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Former MI6 Chief Credits WikiLeaks With Helping Spark Revolutions

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the powder-kegs-need-not-apply dept.

Censorship 146

EnergyScholar writes "Sir Richard Dearlove, former Intelligence Chief of MI6, credits WikiLeaks with helping spark revolutions in the Middle East, in (what was supposed to be) an off-the-record speech. 'I would definitely draw parallels at the moment between the wave of political unrest which is sweeping through the Middle East in a very exciting and rather extraordinary fashion and also the WikiLeaks phenomenon. Really, what ties these two events together, and of course a number of other events, is the diffusion of power, away from the states and the empowerment of individuals, and small groups of individuals, by technology,' he said."

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Seesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415578)

I thought this was one of the four horsemen if the apocalypse. Sigh...

wtf? (-1, Troll)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415582)

So are they saying wikileaks is good? I'm confused.

Re:wtf? (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415624)

A real, actual (and retired) intelligence official, in private and off the record?

Sure, why not, he probably took an interest in the material they were releasing and realised there wasn't much that was actually a threat to national security. He's not interested in information control for its own sake and he's not a blowhard politician that interprets (or spins) everything as an attack.

Re:wtf? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415632)

so are you a wet nurse?

Re:wtf? (0)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415640)

I'm not a nurse at all. Or female.

Re:wtf? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415888)

I'm not a nurse at all. Or female.

ok so they won't lactate then. but you can still have boobs if you're a fatass.

this is mostly an american site. lots of yanks are big fatass slobs. it has something to do with blaming mcdonalds for their failure to take care of their own self.

Re:wtf? (0, Flamebait)

Dragon_Punch (1899538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416240)

Faggot much?

Re:wtf? (4, Informative)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415764)

Or everyone can take another breath once they realize that he isn't saying Wikileaks is good. All he's doing is drawing a parallel to the decentralization of power due to decentralized communications technology. Wikileaks is an example of that. The revolutions / protests against various regimes are another. He did not say one caused the other. He did not say any particular example is "good" (although he notes the political unrest as "exciting" and "extraordinary"). The actual quote is:

“I would definitely draw parallels at the moment between the wave of political unrest which is sweeping through the Middle East in a very exciting and rather extraordinary fashion and also the WikiLeaks phenomenon,” Dearlove said. “Really, what ties these two events together, and of course a number of other events, is the diffusion of power, away from the states and the empowerment of individuals, and small groups of individuals, by technology.”

Re:wtf? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415846)

Fair enough.

Point still stands though - a retired head spook is far less likely to go full retard about the wikileaks stuff than a serving politician.

Re:wtf? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416430)

Point still stands though - a retired head spook is far less likely to go full retard about the wikileaks stuff than a serving politician.

I would suggest you go and actually view the entire video linked by El Reg and apply your point accordingly. I suspect you'll find your opinion of "full retard" will swing in full direction to the retired head spook as he becomes critical of Assange.

Re:wtf? (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415896)

It's not good if you're a world leader and have something to hide. I'm sure Mubarak isn't crazy about it.

Re:wtf? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415940)

Nonsequir. The issue is whether the speaker is saying Wikileaks lead to revolutions or is, in any other way, "good". He didn't.

Re:wtf? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416114)

No, *you're* a nonsequir!

Re:wtf? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417764)

Perhaps he should draw parallels between bad diplomacy, two faced communications, political corruptions that wikileaks only reported and revolutions. Damn, does most of the world population engage in dodging responsibility in spite of being caught?
Perhaps we are DEVOlving as Dr. Mothersbaugh postulated.

Re:wtf? (3, Informative)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415786)

"Sir Richard Dearlove, former Intelligence Chief of MI6, credits WikiLeaks with helping spark revolutions in the Middle East, in (what was supposed to be) an off-the-record speech. 'I would definitely draw parallels at the moment between the wave of political unrest which is sweeping through the Middle East in a very exciting and rather extraordinary fashion and also the WikiLeaks phenomenon. Really, what ties these two events together, and of course a number of other events, is the diffusion of power, away from the states and the empowerment of individuals, and small groups of individuals, by technology,' he said."

He didn't say Wikileaks is responsible for the revolutions. The editor read that... In reality, the former MI6 chief says there are parallels between Wikileaks and the revolutions in the Middle East, where a small number of people are able to affect great change through technology.

And all you have to read is the summary... now we will have "former MI6 chief said Wikileaks caused the Middle East revolutions!" posts in all Wikileaks stories from now on. :(

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415796)

So are they saying wikileaks is good? I'm confused.

It has it's uses. [youtube.com]

Misstatement (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415604)

I don't think that any causal relationship is being drawn by Richard Dearlove in the article: he merely says that they're driven by the same phenomena ("Diffusion of Power").

Oh, come on! (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415726)

The technology he's talking about has been wide spread since 2001 at least, and here we are a few years into their last major release and we've got revolutions the like of which we haven't seen in 40 years. If nothing else, wikileaks made our rulers look like idiots, and their army's stopped supporting them. Any revolution ends when the military starts shooting, and in a few cases the army said no. This despite they've done it before. So there.

And besides, this is the former HEAD of British intelligence. He wouldn't bother making parallels for the sheer fun of it. He's trying to make a point.

Re:Oh, come on! (0)

schnell (163007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415874)

If nothing else, wikileaks made our rulers look like idiots, and their army's stopped supporting them.

That's right! Wikileaks made the US government look bad, and they stopped obeying the President. Err... I mean, they showed the Saudis secretly dealing with the US, and their military ... um...

I mean, Wikileaks showed a lot of malfeasance by the Egyptian government! Oh, er, no. That revolution came after weeks of massive civilian protests. Rather, Wikileaks has shown a trove of cables about the Libyan government showing... oh, wait, it didn't. Er, I mean, Wikileaks really skewered the Algerian government... uh.... I got nothing.

As the GP said: the former head of MI6 suggested that there was a relationship between the Internet (and its attendant weaking of control over communications and power) and the rise of revolutions in politically oppressed nations. You may personally applaud Wikileaks, but the recent rash of revolutions has NOTHING to do with Wikileaks directly - just as it has nothing to do with the previous US administration's efforts to "spread democracy in the Middle East as some have suggested [washingtonpost.com] . Let's applaud the Internet as a whole and its users - and not single out individual actors here.

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415956)

His point is that both wikileaks and that revolution are tied to the same thing: The power diffusion which is now in the power of individual or small organizations, and not totally in the hands of goverments.

Re:Oh, come on! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415970)

Er, I mean, Wikileaks really skewered the Algerian government...

If you s/Algerian/Tunisian/g, then it may well have.

Pre-Wikileaks-Tunisian: "Our government sucks. And the Americans support it. So there's nothing we can do. It sucks to be us."
Post-Wikileaks-Tunisian: "Our government sucks. And the Americans know as well as we do that our leader is a total dickwad, but are only being polite when they pretend to support it. So if the Americans don't have the dictator's back when push comes to shove maybe there's something more than nothing we can do. It doesn't have to suck to be us."

Wikileaked cables were the tinder. The dude setting himself on fire was the match. The rest was history. And anything in italics is just some anonymous coward's opinion, based on news reports written by journalists who may or may not have read some things that were never confirmed as having been authentic diplomatic cables.

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417356)

Taking the analogy further, Wikileaks was part of the huge ball of burning gas called the sun that helped dry out the tinder enough for it to combust spontaneously.

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417610)

I think you give the US too much credit. It wasn't so much that people thought that the US wouldn't help the dictator any more, it is that they saw individuals were capable of great change thanks to the power of the internet to disseminate information and organise people. If the US can't stop Wikileaks then how can any government hope to stop an internet lead revolution?

Libya might prove them wrong but it looks increasingly unlikely.

Re:Oh, come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416276)

And besides, this is the former HEAD of British intelligence.

... at a certain point in our history when the phrase "failure of intelligence" entered common parlance.

Re:Oh, come on! (5, Insightful)

tancque (925227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416600)

we've got revolutions the like of which we haven't seen in 40 years. .

Did you miss the fall of the Berlin wall and the changes in the eastern europe at the end of the nineteeneighties?

Re:Oh, come on! (1)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417470)

Oh shut the fuck up. Here are his words directly from the link in the post :

““I would definitely draw parallels at the moment between the wave of political unrest which is sweeping through the Middle East in a very exciting and rather extraordinary fashion and also the WikiLeaks phenomenon, Really, what ties these two events together, and of course a number of other events, is the diffusion of power, away from the states and the empowerment of individuals, and small groups of individuals, by technology.”

He is drawing parallels. He is comparing the revolutions in the Middle East and Wikileaks, He is NOT saying Wikileaks caused the revolutions. Go take a fucking reading comprehension course, you fucking asshole.

Re:Misstatement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416394)

You credit the Slashdot editors with too much. Because they want to attach the best possible connotations to Wikileaks they will go out of their way to present causal relationships between Wikileaks and other things generally considered good. Whatever is the cause of good must be good by itself, hence by simply playing some small games with causality you immediately "win the debate" regarding Wikileaks.

"Is our crops failing? The cause must be foreign saboteurs. Hate the foreigners!"
"Is a revolution happening? The cause must be Wikileaks. Love Wikileaks!"

Re:Misstatement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416534)

Absolutely. But you meant "phenomenon".

Re:Misstatement (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416656)

yeah, they're caused by everyone having a gutenberg press that transfers the published stuff by magic to everyone and everyone has the access to the same magic library and the more they read the more they want to. and the technology has been available on hand here in the west for far longer than in middle-east - but also, in the west we've had more free press for far longer, and also the free press has had a lot longer to ponder what to do.

but think about this: both mubarak and gaddafi paid good sums for westerners to come in and to build telecoms networks and to give a mobile computer to almost everyone, even maids and teens, so even hope of secrecy went out the window. they did definetely not think it through.

no more frank capas, just a mass of nokia wielding everymen.

Re:Misstatement (3, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417312)

Several other high profile sources have drawn a causal relationship though: Foreign Policy magazine - The First WikiLeaks Revolution? [foreignpolicy.com] NY Times - Qaddafi Sees WikiLeaks Plot in Tunisia [nytimes.com] and the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] :

In a speech last night Gaddafi, an ally of the ousted president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, said he was "pained" by the fall of the Tunisian government. He claimed protesters had been led astray by WikiLeaks disclosures detailing the corruption in Ben Ali's family and his repressive regime. The leaked cables were written by "ambassadors in order to create chaos", Deutsche Press-Agentur reported Gaddafi as saying.

The Iranian government have claimed that Wikileaks is a U.S. plot [presstv.ir] to destabilise anti-colonislist governments.

the release was an organized coordinated move, adding that such a huge volume of documents could not have been released without the cooperation of intelligence services of Western governments, in particular the US.

A former Pakistanti General has also claimed Wikileaks is a CIA/Mossad plot: [infowars.com]

The US has a hand in this plot, and these reports (posted by the WikiLeaks website) are part of the US psychological warfare

Disclaimer: Tunisia: Don't Call It a WikiLeaks Revolution [aolnews.com]

Re:Misstatement (1)

kuei12 (1555897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417384)

Thank you for reading for me. Would you like to chew my food, too?

Re:Misstatement (0)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417500)

But, but, Julian is our hero because information wants to be free!!!

Misrepresentation? (5, Insightful)

tal_mud (303383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415612)

From the quotes in the article all the MI6 head said was that wikileaks and the revolutions both stem from the same empowerment of the public via technology, not that one caused the other.

I admit that I didn't watch the 20 minute video where it actual causality might be mentioned.

Re:Misrepresentation? (4, Informative)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415638)

No you're exactly correct. He's relating both phenomena as originating from recent changes in technology in how people can communicate and form groups, not that one caused the other

Re:Misrepresentation? Look at the source (1)

pandymen (884006) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415904)

This is why I don't trust most UK media outlets. I have seen too much of this drivel from the Register.

Re:Misrepresentation? Look at the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416780)

This is why I don't trust most UK media outlets. I have seen too much of this drivel from the Register.

The Register is hardly representative of the UK media in general. Some of it is much worse than that.

Re:Misrepresentation? Look at the source (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417616)

The register is the sun of the tech world - don't base your entire opinion of UK media on it. Having said that, there are plenty of other reasons not to trust our press 100% but the papers are usually honest about their angle and don't pretend to be 'fair and balanced'.

Re:Misrepresentation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415934)

So you are saying that Wikileaks wasn't caused by the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya?

Re:Misrepresentation? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415668)

"Misrepresentation" is too fine a word for this. Soulskill is stupid, a liar, or both.

Re:Misrepresentation? (3, Interesting)

Oori (827315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415674)

I think the fault is of the original reporter at the Register who either did not understand what is said (text comprehension) or decided to use a bit of journalistic 'slight of hand' to pazzazz his rather dull story. In any case it's clear the article contains no content supporting its title. And slashdot? I've been reading it on/off for 14 years and there's clearly an exponential decay (with us being just at the beginning of the drop; who know where this site will be in 10 years).

Re:Misrepresentation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415768)

Oh come on, the Register has always been the IT equivalent of the gutter press, even back when Slashdot was actually good.

Re:Misrepresentation? (1)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416456)

Yeah the Register is pretty terrible sometimes, the Daily Mail of the IT press when it comes to sensationalism and making a huge storey about nothing.

Re:Misrepresentation? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415776)

Watch the last 5 mins. Worth it for the "mis quoted" line just before the end.

Re:Misrepresentation? (2)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415780)

I just watched the whole 20 minutes and you're right - he's saying the two areas (wikileaks and Arab uprisings) that share a common root cause of technology empowering people rather than saying one caused the other. The story is fundementally wrong.

He then launches into a string of character assassination comments dismissing wikileaks as not having a consistent philosophy (at which point the video pauses to provide counterevidence) and dismisses any notion of bias in the legal system as conspiracy theory (which ironicly demonstrates exactly what Assange's thesis is: a culture of secrecy breeds conspiracy theories since you can no longer trust the offical record to be complete or accurate). He comes off rather badly here, but it's not really inflamatory.

The video ends with a very pointed question about the Downing Street Memos, which although interesting, he can't really respond to given that there are inquiries in progress (although when government figures use that defence, I'm never clear if it's a real legal requirement or simply self-defence advice from the lawyers).

Re:Misrepresentation? (4, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415872)

Correct me if I'm wrong but I do recall that the protests in Tunesia were sparked by leaks (on WikiLeaks) about misbehaviour, corruption and self enrichment by their then-government. This sparked serious anger, and caused an uprising that quickly grew in strength when people realised that by standing together they were far stronger than their government.

People in nearby countries saw the news - Internet helps to spread it quickly - and organised themselves to rise against their respective governments. Egypt started, they also found their government to be weak and overthrown quickly, and again the news spread.

Many more countries see serious unrest, and I expect it's far from over. Especially Lybia where the government is stronger than expected and which is now descending into total chaos and civil war.

It's not just coinciding, it's a direct relation. Easy spread of information, in part facilitated by WikiLeaks, and easy and fast communication between people.

Re:Misrepresentation? (4, Insightful)

tal_mud (303383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415898)

Whether you happen to be right or wrong in claiming that there is a causal relation, the head of MI6 did NOT make that claim. So the article is a misrepresentation of his statements.

Agreed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417590)

I can't understand the people who constantly chant "government by the people", yet at the same time, call for Assange to be jailed and Wikileaks to be destroyed. WAKE UP -- Wikileaks is EXACTLY what "government by the people" needs, since government by the people is impossible if government fails to disclose precisely what they did "for the people".

If a man claims to be serving your interests and charges you a fee for those services, but refuses to disclose exactly what services are provided and when, would you buy into it? Of course not. Logically, he isn't serving your interests at all -- he's ripping you off. Wikileaks is letting us know that we're being ripped off. Repeat: Wikileaks is letting us know that we're being ripped off. We should be THANKING them, not mindlessly parroting the words of career politicians.

Re:Misrepresentation? (3, Insightful)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415932)

It seems like he is referring to something much more powerful than a causal relationship. He seems to be suggesting that Wikileaks and its ilk, and the recent revolutions and protests, are part of the same pattern.

We really need to get a mathematician to take a serious look at human history. It appears to be fractal: it not only repeats itself, but the same patterns show up on different scales as if there were a great deal of self-similarity.

Re:Misrepresentation? (3, Informative)

j_presper_eckert (617907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416210)

We really need to get a mathematician to take a serious look at human history. It appears to be fractal: it not only repeats itself, but the same patterns show up on different scales as if there were a great deal of self-similarity.

[pokerface]
I heard that some math-and-history whiz named Hari Seldon has already got that covered. In spades. There's even a few books out there detailing some interesting things that happened when he published his findings. Any serious conversation about the subject really has to acknowledge his work as the foundation of the entire field.
[/pokerface]

Re:Misrepresentation? (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417832)

Oooh, I wish I had mod points today! :-)

Re:Misrepresentation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416352)

Colin Laney?

Re:Misrepresentation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416740)

We really need to get a mathematician to take a serious look at human history. It appears to be fractal: it not only repeats itself, but the same patterns show up on different scales as if there were a great deal of self-similarity.

Not really a job for a mathematician, philosophy has it covered. Nietzsche's take on 'eternal return' for example.

BULLSHIT !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415630)

Who's the monkey wanker here?/ Timothy?? Soulskilz?? JabbaTheTaco??

USA next! (1, Insightful)

Gible (526142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415642)

If only it would have a similar effect in the USA.

Re:USA next! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415666)

If only it would have a similar effect in the USA.

Slim chances... the USA population is quite dense, you know? The diffusion rate is thus very slow, the pressure will have to mount much higher.

Re:USA next! (4, Insightful)

Degro (989442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415718)

Yeah, that's it. Just like all this tripe about the country being broke. Life is good in the USA for the most part still (way too good for some). Far far above what the rebels in these countries had been facing everyday. Attempting to equate these situations is a joke.

Re:USA next! (2)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415910)

Still, if you're looking for a country with more wealth inequality than the US, you have to go to Africa or Middle East to find it.

Re:USA next! (4, Insightful)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416010)

Wealth inequality without context is a bad measure of the quality of a civilization. For example, in America, there is a stark divide between the super-rich and the working poor, as they're called. But even the working poor are able to afford a roof over their heads, running water, in many cases cell phones and internet, and cable tv. And they're entitled to public services funded by taxes collected (somewhat disproportionatly) from the rich, as our taxation isn't a flat-fee per capita, but is progressive.

In China or Africa, on the other hand, there is also a stark gap between the rich and poor. But while the rich Chinese businessman or African landowner may live a close approximation of the life of the rich American, the rural poor in these places don't have access to running water, or medicine, or in some cases even electricity. So I'll take my chances with American inequality any day, thank you.

US is a shitty nationalitiy, not these 48 uSA. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415976)

USA is a style of 48 countries each with their own nationality and statehood.

The United States is a moorish nation from 1754, not the united States of America since 1492 from the several states who have admitted.

Learn2History: bad food quality is an investment of bad Pharmacy to hook you into their drug subscriptions, and if you grow organic vegetables or herbs without approval or non-pasteurized foods then BATFE(ces) chimps-out on you because you are undermining the main circular economy model that begins be slowly degrading your health through the lifestyle choices of inexpensive processed food.

As well, if you are an autodidact like a young child then you are forced to attend "school" at threat of abduction by Social Services, where you are expected to "socialize" in ways that require you to lose your family heritage as well as aquire secondary viral infections from vaccinated peers if you yourself are religiously exempted from inoculation.

Re:US is a shitty nationalitiy, not these 48 uSA. (1)

Wandering Idiot (563842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416154)

God, take your stupid "capitalization changes everything you stupid sheeple" nonsense elsewhere, please.

And look up herd immunity while you're at it.

Re:US is a shitty nationalitiy, not these 48 uSA. (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416510)

If your peers are vaccinnated, how are they supposed to have viral infections for you to catch?

Re:USA next! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415716)

It already has. With the implosion of our financial system along with an exponential increase in deficit, you sir have a front row seat to a slow moving train wreck. Pass the popcorn please. I'm sure it will be the last bag I can afford.

Re:USA next! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415770)

The only people who want revolution in the USA are the ones who fucked up their lives already beyond repair and deserve to be thrown in a dumpster.

You jelly?

The revolution will not be revolutionized. (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415916)

In case you haven't noticed, most revolutions suck. That's why the founders institutionalized revolution in the form of elections, and gave us cherished tools like freedom of speech and association with which to peacefully foment revolutions now and then.

So. Instead of just asking for revolution, why don't you name the shape and form of your desired change, broadcast it, and see if anybody else wants to associate with you.

Chances are, most don't. That's a major clue that your vision for revolution sucks.

Really, we got lucky to have the people in power that we had, when our revolution occured. Not only were these guys smart, they were wise and moral. It was the perfect combination that just doesn't come along often enough when things change like that.

In fact, there are already a lot of people working to bring about revolution in the USA, in the manner in which the founders envisioned. They're marching, they're blogging, they're voting. We already live in revolution. The revolution will not be revolutionized.

Re:The revolution will not be revolutionized. (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416026)

In case you haven't noticed, most revolutions suck. That's why the founders....

...and people say Americans don't understand irony! ;-)

Re:The revolution will not be revolutionized. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416530)

flamebait.

Vaporware Syndrome (3, Insightful)

Tuqui (96668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415644)

But Wikileaks now is sick of the 'Vaporware Syndrome'. they are announcing their next leaks for month without releasing them.

Re:Vaporware Syndrome (4, Interesting)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416644)

That's why you don't "announce" leaks. You either release or don't release documents.

This is one of the reasons why Daniel Domscheit-Berg (and several others) left Wikileaks. He thought it was wrong of Julian Assange to make threats about releasing specific leaks.

Also: Since last year, Wikileaks doesn't have a working submission system. There's still no way to send wikileaks anything right now. Assange stated in several interviews that Wikileaks wasn't accepting documents anymore because they were overwhelmed with the Iraq war/Afghanistan/State cable leaks and that they didn't have the staff to process new submissions. That was only half of the story. The other half is that one of the Wikileaks members that left last year at the same time as Daniel Domscheit-Berg was the guy who coded the submission system. When the coder left, Wikileaks wasn't able to keep the submission system running because there was no one else capable of maintaining it and making sure it stayed secure (given that the submission system is probably the most sensitive part of the site).

Check out this interview with Domscheit-Berg [artificialeyes.tv] for more about why he left Wikileaks.

Paradox (2, Insightful)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415684)

It's a pity not many people have the balls to make such comments while they're in office. The saddest thing is that thinking is actually arguably impaired while people are in office. It's baffling, but people do the stupidest things when their level of assumed responsibility notches up. It's a paradox...

Re:Paradox (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417448)

People do speak out whilst in office but then they quickly find themselves out of office. I suspect many figure it's better to keep their mouths shut and influence things the best they can in office, than be kicked out to be replaced by a puppet.

I don't know US politics terribly well but isn't this basically what happened with Colin Powell when he realised he'd been duped over the WMD claim and started to speak out about it? He was quickly replaced with a more subservient puppet - Condoleeza Rice.

Eh? (2)

Breeza (2008484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415686)

Does he mean to say that specific leaks have led to the movements seen in these countries? (If so, which?) Or that they now have a general feeling of moral support for freedom, justice, transparency and accountability for governments from the west? I'm not sure wikileaks can be credited entirely but what else was the catalyst for such widespread uprising? An intriguing speech nonetheless. Would love to hear more candid thoughts from people who held/are holding similar positions.

Re:Eh? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415724)

Would love to hear more candid thoughts from people who held/are holding similar positions.

The leaked State dept cables are quite candid, you know? Maybe by reading them, you'll discover which of them (if any) catalyzed the uprisings?

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415994)

It started with Tunisia [google.com] , there it seems clear that inflation and unemployment coupled with the American diplomatic leaks of the ruling family's decadence and corruption created an atmosphere that was ripe for change. And change came. News of this spread to Egypt, where people were just sick and tired of the bullshit, and since Tunisia proved that change can happen, and a Google employee posted something to Facebook, and shit boiled over, thus it also happened in Egypt. Simultaneously, there are protests in Bahrain and Oman, and Saudi Arabia banned unislamic protests. And Libya... still cooking. It would be less correct to say Wikileaks had nothing to do with all of this than to say Wikileaks caused these revolutions.

Summary wrong. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415702)

He said nothing about crediting Wikileaks with the wave of unrest in the Middle East. He said you could draw parallels between them. The rest is just the submitter's fantasy.

Re:Summary wrong. (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416070)

He said nothing about crediting Wikileaks with the wave of unrest in the Middle East. He said you could draw parallels between them. The rest is just the submitter's fantasy.

What???! Claiming two things are similar is the same as claiming one caused the other! Didn't you know? That's why every time you say someone is like a Nazi, you're also blaming that person for causing the Holocaust!

Will this strain US relations? (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415706)

Torchwood, get on this!

Other factors (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415712)

Technology in general facilitated the revolutions (but didn't cause them).

Economic policy probably had more to do with it.

First, the nations involved are effectively if not explicitly dollarized. Second, the dollar has been weakened due to US economic policy. When you consider that these people spend a much higher percentage of their incomes on food and other basic items that are heavily impacted by inflation, Ben Bernanke probably deserves more credit (or blame, depending on the outcome) for these changes.

Really though, even that is stretching it a bit. Dictatorships as heavy-handed as those are probably just unsustainable anyway. There was no WikiLeaks or global economic crisis impacting Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. They were all just sick and tired after a few decades of oppression, and did something about it.

Other slopes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415962)

In other words entropy favors the down-slope.

Re:Other factors (1)

PiMuNu (865592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415980)

Also increase in oil price, food price. This foreshadows much bigger political instability to come as oil prices go up. Lots of literature on his (see peak oil stuff). I would say dictatorship is considerably more stable than democracy - that's why most nations end up with dictatorships rather than democracies. It's only when people are wealthy enough to worry about who is ruling them that democracy can do okay.

Re:Other factors (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416572)

here was no WikiLeaks or global economic crisis impacting Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. They were all just sick and tired after a few decades of oppression, and did something about it.

I beg to differ. There was glasnost, which was mainly about being transparent about everything in the government and the industry. You could call (albeit with a stretch) glasnost a governmentally mandated WikiLeaks. But for the overly secret communist governments of the time, glasnost was a revolution. And there was a very low oil price causing the USSR to bleed because they couldn't earn enough for their crude oil to sustain the Afghan War, the overblown military in the satellite states and the social benefits which kept the soviet people mainly quiet.
The same oil price low also hit East Germany, which made a fortune in the early 80ies by selling refined gasoil to Western countries, because the oil price within the COMECON was set as being the average oil price of the last five years. As long as the price was steadily climbing, this was a source of income for East Germany. But when the oil price started to tank, East Germany in average paid more for crude oil than the Western countries, and the business went sour.

So your theory about transparency and economic turmoil not influencing the Change in 1989 has some problems with the facts.

Sir Dick Dearlove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415992)

I'm sorry, but I'd shoot myself for having that name...

Re:Sir Dick Dearlove (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416084)

I'm sorry, but I'd shoot myself for having that name...

Not if you were British.

To be fair . . . (4, Insightful)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416024)

The quoted section is not crediting Wikileaks, but rather crediting a general movement and then citing Wikileaks as another EXAMPLE of the sort of things happening in said movement. He's pointing out correlation moreso than causation -- that is to say, they share the same causation.

Re:To be fair . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416896)

Yeah, but if you drop the W-bomb in your speech these days it'll get a lot more attention from the press. Really, I'll be surprised if it's not in the queen's speech come Christmas, then maybe someone will watch the thing.

Why should we trust Wikileaks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416136)

Has it occurred to anyone that the documents were intentionally leaked?
That Assange is either on a payroll or has at the least been fed disinformation?
That all this is just a well-thought and executed intelligence service ploy?
Yes, the climate for revolutions is suitable in these countries, but did the spark come from within or did someone else start it?

Just saying, it's an old game. The rules don't change that easily, only the tools do.

Dick (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416146)

haha
how come no one has said
Dick Dear Love?

kudos (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416162)

Generally I do not post on articles, but I would like to say that this blog really forced me to do so! Thanks, really nice blog.

http://www.multipest.com.au/termite-treatment

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416458)

Sir Richard Dearlove has been arrested yesterday on charges of rape.

Been saying this (2)

jkonrad (318894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416506)

I've been saying this about WL from day one.

WL > Tunisia uprising > Middle East firestorm

Tunileaks was the key (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416586)

In case anyone missed it. Tunileaks sparked the revolution in Tunisia, by providing american-quality documentation of the corruption in the Tunisian leadership.

If you missed this, do take a look at Tunileaks.com

I went to a talk by Sir Richard Dearlove... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416962)

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk by Sir Richard Dearlove called, "National Security - how much secrecy does the State need?"

His view was that the State does need secrecy (about the same level of secrecy as it has had for the past 50 years) and so his opinion of Wikileaks was not positive. He parrots the same "trust us" vibe as everyone else who represents the government intelligence agencies.

I do not think that his intention with these comments was to credit Wikileaks with anything.

First sensible thing said (1, Insightful)

mrthoughtful (466814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35416964)

For me, this is the first sensible thing said by anyone who has played a role in politics / warfare.
I, for one, welcome our new technology overlords

Date of the Reg article (0)

Cluelessthanzero (1885004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417042)

How is a story posted last week on El Reg News for Nerds? How come this stuff only matters this week?

Voices (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417280)

Anybody else read what he said in Patrick Stewart's voice?

Congrats! (0)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417674)

Now lets toss the guy in a prison cell because he 'raped' someone.

MI6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417726)

It is interesting, reading the comments about Wikileaks, to see how little the commenters know about history.

Great, now the spin machine can blame Wikileaks (2)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35417820)

for the increased gas prices that they're currently attributing to the Mideast revolts.

creators credit "the need' as cause for re-boot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35417830)

it's not about ANYTHING we've been told about. this last-gasper greed/fear/ego based control freak murder&mayhem glowbull warmongering scenario appears to be a serious mutation (by a very small #) of our intended evolution. as with any illness......

to attempt to impede/distract from our intended path, man'kind' (the mutants) proffers it's anointed/appointed (lots of flags/weird logos/panderious sex etc..) 'representatives' as the advisers/advocates of of our comfort, safety & 'correct' thinking? mr. assange merely completed at least part of his 'task'. nothing more or less.

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