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WSJ and Al-Jazeera Lure Whistleblowers

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the please-log-in-to-continue dept.

Privacy 84

jjoelc writes "The success of Wikileaks in obtaining and releasing information has inspired mainstream media outlets to develop proprietary copycat sites. Al-Jazeera got into the act first, launching the Al-Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU), and On May 5, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., Inc., launched its own site, SafeHouse. According to the EFF though, both sites offer 'false Promises' of anonymity."

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it's a TRAP! (1, Offtopic)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36431950)

First star wars quote.

Re:it's a TRAP! (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:it's a TRAP! (2)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432320)

Once WSL and AJ get a long list of whistleblowers, the list will be sold to Google.

Shortly after, the whistleblowers' inboxes will be full of spam for coach whistles and blowjob videos.

Re:it's a TRAP! (1)

thedletterman (926787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432394)

WSJ Exec: "Anonymous is just a marketing buzzword right? Let's just make sure the legal team writes it up so that anyone who reads the TOS understands we're doing the exact opposite here."

Spring the trap... (3, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433040)

  1. Upload the WSJ SafeHouse terms and conditions which demonstrate its lack of confidentiality, lack of anonymity, and related legal problems as a leak to AJTU.
  2. Upload the AJTU terms and conditions which demonstrate its lack of confidentiality, lack of anonymity, and related legal problems as a leak to WSJ SafeHouse.
  3. Sit back and watch the ensuing bitchfight. Karma profit!

WSJ understand what "anonymous" means (2)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434020)

It's how a conservative politician gets to leak news that the war is doing well and the liberals are all corrupt.

Lest that sound like picking on the conservatives only, let's make it clean that CNN and the New York Times use anonymous sources all the time as well for things that really should not be anonymously sourced. But I can't help but think that's what a WSJ whistleblower site is really about, as a repository for political figures to say things that they wouldn't want to say to your face.

Re:WSJ understand what "anonymous" means (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434096)

I'm afraid that the "we will cooperate with lawyers" is also a way to protect the reporters from having to authenticate, and verify, the contents. If the reporters and newspaper would put their own names and reputations at risk protecting their informants, I'd give it more credence and be more confident that they had verified the material. But I've read the Wall Street Journal, and watched companies manipulate their hiring practices, their leaking of purchase plans, and their product announcements purely to affect news coverage in such magazines. The Wall Street Journal has some reporters who care about veracity, but it is, historically and today, a mouthpiece for conservative fiscal leaders who have no interest in their behavior being risked by whistleblowers. I'll be very surprised if this encourages any genuine news, and I'd expect a lot of "astroturfing", or attempts to leak secrets about other companies to make them look bad just before quarterly earnings are reported and companies are sold to lower the price.

Al Jazeera, now, I've not followed them closely and would welcome insights into what they're attempting to achieve.

Re:WSJ understand what "anonymous" means (1)

sunnydaz (1859658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449204)

"...a mouthpiece for conservative fiscal leaders who have no interest in their behavior being risked by whistleblowers." Of course you have a handle on the situation. Keep repeating that to yourself and I am sure you will feel better soon. It would be the WSJ that attempts to catch companies who fudge the numbers from one quarter (or period) to the next, for some short term gain. Ultimately, the numbers will bear out the real truth, regardless of your misguided, progressive interpretation of reality, and only a person or media outlet that tracks the performance of companies will catch and publish such actions. To suggest that all activities are illegal only shows your ignorance. The stock market is gambling in its purest sense. Everyone bluffs, holds back, and pounces when they deem it more advantageous. To hide your strategy is just as important as to make your stated goals, either of which are NOT illegal in their own right.

Re:WSJ understand what "anonymous" means (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36437670)

Libertarians somehow believe that private businesses should be stronger than governments but weaker than individuals.

That's a rational and coherent statement, if you also believe that governments should be weaker than individuals.

Re:WSJ understand what "anonymous" means (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36438656)

Libertarians somehow believe that private businesses should be stronger than governments but weaker than individuals.

That's a rational and coherent statement, if you also believe that governments should be weaker than individuals.

One could argue that this isn't so much a belief as a trivially observable fact. A government isn't an intelligent being; it's a collection of individuals who may or may not act together. No government can do anything itself; it can only act through the individuals that are its component parts. Those individuals act according to their own wishes, which may well be at odds with the government's wishes (if the government can be said to have wishes).

It's well understood in some circles that the people running the government often do things that are at odds with the publicly-stated government policies and goals, usually in ways that are very profitable for the individuals themselves. All too often, those people are immune to punishment for their actions, which are considered the government's actions by the legal system (i.e., by the people who make up the legal system) and by much of the general public. But to understand what's happening, you need to understand that it was individuals who carried out the actions, not the government.

Of course, there is the general concept of emergence [wikipedia.org] that applies here. Governments (and other human organizations) do have emergent behaviors and emergent properties. But we should be careful not to assume that these are intelligent or purposeful. The intelligence and purpose belongs to the individuals, and there's little evidence of either at the organizational level. An organization's activity is just the sum of the activity of all of its members.

Re:it's a TRAP! (1)

sunnydaz (1859658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449046)

do you have a citation or is this make believe on your part?

Re:it's a TRAP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36432614)

So a White guy, a black guy, a Mexican, and a Jew are walking along the beach. They see something shiny, golden embedded in the sand. It looks like a lamp.

"Yo, I wonduh if there be such a ting as genies" says the black guy. So he picks up the lamp, rubs it, and sure enough a big genie pops out! The genie says in a loud booming voice "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH." So the black guy says, "fuh realz? Yo genie, I wish dat all mah black brothas and sistas in the USA could all be in Africa to live togetha in peace and have whatever we need. Then we finally be free of Whitey." "SO IT SHALL BE DONE" says the genie and the black man disappears along with all the other blacks in USA.

Next the Mexican picks up the lamp. "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH" says the genie. The Mexican says "Si senor genie, I wish all of my Mexican and in fact all Latino people could all live together in Mexico in peace and have whatever we need." "SO IT SHALL BE DONE", says the genie. Then the Mexican and all other Latinos and Hispanics in the USA disappear and end up in Mexico to live in harmony.

Now the Jew picks up the lamp. "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH" says the genie. The Jew says, "I want all of the Jews to live in Israel in peace. I want them to get along with both each other and all the neighboring nations. I want all of us to be wealthy and prosperous, needing nothing from no one." "SO IT SHALL BE DONE" says the genie. Then the Jew and all other Jews in the USA disapper and end up together in Israel to live in prosperity and peace.

Finally the White guy picks up the lamp. "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH" says the genie. The White Man says "well shit, if all the niggers, spics and kykes have finally left the USA, I wish I had a beer!"

Re:it's a TRAP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36439262)

Once WSL and AJ get a long list of whistleblowers, the list will be sold to Google.

AdBlock already shows doubleclick being on AJ. It seems Google has the list already.

Haiku (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36431954)

Anal explosion Mustard gas everywhere The room has been cleared.

Anonymity (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36431980)

I'm not sure why someone would interact in this way with any organization: Wikileaks, the Wall Street Journal, or the local newspaper without first masking any information that could identify them unless the publishing organization demands proof of authenticity. In that case, though, Wikileaks alone has proven it will protect its sources.

Re:Anonymity (4, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432480)

> I'm not sure why someone would interact in this way with any organization: Wikileaks, the Wall Street Journal, or the local newspaper without first masking any information that could identify them unless the publishing organization demands proof of authenticity.

Most people don't have the technical skill to report things (electronically) in a truly untraceable fashion, even assuming no SIGINT, etc... There are plenty of ways to reverse engineer whistleblowers' identities. What is the information they leaked? How many people had access to it? How many live in the geolocation of the reporting IP or, if the ISP is helping, who owned the IP? Of the people who had access to the information, how many use the sentence structure patterns associated with the submission? How many use the particular subdialect of English? etc...

I've never had a reason to submit something truly anonymously--but it's a nontrivial problem, though admittedly trivial solutions might work.

Re:Anonymity (3, Insightful)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433154)

I would not go over the Net with Wikileaks or anyone else, unless I could find a trustworthy proxy. Wikileaks may be 100% true, but they wouldn't know if the police was sitting on their wire, decrypting their shit with a key gleaned through a hidden camera. But what is a trustworthy proxy? It looks like only criminals have the anonymity on the Net these days.

But it's not really an issue, since anyone (and I mean any idiot) can put on a new long sleeve shirt, new gloves, wrap their face in a new scarf, buy a used USB stick with cash, and mail it. Knowing that mail came from Boston or Paris or Athens ain't gonna help.

If I was a whistle-blower, I would worry first of all about my data. How many people had access to it, is indeed the question. Best case scenario is what Bradley Manning had: some old cruft accessible by millions of people. Worst case scenario, dozens of people, and everyone gets a slightly different file, steganographically marked with the receiver's identity. So there is risk of exposure, of course, but the transmission itself is trivially anonymous.

Re:Anonymity (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434462)

How are you going to write the note to explain what the USB stick is about? Worse, how are you going to disguise your editing traces on the Word documents? (A procedure is described at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=834427. [microsoft.com] ) Or the serial numbers of the USB stick and purchasing records? Cash is useful, but many stores have video monitors in place now.

The "somewhat different file" trick that you describe is an old one, and remains popular.

Re:Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36434626)

Go to the library and pick one up from the lost and found in there computer lab. Pretty much untraceable.

Re:Anonymity (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36438898)

I can't believe that anyone even vaguely serious about anonymity would use any word processor, much less MSWord.
A text editor is the correct solution. If you must, you can create an html file, but I'd think that simple text would suffice.

Now as for the original documents...that's a whole 'nother problem.

P.S.: They may, indeed, have video monitors in place, but those are frequently more designed to keep the staff honest than for any other purpose. If it worries you, use one that you bought a year ago. Or get one that's handed out as a PR gimic. Or swipe one from someone else (that didn't have access to those documents). But doing video recognition from a security monitor of a stranger is a non-trivial task, even if the appropriate tape still exists.

Re:Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36442378)

Word document??
Information can't be leaked in PNGs and plain text files?

Re:Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36434448)

"Most people don't have the technical skill to report things (electronically) in a truly untraceable fashion..."

Certainly Al-Jazeera fits this description. Their e-mail system is in shambles. Just try sending them something. You won't be able to. It is doubtful that Al Jazeera itself is working in this capacity, however their site may be being used by some other law enforcement organization.

Re:Anonymity (1)

JinjaontheNile (2217694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434792)

Sounds like a standard company email system to me.
Companies don't want random emails from unknown people that may mean they have to do something.

From a lame arse managers perspective:
Option A Get random a email, don't realise it's importance, no action taken. Get in lots of trouble
Option B Don't get a random email, no decision need - no problem

Most companies these days seem go for option B and hide all email access from Joe Public.

Re:Anonymity (5, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432532)

In that case, though, Wikileaks alone has proven it will protect its sources.

Really? Woodward and Bernstein and the Washington Post kept silent about the identity of Deep Throat for over 30 years. Judith Miller went to jail for three months rather than reveal who leaked Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent to her. It seems like the conventional media do a pretty good job of keeping their sources confidential, if only because nobody would leak information to them otherwise.

Re:Anonymity (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433214)

The problem is it really depends on how bad the government wants to get you thanks to PATRIOT and "enemy combatant". You see miller was sitting in a nice cell with access to her lawyer, everybody knew where she was, etc. But since you can be labeled an enemy combatant by "giving material aid to the enemy" frankly the government can drop a reporter in a hole and promptly forget where the hole is. How many Americans are labeled enemy combatants? Does anyone even know?

Frankly if you are betting on a reporter to save your ass when the current administration says they have the right to assassinate Americans on American soil [salon.com] under irrevocable "war powers" I'd say you better be damned sure that reporter is willing to go all the way friend. Frankly even Nixon didn't have the balls to go as far as the last two administrations,and it ain't getting any better folks. I'm sure the next big leaker WILL be made an example of, mark my words. The Wikileaks leak stirred up too much shit for them to allow anybody to pull that shit again without paying horribly.

Jeffrey Sterling and James Risen (3, Informative)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434572)

there is a case going on -right now- where Obama's DOJ is subpoenaing a reporter over a chapter in his book State of War.

this is probably the first time this has ever happened, in the entire history of the country, in an Espionage Act case.

Re:Anonymity (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36435146)

American citizens have rights under the Constitution so they cannot be treated as "enemy combatants". The only way the American government gets away with Guantanamo is because none of the detainees are citizens, and there is no internationally recognized constitution that would protect their rights and guarantee due process.

Citizens can be charged with treason however, whch is just as bad, but the requirements are strict and established by precedent.

Re:Anonymity (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36437558)

American citizens have rights under the Constitution so they cannot be treated as "enemy combatants".

You just keep telling yourself that.

Re:Anonymity (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 3 years ago | (#36437592)

American citizens have rights under the Constitution

All due process mentions in the constitution use the word "person" and not "citizen", just saying.

Re:Anonymity (1)

jeaton (44965) | more than 3 years ago | (#36444130)

Tell that to Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was arrested on US soil, then held in a military prison as an enemy combatant for three and a half years.

Re:Anonymity (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36433280)

"Judith Miller went to jail for three months rather than reveal who leaked Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent to her."

How is it leaking if the person who did the leaking is not with the same organization as the person who's name was leaked?
And how is it whistleblowing if the person who's name was leaked didn't do anything illegal?

leaking has no actual definition (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434604)

see 'Canary in the Coalmine' by former DOJ lawyer & whistleblower Jesselyn Radack.

'disclosure' is a term that whistleblowers use

'delivery' is the term that the Espionage Act uses

'leaking' is the term that Nixon used when he created the 'plumbers'.

Re:Anonymity (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433788)

Wikileaks is protecting Bradley Manning?
It's unclear at this time whether or not Wikileaks can protect it's sources.

Re:Anonymity (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434424)

To assure that the material is genuine. An explanation of how one obtained the material and why one is exposing it can help assure the reporter that it's not just made up lies. Anyone who's been asked to testify at a child custody hearing can attest to the careful manipulation of testimony, and the questioning of how you know the material you're testifying about. While "ad hominem" is a logical fallacy, it's vital to assess the integrity, and reliability, of a source to write good news reports.

Man, (1)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432008)

Lest we forget why Wikileaks became the sensation it has.

Everyone has their price, (3, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432018)

and everyone has their vulnerability that can be exploited.

In this case, when confronted with the choice of "fight a massively expensive legal battle" or "turn over the schmuck's details", it should be no surprise which choice ANY corporation makes.

Re:Everyone has their price, (5, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432162)

Not everyone.

You only have a "price" if you aren't willing to drop your anonymity.

I posted a lot of whistleblowing material this weekend against my former boss - starmedia.ca - about tax fraud, over-billing customers, scamming the government-subsidized job training programs, etc.

I didn't do it anonymously, because anonymous whistle-blowing has zero credibility.

Sure enough, he got so scared he contacted my hosting company (iweb.com - if you don't use adblock, you'll see they're a big advertiser on slashdot and youtube), and they suspended my hosting account. He's too chicken-sh*t to sue me because he knows he'd lose.

So, having my account suspended is a minor inconvenience compared to the price of knuckling under and allowing him to continue to lie, cheat, and steal.

And iWeb [iweb.com] is now off the list of hosting companies that I would recommend, since they're located in a country that has no 1st Amendment rights.

Hey you son of a bitch... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36432368)

...take that bullshit material DOWN! I knew I fired you for a reason.

Umm, can you come and reboot the servers.

Re:Hey you son of a bitch... (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432416)

...take that bullshit material DOWN! I knew I fired you for a reason.

Umm, can you come and reboot the servers.

That made me laugh so hard I think I wet myself. Thanks ;-)

Re:Hey you son of a bitch... (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432682)

If you REALLY want to laugh, I'm the one who set up the server at iWeb [iweb.com] that Cholella is now using to run one of his scams - 770star.com. He's got logos of companies implying that they're sponsors, and he also used it to run an illegal lottery right after I quit [slashdot.org] , to promote 770star.com.

The tin-foil-hat brigade might think that iWeb suspended my account because i reported how one of their servers was used for illegal activities.t.

iWeb suspends trolltalk.com, I post it in my journal on slashdot ... seems to me that all they did was make themselves look stupid and give people a reason NOT to use them.

Re:Everyone has their price, (5, Insightful)

exentropy (1822632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432372)

anonymous whistle-blowing has zero credibility.

Although having the leaker's name can increase credibility a little bit, it is ultimately the correctness of the information that matters. People believe Wikileak's documents because large portions have been verified; having whistleblower names attached to the leaked information wouldn't increase significantly increase the credibility of the docs.

Re:Everyone has their price, (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432570)

Oh, I agree that ultimately, it's the material itself that counts. However, if you're willing to put your name to it and defend it both in public and in court, people are more likely to take the time to read it in the first place.

After all, how many people even SEE anonymous posts here on slashdot? It's part of how we think - we tend to take things more seriously if we can attach a face ... or at least a name ... to it.

Re:Everyone has their price, (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433140)

It's part of how we think - we tend to take things more seriously if we can attach a face ... or at least a name ... to it.

That's why a smart whistle blower will stay annonymous and enlist someone else to independently verify the source and play the role of "lightning rod". That "someone" used to be the NYT or similar, nowadays it's Wikileaks or similar. Often verifying material from an annonymous source is as simple as watching the reaction of the "victim", for example; it's obvious to most people that the "diplomatic cables" and the "war diaries" are genuine simply because of the way governments around the world have reacted to them.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434844)

You have a very good point. Unfortunately, in today's legal climate, it's hard to find someone who:

a. has personal knowledge of the issues or events,
b. is ready to stick their neck out, and
c. won't panic under pressure.

You'd be amazed at how many people fail the last one. The least bit of pressure, and they cave in.

Lets look at the immediate facts.

1. I reported that 770star.com had been used by starmedia communications to, among other things, run an illegal lottery or prize draw.
2. Alex Cholella, the owner of starmedia, screams at iWeb
3. iWeb suspends my hosting account.

Most people would have agreed immediately to remove the "offending material." I won't. 770star.com is hosted by iWeb on one of their smart servers, and they need to buy a clue, that my reporting this guy's behaviour is helping them keep their servers clean.

PING 770star.com (184.107.161.43) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 184.107.161.43: icmp_req=1 ttl=54 time=7.02 ms
^C
--- 770star.com ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 1 received, 0% packet loss, time 0ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 7.027/7.027/7.027/0.000 ms
barbara@u6:~> whois 184.107.161.43
NetRange: 184.107.0.0 - 184.107.255.255
CIDR: 184.107.0.0/16
OriginAS: AS32613
NetName: IWEB-BLK-07
NetHandle: NET-184-107-0-0-1
Parent: NET-184-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Allocation
RegDate: 2010-05-24
Updated: 2010-05-24
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-184-107-0-0-1 [arin.net]

OrgName: iWeb Technologies Inc.
OrgId: GIT-20
Address: 20, place du Commerce
City: Montreal
StateProv: QC
PostalCode: H3E-1Z6
Country: CA
RegDate: 2003-11-06
Updated: 2008-09-08
Comment: http://www.iweb.com/ [iweb.com]
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/GIT-20 [arin.net]

For now, I'm assuming that nobody bothered to check that they themselves were hosting some of the illegal activities. If they restore my hosting account, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. If they don't, then you can draw your own conclusions.

Most people wouldn't have even have bothered trying to expose the scammer, because they're afraid of getting a SLAPP suit. It's not easy being a whistle-blower.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36446782)

It's not easy being a whistle-blower.

No it's not, and I applaud you for speaking out publicly.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

DougDot (966387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36436184)

anonymous whistle-blowing has zero credibility.

Until the whistle-blowing claim turns out to have been true.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

Hugo.Lynch (856395) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433886)

And iWeb [iweb.com] is now off the list of hosting companies that I would recommend, since they're located in a country that has no 1st Amendment rights.

First I dont have any link with Iweb.com and I support you against Starmedia.ca if what you said is true but please dont hide behind your american flag to cry. Canada has the same rules and laws you found in 1st amendment right it's just that we dont use numeral notation to classify laws. Basically American and Canadian laws are the same except the right to wear a shotgun as a decoration in your pick-up truck (4th amemdment) but Harper (our Bush) is working hard to regress us to that level.... Try suing a big American Corp and see if you would still have your internet hosting from godaddy.com and I am sure you will lose it since big corp have lawyer armies that we small people doest have...

Canada's hate speech & libel laws (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434652)

are completely different from those in the United States and they fundamnetally alter what the press and the populace are able to do and say.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434966)

Whoa ... I'm not hiding "my american flag" - I'm Canadian - in fact, iWeb is located in another part of the city. The problem with Canadian laws is that we have ZERO protection for whistle-blowers. None, nada, zip, aucune, "a rien tabernak", if you want to use the local vernacular.

They're not too happy with me at the moment, since they've obviously botched this. If they had bothered to look, they would have found out that one of the sites I was complaining about (770star.com - the one that starmedia promoted via an illegal contest) is hosted on one of their smart servers.

Or they could have asked me first. I would have been happy to share the details I was saving for a future follow-up article. Like how I was the former employee who set up the server, and who quit a week before the illegal contest, after both I and a co-worker pointed out how it was illegal.

However ... there may be hope

iWeb has acknowledged that those portions that were legitimate news written by a former employee exposing a former employers' activities are legitimate material. So I've asked them to specify anything that was posted that was NOT related to either Alex Cholella's way of running starmedia.ca and 770star.com, or exposing government and public institutions going along with, to cite one example, abuse of job-training funds.

We'll see what their response is, but the scales have been tilted against honesty and ethical conduct for years. Look at how open source has been continually pilloried as "hacker malware", and the proliferation of SLAPP suits.

Re:Everyone has their price, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36434278)

So what country would you recommend for hosting? The US may have the 1st Amendment, but I'm not sure it still has any 1st Amendment rights, and I'm 99% sure they wouldn't have helped you: your boss would simply have submitted a DMCA takedown claiming that the information you posted was in violation of copyright and the hosting company would have suspended your account in exactly the same way.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434292)

Why not post it all as a submission? I'd vote it up.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434420)

Thanks - I'm currently working on it, but first I'm giving them a chance to do the right thing and buy a clue.

Here's their current response

"Specific activities that are prohibited include, but are not limited to :
"- Threatening harm to persons or property or otherwise harassing behavior."
For your information, this is sure that we have no problem that you
report, for example, some actions that you consider as newsworthy of a
company that you were a former employee

I'm in the process of writing the email pointing out that everything I wrote was about his business activities - none of it touched on his personal life.

Maybe it's a coincidence that, now that they know that one of their servers was used to promote an illegal lottery (while I posted about the illegal lottery, I kept out the fact that it was on another iWeb server), they're having second thoughts, especially since I've let them know that I'm reposting elsewhere, along with an explanation as to why it's necessary.

I expect to have a submission ready in the next 24 to 48 hours. Again, thanks for your up-vote :-)

Re:Everyone has their price, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36434600)

I just used their Live Chat feature and pointed them to your /. journal. I let them know the Streisand effect seems to be kicking off and that they're bound to lose potential customers from this, including me. :)

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36435258)

Thanks for the support :-)

I'm optimistic that they'll do the right thing. They're making noises that they WANT to ... which is at least a step in the right direction ... but only time will tell.

After all, the longer this drags on, the worse they look ... after all, if they're going to suspend MY account for reporting on illegal activities, the least they can do is also suspend the account that is actually doing the illegal stuff I reported on.

They should be encouraging people who blow the whistle on illegal activities on their servers, not stepping on them. If I wanted that, I'd get hosting in China, not Poutineville, Kanuckistan.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432800)

The NY Times, their choice is easy:

WWRD (What Would Rupert Do?)

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433164)

The NYT is not part of Rupert's empire, perhaps you're thinking of the WSJ?

Re:Everyone has their price, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36433574)

Fuck you. You represent all that's wrong with certain "humans".

I turned down a million euros to eat a piece of candy that I didn't want to eat.
Yes, this actually happened. (A friend of my dad is a millionaire, and he tried to prove a point while drunk.)

That's what personal integrity means. So fuck you, loser. Go get a spine. And some balls while you're at it.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433670)

While I admire your resolve, I personally would have considered getting a million euro from a drunk idiot for eating a piece of candy to prove an entirely different point; namely that rich and stupid are not mutually exclusive. Eating small amounts of candy for pay is not particularly high on my list of moral objections.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433752)

I probably would have done the same, but the AC clearly felt that foregoing a million dollars was worth it to prove a point to a millionaire, that their cash can't buy everything. I don't know, maybe proving that point to an evidently wealthy and possibly influential person might have a payback for society that is worth his individual sacrifice. Not everyone concentrates on the "me, now" side of an equation, and the world is a better place because of those who do not.

Re:Everyone has their price, (2)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433898)

Oh, I fully agree, it's just that a piece of candy isn't particularly much of a point. Maybe the drunk millionaire will have seen the error of his ways, if he remembers what happened the morning after.

I wouldn't count too much on it, though - he probably fully realises that there are people who can't be bought or aren't worth the trouble, just like I understand that there are people who are too dependent on Windows to switch; and he'll probably follow the same policy, too: steer clear of them and stick to the things where you *can* do something useful.

I'm sorry, but I can't rid myself of the impression that, even if the AC account *is* true, "drunk millionaire offering a million to eat a piece of candy" is not exactly the battlefront of the freedom wars where we should deploy the tanks. Principles are a good thing, but so is moderation.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434176)

Principles are a good thing, but so is moderation.

Wrong. This is the internet. All opinions must be exaggerated to a ridiculous extreme. DIAF plz.

Re:Everyone has their price, (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434330)

Would it help to say that I'm extremely moderate ?

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Idiots and/or liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36432064)

In my experience people who promise anonymity are either idiots or liars or both.

Re:Idiots and/or liars (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432940)

In my experience people who promise anonymity are either idiots or liars or both.

Suppose you were an idiot. Suppose you were a Member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

Mark Twain

I have my suspicions ... (2)

websinthe (2176708) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432068)

I often look at 'free web based proxy' sites and wonder if they're just set up by some law enforcement agency to fuel their party-van. Same goes for pr0n sites. Would there be a way for media organisations to do this legitimately? I doubt it could be done here in Australia.

Re:I have my suspicions ... (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432560)

I often look at 'free web based proxy' sites and wonder if they're just set up by some law enforcement agency to fuel their party-van. Same goes for pr0n sites. Would there be a way for media organisations to do this legitimately? I doubt it could be done here in Australia.

Don't be so damn cynical. There are lots of multimillionaire philanthropists out there funding anonymous proxies. Right?

But seriously, it costs money to host those services so you are right to be wary. Let's not forget that Greenpeace was originally organised by the CIA (part of the English anti nuclear campaign).

Consider that any connection through the NBN will be traceable back to the origin regardless of how many proxies you go through - proxie protection alone is the electronic equivalent of doubling back to confuse sniffer dogs - looks good in the movies, but craps out in real life. Don't believe me - ask the ex-head of AFPs Computer Crime unit... hey Alistair - how'd you nab Julian way back when?

P.S. It's illegal to host an Oz pr0n site.

PPS. Bigpond already do this - they use a product from McAfee (Hello NOA, love your work, lose any more USB keys around Russell lately?)[slips tin foil hat back on]

---

It's always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's just hilarious.

~ Bill Hicks

Re:I have my suspicions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36432938)

P.S. It's illegal to host an Oz pr0n site.

Like Munchkin porn!? Arrrggh!! My eyes! I'm blind! No more lollipop guild! No more lollipop guild!

Re:I have my suspicions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36434050)

Let's not forget that Greenpeace was originally organised by the CIA (part of the English anti nuclear campaign).

Sorry but you're gonna have to provide citations for that or risk coming off as a total loony...

Greenpeace, an organisation founded in Canada to oppose Nuclear testing - fair enough it may well have had CIA interaction, though you still need to cite that - but how in the hell does that equate to an 'English anti-nuke campaign'?

Re:I have my suspicions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36432766)

It is called Tor

May as well offer free porn as well. (1)

unreadepitaph (1537383) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432294)

Wikileaks was there to "stick it" to the "man", where as these corporations are looking for ways to maximise profit.

It's pretty disgusting/misleading to promise anonymity when clearly they're not going to think twice about selling you out if they get a gentle nudge.

Shouldn't journalists with integrity have the inside scoop? The ones that will go to jail instead of giving up their source?

Only a damned fool would trust the WSJ ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36432342)

... because it is owned by Newscorp ( Rupert Murdoch ).

I cannot speak for Al-Jazeera, but I don't think they would be my first choice.

Re: Only ... (5, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432440)

[Only fools trust WSJ] ... because it is owned by Newscorp ( Rupert Murdoch ).

So long as the disclosure of information is in the financial interests of Newcorp (or advances Newscorp's march towards world domination), you can trust Rupert with your life.

Re: Only ... (0)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432802)

[Only fools trust WSJ] ... because it is owned by Newscorp ( Rupert Murdoch ).

So long as the disclosure of information is in the financial interests of Newcorp (or advances Newscorp's march towards world domination), you can trust Rupert with your life... until a higher bidder shows up

FTFY

Not quite right... (1)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432414)

Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., Inc.

And from wikipedia:

[Dow Jones & Co., Inc.] became a subsidiary of News Corporation after an extended takeover bid during 2007.

I'm sure all leaks that get sent to the WSJ will receive equal attention, and that there won't be certain leaks that get prioritized over other leaks. Or "leaks" that could just be pure speculation...

I'm not trying to spread to much FUD here, and I'm not a huge wikileaks fan either. But if I was a whistle blower I'd be inclined to avoid any corporate controlled entities to give my info to.

Re:Not quite right... (4, Informative)

sn00ker (172521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432498)

And News Corp is owned bya guy [wikipedia.com] who's notorious for interfering in editorial decisions. If Murdoch doesn't like the story, it won't see the light of day in a single publication over which he has control.

Re:Not quite right... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36433308)

not to mention

News Corp owns Al jezeera.

News Corp tends to be a huge propaganda arm for the republican party.

They're collecting names for the next time a republican gets in power, they can sell it to the US government and have a few "rats" taken out.

whistleblowers in the mideast result in "instability" and will likely be taken out.

Whistleblowers in the US can be treated as traitors, or captured because how dare they out internal corruption?

Re:Not quite right... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36442368)

... if I was a whistle blower I'd be inclined to avoid any corporate controlled entities to give my info to.

Some time back, I ran across some histories of the concept of "common carrier" that are probably applicable here. This concept has multiple, complex origins, but part of the story is apparently the common practice in early times of "killing the messenger" who brought news that the local prince didn't like.

This had some unpleasant side effects, of course. Once a prince got a reputation for killing messengers, couriers would take to opening his messages, reading them, and failing to deliver those that might endanger the messengers. This led to a lot of lost information. Or worse, the carrier would sell the messages' content to the prince's enemies.

Eventually, the story goes, some clever people worked out a solution, in the form of a contract between carrier C and prince P, saying that prince P agreed to not harm carrier C's messengers, and carrier C agreed to not open messages to or from prince P or sell copies to anyone. This later became part of the package of rights and protections covered by the phrase "common carrier", as well as part of the protections surrounding news reporting.

Needless to say, sometimes one party to such a contract would violate the terms, typically the prince, but also messengers seeing an opportunity for a quick profit on the side. But such violations soon became widely known, leading to loss of trust on the other side. In particular, a prince who harmed a messenger could expect to lose subsequent messages or suffer the consequences of the contents being known to his enemies. So the smart princes (and courier services run by smart businessmen) would prefer to uphold their part of the contract.

The same problem probably applies in the current topic. WSJ and AJ are acting on the basis of short-term profit that will be a problem in the long term. Rather than adopting a common-carrier/journalistic stance, they have openly stated that they will sell your information to the highest bidder. This will certainly come to the attention of the people with the most valuable information, who will quite sensibly be unwilling to trust WSJ or AJ with it, out of fear for their own safety.

This is pretty much the entire reasoning behind the journalistic history of keeping source identities secret. If you want to keep getting such insider information, you have to protect your sources from retribution. It's interesting that they'd actually write in their TOS small print that they won't protect their sources.

We can expect that the news will get out (as it has here) that these companies can't be trusted with any "dangerous" information.

Maybe this was their intention. They might have just decided that they didn't want to be bothered by people like whistleblowers, and chose this method of scaring off such troublemakers.

News Corp is truly . . . (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432684)

. . . one of the penultimate journalistic institutions. Therefore, we are all fucked.

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Why not mention the owner??? (2)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#36432768)

Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., Inc.

Somehow it doesn't seem right not mentioning that the owner of the WSJ and DJ is News Corp (as with Fox)

WSJ site is insecure (1)

Cato (8296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36433016)

http://boingboing.net/2011/05/05/wall-street-journal-2.html [boingboing.net] - The WSJ site has (or had) basic security holes. These may now be fixed but with this degree of incompetence and the difficulty of writing truly secure web apps, there may well be other holes.

Fox St Journal (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36434006)

Of course the WSJ's promises are false. It was bought by Rupert Murdoch [wikipedia.org] , who owns Fox News, back in 2007.

I note that the world never needed accurate Wall Street reporting more than in the years starting in 2007. And instead it got Murdoch reporting.

Sigh... (1)

zer01ife (2002158) | more than 3 years ago | (#36446566)

Keep in mind, ladies and gentlemen, it's always going like this; shit in, shit out. Since when we trust anyone from either the media or the Internet? I know people in the arabian region saying that Al-Jazeera is the worst channel for broadcasting news. There has been fake reports coming out from those sons of bitches via phone services which made many include it in "GARBAGE CHANNELS" group. Then again, if someone believe in sharing personal information to those channels, they're absolutely wrong.
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