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German Wikileaks Domain Suspended Without Warning

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the boom-headshot dept.

Censorship 215

mb writes to mention that Germany has gone one step further in impeding access to Wikileaks. Germany's registration authority, DENIC, recently suspended Wikileaks.de without notice. "The action comes two weeks after the house of the German WikiLeaks domain sponsor, Theodor Reppe, was searched by German authorities. Police documentation shows that the March 24, 2009 raid was triggered by WikiLeaks' publication of Australia's proposed secret internet censorship list. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told Australian journalists that they did not request the intervention of the German government."

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Damn! (3, Funny)

beaststwo (806402) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536753)

Who leaked it!

Re:Damn! (1)

notarockstar1979 (1521239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536791)

It was me.

Re:Damn! (1)

beaststwo (806402) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536807)

DAMN YOU, notarockstar1979!!! (With fist in the air...)

Re:Damn! (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537993)

DAMN YOU, notarockstar1979!!! (With fist in the air...)

Dude, you need to stay away from Robot Chicken. Hilary Duff might pop out of your TV and fight a giant Barbara Streisand...in your hallucination.

Is it wrong to call these germans.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27536761)

...friggin' nazi's? Or is that wrong. Very wrong.

Re:Is it wrong to call these germans.... (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536999)

This is NOT a newsgroup flameware!

Re:Is it wrong to call these germans.... (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537847)

This is NOT a newsgroup flameware!

  No, fascism comes with the operating system. Fortunately, it seems to be a kernel module and not compiled in - so it isn't always loaded.

SB

This is why EU must fix itself before new members (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537235)

This is why I think we have to wait before we let Turkey join the EU. We've got to clean up our own house first, and the more nations are added that exhibit such behaviour (Turkey for example was somewhat recently in the news for banning richarddawkins.net) the harder the cleansing is going to be.

Re:Is it wrong to call these germans.... (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537775)

Not wrong, just too soon in the story.

Re:Is it wrong to call these germans.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27538123)

Well censorship is not only done by Nazis, it is also done by any number of totalitarian ideology. So friggin'totalitarians would be more correct. But idiots would also suffice.

Re:Is it wrong to call these germans.... (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538249)

No, the Nazi influence is strong in this one.

Is this really censorship? (3, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536811)

I read about this story on Wikileak's site (http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Germany_muzzles_Wikileaks)

This seems like Germany improperly suspending a domain name, but I don't think they are censoring any information in this move.

Re:Is this really censorship? (4, Insightful)

lixee (863589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536901)

Just because they didn't succeed, doesn't mean they didn't try.

Re:Is this really censorship? (3, Insightful)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536947)

If you have some stuff on your site, that I don't want people to see, or I plan to do something, that you will somehow find out and post it on your site, and then I shut your domain name down - Censorship.
At least a form of it.

Or am I missing something here ?

Re:Is this really censorship? (4, Informative)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538015)

Wikileaks.org is the main domain name and has not been shut down. No access to information has been lost, except to the tiny minority of people who were only using wikileaks.de and don't know how to use a search engine.

It's a very minor form of censorship, but I think this story is a red herring to more important censorship stories like this one
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikileaks#Potential_future_Australian_censorship [wikipedia.org]

How is this not censorship by intimidation? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537039)

If you do something we don't like, we come to your home and search every last corner of it. We'll take your domain and publicly link you to child pornography.

Re:Is this really censorship? (3, Informative)

Yetiszaf (726202) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537435)

This is not about "improperly" suspending a domain name.

wikileaks posted the australian block-lists which contain links to child-pornography.

Linking or forwarding to such links is illegal in germany.

I think it may have been better to strip links which contained pedophilia or similar things from those lists before publishing them.

Re:Is this really censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537471)

Self-submission?

Sieg 1984!

Re:Is this really censorship? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537795)

This is not about "improperly" suspending a domain name.

Of course it is. And it is also about censorship. Just because the censorship may be about a moral panic issue is irrelevant.

Re:Is this really censorship? (5, Interesting)

Savantissimo (893682) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538067)

Then German law is improper. To say that it is illegal to tell the public what sites have been blocked, indeed, disappeared by another government is beyond fascist. The child pornography gambit has always been a ruse to allow censoring whatever the tyrants don't want us to see.

The reasoning is ever-expanding: child rape -> child sex -> child molestation -> child nudity -> teenage nudity -> clothed children in "arousing" poses -> breast-feeding photos -> clothed teenagers in "arousing" poses -> making photographs -> making drawings -> selling pictures -> sharing pictures -> posting pictures -> downloading pictures -> looking at pictures -> thinking unapproved thoughts about otherwise legal pictures -> linking to sites that have posted pictures -> linking to sites that link to sites that post pictures -> posting which sites are censored by your own government -> posting which sites are censored by other governments -> pointing out that some censored sites are not anarchist-communist-terrorist-liberal-necro-copro-sado-boogyman kiddy porn.

And if a policeman or prosecutor claims that you have gotten too close to doing any of the above, she can take down your whole site, especially the bits that are exposing government criminality, seize the domain name, take all your stuff and lock you up. Now there is no way of knowing what they have censored or redressing the intentional or sloppy misuse of the thoughtcrime statutes by the private companies that implement the secret laws. But - think of the children! It's for the children! Anyone who claims otherwise must be a anarchist-communist-terrorist-liberal-necro-copro-sado-pedophile-boogyman!

Re:Is this really censorship? (1, Offtopic)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538437)

Mod parent up.

Re:Is this really censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27538173)

The German government is planning to implement censorship rules. And the government is supported by the two biggest parties in Germany. They have a majority in both houses, so it will most likely pass. This is really nasty.

Godwin's Law Bait. (1)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536815)

my bet is 25 posts.

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536849)

Wow, 4.

But, to be honest, I heard the jackboots on concrete as well...

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537037)

But, to be honest, I heard the jackboots on concrete as well...

Made in Germany. You know the Germans always make good stuff.

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537805)

But, to be honest, I heard the jackboots on concrete as well...

It's scary how many posters here apparently can't tell the difference between (a) censoring a list of links, mainly to child porn, that is, rightly or wrongly, illegal to redistribute in the country concerned; and (b) killing or incarcerating millions based only on racial/religious prejudice. I guess making comparisons with the Nazis because this particular unpopular decision was made in Germany makes a certain type of person feel good. Irony, thy name is Slashdot.

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537923)

It's scary how many posters here apparently can't tell the difference between (a) censoring a list of links, mainly to child porn, that is, rightly or wrongly, illegal to redistribute in the country concerned; and (b) killing or incarcerating millions based only on racial/religious prejudice.

The Nazis were putting people in prison for political reasons long before they created death camps. There is some historical relevance here, but unfortunately it has grown into a cliche and thus become mundane. In the 1930s people didn't care that it was Jews and homosexuals, and today people don't care that it is pedophiles. We all need something to hate.

And really, it's all bullshit, FUD, lies and propaganda. The "child porn" on these lists isn't that of children being kidnapped and forced to be sex slaves, it is modeling sites and political sites like Wikileaks. The truth shall set you free. Censorship will always subvert the truth.

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (2, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538453)

Mod parent up. It's both sad and dangerous that people have already become so ignorant of history that some think the holocaust was 'based only on racial/religious prejudice'. Like the burning of the Reichstag never happened.

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (4, Insightful)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538001)

Blocking internet links is not going to solve the child pornography problem. Hunting down and imprisoning the people who make child porn, while a lot more difficult thing to do, and certainly a lot more expensive, is by far the better way to go about it and might actually produce real results.

  But this isn't about child pornography. It's about censoring a website which is dedicated to ensuring transparency in government - and yes, that is exactly the sort of thing that leads to the sort of atrocities that you mention. If you had been paying attention to the controversy over the Australian censorship list, you might have understood that and not posted something as ignorant as what you did.

  It amazes me that we're only a couple generations removed from WWII, and still have fascist and dictatorship governments all over the world, yet the very things that those governments are condemned for doing are permissible if it's western democracies doing them.

  The whole "godwin" thing irritates the hell out of me. Why shouldn't we make comparisons to the nazis (or Stalin or any of the other destructive dictatorships out there, recent or not?) How exactly is it bad to make comparisons to the worst of humanity's behavior over the last century? Is that not how we determine just how to recognize and stop such behavior before it gets a foothold?

  It's like another saying that still irritates me (and I'm not hardly young anymore) - "Judge ye not, lest ye be judged." - if we can't exercise judgement of others, then just how the hell are we supposed to solve the problems that evil sonsabitches bring to this world? Random guessing? (Wait, that'd be the US justice system, sorry)... the whole FUCKING CONCEPT OF HUMAN SENTIENCE demands that we judge the environment we live in at all times, including our fellow sentients, in order to survive...

  I suspect that particular saying was introduced to human culture by people who *didn't* want the average joe judging their actions, because of what they were doing...

/rant and not sorry for it, flame me, mod me down, whattehfuckever

SB

 

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538387)

It is true that blocking sites is not helping against child porn. However, since when have political decisions to be based on logic?

Well we should compare to Nazi methods, but because people think the horrible things the Nazis did, were unique in history and there has been no greater murder before, the Nazi period is an infinitum. Nothing can be more evil than that.

When you look in human history you can find many genocides and attempts to do so. Also torture, murder and mistreatment are very common in our history.

The problem with those Nazi comparisons is, that they can be used to justify everything, because Nazi is equal to evil. And evil must be opposed. You can wage war on this, or plan your own mass killing, because the oponent is no longer a human, he became a devil.

They used same "logic" to legitimate the crusades. That's why Nazi comparisons are not really good in an discussion.

As a side note: The German minister of the interior sometimes reminds me about doctor Strange Love.

   

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (4, Funny)

risk one (1013529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538089)

Between the years of 1940 and 1945, the were no active .de domain names.

Coincidence? I think not.

Re:Godwin's Law Bait. (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538269)

What's so special about those years? a side from Twitter and myspace not existing :)

And.... (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536821)

.... this is why a decentralized Internet with no intelligence on the switches is important. Because of that, Wikileaks was able to have multiple hosts in multiple countries that are affected by very different sets of laws and busybodies. Even though two major players got together to knock Wikileaks off the Internet, it still is humming along quite nicely.

Folks, fear the day that somebody requests control over who gets to have access to the Internet (Obama, I'm looking at you) and who gets routed where. Yes, QoS is technically going in that direction, but it is still difficult to abuse that for the purpose of knocking random offenders of the Internet. If that somebody happens to be The Government, you can be sure that a) all other governments will want the same control, and b) diplomacy and general government douchbaggery will only leave the blandest, least offensive and best lobbied/bribed sites up and running. Everything else will have moved underground, where again, you'll have to know the right people to get access to the good stuff.

Re:And.... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537053)

"...you'll have to know the right people to get access to the good stuff."

Hopefully.

Re:And.... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537453)

Well then. We should probably setup Slashdot BBS.

WWIV, BRE, and ANSI color codes...like internet post-apocalyptic skills.

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537647)

Controlling technical deployments and access might be where the bill requiring licensing to do critical infrastructure work is headed. Leak something like who is doing wiretapping and lose your license so you can't work. All the talk about intrusions in the power grid might be to soften up things to pass a bill.

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537727)

A couple of days ago the UK's top anti-terror policeman got out of his car in Downing Street with a top-secret document in plain view. A photographer took a snap and details of an imminent operation were readable.

This was on the news so I went to wikileaks to see if they had the picture. But wikileaks was "down". A traceroute indicated that the connection was stopping somewhere in BT's network (my ISP and the UK's largest). So I tried a whole bunch of wikileaks mirrors. Some were similarly unavailable. Most have been taken over by domain squatters. None of them was actually a working mirror.

Wikileaks is not as robust as you think it is.

Re:And.... (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538175)

Wikileaks is not as robust as you think it is.

This isn't about wikileaks. Your internet routing is not as robust as you think it is. If you only have one ISP, they control every chunk of unencrypted information that passes between you and the outside world. You need to have a couple of friends in topographically dispersed locations. For those of us who have no friends, the Tor [torproject.org] folks are more than happy to help out.

Re:And.... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538103)

Folks, fear the day that somebody requests control over who gets to have access to the Internet (Obama, I'm looking at you)

Dope.

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27538169)

Do you consider slashdot to be part of the webernet underground?

So, how did Booosh! make this happen? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27536827)

There's no way those enlightened Europeans could have ever done this unless BOOOSH!!! maneuvered them into it.

If its not ACMA its lobbyists. (5, Insightful)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536831)

Lobbying - the 'unofficial' 'democracy'. Shaping societies since stone ages.

History repeats itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27536837)

7 decades ago, they came for the Jews, today they came to suppress freedom of speech ... and tomorrow, they'll come for YOU.

Yeah, right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537059)

I'd have a lot more sympathy for Wikileaks if they hadn't hosted a whole load of stuff that really should have remained secret and for good reason.

If what they posted was embarrassing, censoring it would be one thing.

When what they post undermines national security or criminal investigations or is otherwise normally considered privileged information for good reasons, and furthermore they go out of their way to keep contributors (who may well have obtained the information illegally) anonymous, and on top of that you have connections to organisations like TPB that are pretty blatantly trying to get away with breaking the law, then it's no surprise that the authorities take steps to close them down. Frankly, I'm not so sure that is a bad thing. A responsible free press is one thing, but Wikileaks is something else.

Re:Yeah, right (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537117)

Transparency is transparency. List what items have they hosted that you felt shouldn't have been up? I can almost guareentee you that someone out there can give you a reason why they should have been.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Volatar (1099775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537247)

How about the bishop's manual for the Mormon church? Nothing secretly evil or sacred, just procedures on how to handle things sensitive, like someone confiding in a bishop that they are being abused. Yet it is posted on there, for the sole purpose of "OOOOO, look what we got!"

Re:Yeah, right (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537269)

How about the bishop's manual for the Mormon church? Nothing secretly evil or sacred, just procedures on how to handle things sensitive, like someone confiding in a bishop that they are being abused. Yet it is posted on there, for the sole purpose of "OOOOO, look what we got!"

So, why again should the procedures on how to handle sensitive things be kept secret? It's not like the actual sensitive stuff was posted.

Re:Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537397)

So, why again should the procedures on how to handle sensitive things be kept secret? It's not like the actual sensitive stuff was posted.

Because there's no need for it. You're basically arguing "if you have nothing to hide..." Where is the compelling public interest in violating a private organization's privacy?

Besides, if transparency is so important then why is wikileaks so secretive? Shouldn't they be operating transparently so that the public can judge potential bias or agenda? Do we know what they haven't published?

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537673)

In this case it's a public agency that's keeping private the fact that they're censoring... maybe you.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Snover (469130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537289)

So your reasoning for why certain things shouldn't be posted is because they are non-notable to you? That's a pretty ridiculous assertion.

Re:Yeah, right (2, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537325)

The Wikinews article, originally published on April 19, described material in the Church Handbook of Instructions. The work is a two-volume book of policies and is a guide for leaders of the Mormon Church. Wikinews obtained the Church Handbook of Instructions from Wikileaks, a whistleblower website which publishes anonymous submissions of sensitive documents while preserving the anonymity of its contributors. Wikileaks describes the material as significant because "...the book is strictly confidential among the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS in short form) bishops and stake presidents and it reveals the procedure of handling confidential matters related to tithing payment, excommunication, baptism and doctrine teaching (indoctrination)."

I think that last line pretty much give a good reason, you don't?

Re:Yeah, right (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537331)

Okay, so this is something that should have been secret? Why, exactly? Do things have to be evil and/or sacred to somehow differentiate between things that should be part of transparency?

Re:Yeah, right (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537505)

OK, here's an ironic one: they posted a list of members of the British National Party.

Now, I don't agree with the BNP's politics, and therefore I don't vote for them, but I also don't support rules that are prejudiced against people purely on account of their membership of a certain political party. Such rules are, IMHO, far more dangerous to the democratic process than anything they are likely to prevent.

Wikileaks, supposedly proud of the way it helps the underdog to fight oppressive governments and the laws they use to silence dissent, outed an entire group of people, and cost several of them their jobs as a result.

If that's not a clear enough case, then let me provide a hypothetical example to go with it. Let's suppose that you, personally, have been wrongfully accused of committing a heinous crime. Your country, having regard for due process, requires you to attend a court case to determine your innocence or guilt.

Let us suppose that, mindful of the rule that one is innocent until proven guilty, the judge orders that your identity not be disclosed by the media until the case has concluded. However, anyone in open court can clearly see that you are there, and perhaps one of those people, knowing how heinous the crime you (might have) committed is, decides to post the case details, including your identity, on Wikileaks.

The following day, you get home from court to find an angry mob waiting outside your home, which has been extensively vandalised because obviously if you're in court then you did something wrong and you deserved it. Think this couldn't happen to you? Try looking up what happened to the paediatrician who looked a bit like a low-res photo of a suspected paedophile that was published in a British newspaper.

Sometimes, there are good reasons to keep things secret, and revealing those things publicly does real damage and has no redeeming value whatsoever. Were this not the case, there would be no need for classifications for official secrets, the law wouldn't allow confidentiality clauses in commercial agreements, people wouldn't care about privacy, no-one would have invented data protection laws... Any organisation that makes no attempt to distinguish legitimate cases where secrecy should be respected and repeats any information given to it no matter the implications is a danger to society, and I have no qualms whatsoever about squishing them with any laws and/or firearms that come to hand. That is, after all, no worse than the fate that such an organisation will inevitably inflict on someone innocent, sooner or later.

Re:Yeah, right (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538043)

Everyone knows that if you get arrested then you must have done something wrong. Well, maybe not everyone, but everyone that watches American Idol. Or maybe Survivor. And certainly Survivor-watchers want to see the perp-walk so they know if they ever see someone that looks like that in the grocery store they can avoid them. And keep their kids away.

Come on, it is just like reviewing the sex offender registry and making sure that people that looks like sex offenders are treated like criminals. Or lepers. So what does a sex offender look like? Obviously just like the pictures online of sex offenders.

Re:Yeah, right (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538423)

Arguing the 'essential' nature of secrets with me is not likely a productive experience, which if you peruse my comment history concerning that, would be clear. I'm of the "secrets are a bad thing" camp. The only reason to keep secrets currently is the imbalance of power between those who have the most to hide and those who just think they do. And the only way to overcome that imbalance is to start exposing those at the top and working your way down to the bottom.

Which is why I stated my request as "list the things that you don't think should be up there" rather than "explain to me why secrets should kept"

In regards to your actual example, you will also remember I stated that for any item you listed, someone should be able to come up with a reason for it.

Here is my world view. There may be secrets you'd like to keep about yourself. There may be ideas, fantasies, even events in your life that you don't want shared with the world.

But a political party is by definition a public entity. You are attempting, by your membership, to guide public and government opinion. Your membership to a party should not be a secret. Not in Britain. There are countries in this world where that would be different. But Britain is not one of them. It is not a tyranny. It is not run by a government that is going to go and shove these people into internment camps. The BNP has a history of attempting to play the 'man in the shadows' of attempting to get people into position of authority while hiding their affiliation. This, IMO, is wrong. Even if they weren't the more legitimate sibling of the Nazi's and KKK.

The McCarthy Era of America was a shame specifically because what happened after people were fingered as Communists then was wrong, not because people were outed in the first place.

Mod parent up! (1)

AnonymityCowardily (890293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538425)

That's a very valid point there. While I think that while wikileaks does do a good job on the whole, there are indeed areas where they've gone overboard on this whole "expose everything" business

Re:Yeah, right (1, Interesting)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537715)

If wikileaks is such a fan of transparency, I urge them to post their own contributors IP addresses, full names, and addresses; as well as everyone who provides them with any services or money or other support.

Re:Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537341)

So the press should only be free in cases which you deem acceptable?

Doesn't sound like much of a free press at all. In other words, I don't believe you when you say you want a free press. You want a "comfortable" press so you won't have to face any "hard" issues and can live out your life in peace without having to take any responsibility for anything.

You are a coward.

And frankly, the fact that the government declares anything even remotely uncomfortable for them a "national security issue" pretty much debunks your idea about undermining national security. More and more stuff gets swept under the "national security" rug, and somebody has to expose it.

Governments should be transparent. We, the people, should know their deepest and darkest secrets. The fact that it takes a site like wikileaks for the people to actually know the truth about what is going on shows how horribly broken and corrupt our governments are, how they do not serve our interests but instead serve their own, and why sites like wikileaks are so important for our continued freedom.

As for keeping sources anonymous - that is an absolutely essential component underpinning a free press and indeed free speech itself. A free press does not exist where people can be bullied, intimidated, imprisoned, tortured, or murdered for what they say. You may claim that's hyperbole, but that is what real people who rock the boat are facing from real governments around the world today, to varying degrees.

Your opinion is short sighted. Sadly, I don't think it's an uncommon opinion, which is greatly pleasing to those in power. They have somehow convinced you that you are better off Not Knowing Some Things. And in doing so, they have ensured that you will forever be an indentured servant to the machine they have built.

Knowledge is power, and the more of it they can deny to people like you and I, the easier it is for them to maintain an iron grip over our lives and receive the spoils of being in power while actively colluding to ensure people like us never succeed and never have a chance to change anything.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537669)

In your haste to attack what you would have liked me to write, you have completely missed the point. I am not against exposing government deceit and corruption. Nor, for that matter, is a responsible free press.

But not everything posted on Wikileaks is for that purpose. Some things are legitimately kept secret. If you disagree, please indicate what overriding public benefit justifies advertising normally private but factually accurate information in the following cases:

  • the travel plans of foreign dignatories visiting the government on a diplomatic mission;
  • the identity of a senior judge who entered a building in which an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was taking place at the time in order to visit his aunt who lived upstairs;
  • the identities of girls under the age of consent who visited a drop-in session at a family planning clinic where free contraceptives were available;
  • the plans for an imminent raid to arrest suspected terrorists following an undercover investigation by the police;
  • the identity of a man standing trial for rape after a malicious accusation by a jealous ex.

It isn't hard to think of times when respecting privacy/confidentiality is appropriate behaviour, and there can be very real negative consequences for failing to do so. You do not have, nor should you, the right to know everything about everyone. You might find this mildly irritating in an age of voyeuristic reality TV shows and Internet forums full of conspiracy theories, but you'll get over it pretty quickly, which is more than would be likely in any of the scenarios I described above if the information were leaked.

If it's really secret Wikileaks doesn't have it. (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537979)

In order for anything to appear on Wikileaks its secrecy must already have been compromised. Wikileaks merely makes this fact public. Thus when one of the very few things that should legitimately be kept secret appears there it is evidence that someone is incompetent; not that Wikileaks is irresponsible.

Re:If it's really secret Wikileaks doesn't have it (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538063)

In order for anything to appear on Wikileaks its secrecy must already have been compromised.

The moment you share a fact with anyone, its secrecy is potentially compromised. But for society to function, we must have a certain level of trust, and it does no-one any favours to reward arbitrarily betraying such trust.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538115)

Frankly, I'm not so sure that is a bad thing.

When you figure it out, why don't you get back to us.

A responsible free press is one thing, but Wikileaks is something else.

If the "responsible free press" was doing its job, there wouldn't be a need for Wikileaks.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538455)

Name _one_ Wikileaks post that should have been kept secret. Seriously, almost of the material is kept secret for embarassing political reasons, information that "special" bureaucrats and government officials had but which they wished to keep secret to avoid prosecution. Even Sarah Palin's email showed how she was doing government business on her personal account that she should have turned over to previous subpoenas she'd received.

work around (2, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536841)

Re:work around (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27536991)

Handful?

The situation in Germany is insane.
Being from Sweden, I've gone on several booze runs to Germany.
I speak a very neutral English (along with four other languages), and can easily pull off various accents to the point where I've had people:
*) Ask iIf I'm from Edinburgh
*) Ask if I'm from England
*) Ask if I'm polish
*) Ask if I'm australian
*) Called me "a fucking New York dick"
*) Ask me if I'm Canadian

I've tried talking to germans.
I've tried asking ~25 year olds for directions -- you'd expect "the Internet generation" to at least understand the language, right?
Wrong.

This is what comes from having every fucking TV show neutered by /dubbing/ it.
Jack fucking Bauer is dubbed.

Re:work around (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537399)

I know quite a few Germans who speak better English than I speak German, but when I went over on an exchange languages were very badly taught. We went to some of their lessons, and discovered that we were better at going between French and German (our second and third language) than they were (their second and first language). Personally, I blame the fact that they start school several hours before civilised people have woken up...

Re:work around (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537557)

The hours at which school starts around here are fucking ridiculous, but IME the real problem is that we have plenty of teachers who hardly speak the language themselves and practically no means by which to remove these incompetent fucktards from our school system. I'm not claiming that my English is perfect, far from it, but shit like teachers not knowing words like "deride" (bitch marked it as a mistake and asked if I meant "derive") should just not happen.
Oh, and just FYI: French is usually the third language taught in school (well, either that or Spanish) with English being the second one. There are exceptions, but they are fairly rare.

Re:work around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27538055)

We don't get enough practice, particularly in oral conversation about everyday topics. Written English is usually fine, thanks to the internet, but when do we get to speak to people who don't speak German? Swedes probably meet more foreigners who don't speak the local language.

If your English is as good as you claim, I would certainly understand you, but my response would not be fluent. (I prefer the undubbed versions of US movies and TV series. Too much is lost in translation, especially subtle humor.)

Re:work around (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538125)

I've tried talking to germans.

You are incredibly brave.

Germany, you sir, are worse than Hitler! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27536933)

He would be proud.

No sympathy for trust breakers (0, Flamebait)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27536983)

So a site dedicated to flagrantly breaking the law, peoples trust, peoples privacy and holding itself above any law or moral standard on the planet gets taken down. Why should anybody be sympathetic? This is far from the case of the pirate bay where they - followed Swedish law (no downloads on the site) - refused blatantly illegal material - and provided a genuine service to the community. Instead wikileaks is a site dedicated to junior high antics of playing the bigger ass.

Think about it, this is a site based on breaking trust and that knows no moral grounds. Would they post detailed documents from Iran's nuclear weapons program if leaked, how about biological weapons, how a government database full of citizens information that would be perfect for identity theft? These are all documents that could be used maliciously by the wrong people. They can't even compare against sites that provide full disclosure for security vulnerabilities when vendors fail to take action.

This isn't a genuine censorship fighting site like a proxy used to bypass the great wall of China, they don't provide services like the Pirate Bay, all they do is play tattle tale to the world. They aren't even a genuine anti-censorship site as they do no meaningful fact checking. Compare them to a respectable site like the smoking gun which actually fact checks their material - and as a result has never been successfully sued. Just ask yourself what do you expect from a wikipedia spin-off?

No, I'm not opposed to open source, file torrents or the like, I also pretty firmly oppose censorship. It's sites like wikileaks that make those that oppose censorship look like extremists. Wikileaks doesn't deserve the communities support, unlike so many other sites that do. The best comparison for wikileaks is a carders website with the biggest differences being that they have a larger selection and give everything away for free.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537061)

Really? you can't see any reason for a place people can leak information?
Yes, you just goosestep to what ever drum your corporate master beat.

Yes I did!

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (4, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537109)

A lot of what he said is illogical and untrue. Wikileaks does fact check, and in fact if what they posted wasn't true then it wouldn't be so controversial, and governments around the world wouldn't be attempting to shut them down. And no they don't post juvenile and second rate stories; a lot of what they publish is of important political and human interest.

Well it seems I've unintentionally replied to the GP in a round-about way.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537659)

Truth. IANAL, much less a german one, but if this was about Wikileaks publishing falsehoods, then they could probably be sued to hell and back. It's when they publish the truth, and dangerous truths at that, that the situation needs to be resolved in this sort of egregious ways. Censorship and persecution are not the weapons of the unfairly accused.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537073)

You are against a site that provides raw information, because who knows, your name might end up in there without your vetting it first.

There, I got to the point for you.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537081)

You and I speaking about the same group chief?

The group that published, among other things, leaked ACTA documents?

Cause folk who are willing to play host to that sort of item are doing a far far greater service to us than a hundred Pirate Bays.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (2, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537089)

Compare them to a respectable site like the smoking gun which actually fact checks their material - and as a result has never been successfully sued.

Wikileaks does not get in trouble for things which aren't true (or not solely due to untruths). It's the true things that people make the most fuss about. For example, the leaked Scientology OT documents were verified as genuine by the legal threats made by the COS, which were based on IP law, not defamation.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (-1, Troll)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537173)

Providing individual examples of "good" leaks does not devalue my point. I have not attacked individual leaks, what I have derided is the site and it's lack of accountability. You'll notice that I held up the Smoking Gun, which is chock full of leaked material. The fact that the only verification made on the scientology papers that can be inferred comes after the leak only accentuates by point.

Legitimate newspapers serving the public interest work with leaked material all the time (pentagon papers are one such famous example). Journalists doing such work go to extreme measures to ensure their sources are genuine before publication. I would suggest you read up on Bob Woodward and some of what he has written about maintaining integrity when working with leaked documents that can destroy careers and take down powerful politicians. Wikileaks has no such integrity and accepts things wholesale (have you checked how many documents they have). It's a perfect scenario for committing defamation and so on.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537205)

Providing individual examples of "good" leaks does not devalue my point.

I wasn't offering it as an example of a "good" leak, but as an example of a factually correct leak which still caused legal trouble.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (2, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538191)

Compare them to a respectable site like the smoking gun which actually fact checks their material

Because it's much more important that we get to see Gary Busey's drunk-driving mug shot than to find out that a major Western democracy has secret prisons where rendition and torture are practiced.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537139)

Are you sure you understand what Wikileaks is all about? It is precisely about getting information that has been concealed from the public out so that knowledge of the truth of the world can be available. Most people live in a pretty strange dream world where there are "good guys" and "bad guys" and some really strange notions that are used to divide the world into factions that intend to kill one another.

As to your allegations of making information available for "identity theft" you are out of your head. There is a bigger problem. No one can steal an identity. What people can do is make others think that they are someone else. That is not "theft." That is fraud. The people being stolen from through the use of fraudulent means are the people who most depend on a system of identification that puts numeric tags on everyone for the purposes of tracking and controlling them. And when someone pretends to be someone else in order to fool someone else into giving them money, goods or services, in what bizarro world is it the "fault" of the person whose identity was forged or mimicked? "Identity theft" is the name given to fraudulent activity to make it seem as though the "victim" is the person whose identity was copied when the actual victims are those who were fooled by the fraudster. All of this is facilitated by these numeric tags and data records that are assigned to people. This system was created to make it easier to track and trust individuals for business purposes and somehow, the burden and the risk of managing such a system whose primary designers and beneficiaries are government and big money institutions has been placed on the shoulders of the individuals.

You might think your identity lies in the numbers and data records assigned to you. If you do, then you have bought into their game hook line and sinker. I don't. Stay out of debt and you will stay off of their system. People can attempt to "steal my identity" all they want, but since I stay out of debt, there is no way I can be harmed. (Yes, I know that increasingly employers and governments are using credit scores to determine if someone can be trusted... what a big dumb idea that is!)

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (1)

firewrought (36952) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537261)

So a site dedicated to flagrantly breaking the law, peoples trust, peoples privacy and holding itself above any law or moral standard on the planet gets taken down. Why should anybody be sympathetic?... [Wikileaks doesn't] provide services like the Pirate Bay, all they do is play tattle tale to the world.

Transparency and whistle-blowing sound like pretty good services to me. Do they have best the editorial policies? Are they a good substitute for this thing we used to have called "investigative journalism"? Probably not, but morally, I'd put them on a higher plane than The Pirate Bay.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537375)

>Would they post detailed documents from Iran's
> nuclear weapons program if leaked,

Why not ? Seems like all about nuclear weapons was in the public domain before the very existence of internet ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nth_Country_Experiment , http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Nwfaq/Nfaq4.html).

> how about biological weapons,
Again, any chemist is able to make that. Books available. What are you proposing ? To forbid all the books about chemical compounds ?

>how a government database full of citizens
> information that would be perfect for identity
>theft?
The good question is : how this highly confidential information leaked ? Anyway if wikileak have got this information other people have too. May be somebody have to hide his incompentence to secure citizens data in the case.

>These are all documents that could be used
> maliciously by the wrong people.
A lot of thing could be used maliciously by the wrong people : weapons, scisors, axes, mixer, computers, shoes (ask W about), HNO4, Oil, elecricity, ...

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (2, Informative)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537883)

Just ask yourself what do you expect from a wikipedia spin-off?

That a site uses MediaWiki, and includes Wiki in its name, does not make it a Wikipedia spinoff. MediaWiki is free software, and can be used by anyone, for any purpose, and the word Wiki is not trademarked by the WikiMedia Foundation, and thus, anyone can use that too.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538161)

Think about it, this is a site based on breaking trust and that knows no moral grounds. Would they post detailed documents from Iran's nuclear weapons program if leaked, how about biological weapons, how a government database full of citizens information that would be perfect for identity theft?

Thank you for creating a list of things that Wikileaks has never done, and then criticizing them for it.

The notion that there is special information that governments may have but citizens must not under any circumstances have is reasonable. However, many governments have NOT been reasonable about asserting this, creating categories of information that remains secret to protect criminals at the highest level or (much more commonly) to protect power and profit.

Western governments do not have a great record of transparency, and corruption and official lawbreaking is extremely common. When we have a government that can be trusted, then we can talk about trusting them with secrets. Until then, sunshine is the best antiseptic.

Re:No sympathy for trust breakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27538469)

I think you are confusing Wikileaks and 4chan.

Welcome to nazi Germany (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537029)

Can you please bomb the stupidity of us here again? :(

Where is the German bashing? (0, Flamebait)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537035)

If the U.S. seems to trample on some personal rights or freedoms, especially when it crosses international borders to do so or even if it requests extradition, this site immediately fills up with a lot of America bashing. Its funny that when it is Europe or Australia doing this we don't see the same sanctimonious outrage. If course, the U.S. actually has a constitution that guarantees the right of free speech and most other countries do not. I guess if you don't strive for high standards you cannot be held accountable.

Re:Where is the German bashing? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537101)

Given there are more than a couple of posts just above you doing some german bashing, might I suggest that posting almost immediately after the article goes up to complain about how there aren't more german bashing comments might seem a bit... hypercritical (and yes, that's the word I meant)?

Re:Where is the German bashing? (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537849)

I'll write slowly so you can understand. I'm not in favor of German bashing or on bashing countries in general. I was being sarcastic. On the thread about South Park for example there was all sorts of nonsense spewed because some Marines behaved in a juvenile manner. Considering most of them are in the late teens and early twenties, that's not surprising. There were not any German bashing posts when I wrote mine. There are delays you know.

Re:Where is the German bashing? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538255)

I'll write quickly, since you seem to have a hair trigger, ADD, and the manners of the southern portion of a north bound ass. At a grand total of 30 posts AFTER mine, you were jumping gun regardless of why you were bitching.

Re:Where is the German bashing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537107)

STFU you silly American cunt!

Re:Where is the German bashing? (1)

evanism (600676) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537153)

Dude, I'm an Ozzie and I think Senator Conroy (our socialist "communications" minister) it a complete dick. This tactic stinks to high heaven of the ultra-socialist agenda these arseholes here have... suppress all opposing views, crush opposition, forceably own all infrastructure and control it very tightly; and finally force other countries into lockstep with your extreme agenda. God help us all here, cos we cant help ourselves from these extremists.

Re:Where is the German bashing? (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537895)

You have my sympathy. Every country has its dicks. My respect for Australia is not diminished by Conroy's bad behavior. I hope you keep fighting his nutty ideas. My comment was a protest against nation bashing and bashing my nation in particular. I won't bash yours.

Re:Where is the German bashing? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538223)

Its funny that when it is Europe or Australia doing this we don't see the same sanctimonious outrage.

You're not paying attention, homeschool. The hatred of tyranny crosses borders, even (maybe especially) here on Slashdot.

I remember recent stories about the UK's closed-circuit outrages, France's attempts at three-strikes laws, and similar stories hammering Australia, Sweden, and here, Germany.

It's funny that so many people from the most powerful country in the world are so defensive as to imagine that everyone is picking on them while not having a clue as to why it might be so.

Not a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27537077)

The raid is performed as a courtesy by the Stazi. They did it just to show that they could, and to send a message to people that they are free to trample rights as they allow (or not). It also demonstrates and establishes their power over others, and is a nice first step in suspending all rights (internet or not). I fear our new reichnet overlords. Remember to goose step, give a full from-the-shoulder salute, and cry out 'sig heil'.

Nazi-style censorship (0)

wshwe (687657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537183)

This is censorship Nazi style.

WAIT A MINUTE! (4, Informative)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 5 years ago | (#27537851)

The law which would allow them to suspend a domain for anything is not yet through our assembly - IF they did this, it's illegal - also the message from the Domain name registrar (DENIC) translates out to

The requested domain is currently not reachable

The domain-owner or the administrative contact should be informed about these problems by now. We expect them to be solved soon.

If you as domain-owner or administrative contact are not yet informed about the hassle, we might not have reached you. In this case, please contact: ...

so this MIGHT be a technical problem, though this still highly alarms me, since I am a political activist in germany, myself...

And if you believe that... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538263)

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told Australian journalists that they did not request the intervention of the German government."

I'm sure that the Germans did this all su sponte because they want to make it up to Australia for being on the other side in WW II.

Who the fuck cares? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27538355)

On international sites, .de domains function primarily as a tangible target for the censors we have here. The wikipedia.de domain has been forced on several occasions to remove its link to de.wikipedia.org. Keeps them busy, I guess.

I'd be more worried if they started raiding the homes of the domain owners--- oh, wait. :P

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