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The Economy of Wikileaks

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the greater-good dept.

Censorship 78

StefanBerlin writes "Wikileaks is fast becoming one of the most politically important platforms on the Web. In this interview Julian Assange, the spokesperson, talks about its current situation and about the financial and economic background of Wikileaks. He also talks about why they cancelled the planned auction of the emails of Hugo Chavez's former speechwriter in Venezuela, and about Wikileaks' plans for a subscription model that could possibly solve the site's financial problems once and for all."

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If every... (4, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746386)

If every single registered /. member donated ONE dollar, they would be back in business.

C'mon, folks. Give it up.

Re:If every... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30746414)

Fuck you you nigger dick sucker.

Re:If every... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746464)

Ah! I see the lawyers at Bank Julius Baer are still hard at work.

Re:If every... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30746516)

The Jewish bankers will never give up their Jew gold. It's like asking Americans to donate their money to Hatian earthquake survivors.

Re:If every... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30746432)

If every single registered /. member donated ONE dollar to me, I wouldn't have to read slashdot on company time.

Re:If every... (1, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747192)

It would be a good amount for a single person for a few pizzas, but how long would wikileaks survive with it? Slashdot UID is still only running somewhere around 1 700 000. It's not an once and for all solution.

Re:If every... (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30750564)

It would be a good amount for a single person for a few pizzas, but how long would wikileaks survive with it? Slashdot UID is still only running somewhere around 1 700 000.

He needs $600,000 per year at most. So if every slashdotter pays a dollar every three years, they're basically there.

Don't PCs get replaced roughly every 3 years? A dollar for each new PC as free-speech tax.

Re:If every... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30762038)

Slashdot UID is still only running somewhere around 1 700 000. It's not an once and for all solution.

Speaking as someone who has several times already donated to Wikileaks (and who is likely to donate again after I've RTFA), I'll point out a flaw in your logic. There is no reason for there to be a simple connection between a membership number and the number of registered users on a site, and even less a reason for there to be a simple relationship between the number of registered users and the number of active users.

Particularly in situations where the number of users is important to the survival of a site, there are good reasons to inflate the number of users. Privileged users, friends or cow-orkers of the founder, etc tend to get the first few numbers ; then the numbers need to inflate to try to gain traffic and advertising revenue. So, you jump the membership number counter by a handful every few hours. A site with a thousand users doesn't sound as impressive as a site with two thousand users, and it's going to be a careful observer who notices that certain ranges of user numbers are missing.
(I'm not alleging that SlashDot actually did this ; but the temptation is there. Just add the next number in the series of prime numbers to NEXT_USER_NUMBER each time you (or chron) collects the usage statistics ; who'd notice? Turn it off when you're getting lots of sign-ups, or re-zero it to the start of the series of primes.)

Re:If every... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30748754)

Maybe if I didn't see you spending so much time on Slashdot in the log file, you'd be able to earn that raise.

-Your boss. :P

Re:If every... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30746434)

if you deep throated every single slashdot member, you would enjoy it.

Re:If every... (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746932)

If you give $2, they won't notice me not giving $1.

Re:If every... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30746990)

I wonder what percentage of members are still active since Slashdot doesn't let anyone delete their account.

Re:If every... (0, Flamebait)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747220)

And the cowards like yourself.

Re:If every... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30747822)

Yes, but we don't need no stinking numbers -- so who knows how many of us there are.

Maybe each of us posts just once...

...or maybe there's just two of us (myself and you, who, come on, admit it, sometimes click on that little checkbox with the label "

Re:If every... (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748584)

I wonder what percentage of members are still active since Slashdot doesn't let anyone delete their account.

or edit their pot^Hsts

Re:If every... (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747658)

Of course if it got out that you gave ONE dollar to an organization, that would be pretty embarrassing, you'd be seen as cheap.

And you know who might publicly reveal who gave exactly ONE dollar?

Wikileaks.

Re:If every... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30747678)

$10 USD here. Never been to the site, but I've heard of em.

Re:If every... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30747956)

I find it absurd that they extract money for information _I_ leaked. Freaking hell, If I'm leaking they shouldn't be mopping up.

Re:If every... (1)

Obel (1534671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748702)

He says they need about $600,000 a year. Maybe just have a $1 annual subscription? I'm sure not many people are going to complain about that (though there'll always be a few).

Re:If every... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30748870)

If every /. member gave each other ONE dollar, we'd all be millionaires!

Re:If every... (1)

ath1901 (1570281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30750460)

Do you mean "every single" as in "every slashdotter without a partner" or as in "every slashdotter there is"?
Oh, never mind. Just realised it's the same thing.

Discussion system like slashdot. (4, Interesting)

lazy_nihilist (1220868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746396)

What wikileaks also needs is a good discussion system for each story/leak. That way the audience also can directly participate.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30746466)

The title and content of your post seem to be in opposition.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746520)

I concur with your statement, but lack a good means of expressing my agreement.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (2, Interesting)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746844)

Whilst I happen to prefer using a newsreader to a web discussion interface, the /. system is probably the best blog comment system I have come accross. The content of the comments (and sometimes the quality of the moderation) are less good, and the javascript should be made faster, but the design is good.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (2, Interesting)

uncqual (836337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747856)

Check out the progressive web site DailyKos.com [dailykos.com] .

Although I certainly don't agree with a lot of their "content", their comment system is pretty spiffy.

The whole moderation thing is handled differently and the result of it is binary - "Hidden - REALLY, YOU CAN'T SEE IT" or, well, "Not Hidden", but that's really an editorial decision. Their decision is probably appropriate for their site, not so much for /.. (So, what is the correct way to end a sentence that doesn't ask a question but ends in /.? To put a double period results in a drooling slash...)

Their site is much faster and more obvious than /. and I'm sure the whole moderation level you want to see could easily be incorporated.

Their 'search for comments by xxx' function sucks, but hopefully that will be spiffed up in the upcoming DK4 version.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30749322)

Yeah, dKos is running a fairly heavily modified fork of scoop [drop.io] , originally created for kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] . It was intended from the start as a better slashcode, and generally speaking it is, but the search functions have never been great.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747120)

When shown an early Alpha of the slashcode by Alan Turing, Churchill remarked that it was "the worst electrical message board system, except for all the others that have been tried"...

An anonymous coward then called them both "cocksmoking teabaggers" and was promptly modded down. With extreme prejudice. [winstonchurchillshop.com]

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747682)

Why not post on that of which we do not speak?

It was set up as a 'discussion system' 20+ years ago. It's mirrored across the world rather quickly. There's even a Google front end.

There's MORE than enough bandwidth. Pirates figured out how to post binaries (and large ones at that) a long time ago. Make it a moderated group, tada. WikiLeaks replacement. Put a few servers up in countries with decent laws and mirror between those.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748020)

Are you going to make me mod you down?

Oh wait. Dang.

Re:Discussion system like slashdot. (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30750350)

There's even a Google front end.

Yeah, well they had to be fucking shamed [wired.com] into making it useful. But eventually is better than never, I suppose.

I agree (-1, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746412)

But I tell you, Jay Leno is a total douche. And NBC is sabotaging itself right as it is being bought by that evil cable company.

All hail COCO!

Have they (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746418)

Have they considered charging to NOT publish stuff?

Re:Have they (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746426)

Extortion is always the solution.

Re:Have they (2, Interesting)

Iguanadon (1173453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746496)

That's a harsh way to put it. I would call it more of a "Protective Services" product.

You know, it would be terrible if this article came out detailing your illegal business practices...

In all seriousness, I'm curious how they verify submissions. All I could find was "The simplest and most effective countermeasure is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can scrutinize and discuss leaked documents." What's stopping someone from making up a false story about a political/corporate enemy and submitting it to them?

Re:Have they (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747020)

Architecturally, probably not much. Unless you have a crack team of snoops and muckrakers who already know a great deal, perfect verification(especially of whistle-blowers who would prefer not to be identified) isn't going to happen. If you knew enough to confirm the document, you wouldn't really need the document.

That said, though, lying is hard and complex lies are even harder. Junior-high gossip isn't such a big deal and if you are just preaching the the choir virtually anything will do; but producing a document, or series of documents, that embodies a complex lie without tripping over yourself is really tricky.

There are the technical details(is the font anachronistic/unsuitable, letterhead, email headers, internal terminology, jargon, references) and the stylistic ones(can you write this in a single voice, or do you have to simulate multiple distinct writers, quite possibly using various degrees of formality within email exchanges? Do any of the people being imitated have publicly available writings?) and the plain nit-picky continuity/fact checking stuff(was Mr. X employed with title Y at time Z? What does the wayback machine say about foocorp.com in 1996?)

This is not to say that it is impossible, of course. Lying is perfectly possible, and frauds have been perpetrated, sometimes for extended periods. However, it is rather tricky to lie well. I'm sure that wikileaks will be the target of a misinformation campaign at some point, it might already have been. I suspect, though, that it will be partially protected by a few factors:

Since simply lying to people who are already convinced is easy and not very risky(since you don't need any actual inside information), there are already loads of places to do it and strong incentives to do it in the most sympathetic ones. Wikileaks is a sympathetic audience for whistleblowers and transparency enthusiasts(and probably a fair few conspiracy types); but if you have faked documents about zionist atrocities in occupied palestine or the secret one world government black helicopter conspiracy, there are fair more sympathetic venues.

As a means of swaying the undecided(during an electoral campaign, for instance) wikileaks is of mediocre value. As a repository of otherwise unavailable documents, it is good for "slow burn" stories that come out over time in the face of official denial, the sort of thing that dedicated investigators and wonk types can work onl; but if you just want to insinuate that your opponent is a draft dodger with a taste for satanism and child sodomy a week before the polls open, you can just hire a push-polling telemarketing firm and cover a broad swath of the voting public.

More generally, it is always easier to lie in the direction of what is already widely believed(whether or not this wide belief is well founded). If wikileaks dealt largely in personal scandal and gossip, this would be a very damaging fact(consider the so-called "cyber-bullying" which largely consists of slander and harassment of whoever is already unpopular in a given social circle). However, since that isn't their area of operation, it is less of an issue. Nobody thinks warm and fuzzy thoughts about secretive offshore banks, or shady quasi-privatized former soviet industries, or sinister clandestine intelligence agencies. Slander can hardly hurt them. Indeed, only proof compelling enough to move public outrage and/or legal power within a society against them will suffice to pierce the benefit of the doubt which they are typically accorded. Real documents have a hard enough time doing this, faked ones would have an even harder time.

Re:Have they (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748456)

What's stopping someone from making up a false story about a political/corporate enemy and submitting it to them?

This already happens all the time, even without wikileaks.

It's just that false stories are usually submitted to outlets that already have a bias against whomever is already being targeted.

Re:Have they (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746438)

Have they considered charging to NOT publish stuff?

Now thats thinking. Potentially fatal thinking, but thinking all the same.

Re:Have they (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746532)

How about getting paid to delay the story for a defined period of time, make money, and still provide the service they are known for. It'd allow the company to get their pr in order for it ;)

Re:Have they (1)

cicho (45472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30755040)

New York Times already runs on that particular business model. They sat for a year on the story about NSA's illegal (at the time) surveillance, came out with it only after the 2004 elections. No-one needs Wikileaks to provide services they already have catered for.

Re:Have they (0, Troll)

nemesisrocks (1464705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746498)

But then how will all the kiddyporn sites increase their PageRank when the Australian Government pays for their blacklist to be taken down??

Re:Have they (4, Funny)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746640)

Sure, they could sell advertising in the form of big black boxes pasted over the materials

Re:Have they (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30747872)

Yeah, the same way black boxes worked for the TSA.

The Other, Other Operaton (1)

BrightSpark (1578977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746710)

This is when the Piranha brothers stumbled upon the Other, Other Operation in which they promised not to beat them up if they paid them the money... (M.P.) It's been tried before. The worth of exposure of information to the public is complicated by judgements about values (in Indonesia it is standard practice to take bribes openly, something which was also common in the days of Sir Christopher Wren and Samuel Peypes) and notions of what is in the public interest (all Slash Dotters are wankers but who cares or wants to know?). They could resort to advertising. Or not to advertise their products next to their stories :-)

Potential Profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30746676)

I thought this article might be about people posting fake business news, and then purchasing options to make some quick money

Subscribers? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746742)

Doesn't having a subscription model kinda defeat the other point of WikiLeaks, that is that anyone can download, analyze and verify the sources? Wikileaks is a good source so you can actually check out the real information itself rather than worry about all the crap surrounding it. For example, the leaked climate e-mails, you had some sources saying it without a doubt proves that global warming is nothing more than a myth with falsified data to support it, and others saying that the e-mails told really nothing. Most of the sources didn't publish the e-mails so how does an informed person decide which is right? They go to the source.

While a subscription might be easy for journalists and other people who are making money off of Wikileaks to subscribe to, what about dissidents of an oppressive government who want to see for themselves abuses that the government did? What about the general citizen who wants the source? A subscription model fails and will simply lead to someone making a less-secure mirror of Wikileaks with all the files and such and Wikileaks loses.

Re:Subscribers? (2, Interesting)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746820)

What if subscribers simply got to see content before non paying viewers got to see it.

Re:Subscribers? (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746866)

It depends what "sooner" means. If sooner is 1-2 days, perhaps it wouldn't be too bad, but a week or more would have bad effects because of outdated information. The "mainstream" news tends to not focus on one topic too long unless it helps their agenda meaning that an important article might fade from public eyes quicker than it needs to be leaving it lost in a multitude of links.

Re:Subscribers? (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30749250)

It depends what "sooner" means. If sooner is 1-2 days, perhaps it wouldn't be too bad, but a week or more would have bad effects because of outdated information

No need for an outdated "time intervals" here. Set a bounty. We figure it costs us $X to run this article, and we freely release it to the public when donations total $X, of course if you want to see a neatly watermarked copy right now, simply send a monetary donation of more than $1, up to whatever you think it might be worth, and we'll send you a nice watermarked copy, note we create and deliver your individualized copy in strict order of dollars donated, of course. Oh and by the way here is a snapshot of our current queue with dollar amounts and estimated processing time so you can intelligently balance your desire with your donation. That creates a nice long tail effect where a major TV network journalist will gladly donate the cost of a used car to scoop their competitors, yet a volunteer group or a poverty stricken individual (i.e. a student) in no hurry can get a copy for about the cost of an old fashioned paper newspaper.

Re:Subscribers? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30750850)

They have no copyright on the information so what good does the watermark do?

Re:Subscribers? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30751176)

They have no copyright on the information so what good does the watermark do?

Hey Shaitand buddy old pal, I bought a copy of todays top sekret govt conspiracy du jour, its really interesting, I think you'd like it, and you being my buddy, let me print you a copy for when we meet down at the pub this evening for beers, OK? ... later, at the pub ...

Sorry Shaitand buddy old pal, I tried printing a copy for you this afternoon, and my darn credit card info shows up in light gray across each page, isn't that weird? I'd love to give ya a copy buddy old pal, but, thats my credit card, man ...

Now that slows down a serious .PDF script kiddie for about two minutes, but the average journalist type would be totally mystified and stopped.

Re:Subscribers? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30755950)

Sure, but there are a lot of problems with this:

A) E-paper or normal paper trail. Lets say you live in Iran and want to know about governmental abuses, even if you have the money that $1 to WikiLeaks would look quite suspicious.

B) Copyright infringement. A lot of Wikileak's documents are under copyright, right now it doesn't mean much because the content is too emberrasing for people to claim it as their own, and they are non-profit. If they start "selling" the content, businesses may start the threats...

Re:Subscribers? (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746868)

A subscription like /.'s would work, so journalists and so on can pay to get the leaks in advance, but everyone gets to see the leaks after, say, 48 hours.

Re:Subscribers? (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748772)

You're not thinking very far ahead. Who's to say that the people who can afford to buy the information will choose to disclose it? Perhaps they will only disclose it to other wealthy elite?

Also, consider this: Many revolutionary factions assume that when their members get captured, they will be tortured. They furthermore assume that nobody is strong enough not to sing under torture. So they set up a policy: keep your mouth shut for 48 hours. Suck it up for that long. After 48 hours, tell them anything and everything you want. Sing like bird. Tell the truth! It won't matter. 48 hours is long enough to erase any embarrassing fact, or any compromising truth, rendering any confessions worthless.

Re:Subscribers? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30749324)

You're not thinking very far ahead. Who's to say that the people who can afford to buy the information will choose to disclose it? Perhaps they will only disclose it to other wealthy elite?

Perhaps if you watermark each individually processed document sold, with the valid credit card info used to make the donation, no one will share?

The other option is, sell for an interesting mathematical function by delay. 48 hours to one week its $1, after a week its free for research purposes. For less than 48 hours, it costs (2^(48-(hours old))) dollars. Perhaps powers of two is a bit expensive, and a mere 1.2 would be sufficient. 1.2^48 is only about six grand, if your 24 hour TV network wants the scoop right now. On the other hand a newspaper on a reasonable deadline would only have to drop maybe 1.2^40 which is a mere one grand. Individual concerned citizens would be willing to drop 1.2^24 which is a mere $80, these are the people that drop $40 for a hardcover book on the same topic and presumably this would be more interesting. And people that wait around 2 days pay something like itunes type charges, $1.20.

You guys are missing the point. (2, Informative)

SteelRat (11640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747788)

I could explain it, but why not watch their presentation that they gave a couple weeks ago at CCC and actually understand what they're talking about firsthand.
Presentation page [events.ccc.de] , big mp4 video [fem-net.de] , torrent [fem-net.de] .

Re:Subscribers? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30755916)

That point is based on an illusion. The illusion that the content that ends up in your brain, must be the same that you think it is. In reality this requires every node in-between to be trustworthy. The server that is said to be the source, every non-encrypted server and wire in-between, the computer of the cracker, the cracker, every non-encrypted server and wire between him and Wikileaks, Wikileaks and everyone with the ability to change something, every non-encrypted server and wire between Wikileaks and you, your computer, your screen, and your eyes. ;)
Or in other words: Every physical object between the source and you. Every device, every software, every person.

Sorry, but that very unrealistic.

Re:Subscribers? (1)

ResidentSourcerer (1011469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765416)

So it works like this:

If you subscribe, you have access as soon as the story is available.

If you don't subscribe you can access only stuff that is over a week old.

If you are from an 'oppressive regime' you have automatic access to stories that are datelined with your country.

Connections are throttled on the basis of how much is downloaded. E.g. If one IP tries to mirror WL they get speeds so slow they can't keep up with the new stuff -- unless they subscribe to mirroring with no republication of anything but analysis.

A given IP would be allowed to access N links a day without cost, but not able to access current indexes so that published stories could refer to the original source in a credible manner. Sure there will be ways to spoof it. And this crowd can come up with better mechanisms.

Key: Limited current access to subscribers and people who are following up on subscribers stories. Full access to week old data. Full access to stories concerning their own country to people living under oppressive regimes.

They don't sell information. (5, Insightful)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746846)

The thing that bothers me about the interview is that he says he's limiting access to information to artificially lower supply and induce demand; but that's not what they're doing. The information is still out there. Anyone who wants to give the information to someone other than wikileaks is able to do so. It's not "their" information to control or limit.

What they can and do control is the service that they provide -- namely: checking, collating, and hosting the information. I think it's an important distinction that needs to be made, though it may be semantics.

Re:They don't sell information. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747328)

This. For every single HUGE leak story in the past couple of years, there's been a torrent and links to it everywhere.

Re:They don't sell information. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748202)

What they can and do control is the service that they provide -- namely: checking, collating, and hosting the information. I think it's an important distinction that needs to be made, though it may be semantics.

Wikileaks provides two services:
1. Free bulletproof hosting
2. Publicity.
This subscription service helps Wikileaks with those two goals.

The worst that could happen is that Wikileaks delays posting something for XY days.
The best that could happen is that the [news organization] writes an explosive story about [secrets].
I don't think I'm going out on a limb to suggest that the possible benefit far outweigh the known negative.

Charging is a very bad idea (3, Interesting)

bl968 (190792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30746886)

Once they charge for subscriptions then they become a commercial organization and they would most likely be under the gun for more stringent copyright claims and enforcement. They currently benefit from the non-commercial use provisions of the fair use doctrine.

Re:Charging is a very bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30747072)

Instead of telling us that charging is a very bad idea, can you tell us a good idea?

Information wants to be free. Hardware, maintenance and bandwidth don't.

Re:Charging is a very bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30748024)

charging != commercial; that's what non-profit is all about

Why not Torrent large files? (4, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747032)

Why not make large (in terms of expected bandwidth use) files available through BitTorrent in order to take load off the Wikileaks servers?

BT for web pages. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30747284)

Is there a BT technique that can be applied to web pages?

BT for web pages -- easy but not done (2, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748318)

Is there a BT technique that can be applied to web pages?

Sure, can it be that hard?

Give a URI of some resource. Have your web/torrent browser look for peers/seeds who have copies of that resource in some DHT. Ask those who have it to send it to them.

There's absolutely nothing stopping anybody from using BT as the application-layer transport protocol for HTML and other web content.

I'm no expert on P2P networks; maybe other kinds of protocols are better suited.

I think the hard part is making Microsoft implement this in IE, so that everybody will be able to justify switching to this.

Re:BT for web pages -- easy but not done (2, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30748782)

A big problem is latency and overhead. The Bittorrent protocol is designed for asynchronous downloading of large, immutable data files, not serving relatively small web resources while you wait for the page to load. Particularly dynamic pages like a wiki, where you'd have additional latency+overhead due to the static files getting stale and having to be reseeded.

Naturally, the actual PDFs could be torrented, which would be a great idea. I don't think we'll see websites on magnet:// URIs viewable in the browser, though.

Re:BT for web pages -- easy but not done (2, Interesting)

shaka (13165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30750174)

As you say, the technology doesn't really work well for web browsing as of today, and I think you're correct in that WikiLeaks will implement something like this right now.

I do, however, think that this - or something like this - is the path we will eventually walk down, when the Wiki and the Blog have converged into a WYSIWYG/WYSIWYM capable editing platform for lots of different people and organizations.

I also think that this is where Opera Unite is pointing. DHT, the web and the Internet will be viewed as the same phenomenon 100 years from now, the next step up since the printing press.

Re:BT for web pages -- easy but not done (1)

ResidentSourcerer (1011469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765592)

Right.

So when the torrent goes up, Black Hats up identically named torrents that have ascii dumps of /dev/random.

(Indeed: I don't understand why the big media companies don't put up tons of torents with corrupt copies of music and movies. The first 30% is perfect, and it gradually decays into white noise. If you had to download 10-20 copies of a movie to find one that is complete, you'd say to hell with it and buy it instead.)

Re:BT for web pages -- easy but not done (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30777488)

So when the torrent goes up, Black Hats up identically named torrents that have ascii dumps of /dev/random.

Make the URI a sha1 hash of the contents. That way it can't be faked unless people break sha1.

Re:Why not Torrent large files? (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747932)

... and use thepiratebay for posting the torrents, that way their argument (that they are hosting legal torrents too) may actually be true at least for a few torrents :)

Re:Why not Torrent large files? (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30755370)

Why not make large (in terms of expected bandwidth use) files available through BitTorrent in order to take load off the Wikileaks servers?

Because the ultimate end result of that would be that eventually some powerful company, who can't reach over seas to take down wikileaks, can (and does) sue everyone seeding the torrent.

Remember, it's $80,000 USD for each copy of the document you upload to someone if you are in the USA!

So after said company sues a bunch of 'smart asses that deserve it', and the other seeders run scared, you are back to one seed on wikileaks seed box, thus one copy to DL from, and thus nearly all of the bandwidth will still come from wikileaks.

The minor 'free' bandwidth they would get from downloaders (While they are downloading anyway) would not offset any costs that would matter.

LaTeX (1)

jrkotrla (690946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747210)

I personally think that it is awesome that they used the LaTeX Beamer class instead of PowerPoint.

oh yeah, the rest of the presentation was interesting too.

hmmm wikileaks (-1, Offtopic)

propertyguru1 (1680114) | more than 4 years ago | (#30747922)

INTERESTING NEWS INDEED. but for more articles specific to property industry you may want to go to http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/market-news [propertyguru.com.sg]

Microsoft's Cofee burnt Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30748956)

Julius Assange has may explanations, but the probable cause of WL downing is not public. They recently published the entire Microsoft Cofee illegal police rootkit spy program in binary format and the Interpol ordered to shut them down. They probably will not return and their donation collection link may be a law enforcement sinkhole.

About 30 seconds until free competition (0)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30749054)

If Wikileaks does this, it will take about 30 seconds for a new and free alternative to step up.

O rly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30749516)

How can they be doing it for free and have the highest cost being manpower?

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