so distracted by Facebook and similar sites that they have stopped paying attention to politics. Additionally, authoritarian governments have already started using publicly available information on Facebook to track down dissidents for prosecution. Facebook has little reason to fight against any government demands for information, especially in the United States.

      I would place Facebook near the bot
  • Alright, we've gotten the "I troll against whatever /. is saying today" and some insightfuls out of the way... Next step: What do we use instead of gmail et al? Suggestions anyone?
    • I can think of two good options:
      1. Encrypt your email using PGP -- probably the best option, since most mail servers will capitulate to government demands and therefore privacy protection cannot be guaranteed without encryption.
      2. Run your own mail server, if you have the technical skill to do so, and allow your less technically skilled friends to use your server

      Similar options for IM -- use OTR or some similar encryption system, and if possible run your own XMPP server.

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