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WikiLeaks Launches New Platform, Privacy Study

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the tools-for-racking-the-mud dept.

Privacy 96

itwbennett writes "WikiLeaks has launched a new submissions platform, along with a study of the global trade in surveillance products. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told press conference attendees in London that all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users in the crowd were 'screwed.' 'The reality is intelligence contractors are selling right now to countries across the world mass surveillance systems for all of those products,' Assange said."

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96 comments

meanwhile in rapeville... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38226670)

rape charges against assange are dropped.

charges of being a creepy motherfucker will proceed.

...some days later... (4, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38226684)

New allegations surface that Julian Assange was sacrificing babies to Satan while raping women in Sweden! More at 10...

Re:...some days later... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38226848)

So?

He's a publicity seeker. They'll just see that he gets all the publicity he desires.

Its just that HE won't be in control.

And that'll hurt. :-)

Re:...some days later... (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38226952)

Well, telling people that "they're screwed" probably doesn't help. I daren't search from work, but I expect there's already a "YOU GONNA GET ASSANGED" memepic doing the rounds.

Re:...some days later... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38226956)

What has always bothered me about that, besides the obvious conspiracy theories, is that he effectively allowed that accusation to take form.

Your mockery appears to have no basis - but the case against him does... there really are two completely random women, and he has admitted to having sex with them. What was he thinking?

One can say "well he's only human" - but somebody in his rather extraordinary position can't be 'only human' because the slightest of slip-ups just means you give 'the enemy' ammunition to use against you.

How such a (supposedly) smart man managed to slip up so badly, being fully aware of such things having been used against anybody in a leadership position since practically the beginning of time, defies belief.

If anything, if he really had to get some 'cos hormones will be hormones, he could have insisted on it being videotaped. Not because he'd be looking forward to the leaked Assange Sex Tapes, but as an insurance against such claims. Even if it would still have hurt his stature within the 'leaks' community, at least he wouldn't have had to deal with the personal quandaries he's facing now.

Re:...some days later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227154)

This just in...Assange possibly videotaped himself having sex with women. Without their consent!

Err...consent to videotape.

Re:...some days later... (5, Funny)

Gibgezr (2025238) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227690)

"there really are two completely random women, and he has admitted to having sex with them. What was he thinking?" Really? I wish there was a mod selection for "written by a nerd with no apparent connection to reality".

Re:...some days later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227786)

I still don't get why this is important.
Assange != wikileaks

If he fucks some girls and they didn't like or even got raped, that's not good. But it has nothing to do with wikileaks.

They are two unrelated things.

AFAIK, he didn't consider himself so important when the sex, allegedly took place.
Only after wikileaks published a drop too many, the big bad wolf suddenly looked for stuff to make wikileaks look bad.

Whatever.

Re:...some days later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228700)

the big bad wolf hasnt even had to get out of bed on this one. assange is a social masochist. Im sure the pentagon shrinks knew before anyone, that assange would be his own worst enemy.

Re:...some days later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228032)

omg - please tell me you're not really an adult - you have no idea what you're on about! In which parallel universe do you live?

Re:...some days later... (0)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228540)

there really are two completely random women

Yes, a US agency hired two random women to have sex with Assange only to report about it to police shortly. Is that what you mean?
If not, care to explain why these two events "randomly" happened at the same time?

Re:...some days later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228894)

Yes, a US agency hired two random women to have sex with Assange only to report about it to police shortly. Is that what you mean?

And your evidence for that claim is...?

Re:...some days later... (1, Troll)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229222)

The convenient timing and a large tin foil hat. What's your evidence against?

Re:...some days later... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38230694)

The convenient timing and a large tin foil hat. What's your evidence against?

Occam's Razor. It's far easier to believe that a man just can't keep his pants zipped than to believe he's the target of a government conspiracy. Government's aren't nearly as efficient at staging such things as you tinfoil hat conspiracists would like to think. And even if a government did stage it, all Assange had to do was keep his stupid pants on and the entire operation would have been totally foiled - - amazing. All that effort could've been spoiled by a little something called SELF-RESTRAINT.

Slashdot - - where readers can believe governments are insanely inefficient at everything except for spy operations, where they have godlike powers and can make international troublemakers have sex with women on cue.

Re:...some days later... (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233044)

Yes it would be far to difficult and far beyond any of the cia or fbi staff. They can give explosives too terrorist to try and blow up the trade center (pre 911). They can train terrorists to fight wars the US dosn't want to get involved in. However paying two women to claim they were rapped by a man causing America a huge amount of hassle in their killing adventures is far to hard.

Re:...some days later... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233704)

Kids today with your 7-digit UIDs and your lack of education on the history of the FBI:

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

Re:...some days later... (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234132)

i was talking about this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_bombing#FBI_involvement [wikipedia.org] , but yes defiantly cointelpro is another example (probably better example) of our government institutions resorting to extremely illegal practices with little regard for their own country mens lives. So when you look at the grand scheme of things pinning rape on Assange is child's play.

Re:...some days later... (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234244)

Those who look can find plenty of stuff of the web [aolnews.com] for the rest of us, who try and deploy common sense the timing is enough:
  • 1971 - Julian Assange is born
  • 1988 - Julian Assange reached age where he is physically and emotionally capable of committing a sex crime
  • 2007 - Wikileaks published first "sekret" US govt document.
  • 2010 - allegations of sexual crimes against not one, but TWO different women.

Tendency to commit a crime before US govt got framed: 0 in 22 years
Tendency to commit a crime after US govt got framed: 2 in 3 years
Either use your brain or join the masses: "raped two different women overnight.... bastard!"

Re:...some days later... (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232228)

What has always bothered me about that, besides the obvious conspiracy theories, is that he effectively allowed that accusation to take form.

You're an idiot. That's not how character assassination works. The reason it works is that the enemies sit down and review an existing profile of the victim, and then twist some convenient detail they find into something bad. That works with anybody, because the details of the "bad" can always be different and always tailored to the one individual.

So you've got it entirely backwards. It's not that he should have been careful to protect himself against a rape allegation, it's that some allegation was tailored to fit him, and here it just happened to be rape. If he had been a eunuch, it could have been a gambling allegation, or maybe that he stole money from someone who they could convince or pay to say that, or any number of other things.

Special thanks to martin-boundary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233874)

Indeed you are right, good citizen!

A quick review: everyone involved in this appears to be financially related to the Bonnier family whose tabloid publication (now where have we heard that term lately???) first appealed to be the sole publisher of Julian Assange's Wikileaks -- which he turned them down on when he was back in Sweden, originally.

Next, we see Ardin, convincing a younger female and recent intimate of Assange's, to go to the Swedish police with her about Assange. The case is dropped, then picked up again for highly questionable and political reasons.

Next, a Bonnier tabloid begins publishing contrived stories about the Assange “rape”, etc., etc., etc.

A Swedish prosecutor’s office, in Gothenburg, instead of Stockholm, strangely enough, takes up an already dropped case due to lack of convincing evidence, or any real evidence. (Gothenburg is where Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen Systems AB is located – Jeppesen Dataplan is popularly known as Boeing’s “extreme rendition airlines”.)

The cast of characters: The Bonnier publishing/media family, Ardin -- who has worked for one or more of their tabloids, etc., Thomas Bodstrom, who has financial ties to the Bonnier business and was former Justice Minister who colluded with the American CIA to extreme rendition two innocent Swedish immigrants of Arab extraction, who were later acquitted and reimbursed monies for their injuries, etc. -- Attorney Borgstrom, with ties to the Bonnier family, and likewise other members of Sweden's Ministry of Justice, etc.

Many posters here have asked why a series of expensive appeals, all funded by the British tax payer, are necessary? Couldn't a prosecutor hop on a Ryan Air flight, (about 1 500 SEK, including a pleasant pub lunch) and interview Mr Assange in England?

And then if course, the first trial in the UK, where the Lord Justice wondered aloud as to why the Swedish prosecutors didn't simply journey to London and ask him there:

Lord Justice Thomas asked the same question yesterday, and seemed to get a bit peeved that no one representing the Swedish prosecutor wa prepared to properly answer him. Hopefully someone is about to inject some much needed common sense and fiscal responsibility into this rotten case.

sgt_doom

Re:...some days later... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232832)

http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Canadians+targets+sexpionage/5793483/story.html [montrealgazette.com]
http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2011/12/01/sexpionage-are-chinas-hotel-rooms-bugged/ [tucsoncitizen.com]

Sexpionage is standard MO for many world governments and large corporations. What happened to Assange looks very similar, but with lawsuits instead of blackmail. Read the first article; it can be very hard to combat this kind of attack, especially when all the immediate parties are unwitting at the time of the event.

Re:...some days later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227206)

That no good bastard!

Everyone knows that you sacrifice babies to Satan THEN rape women in Sweden. Sheesh!

Re:...some days later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234262)

According to the Swedish women, we Gmail/Iphone/Android users aren't the only ones getting screwed.

CIA, FBI counter with "Nu-uhh" (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38226868)

In response to questions about privacy concerns, various government intelligence organizations from around the world, along with industry representative from Google, Apple, et. al. assembled at the first annual "Nope, Nothing to See Here" Privacy and Security Conference in London. "We are very pleased to report that there is nothing to these silly rumors. We've examined the concerns and determined that there is no need to worry," announced conference chair Janet Napolitano. The conference closed several minutes later, with industry representatives congratulating each other on dealing with all the privacy concerns in their products. "See, I told you there was no need to worry," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, shaking hands with Google CEO Larry Page.

Whatever Julian (3, Insightful)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38226872)

No matter how many acts of journalism this guys commits I will never see him as a journalist. I have to like someone personally first and also make sure they have a flawless record using a standard that I set and reserve only for him. Until this impossible standard is met I will bash in any way I can regardless of logic and back calls for his extrajudicial murder.

It's really the only sensible path Very Serious People can take.

Re:Whatever Julian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38226944)

He's more of an editor than a journalist.

Re:Whatever Julian (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227086)

No matter how many acts of journalism this guys commits I will never see him as a journalist. I have to like someone personally first and also make sure they have a flawless record using a standard that I set and reserve only for him. Until this impossible standard is met I will bash in any way I can regardless of logic and back calls for his extrajudicial murder.

It's really the only sensible path Very Serious People can take.

He's a facilitator. He made vast amounts of information available. He doesn't claim to the the journo or editor - that's the audience he's feeding to - assuming they'll do their job proper. You're always free to sift through the documents yourself, to stimulate your own personal outrage or mistrust of various world leaders, govenment functionaries, paper shufflers, rubber-stampers and pencil-pushers. Don't condemn the man for his journalistic shortcomings.

Re:Whatever Julian (4, Informative)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227288)

I think your snark detector is broken.

JA describes himself (accurately IMO) as a publisher which is an act of journalism one engages in without being an actual journalist. It's a more general term.

Whenever I look around at our current field of "respected" journalists and then back at JA I don't know how one can come to the conclusion that he's the evil one.

Re:Whatever Julian (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227396)

The reality of the 21st century is that *everyone* can be a journalist, whether you consider them one or not [techdirt.com] . You can define it any way you want, but anyone can be a part of the press: reporting, feedback, facilitating, etc. Good/factual/relevant journalist? That's up to one's own interpretation.

So what you call it, isn't really relevant. The laws haven't been updated to respect this [techdirt.com] , but with technology it's held true for quite some time.

Re:Whatever Julian (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227530)

The reality of the 21st century is that *everyone* can be a journalist, whether you consider them one or not [techdirt.com] . You can define it any way you want, but anyone can be a part of the press: reporting, feedback, facilitating, etc. Good/factual/relevant journalist? That's up to one's own interpretation.

So what you call it, isn't really relevant. The laws haven't been updated to respect this [techdirt.com] , but with technology it's held true for quite some time.

Well stated, Citizen Journalist!

Re:Whatever Julian (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227616)

He doesn't claim to [be] the journo

Wrong:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/28/assange_journalist/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Whatever Julian (1)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227712)

Actually it's Wikileaks that describe themselves as journalists (they provide editorial context) and publishers (they publish the source info that gets leaked to them). I got that wrong above. JA considers himself a scientific journalist (or data journalist in some parlance) that unites editorial content with the source documents/data to heighten transparency and give readers an opportunity to form their own conclusions.

Like I said, pure evil.

Re:Whatever Julian (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227148)

for profit journalism has been corrupted so badly by the money and trying to make really rich people even richer that I no longer see them as journalists.

Re:Whatever Julian (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227526)

Its kind of funny to talk of extrajudicial anything when the man has steadfastly refused to go to judicial hearings.

Re:Whatever Julian (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227878)

I know that you're being facetious, sarcastic, whatever but for the sake of interstellar amity include a smiley for all the humorless nerds that just don't get it.

Whatever darien train (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233094)

whatever darien train

"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (3, Interesting)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 2 years ago | (#38226962)

Running one's own email & XMPP server FTW and most of the privacy-invading features of Android can be disabled

Also no my life hasn't turned to shit, I don't spend 6 hours every evening trying to manage these things while wearing a tinfoil hat. Yes sometimes changes need to be made when SSL certificates expire (although I prefer self-signed for a lot of this stuff, as Governments can compel CA's to issue false certs I consider them of little value) or what recently happened was the guy who wrote my mail server stopped developing it and IMAP was always just around the corner so I finally had to install a "proper" email server which had a bit of a learning curve but it's not terribly unweildly either.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227274)

This is kind of the problem with privacy.

I think it's important and people need to be taking action now before it is too late to go back.. however I _personally_ don't feel the impact from invasions of my privacy.

I don't have any medical issues I'd like to keep secret, I don't have any embarrassing purchases, I don't care if people know how much money I have or my current location (well, I wouldn't want my location public to anyone who wants it for personal safety reasons.. but government/law enforcement.. no problem), don't care if people know what I do for a living, etc...

In other words: I'm boring and know it! All that said, I think that if I did have any of that, I have the right to keep it private and so does everyone else.

It's hard to explain to someone why protecting our right to privacy is important, because most people fall in the same boat as I do when it comes to their personal privacy. People willingly post the most relevant info about themselves on social media sites already, so it's a hard sell.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227558)

You are exactly the kind of person that oppressive governments want, boring, complacent, not a threat to the status quo. But the instant you try to make waves, to make any changes for the better, that's when they will come for you.

The continuing increases in surveillance, loss of privacy, militarization of the police, increased use of "non-lethal" weapons for crowd control, erosion of people's rights, corporate dominance over governments, union busting, dismantling public education, etc., etc., are all just symptoms of the coming world-wide fascist state.

But as long is it doesn't directly interfere with the worker-drones ability to make a little money at a menial job, then go home and drink beer while watching mindless entertainment... well, so be it, they weren't using those rights anyway.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228114)

But as long is it doesn't directly interfere with the worker-drones ability to make a little money at a menial job, then go home and drink beer while watching mindless entertainment.

This sentence, particularly the bolded part, shows that you are also the kind of person oppressive governments want. More so, in fact, than you even accuse your parent poster of being.

I'll give you some time to see if you can figure out why on your own, before I come back and spoon-feed you the answer.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38244734)

It looks like he needs it spelled out, as do I.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227710)

From your first sentence I thought you were going to point out that the problem with privacy is that you have to be a computer security expert to achieve it.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228552)

I like to think of privacy this way:

I live with my wife in a small apartment. We both urinate with the door to the bathroom left open since we just don't care. However, when its time to go #2, we both close and lock the door. (Why is this? I don't know.) But the point is, that both of these are natural human functions, neither is any less embarrassing than the other (presumably), but yet, I can infer the bodily function by the state of the bathroom door.

If you closed and locked the door for each toilet transaction, then you would be in a more difficult place to be able to infer what is going on.

When you actually *need* privacy there shouldn't be a way to realize that you do *need* it. Right now, you're saying that when you do require privacy, others can determine this by the state of your communications. And that is the problem. They may not know what is being said, but they do know that it deviates from your otherwise boring, unembarrassing routine.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228928)

> Closing the door for #2

That serves a very practical purpose, actually - it avoids stinking up the entire apartment.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232870)

Unfortunately it wont stop her grunting noises and splattering water sound effects.

Probably a good time to take up video sound effects as a hobby.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (1)

cornelius1729 (857214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38236466)

That's a really useful way of thinking of it. Also, I'd love for this explanation to appear on TV news.

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228724)

Do you host them at home or are you using some collocation service? I ask because some years back I used to do this. One of the main reasons that I stopped was that my messages started getting flagged as spam. It turned out that the customer ip ranges for Comcast, the biggest cable internet provider in the US was listed in a bunch of blacklists. They just assumed that anything originating from a non-commercial home internet connection was either spam or a malware infection. That was years ago and I have assumed that it probably has only gotten worse. Do you have this problem?

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233848)

Host at home using static IP, paid ISP one-off fee for this and they update my PTR if I need it, though I believe the practice of mail servers requiring this to be set is going out of fashion as it isn't much trouble for a spammer to do either

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38231360)

Self-signed certificates have all sorts of problems, especially when you don't know the fingerprint of the real certificate. The certificate is then indistinguishable from a legitimate certificate because there is no third party to say 'hey, that's right!'

Re:"all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233770)

Since they are his own servers, I suspect he knows the certs.

...and the world rolls its eyes... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38226982)

assange has to be one of the biggest fuckups in history. watching him crash and burn has been an absolute pleasure to all of us. proof that the people he's so afraid of are much smarter than he is. he burned perfectly well all on his own.

max lulz.

Ridiculous is the state of our society (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227038)

When non government organizations end up doing the tasks governments should be doing, but not doing, and end up getting prosecuted for it.

Re:Ridiculous is the state of our society (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231722)

"When non government organizations end up doing the tasks governments should be doing, but not doing, and end up getting prosecuted for it."

This is what happens when you become a free market ideologue and worship corporate power. When the public worships capitalism this is the natural result. Most people have never lived through times of being killed by capitalists, most americans are so ignorant and illiterate of history as to make their opinions about much of anything seriously suspect.

EFF off (0, Troll)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227292)

... I'd really rather listen to the EFF, who have a lot more experience in the online privacy business and you know, have fought to actually defend these rights, than Mr Assange who approaches these things with little more than a clutch of advertising materials and offers no plan or counter-action than 'You're screwed!'. Let's hope he doesn't taint this field as well with his brand of divisive self-aggrandising paranoia.

Re:EFF off (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227382)

Yeah, it's not like Assange was involved with the Cypherpunks or ever wrote any encryption software.

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

Re:EFF off (0)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227540)

Software is never going to completely defend your privacy, and definitely isn't going to defend *mass privacy*, that is the privacy of the millions upon millions of ordinary users who have never heard of your super-awesome encryption software. Only the 'legalware' of challenging government (and non-governmental) intrusion in the courts can ultimately defend your rights. And no, I think it's absurd that writing encryption software entitles you to lead the struggle vs survelliance.

Re:EFF off (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227732)

Software is never going to completely defend your privacy

Irrelevant; the point is to make it expensive to engage in mass surveillance, not to make it impossible.

the privacy of the millions upon millions of ordinary users who have never heard of your super-awesome encryption software

Yet the number of Tor users has been growing steadily over the past few years, and every time an authoritarian government tries to block Tor more people become interested in it.

Only the 'legalware' of challenging government (and non-governmental) intrusion in the courts can ultimately defend your rights.

Thus explaining this:

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

And no, I think it's absurd that writing encryption software entitles you to lead the struggle vs survelliance.

You claimed that Julian Assange had no right to speak about online privacy because he had no experience with it. That is plainly false given his involvement with the cypherpunks movement and his involvement with a deniable encryption system. Now you are claiming that is not enough? Somehow, I think you are just an anti-Assange/anti-Wikileaks shill.

Re:EFF off (1)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228586)

And no, I think it's absurd that writing encryption software entitles you to lead the struggle vs survelliance.

How's that whole choosing who gets to lead struggles thing going for you? Not good you say? One doesn't choose a leader they emerge and one chooses to heed their guidance or not? GTFO? Really? Wow? Thought you had an ace in the hole with that argument.

Re:EFF off (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227640)

The one thing Assange is accomplishing that the EFF (from my perspective anyway) has failed to do is get people talking about these issues. Not geeks on slashdot, but your every day guy. To seriously fight back against erroding privacy, you need a huge mass of people to take a stand, and the problem has always been that most people just don't care.

He may be an attention seeking asshole, but I think we kinda need that.

Re:EFF off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233100)

just thought I'd comment... the first time I read your comment, I read "eroding piracy" instead of "erroding privacy". Strangely, it still made sense.

~** Screwed **~ (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227508)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told press conference attendees in London that all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users in the crowd were 'screwed.'

Yes, now they will know that I messaged my girlfriend to grab some coffee on her way home. I'm definitely screwed!

Does this guy realize that the vast majority of us aren't political dissidents (practically tautologically, since once the vast majority of us hold a political view it becomes the orthodoxy against which the minority dissent) or whatever else he imagines is actually worth someone's time to read my messages out of the billions of electronic messages that exist?

Surely if the government compromises his communications, he's screwed -- that comes with the territory. But to imagine that this applies to everyone else evinces a serious disconnect with reality, a reality in which most people are boring enough that the dissemination of our entire digital lives to the government is quite harmless.

Human Rights (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227580)

From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

You have the right to privacy; that right is not predicated on being a political dissident. The fact that these companies are undermining that right is what Assange is referring to when he says that you have been screwed.

Re:Human Rights (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228194)

I don't think the USA agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I can't see them doing so in a meaningful way these days.

4th amendment (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228600)

From the constitution of the United States:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

American citizens have a right to privacy and are supposed to be free from broad, non-specific searches (e.g. like the NSA wiretapping program). The fact that we have strayed from our founding principles is another story entirely; the right has not been official revoked so much as simply ignored.

Re:4th amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232830)

The keyword is "unreasonable". If a judge finds a search reasonable, there is no problem and no need for a warrant.

Re:Human Rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38230330)

I don't think the USA agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I can't see them doing so in a meaningful way these days.

The US helped write the UDHR. The UDHR is a non-binding declaration, but was instrumental in creating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is a legally binding agreement the US has ratified. Too bad we took an exception saying it's not self-ratifying, so it can't actually force change in US law. Nyah.

(Oh, and Articles 2.1 and 25 guarantee the right to representation. As a DC resident without a vote in Congress, I can tell you we've ignored that part as well.)

Re:Human Rights (1)

pdxer (2520686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38230966)

I don't think the USA agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and I can't see them doing so in a meaningful way these days.

They helped write it and voted for it. A simple google would have shown you that.

Regardless, it's not a treaty nor is it law. It's one of many meaningless yet diplomat-ego-inflating things the UN has done.

Re:Human Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38231690)

It's one of many meaningless yet diplomat-ego-inflating things

Idiot.

Re:Human Rights (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234844)

You have the right to privacy; that right is not predicated on being a political dissident. The fact that these companies are undermining that right is what Assange is referring to when he says that you have been screwed.

I didn't say that the right is predicated on being a political dissident, I only noted that I am not really materially screwed in any sense because my private information is just not interesting enough for anyone to care about. Whether or not I have such a right to privacy is sort of immaterial in such case where I don't care if it's violated. It's like saying that it matters that we have a Fourth Amendment in a case where I want to invite a police officer into my apartment for dinner. It only matters when I don't want him there and he does want to be in there and there is a conflict between our desires and some third party (a judge) needs to mediate whether he can enter against my will or I can exclude him against his will.

To phrase it another way, the concept of "rights" governs what happens when I want to assert the prerogative of telling someone what they may not do. It never comes up in such cases where I have no objection to the action in the first instance.

Re:~** Screwed **~ (2)

oldredlion (1663421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228118)

Yes, now they will know that I messaged my girlfriend to grab some coffee on her way home. I'm definitely screwed!

Over here in the UK we've got a little bit of a scandal going on, about listening in to other people's voice messages. That came about because people were accessing official sources (eg PNC, DVLA) and getting phone numbers and such like.

Thing is, if they don't need to go the official route - they just go via some app installed on people's phones, or through their email system - then there is little chance that normal people will be able to stop it.

The more of us techie people that knows it is going on and spreads the word, the more chance that normal people will take note and maybe take some precautions.

Re:~** Screwed **~ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228196)

How would you feel if somebody followed you around and took notes of what you did during your day? Wouldn't you find that creepy? Even if they said they were doing it for marketing purposes, wouldn't you be creeped out?

I would be, and I'm just as creeped out that companies track me and collect data on me through electronic devices.
But most of all, my main concern is control over that information. There's a lot of stuff I'd be comfortable sharing if I could know how it is used, who has access to it, and what information exactly is being collected. It's when I don't know what is going on that I start to think this data collecting might bite me at some point.

Re:~** Screwed **~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38230440)

How would you feel if somebody followed you around and took notes of what you did during your day? Wouldn't you find that creepy? Even if they said they were doing it for marketing purposes, wouldn't you be creeped out?

I take it you don't own an android phone (or apparently an ios based one either)? If you do, you should be "creeped out" now.

I would be, and I'm just as creeped out that companies track me and collect data on me through electronic devices.
But most of all, my main concern is control over that information. There's a lot of stuff I'd be comfortable sharing if I could know how it is used, who has access to it, and what information exactly is being collected. It's when I don't know what is going on that I start to think this data collecting might bite me at some point.

Intelligence and law enforcement need these capabilitities to do their jobs in the modern world. The legal question is when they should be used, not if they should exist.

Re:~** Screwed **~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233598)

>Does this guy realize that the vast majority of us aren't political dissidents

Actually, that's for the government to define. They can and do decide you are a "political dissident" for whatever reason they want (read: they want something you have).

> (practically tautologically, since once the vast majority of us hold a political view it becomes the orthodoxy against which the minority dissent)

That assumes a democracy which doesn't exist in the real world. In reality, the Political View of the Majority is manufactured and told to people - who then believe the lie.

> or whatever else he imagines is actually worth someone's time to read my messages out of the billions of electronic messages that exist?

If reading your messages would not be worth someone else's time, what is your employer paying you for?

Re:~** Screwed **~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234004)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told press conference attendees in London that all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users in the crowd were 'screwed.'

Yes, now they will know that I messaged my girlfriend to grab some coffee on her way home. I'm definitely screwed!

The reality is: confidentiality of communication is a human right. You, being just a consumer, are irrelevant - screwed or not.

They have to have the capability (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228728)

If intelligence and law enforcement weren't looking into this type of surveillance they wouldn't be doing their jobs. The capability has to exist for them to function in the modern world. When it should be used is the legal question.

Re:They have to have the capability (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233626)

Funny how law enforcement officers were able to do their jobs before mass surveillance technologies became available. You know, back in the days where privacy was guaranteed by the technical limitations of law enforcement? Before wiretapping, before CALEA, before the crypto wars, back when privacy rights were actually respected in free societies, the police were still able to do their jobs.

Law enforcement agencies are more powerful today than at any other point in human history. Why are we not talking about reducing that power?

Re:They have to have the capability (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38235662)

Law enforcement agencies are more powerful today than at any other point in human history. Why are we not talking about reducing that power?

It would cut into the X-Factor finals.

WikiLeaks and Facebook (1, Interesting)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229118)

Whatever happens now, both WikiLeaks and Facebook are driving "free thoughts" in some way.

And they try changing from both sides:
- Facebook is making way for a free world by not stopping hangouts for protesters, making way for the democracy as we know it; capitalism and "free" governments.
- Wikipedia, on the other hand, is trying to show us how far this has gone in our own free world.

There's no longer dictatorship but somehow there still are forces that try control us. That can be a good thing, however there should be a free press that can monitor our governments and global corporations.

We all know it, there is no "free press" when it comes to stuff that Assange tries to finger-point. He might not be the best and most street-wise person around, but I really respect him for giving up his life for this cause.

Re:WikiLeaks and Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233156)

I didn't quite follow your argument, but there are definitely some salient points in what you say.

Facebook and WikiLeaks are both about trying to make information freely available. WikiLeaks concentrates on governments, and Facebook concentrates on everyone else. Both provide a nice concentrating and filtering interface to make it easy for the interested parties to find what they're looking for.

To rephrase:
Wikileaks: takes from the government and large corporations and gives to the masses
Facebook: takes from the masses and gives to the government and large corporations

Alternative view (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233684)

Facebook has become the world's biggest distraction, and people living under authoritarian governments are so distracted by Facebook and similar sites that they have stopped paying attention to politics. Additionally, authoritarian governments have already started using publicly available information on Facebook to track down dissidents for prosecution. Facebook has little reason to fight against any government demands for information, especially in the United States.

I would place Facebook near the bottom of the list of sites that have made useful contributions to human rights or democracy. It is possible that 4chan has done more than Facebook to spread democracy and freedom.

So, what to use instead? (2)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 2 years ago | (#38230636)

Alright, we've gotten the "I troll against whatever /. is saying today" and some insightfuls out of the way... Next step: What do we use instead of gmail et al? Suggestions anyone?

Re:So, what to use instead? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233666)

I can think of two good options:
  1. Encrypt your email using PGP -- probably the best option, since most mail servers will capitulate to government demands and therefore privacy protection cannot be guaranteed without encryption.
  2. Run your own mail server, if you have the technical skill to do so, and allow your less technically skilled friends to use your server

Similar options for IM -- use OTR or some similar encryption system, and if possible run your own XMPP server.

Re:So, what to use instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38235884)

As a non-expert user, I have found quite challenging to start my own email server, and to be honest, It never actually worked. I managed to start my own tor relay, though. Is there any create-your-own-email-server-to-protect-your-privacy solution which is easy to use and manage? What could you guys recommed to people like me, with not too much technical knowledge but a lot of enthusiasm?

CarrierIQ won't let me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234058)

I tried to participate in the WikiLeaks new submissions platform but the lovely carrierIQ on my phone won't let me :(

Old news, Assange. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234214)

So, to sum it all up, Assange gave us the undeniable truth that corporate companies collect information from their users for their own evil purposes, and get away with it.

Wait, didn't we already know that?

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