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WikiLeaks' Daniel Schmitt Speaks

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the difference-makers dept.

Censorship 154

Lars Sobiraj submitted an interview with Daniel Schmitt of WikiLeaks. "He encourages all readers and warns his opponents — WikiLeaks has the means to make our society better, to create a world which stands united and strong against abuse — locally and nationally as well as globally. Modern, fast, world-wide technology makes it possible. In the interview, Daniel explains in detail how this will be done, with the help of WikiLeaks and all its supporters."

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First Fuckin Post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594003)

Niggers

Got to love the fact.... (0, Offtopic)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594029)

that SonicWall blocks the article site from the current hotspot where I'm enjoying a cup of coffee and a bagel before work.

Re:Got to love the fact.... (0, Redundant)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594133)

About gulli
Gulli is THE online portal to learn about the underground of the net. While most of the content is in German, English pages are available for much of the site. With Gulli's search, you can easily find cracks, serial numbers, and security software and tools. You can also search for Usenet downloads by clicking the "Downloads" tab on top of the search box.
The Gulli - Toplist is a list of the the newest and most comprehensive German sites to find information on filesharing, surfing anonymously, cryptography and hacking. As always, the sites featured on the toplist do not have annoying popups, adware, dialers or trojans.
The Gulli:Board is one of the largest underground net communities with lots of knowhow and insider knowledge. It can easily be searched using the "Gulli" tab above the search box.

Re:Got to love the fact.... (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594157)

gulli.com is a known hacking/warez site. Back in the day they were one of the places you could reliably get programs like Serialz 2000. They also have rootkits and other malware available for download.

There is no technical solution. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594033)

Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!

Put your money where your mouth is! (4, Insightful)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594127)

I don't think the Slashdot crowd should need convincing that Wikileaks is a force for good. However, passive support won't be enough for such a contentious organisation, so do what I did and show them some love [wikileaks.org] .

(Hmm, I just noticed that PayPal donation is currently down, which is rather awkward...)

Re:Put your money where your mouth is! (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594267)

(Hmm, I just noticed that PayPal donation is currently down, which is rather awkward...)

One would hope it's because they got slashdotted with donations.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is! (1, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594457)

WikiLeaks has the means to make our society better, to create a world which stands united and strong against abuse â" locally and nationally as well as globally. It could just as easily be a place for saboteurs and rumor mongers.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is! (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594805)

It could just as easily be a place for saboteurs and rumor mongers.

Not different from the rest of the internets.

Re:Put your money where your mouth is! (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594845)

Gotta take the bad with the good. As Mr. Goldwater said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..."

Re:Put your money where your mouth is! (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596113)

Some Wikileaks donaters' info was posted to Wikileaks.

I'd like to see WikiLeaks post a leak of everyone who contributed leaks to their site.

Or is some information better left secret? There are good things that have come out of WikiLeaks, but the potential for harm that comes along with it sometimes outweighs the advantages. If a site advocating openness of information is keeping secrets, we are straying into hypocrisy, even if it's not out-right.

Surely he isn't biased... (0, Troll)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594201)

Surely he wont mind if we leak his personal information to the site. Since he is a person of note (after all wikileaks is worldwide) he's fair game, right? While were at it we can leak personal detail of Jimmy Wales, after all the world has the right to know anybodies personal and secret details. Who are you to dare attempt to have privacy, to not want your life exposed and open to the world for it's amusement?

Site like wikileaks are the parasites of the technology world, their entire existence is based solely based on publishing private information and breaking trust. These values are otherwise held in contempt by most people in the IT and geek communities, so why on earth does wikileaks get the time of day on a site like slashdot? Just remember that because you may not like whatever evil corp / country has something published today, it could well be an organization or individual you like tomorrow.

I fail to see how the site is any better than any number of carders sites where credit cards are sold wholesale. I really have to ask, where do they draw the line? What is to heinous for wikileaks to publish? How about detailed descriptions of the making and distribution of nerve gas in a military manner? After all that's been government domain information since at least world war one. What would they do if Iran or North Korea in a spate of indignation decided to post their detail nuclear weapon secrets on wikileaks?

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594295)

I think Wikileaks recently posted some private wikileaks financial information. Just saying.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594621)

No, that was WikiWikiLeaks.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595571)

No, that was WikiWikiLeaks.

No, that was WikiLeaksLeaks

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594357)

Do you have trouble with some particular action on wikileaks' part, or do you borrow your attitude toward secrecy from la cosa nostra?

When people and organizations are in positions of power and public trust, secrecy is, as often as not, a means of breaking trust. Wikileaks has had a valuable role in exposing some of these instances.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594607)

I do not have "trouble" with any particular posting, instead it is the principal of the thing. When you think about it, wikileaks goes against any IT best practice, and it certainly goes against any geek value. They are getting a free ride and sympathy from a crowd where they don't deserve it. The fact that you may think it's a hoot that your personal bad guy had his secrets exposed today should be irrelevant. If someone is breaking the law and using secrecy to protect themselves, well they too can fall (Nixon very nicely feel well before wikileaks). It's also down to a matter of judgment on who gets to decide what.

Lets say you work for company and your coworker who was denied a promotion decides to leak your companies R&D results for an upcoming product (say your company just invented a way to make plastics that biodegrade more readily). Well your company just put millions into research for a product that is now going to made by a Chinese company that has to pay none of the research cost, and can skip straight to production. It's going to be your job on the line when your company can't compete. While you may consider that information secret and of no business to the world at large, your Chinese competitor would consider such a thing as being ideal for leaking.

The number of examples are endless, it's only a matter of time before R&D is leaked prevalently. When you remove your companies secrets, you remove much of your companies competitive advantage and you now have to compete on cost alone. Now pause and think about your job, and those of your friends and family, how many of those jobs would be gone? What if you were in the military instead and someone decided to leak secrets that protect you and your buddies in a time of war?

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594777)

instead it is the principal of the thing

What does he have to do with this?

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (4, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594901)

Strange, with a cursory glance at wikileaks I could not find an instance of any private company R&D proposals. Everything on there is something which is in some way public. The closest was Cisco marketing material for the US Government. I pay for the government, so why shouldn't I be able to see what cisco is claiming to sell to the goverment I am paying for? Similarly, people pay for scientology, and its a church. It receives special tax status. So I have a right to see what goes on inside of it. All other items are government based, or otherwise censored. Hell, about the only thing you could even remotely argue from the looks of it would be the leaked rituals of fraternities - and if you really can compare leaking a fraternity's initiation ritual to losing millions on R&D, I think you fail at teh maths. Again, this was a cursory look, but your example seems to be completely off base and unfounded. Unless your R&D proposal is for a government, and remember that we the people ARE the government and therefore have a right to see it, I don't think it will be showing up on wikileaks.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28595291)

Stating that it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it can't ever happen. Remember how much people around here think that people in power tend to only care about themselves? WikiLeaks certainly has a lot of power (rumors are as good as fact on Wall Street) - why do you think that WikiLeaks is any different?

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (2, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595875)

True. That's the same logic that we had attacking Iraq: "Just because no one has found WMDs yet doesn't mean we won't find them!" I expect your line of thinking to work out as well as it has in other places where it has been employed. I think you utterly miss the point of wikileaks, and am thinking you really need to read the bill of rights (if you're an American) so you can see what many people fought and died to give you, before you pish it away in the name of cited corporate profits that don't even exist. We will have to agree to disagree.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (2, Insightful)

charlieo88 (658362) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595243)

The number of examples are endless...

Actually, I think you mean the number of hypothetical scenarios are endless. Examples would be things that have actually occurred. Do you have any of those?

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595343)

What if you were in the military, and someone decided to leak secrets that proved the war you are fighting was illegitimate? No... that could never happen....? Could it?

If the military truly has leaks, they're doing it wrong! It's not everyone else's job to keep their secrets. The importance of bringing truth to the masses outweighs any straw man argument you can possibly bring up. Exposing things like secret government human rights abuses will always trump anything else. Do you have a better idea for an open and transparent and safe way to spread that kind of information to the world?

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596629)

What if you were in the military, and someone decided to leak secrets that proved the war you are fighting was illegitimate? No... that could never happen....? Could it?

Or worse yet, what is someone leaked false information indicating the war was illegitimate and because other soldiers protested, you ended up getting killed or maimed.

No, of course that would never happen... except you have no way of knowing if whatever was posted is real or not. So which is worse, eating from the hands of the people governing you, or from the hands of the people wanting to lie to defeat them?

If the military truly has leaks, they're doing it wrong! It's not everyone else's job to keep their secrets.

Actually, it is their job. Everyone who has access to secret military information is sworn to secrecy and mandated by penalty of law as long as it remains secret. That the entire reason Wikileaks exists, to allow people who otherwise know full well that they aren't allowed to divulge information, a semmi safe place to do so without retribution or penalty of the law which they a bound to otherwise. If random people were finding the secrets and releasing them, there wouldn't be a need for wikileaks.

The importance of bringing truth to the masses outweighs any straw man argument you can possibly bring up.

That's only true when the so called truth is real and it isn't being used solely to further someone's political aspirations. You can be manipulated just as easily with information as you can be without it.

Exposing things like secret government human rights abuses will always trump anything else.

You mean like the Abu ghraib pictures that was presented as a Bush down systematic pattern which later turned out to be nothing more then poorly trained soldiers and a commanding officer who wasn't paying attention? Yea, those secret government human rights abuses that most likely would have never- ever- made it into public knowledge if it wasn't for someone looking for some political advantage. And then, the truth, just like in the outing of Valaree Plame case, gets withheld while people like you are manipulated into thinking something totally untrue.

Do you have a better idea for an open and transparent and safe way to spread that kind of information to the world?

Show me where that system exists. So far it's more or less pissed off people attempting to gain an advantage of some sort.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (2, Insightful)

Eevee (535658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595419)

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you're stupid, I'm saying your hypothetical coworker is stupid.

If this R&D is worth millions, then the coworker could sell it to a Chinese company for a tidy profit and nobody would know. (They might strongly suspect, but it could be convergent research.) At least with Wikileaks, the company could confirm that it's been leaked and try to take action against the coworker. So given the choice between the hypothetical coworker seeking only revenge via Wikileaks and seeking both revenge and money via selling it directly to the hypothetical Chinese company...well, I think you can see my point.

Disclaimer: Selling R&D to the Chinese is bad and leads to jail time, mmmkay.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594475)

I don't really think that's what wikileaks is about. It's to provide a safe avenue for the release of sensitive information. Information you might get in trouble for posing. It's an avenue for free speech. A way to show government and corporate corruption, bring light to things that people would often be too afraid to speak of. I don't disagree that it certainly can be misused, but I think you're missing the idea of free information, and just preaching the idea of security by obscurity (if they don't know how to build a bomb...).

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594491)

"How about detailed descriptions of the making and distribution of nerve gas in a military manner?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VX_gas#Synthesis [wikipedia.org]

Seriously, why are people so paranoid about the formula for these things? Most nerve gases are very similar to industrial pesticides (in fact, VX gas was originally intended to be a pesticide), and if we kept the knowledge of how to synthesize nerve agents top secret then we could not educate chemists or chemical engineers.

The fact of the matter is that in a free society, information should flow freely. Wikileaks is not posting the personal information of the average citizen, they are posting information about the misconduct of governments, government officials, and corporations -- information which the average citizen has a right to know. There is a huge difference between a defense contractor conspiring with a national government to start a war and some guy who is having an affair with his neighbor's wife.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (4, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594569)

The difference is we're not funding him with our tax money. We fund wikileaks with money, so I expect transparency. As another poster has mentioned, wikileaks financials have been leaked - and they weren't removed. When people are paying for a public organization, they have a right to know where their money is going and what the actions of that organization are. Further, knowledge that information will be brought to light will hopefully end a lot of clandestine things that go on outside of public view. Things like the Contra scandal and General Oliver North's secret wars. US imperialism in Panama and the Philippines. The US's habit of gaining funding from "unsubsidized government revenue streams." When governments are allowed to use dirty business and treat the rest of the world like shit with no accountability, that tends to backfire. Then who gets blown up when a terrorist bomb goes off in retaliation from whoever we've pissed off? 99% of the time, its not government officials - its civilians.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594903)

You are right to be skeptical. That's healthy. However, there is a greater good than one's career or chosen job field. That is where sites like Wikileaks are great -- as long as they are functioning effectively.

It seems very unfair however, to mention Jimmy Wales and Schmitt in the same breath. As these are two very different types of people. Jimmy Wales' interesting and dubious background (and present for that matter), and many failings, have been well covered here, and on many other sites. Schmitt isn't that bad in comparison.

Whenever someone stick their head over the parapet they can expect exposure. This is a good thing. We should know who is providing us with information, and why. And still be skeptical.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595035)

While you're right about the general respect for IP among slashdot patrons, there is also a very vocal slashdot community that does not view intellectual property as property. That component is a natural friend of wikileaks.

Re:Surely he isn't biased... (1)

Elrac (314784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595319)

onyxruby, I get the impression you don't understand what Wikileaks is about, and are setting up an army of straw men to wage war on.

wikileaks are no more parasites of the technology world than any other site on the Internet. Rather, they serve a useful function: It is not the purpose of wikileaks to expose the personal information of "normal" individuals, nor stuff like credit card data. They release information, where it becomes known, of wrongdoings of corporate and/or government institutions and/or employees/agents, the disclosure of which is in the public interest because these wrongdoings would otherwise remain secret and cause damage to individuals or society. wikileaks is essentially a safe outlet for whistleblowers.

Reading the rest of your post, it looks to me like "I fail to see" is the overall theme. I feel you should have at least tried to inform yourself before starting to rant.

Twatter again (3, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594209)

Quote Schmitt:

In the context of the latest developments in a complex context and the necessary political support for a certain cause, we are considering marking certain Tweets with a hashtag for emergencies which signifies that it has to do with something very important which needs the world's attention. #EMERGENCY or something like that. We have to try and make sure that dramatic developments in the world get the necessary attention.

Honestly, when did the humble RSS feed or - heaven forfend - an actual webpage become an unacceptable way of disseminating information?

More importantly - why?

Re:Twatter again (3, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594955)

Why not?

New modes of information dissemination don't destroy the old ones. People can, and will, still use web sites and RSS feeds and IRC and telephone calls to disseminate information. But why not add Twitter to the mix? And why not establish some simple social rules for each of those communication channels to be used as effectively as possible?

Your argument is almost like saying "Why do we need to establish 'SOS' as shorthand, when people can just say 'please help us!'. And why do ships bother using flags and lights to communicate to each other, when they can just yell at one another."

I'm not arguing that Twitter is a world-changing paradigm-shift. But it's not useless. It's fast and easy to use and bridges different communication modes (text messaging, the web, RSS, etc.). That's why it has been helpful in emergency circumstances; because people were able to update their Twitters status very quickly and easily, even from a mobile device... yet the answer was broadcast across the web, enabling everyone to share in the knowledge.

So, again... Why not?

Elitist Twaddle (1)

Changa_MC (827317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595185)

You do know that twitter provides both a website and an RSS feeed, right?

In order to run an RSS feed, you either need bandwidth and a server, pay for a hosted server, or a twitter account. The bonus with twitter is that it automatically receives updates view twitterfox or SMS.

I like twitter is a handy way to disseminate information so that people can add and remove it from their newsreader themselves.

Re:Twatter again (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595337)

Honestly, when did the humble RSS feed or - heaven forfend - an actual webpage become an unacceptable way of disseminating information?

You should realize that Twitter is both- more specifically, you can see it as an index of RSS feeds.

That's kinda like being puzzled that Myspace became more popular than Geocities. The latter has more freedom in what you can display, and how you can display it, but Myspace makes it easier for the average person to find their friends and all that other Web 2.0 goodness.

The problem with Wikileaks is... (2, Interesting)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594255)

The U.S. has set up over the last two centuries a means by which information that should be kept secret is kept secret and information that should be public is public. By and large, this works, despite some well publicized failures. Legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act, etc. has proved to be a means to uncover unsavory facts that would see the light of day despite the wishes of unsavory politicians. All of this takes place in the well defined arena of law and politics.

Wikileaks would throw all of this out and make themselves (the collective leakers) the sole arbiter of what is in the national interest and what is not with respect to keeping secrets. They do this without realizing the potential impact to national security or potential diplomatic damage that, while the leaker may think is justified and deserved, is more damaging to the U.S. (or other country subject to a wikileak) than the leaker realizes. They can't know the potential impact because they do not have access to the entire picture.

So what wikileaks does is to substitute the judgment of a system, made of up of untold knowledgeable individuals, with the judgment of one or two cranks with an ax to grind. The cranks may be right sometimes, but I think more often that not they will be wrong.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (5, Insightful)

Filip22012005 (852281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594325)

The U.S. has set up over the last two centuries a means by which information that should be kept secret is kept secret and information that should be public is public. By and large, this works [...]

How can you tell this works? For who does it work?

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594375)

How can you tell this works? For who does it work?

For whom does it work!!!

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594959)

Well, you can look at the speculative picture. Let's say, for example, you saw a powerful man murder someone else, and you don't know whether to testify against him. The government wants this guy in prison, so they offer to help you get away, change your name, and give you some limited protection in exchange for testifying. Which would you prefer?

a) The government doesn't help you or anyone else in the same situation and the crime boss goes free
b) The government helps you, and posts your details on Wikileaks
c) The government helps you, keeps the information private

There's just one example of it working, and working for the people. A Bad Guy goes behind bars, and an innocent is not killed.

the problem with secrets in a democracy ... (5, Insightful)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594363)

"The U.S. has set up over the last two centuries a means by which information that should be kept secret is kept secret and information that should be public is public. By and large, this works .. Wikileaks would throw all of this out"

The people have a right to know what its government is doing on their behalf. Generally, if it can't stand the cold light of day, then they shouldn't be doing it. The ACTA [wikileaks.org] secret agreement being a case in point.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (5, Interesting)

RebootKid (712142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594419)

I must disagree. Your statement that FOIA requests are a good method of getting information out of the US Government falls down in multiple ways.

1) Duration. I've seen FOIA requests take years to fulfill.
2) Redaction. The FOIA answers often have sections blacked out in them. Sometimes large sections. What you're left with is a document that is essentially unreadable.
3) Scope. FOIA only works where we're interfacing with the US Government agencies. It does not work with private corporations nor does it work with other nations.

Much like free speech, Wikileaks should be covered under "freedom of press." There needs to be some place where this information can be distributed and the person doing the leak is not put at risk. There are too many groups/agencies around the world who solve problems by burning the bodies.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594495)

So, to go to the extreme, if someone decided to leak our nuclear launch codes, you would be OK with that? Or how about leaking information that could end up making it easier to take out the President?

Nothing in your support for wikileaks discounts that. You would be relying on them to judge whether is would be an appropriate leak.

Where do you draw the line? What is your process for deciding? Do they have one? What is it? Who makes the final call?

Our current system has answers for all of that, even though people may not like the answer, there is still a process.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (5, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594871)

If someone decided to leak any of the information you described, they wouldn't need WikiLeaks to do it. WikiLeaks does not make it any easier for people to leak information, it just makes said information available to the public for no charge. Financial troubles is one of the largest reasons for information leaks, which is why individuals with access to classified government information have to go through regular credit checks. As there is no money to be made by leaking info to WikiLeaks, this is not a factor here. Honestly, it would be safer for critical information to be leaked through WikiLeaks, where the government can see it and know that it's out there, than for it to be leaked under-the-table.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595451)

I don't think many people would disagree with the notion that information is often leaked for partisan and/or personal reasons not related to money.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596587)

The examples provided by sycodon were military/intelligence related examples, for which financial issues are the greatest reason for information leakage.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595037)

Sycodon, I get the impression that you don't trust government [slashdot.org] all that much. Why, now, do you have so much faith in "process" and "system"?

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

gellern (1045842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595285)

I think most people place their faith in the humanity wrapped by the necessity of the system rather than the necessity of system filled with humanity xD

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595421)

Well said.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595297)

Killing people and breaking things is often in the national interest when others are trying to do the same to you.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595929)

<img src="ohsnap.jpg">

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (3, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595143)

Actually, I think the answer is "yes" on both counts.

The entire security process around both of those entities should assume that the "attacker" has
- the complete resources of a modern government at its disposal
- the experience and wherewithal to murder anyone necessary to obtain secrets
- the ability to plant multiple human spies inside the organizations in each scheme

As such, any process should be resistant to attackers who know all of the information in excruciating detail.

Certainly security through obscurity can help, but it is not sufficient. I expect my government to spend the resources necessary to build a process (a human and information machine) that is resistent to tampering, infiltration, and information disclosure, in the sense that it doesn't guarantee that these never happen, it instead guarantees that the system/process continues to function properly while sustaining a certan amount of all of these defects.

IOW: understand the threats; have mitigations for each.

I'd be a lot more concerned if wikileaks was posting the home address, SSN, and home alarm de-arming instructions of doctors that performed abortions, or people who had bad things to say about the prophet muhammed. Those people typically do _not_ have the experience, time, money, or sanity to protect themselves from even 1 agitated nutcase.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595253)

Or how about leaking information that could end up making it easier to take out the President?

Why should you even have a President to take out? What decisions does he make that can't be made by a large group of people, such as a democratically elected Parliament or Congress?

If you have a single, central figure, then you set yourself up for these unnecessary security problems, plus you have someone who can go rogue and destroy the reputation of your country, as Americans found out recently.

Rich.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595409)

So, to go to the extreme, if someone decided to leak our nuclear launch codes, you would be OK with that? Or how about leaking information that could end up making it easier to take out the President?

Nothing in your support for wikileaks discounts that. You would be relying on them to judge whether is would be an appropriate leak.

Where do you draw the line? What is your process for deciding? Do they have one? What is it? Who makes the final call?

Our current system has answers for all of that, even though people may not like the answer, there is still a process.

If the nuclear launch codes was leaked, I'd expect them to be changed pronto. In fact, I'd be surprised if they weren't changed prior to posting - the mere hint of a leak should kick in place a process that scrambles the launch codes (randomly), at which point they're reset to something else over the course of minutes at the worst. It's the process in place in case the secret is lost.

If there's information that makes it easier to attack the President (of the US, I assume), then that information reveals a deficiency in security, and because that information exists, it means people know about it but haven't done a single thing to improve it. The information exists, but people failed to act on it.

The fact is, there's a document somewhere describing these things like deficiencies in security. It means someone knows about it. The worst thing that can happen is no one acts on it. If it's corrected, then leaking the document has no effect. If it's not corrected, and remains that way for a period of time, then something is seriously wrong. It's like a security flaw in software - if the vendor takes years to fix something, do you give them more time?

Something of importance had better have countermeasures in place should the secret be leaked. If Presidential security is important, then the document describing said deficiency should take longer to write than attempts to correcting it. Ditto with launch codes and other thing.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595457)

That would be great if launch codes were leaked, because that would basically announce that the codes need to be changed (rendering the old codes useless), and better measures taken to prevent future leaks. If the system was set up right in the first place, changing all the codes shouldn't take a long time.

What's worse is if someone malicious gets them and doesn't tell anyone about it.

As a general point: Wikileaks does much more good than it does harm. "Bad" leaks happen whether or not Wikileaks exists or not.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

RebootKid (712142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596391)

Your comment about nuclear launch codes does not fly primarily because it takes significantly more than just codes to launch a nuke. The nuclear control network is still running token ring, because the launch commander can sit and hold the token. Wikileaks is a tool, nothing more, nothing less. The tool can be used for good or bad, but that's not the fault of the tool, its the fault of the person using it. I could just as easily argue that knives should be banned because every stabbing death has involved knives.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28596429)

Apparently you can only argue your case with those imaginary "extremes", or by doing vague hand-waving about "national security".

Only thing you're missing is "ticking time bomb".

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594787)

2) Redaction. The FOIA answers often have sections blacked out in them. Sometimes large sections. What you're left with is a document that is essentially unreadable.

Washington Irving

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (4, Insightful)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594453)

The problem is one of trust. These days, I don't trust my government (UK) enough to let them make decisions about what I don't get to see. If they wanted to keep this trust, all they had to do was not oppose the release of their expenses quite so vigorously.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (3, Insightful)

rliden (1473185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594681)

The problem is one of trust. These days, I don't trust my government (UK) enough to let them make decisions about what I don't get to see. If they wanted to keep this trust, all they had to do was not oppose the release of their expenses quite so vigorously.

You would trust wikileaks though? You would trust the judgment of a few individuals with their own agenda? If you don't trust your government and the individuals who run it with their own agenda why would you trust wikileaks any more? They aren't some super moral group of people. They are as human and corruptible as your government, or you or I am for that matter.

It's very popular to bash governments for their many mistakes and foibles, but the problem is none of us have come up with an better solution for managing our society. It is so easy to point a finger, but it is our responsibility, as much as those of our leaders, to ensure a sound government. Even when I don't like my currently elected officials, their policies, and their crap, at least I have a voice in it no matter how small that might be. With wikileaks I have no voice, no say, nothing. Wikileaks is going to be better than what we have now? In what way? If the FOIA or any other accountability measure isn't up to snuff fix it, but don't allow some third party app to hijack the OS. Get it?

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596633)

Wikileaks is just another piece of the puzzle. It's not a replacement for all public disclosure laws, and it's not a replacement for journalism. You're complaining that it has its own agendas and bias, which is undoubtedly true, but so does every other possible outlet for this sort of information.

You can never create a source that's guaranteed to be free of that bias, so the proper system has lots of separate sources, which hopefully "averages out" all the bias and provides some sort of truth. To claim that the solution is to just have one way of releasing information and make it perfect is to ignore how the world really works. You need to have so many sources that it becomes untenable for any one agenda to manipulate them all.

If you're unhappy with the fact that wikileaks doesn't give you much of a say, then go ahead and start your own website. Wikileaks provides a pretty decent template for how that might be done.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (2, Insightful)

gellern (1045842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594469)

Couple of things [1] Your argument assumes that there is good in keeping secrets? As in the lesser evil perspective, or perhaps a utility question of greater good? If that is so then wikileaks provides an excellent place for fairness - ardent defenders armed with 'Good Intentions' are bypassed and allow for universal questioning of the facts rather than relying on a few keen fellows to decide the good for all. [2] Truth is universal, this is not a axiom preaching nor a statement of an idealist, 2 + 2 is the same for everyone. You see it in the number of bricks, coins and et cetera. Exposure of the truth cannot be harmful to the world - it can only expose a lie and a lie even at the stake of 'The Children' cannot be good for us all.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594553)

Your ATM PIN code is secret, is it not?

The location of our nuclear warheads is secret, is it not?

The location of the emergency shelters for the Executive Branch is secret...OK, Biden fucked that up.

There are some things that need to be kept under wraps.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

gellern (1045842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594701)

you're confusing criminality with public domain

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595267)

I suspect that Wikileaks does not care about the difference considering that they have apparently posted the answers to a Red Hat Certified Engineer's exam.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

gellern (1045842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595481)

...You see, a person I knew used to divide human beings intro three categories: those who prefer having nothing to hide rather than being obliged to lie, those who prefer lying to having nothing to hide, and finally those who like both lying and the hidden... But what do I care? Donâ(TM)t lies eventually lead to the truth? (C) Albert Camus, The Fall In truth, we argue too much like the legal courts today do by reasoning in one case to all the others. Under the assumption that "You" know better. I welcome this beacon of light as hope albeit imperfect as a slightly better champion of truth than I am. Because its contents are under scrutiny I myself will not allow.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594881)

The location of our nuclear warheads is secret, is it not?

Would you like to know where North Korea keep their nukes?

No bullshit prevarication: yes, or no.

Now, why do you think that anybody outside the US gives a Goddamn whether the US wants to keep its nuke locations secret?

Oh, you thought Wikileaks was a US entity only interested in spilling US beans? Jog on.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595273)

ATM - bank(and all employees) knows about it.
WMD - http://archive.greenpeace.org/wmd/ [greenpeace.org]
emergency shelters - mountains of MD.

You need to come up with better examples.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594629)

Not all lies are evil. If someone is looking for someone to harm them, and you know where they are, telling them makes you culpable in that harm. Leaking 'some' secret information can bring people to harm. It is not a black and white issue. Thanks for playing.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594481)

Man, I definitely can't think of anything [wikipedia.org] in recent American history where a leak was the only thing that brought unsavory conduct to light...

Oh wait [wikipedia.org] . Maybe one or two cases. Y'know, nothing important.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595163)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Throat [wikipedia.org]

Funny you should bring that up. For years Deep Throat was held up as an example of bravery and conscience and why we needed whistleblower laws, etc. Come to find out he was a petty bureaucrat, , getting revenge for being passed over for a promotion and arguably as dirty as those he ratted out. While the results for the nation were arguably for the good (although I welcome a debate on whether Watergate has made the press a better institution), the fact that Mark Felt acted for some of the least "noble" motives should at least give a bit of pause.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595249)

I'd certainly prefer to send angels; but if scum will turn on each other, I'll settle for that.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594547)

Wikileaks would throw all of this out and make themselves (the collective leakers) the sole arbiter of what is in the national interest and what is not with respect to keeping secrets. They do this without realizing the potential impact to national security or potential diplomatic damage that, while the leaker may think is justified and deserved, is more damaging to the U.S. (or other country subject to a wikileak) than the leaker realizes.
  They can't know the potential impact because they do not have access to the entire picture.

So the answer to some secrecy is more secrecy. I'd rather just let *all* the info out and then everyone can collectively decide what should be kept secret. :-)

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594597)

The answer is that you trust the people you elect to make decisions that are in the best interest of the country. If you elect people that do not do this, then vote them out. It's slow, it's tedious, but it is the right way to do it.

Wikileaks is quick, but it is reckless, with the potential to wreak havoc, and is the wrong way to do it.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

hahiss (696716) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594809)

The answer is that you trust the people you elect to make decisions that are in the best interest of the country. If you elect people that do not do this, then vote them out. It's slow, it's tedious, but it is the right way to do it.

Spoken by someone who isn't held incommunicado or under indefinite detention by his government. . . .

Besides, how can I know who to vote out if the relevant facts are deemed a state secret by those very people?

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595331)

You cannot. The nation can.

Some would say replacing Bush with Obama is a great example.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (2, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595019)

"you trust the people you elect". . Are you kidding me? You think I trust any elected official to make decisions in the best interest of the country? The whole point of wikileaks is that I don't trust _any_ of the elected officials.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (5, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594585)

The "National Security" argument is valid, but it is all too easy for it to be abused. Especially considering that we cannot properly judge the usage. We just have to accept when told "this is secret and I can't explain why it needs to be secret."

Wikileaks would throw all of this out and make themselves (the collective leakers) the sole arbiter of what is in the national interest and what is not with respect to keeping secrets.

Wikileaks is not the "sole arbiter" and they do not paint themselves as such. Publicizing leaked information has been a staple of investigative journalism for a long, long time. And it is generally acknowledged that this is one of the most beneficial things that journalism does for a democratic society: publicize the failures and corruptions of "the system"... particularly in those cases where "the system" is gaming itself to keep that information hidden.

Wikileaks is thus an extension of tried-and-true techniques of leaking scandal, applied to a digital age. It fits in nicely with journalistic infrastructure, providing a way to get information out to the public in cases where entrenched powers would like to hide it.

So what wikileaks does is to substitute the judgment of a system, made of up of untold knowledgeable individuals, with the judgment of one or two cranks with an ax to grind. The cranks may be right sometimes, but I think more often that not they will be wrong.

I disagree. The "leaked information journalism" network (of which Wikileaks is a part) is another system made up of untold individuals, using their judgment to decide what to leak and publicize, and what not to. You say the system doesn't work on average. Can you point to a large number of things that were leaked and were damaging to National Security, without having a significant benefit with respect to democracy and stamping-out corruption? How does the number of such 'mistakes' compare to the number of 'legitimate leaks,' where the information really had no right to be suppressed?

Another point to consider is that we don't know how many bits of leaked information were not publicized. The people who get hold of the secret data have choices to make. They can publicize it or not (this goes for someone considering uploading to Wikileaks, a journalist, etc.). Actually the fact that very few National-Security-compromising secrets have seen the light of day (troop movements, launch codes, etc.) suggests people are using appropriate discretion in leaking. Most of the things leaked are damaging to some individuals and organizations... but not a matter of security (military or economic or other). In short, they mostly deserve to be leaked.

Again, I think you're going to have to defend your "more often [than] not they will be wrong" claim with specifics. As far as I can tell, information leaking has always been, and will continue to be, a vital portion of maintaining a democracy. Things like FOIA are also good, mind you. But to maintain a democracy we, the individual people making up the nation, must do our part in terms of oversight... which will occasionally mean breaking one set of rules in order to uphold a much more important set of ideals.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595049)

The "National Security" argument is valid, but it is all too easy for it to be abused.

Abuse of the privilege is more common and dangerous than any leaked secret could possibly be. It quite literally puts the executive above the law. IMO, when a principle does more harm than good that makes it invalid, no matter how many well meaning arguments there are in favor of it.

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595863)

I submit to you the "torture" controversy.

Two groups of documents, the memos describing and authorizing, and the pictures. Both of which a great majority of wikileak supporters would consider more than appropriate for publication.

Obama has released the memos, to much controversy, but not the pictures, to even more controversy. But then, he is the President, with access to the necessary resources to decide what he believes is in the best interest of the nation. He was elected to make these decisions.

Wikileaks, on the other hand, is not elected by anyone and is not accountable to anyone. Not even in an economic sense because they don't have "consumers" as such that they rely on to remain open.

I ask you, should Wikileaks substitute its judgment for the the judgment of a very popular President, with access to all the necessary information to decide what is best for the country and who is arguably very sympathetic to the same constituency that support wikileaks?

The difference is accountability. If Obama's judgment is incorrect and results in harm, he will most certainly be held accountable at the next election. If Wikileak's judgment is wrong, how will they be accountable?

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (2, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596237)

You make another very good point. Yes, accountability is key, especially among those with power. The President of the US, and the US government, have a lot of power. Wikilieaks has less power, though being given access to all kinds of leaked information of course gives them some measure of power.

But in the real world, we cannot count on absolutes. In particular we cannot set up systems that are so absolute that they become inflexible and incapable of dealing with the frailties of humanity (which include corruption, pride, shame, greed, etc.)

I fully agree that there is something unseemly about Wikileaks being in no way accountable. And yet that very freedom is what enables it to do any kind of good at all: only a truly free agent will have the ability to publish all of those things that the powers-that-be want to keep hidden.

I'm not advocating anarchy or a complete disregard for the rule of law. The government does a decent job; there are checks-and-balances; and accountability of those in power is crucial. But all that is not enough. We also need a mechanism for action when all those checks-and-balances fail (and we know from experience that they will indeed fail). Wikileaks is part of that mechanism: a system (of last resort) enabling us to get at necessary truths when the system fails to deliver that information to the public. Like all systems, Wikileaks itself is subject to misuse. That is part of the price we pay... the result of living in an imperfect world. But Wikileaks (I argue) does more good than harm. It is a necessary counterpoint to the power of government.

The reason I think Wikileaks is helpful, on the balance, is of course because I believe in freedom of information, and transparency, and accountability. Yes, there are cases where things "really truly" should be kept secret. But those cases are few and far between, and at present most governments classify information far more than is really necessary. Given that we live in such a world of over-secrecy, things like Wikileaks restore balance, since there are very few things that really shouldn't be public knowledge (and, chances are, people won't even try to leak such things).

Re:The problem with Wikileaks is... (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594731)

Well, "national interest" is also defined that way: a bunch of powerful guys at the top of the hierarchy who disseminate information at their own discretion. Sometimes, they don't deserve to be trusted.

potential diplomatic damage (1)

Teferison (1403841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595635)

They do this without realizing the potential impact to national security or potential diplomatic damage

Would you prefer that none learns of human rights abuses, executions or torture and therefore everyone believes your country is "good", or that the world knows and your country is forces to become "better" in order to improve its public image?

Re: potential diplomatic damage (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596065)

I would prefer that allegations of such abuses be considered by our elected leaders (who were fully informed, despite their lame protestations) performing their mandated oversight duties, and then be dealt with in a manner that falls within the rule of law and is best for the over all good of the nation.

I would not prefer to have some political hack with a grudge or some young and dumb idealist decide for the entire nation what should be done with said allegations.

Wikileaks can also be quite RETARDED (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594261)

I noticed they had the question and answer keys to the Red Hat Certified Engineer's exam, so I asked what the justification for this was. The answer was that Red Hat was being "unfair" by keeping the test closed. For political matters, Wikileaks can be useful, but for being a place where cheaters gather, it's pretty damned lame.

Re:Wikileaks can also be quite RETARDED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594979)

Tests that can be cheated at in this nature are pathetic anyway. Real tests cant be cheated at.

All readers? (0, Offtopic)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594275)

He encourages all readers and warns his opponents

Huh... looks like we got ourselves a reader.

Novas Scarman report (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594281)

I wonder where the Novas Scarman report [wikileaks.org] has gone. If it's run like most of these charity rackets, it'll be one huge gravy train.

Fear the power (5, Insightful)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594573)

Since I'm sure this posting will be flooded with a lot of love for Wikileaks, I feel I have to try to post possible negatives.

We must never forget this. We have the means to make our society better, to form a world in which there is a strong and united opposition against abuse. Locally, nationally, globally.

One problem I've often seen in the past with regards to certain activist groups is their unintentional imposition of values on the people they claim to support. A very common example in places like Europe and occasionally Canada is feminist groups speaking on behalf of oppressed Muslim women who have to wear certain kinds of clothing. Some of these women are oppressed, but usually the solution those groups present is as undesirable to them as is the original problem. Additionally, most of the Muslim women seriously dispute the notion that they are oppressed, only to be dismissively told that they don't see it because they're not yet free. In other words, the activist groups have this attitude of "We know what's right and the rest of the world is wrong." If any of you have spent a lot of times with activists, I think you'll find this is a trap often fallen into.

I've seen similar issues with some human rights organizations, labor oriented organizations, etc. They often fail to realize that while a problem may exist, the solution in their own society may be a poor solution in other societies.

The real question is: Can Wikileaks avoid such a path? Or will they ultimately take on certain philosophies with the belief that they hold for all humanity, while possibly having little experience with most of the world's major cultures. So far they seem to have done well, but I suspect that this is something they'll need to actively guard against.

Re:Fear the power (-1, Offtopic)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594771)

How, exactly, is this a troll?

I didn't even criticize Wikileaks?

Are the moderators suggesting that Wikileaks will never do anything wrong?

Re:Fear the power (1, Informative)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595005)

I don't know about this really being troll. This seemed like it was a well constructed argument. It even has a touch of constructive critisism for wikileaks. It may not be an opinion you like or one that is even right but I don't think everyone should have to go with the status quo or be tagged a troll.

Mod Parent Up (1, Informative)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595103)

The parent post was a none-too-insensitive discussions on the potential darker sides of Wikileaks, and certainly didn't deserve to be modded troll.

Re:Fear the power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28595859)

feminist groups don't give a fuck about the oppression of muslim women. It's just a "Muslim women are oppressed therefore we are also oppressed by association therefore the government should give us more money" tactic.

Truth is ALWAYS better (3, Insightful)

RaigetheFury (1000827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28594693)

People who argue how damaging things can be if they were made public completely forget that if certain things were known earlier... things like this wouldn't NEED to be kept hidden.

This huge cloud of people who just don't want to know and go on with their happy day lives is exactly what allows events to build up where releasing the information COULD be damaging.

But lets be honest. How worse off do you think the United States could be right now in the eyes of the world?

You will always have followers who don't want to know things and want the *smart* people to deal with it. The problem is, often enough those smart people aren't smart... or are greedy, power hungry... or otherwise influenced. Public eye on what they do is the ONLY thing stopping them. Watchdogs so to speak. Most of them in jobs just like you and me who happen to be there when something happens.

The fear is that people will overreact to the sheer amount of hidden crap and revolt, or some religious nutjob will start calling the end of days and 50,000 idiots will believe him. But if you start slowly... revealing the truth bit by bit people will gradually become adjusted to it.

The reason this will never happen is those in power will suddenly lose the ability to do things that might have been the "easy" way. It also will prevent us from doing things for "the good" that would be seen as "the bad". But that's a tradeoff I want to see simply because... the person making that decision does not have to answer to anyone if they were wrong. That should always be part of leadership.

You make the call... you take the fall.

Re:Truth is ALWAYS better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28594967)

While I agree that truth is always better, it does not necessarily follow that everyone needs to know the whole truth. There's a time and a place when information can and should be kept secret. For example, I'd rather that my bank account details, and medical records weren't all public.

I believe there are similar things in both private and public circles that should be protected from the public in general. There are pieces of information that some small portion of the population could use to undermine the rights and/or security of the majority.

I have a hard time believing that wikileaks will have the general public's best interest in mind, or that they'll apply the correct judgment on when to release information. There's no check or balance and little in the way of control on those responsable for whatever damage is caused.

I'm not saying that there isn't some good that has or may yet come out of information released on wikileaks, I don't believe that it's the right way to decide what needs to be released to the public.

Re:Truth is ALWAYS better (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595271)

But lets be honest. How worse off do you think the United States could be right now in the eyes of the world?

That depends entirely on which "eyes" you want to look through, does it not?

Frankly, I'm not interested in a world popularity contest. I don't really care if Iran thinks the U.S. is a great nation. Frankly, it won't think the U.S. is a great nation as long as it thinks the entire world should be under Islamic rule. Just an example.

My question is this: how many nations in the world do you think actually want the U.S. to be successful, as opposed to wanting their own country to assume the prominence that the U.S. has enjoyed for a while now? Do you think Britain thought highly of the U.S. in the late 1700s/early 1800s? Do you think most of the world thought highly of the U.S. during World War I/World War II?

If the point of politics is to "look good" to other countries, then politics is severely messed up. If the point, on the other hand, is to do what our country/people think is right to do, then we have a point for discussion. Otherwise, we're just a puppet in a grand popularity contest. And when push comes to shove, when North Korea or some other country decides it wants to rule the world. the Popularity Contest is going to seem pretty silly in comparison to the "Uh, guys, we need to deal with this country forcefully before they decide to blow us all up in because we don't match their ideology." That's kinda what happened in the World Wars. Germany had an ideological difference. They wanted to rule the world with it (it's happened a few times in history...). If we only had "popular" countries (say... countries that decided to disarm...), I'm pretty sure we'd all be speaking German right now. Except for non-Aryan races, who wouldn't exist.

And I'm not going to ask pardon for saying that the human race is capable of doing such awful things in the 21st century. We're quite capable of making some pretty stupid decisions and believing some insanely stupid things. And, IMO, it's insanely stupid to think that if the U.S. were just more popular with the worlds' countries, those countries would like the U.S. better. Nobody, especially those greedy for power, like a powerful country that is able to "threaten" a country. Unfortunately for humanity, it looks like that power is always going to exist; the question is, who has it and what beliefs do they hold to. Some countries are a lot less freedom-loving than others.

But if you start slowly... revealing the truth bit by bit people will gradually become adjusted to it.

Let's start with talking about the truth about human nature. Human nature is greedy, power-hungry, and wants to rule. Let's not forget that there are countries and people groups out there that pretty much would rather everyone believed (externally) the way they do or die. I'm not using words like "terrorist" or "muslim," because I'm not talking about any specific group. I'm saying that this is human nature, and has been for all of recorded human history. There's a reason you had really powerful nations in history like Egypt, Greece, Rome, Assyria, etc... Germany, Russia, U.S., Korea, Iran... they all have different ideologies, but most countries like to be in control.

So, here is what I think the question really is... now that we have technology that can allow a very small country to threaten the world ("do this or we blow all of you up"), it becomes very important to be able to do more than talk to them or issue warnings/resolutions at them. It's the same as a playground bully. You don't "defeat" the bully by talking to him, making him see the error in his ways and hoping he joins you for a piece of cake and some tea. Bullies won't back down as long as they think they can bully their way out of it. Something has to make them realize this. The question is: who is the one that gets to have the power to stop the bullies, or should we just talk to the bullies and hope they acquiesce? I'll put it this way. Hitler wasn't interested in talking. He was interested in ruling. To stop him, talking wasn't cutting it.

The next time a Hitler (or insert your favorite ruthless dictator with extreme ideologies) comes up and gets his hands on power, whatever that power comes through, who or what is going to stop him.

Popularity won't.

Most leaders of all countries act like criminals. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595061)

Almost all of the leaders of the planet Earth act like mobsters and criminals that are above the law because they are wealthy and above the law. The US is no exception. It is very very rare in the history of any country in any part of the world to find a leader that was not a monster. No matter who it was in any given time in any given place.

This is why Wikileaks is necessary. Try and imagine a world where every secret of every government in every part of the world was known by every citizen. Governments should be accountable by the citizens that allow them to be there and thats not the case today. The world is full of unaccountable Tyrants.

Sayeth Sid Meier: (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#28595147)

"Beware he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

Re:Sayeth Sid Meier: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28595731)

"Beware he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

Ok then C_o_D, then I want full access to your financial records and private data. If you deny me this then you are obviously trying to dominate me financially and socially.:P

Seriously thought, it's a nice quote and in many situations quite true. However, if such a philosophy was used in the absolute sense it would cause its own set of problems for society.

 

Going To Iraq? Afghanistan? (1, Troll)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28596111)

Since Danial Ellsburg did the country a favor and released the Pentagon Papers, now everybody thinks that EVERY secret is just the government trying to cover its misdeeds.

The problem with that is that I've seen secret tech docs on hardware in the field of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan show up on this Wikileaks site, so therefore the enemy undoubtedly has too.

Going to Afghanistan? Iraq? Have a Father / Mother / Son / Daughter / Sister / Brother / Friend in one of those places? Thanks to Wikileaks, you or they might just come back in a box, rather than walking down the concourse of your favorite local airport, because the enemy may now know some places our counter-IED equipment does not operate within the RF spectrum. Just lovely.

For publishing so irresponsibly, I would personally like to see these Wikileak perpetrators tried, convicted, and sentenced for murder. I'd take great pleasure in firing the shot / pulling the trapdoor / throwing the switch / pushing the plunger on whatever method of execution they might have available to them and choose.

There's just no excuse for endangering the troops... none.

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