Tag Archives: high tech terrorist

Visa, I was about to be sympathetic, but then I read this…

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I want to make it clear that, although I support Wikileak’s and their mission, I in NO WAY condone attacks against anyone in their name. That is just as bad as what is being done to Wikileaks; the attackers are just as bad as the repressive organizations they hate.

Dec. 8th NYTimes Lede blog>

‘Operation Payback’ Attacks Fell Visa.com

By ROBERT MACKEY

I started reading this article with the thought “now they’ve gone too far. Is this the world we really want?”. However,  as I read further, I became more & more disturbed at actions taken by multinational corporations, such as Visa, who have targeted smaller companies they believe (or know) support Wikileaks.

Visa, now you’ve gone too far!

Once a company starts involving itself in international politics – especially in an arena where it should (theoretically) have no particular interest. After all, aren’t they the ones who want to be accepted everywhere?? Why are they now rummaging through their files  & spending time threatening businesses – who are using their service & making them money? How far does this go, and where does it stop?

Money police?

Visa & MC have set up a virtual global monopoly on money transfe r, along with eBay‘s more evil twin, PayPotty. They are throwing their collective weight around, in an attempt to shut down an organization that some governments don’t like. (OK, hate, despise, fear, etc) Who’s tail is wagging these big dogs? Or are they the tail?

Here are a few of the key paragraphs from the blog that, shall I say, pissed me off?(my bold)

The move against Visa comes after a Web services company in Iceland, DataCell.com, which has supported WikiLeaks and still hosts a Web page facilitating donations to the organization, complained that the credit card company had tried to force it to stop working for the non-profit media site… the company also hosts the Web site Wikileaks.ch.

…Mr. Sigurvinsson told Iceland’s national broadcaster RUV that “he finds Visa and MasterCard’ s request that DataCell stop serving WikiLeaks highly distasteful, asking what business two private companies have dictating terms to another private company.” He added, “It is clear that they will never close WikiLeaks except by taking the whole Internet down.

The chief executive of DataCell, Andreas Fink, explained in a statement that his company has been operating “a payment gateway so people can donate” to WikiLeaks for two months. On Tuesday, Mr. Fink said that Visa had asked DataCell to stop accepting payment details from Visa cardholders who wanted to donate money to WikiLeaks. The company declined to do so, because, Mr. Fink explained:

After discussions with our lawyers, we have decided that we can not honor such requests based on the pure simple fact of untrue and unverified accusations.

Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship and/or limitation. The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law. Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law. (US courts can’t argue with this, now that they’ve pronounced corporations “people” in terms of $ = free speech)

It is simply ridiculous to even think WikiLeaks has done anything criminal. If WikiLeaks is criminal, then CNN, and BBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera and many others would have to be considered criminals too as they publish the same information. Nobody even tries to touch them though. You can still buy a New York Times subscription and pay with your credit card I guess.

On Wednesday, Mr. Fink added an update to his statement, in which he said that Visa and MasterCard had stopped processing all online payments facilitated by DataCell, affecting up to 3,000 clients, apparently to ensure that no money would make it to WikiLeaks. Mr Fink added that his company was taking “immediate legal actions to make donations possible again.”

He also wrote:

The suspension of payments towards WikiLeaks is a violation of the agreements with [Visa’s] customers. Visa users have explicitly expressed their will to send their donations to WikiLeaks and Visa is not fulfilling this wish. It will probably hurt their brand much much more to block payments towards WikiLeaks than to have them occur. Visa customers are contacting us in masses to confirm that they really donate and they are not happy about Visa rejecting them. It is obvious that Visa is under political pressure to close us down. We strongly believe a world class company such as Visa should not get involved by politics and just simply do their business where they are good at. Transferring money.  They have no problem transferring money for other businesses such as gambling sites, pornography services and the like so why a donation to a Web site which is holding up for human rights should be morally any worse than that is outside of my understanding….

This is not about the brand of Visa, this is about politics and Visa should not be involved in this.

I knew there has to be more than one reason I don’t use credit cards… besides keeping out of debt & out of their great greasy paws….


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Hydras Happen: When Do Governments become Terrorists?

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A Hydra…

Cut off its head – how many more will grow back?

(Bold/underlines by me; red is obviously my biased, snarky commentary. I altered photographs & art to suit my purposes. )

Today, JA turned himself in to the British authorities. They’re holding him without bail, which is only a bit bizarre, since he turned himself in… He’s fighting extradition, so, I believe (gotta check this fact) that the British judge has to look at the evidence to see if there are actually any grounds.   That’ll b e a fun one – the charges now are something like… “the condom broke” and “I was half asleep”…

Can we all sayWitch! Witch!“? Now, who were we talking about???

Even before today’s less-than-momentous events (Just ’cause JA is in the brigg doesn’t mean WL stops!!), the forces have been massing (or is that “the masses have been forcing???). I’ll get back to the Hydras in a bit. First, I need to let this out….

Why is there a huge amount of hysteria around the release of information that is already public???? From NYTimes article of 12/7/2010:

British Court Denies Bail to Assange…

“Perhaps in a warning shot of sorts, WikiLeaks on Monday released a cable from early last year listing sites around the world — from hydroelectric dams in Canada to vaccine factories in Denmark — that are considered crucial to American national security.

Nearly all the facilities listed in the document, including undersea cables, oil pipelines and power plants, could be identified by Internet searches. !!!!!But the disclosure prompted headlines in Europe and a new denunciation from the State Department, which said in a statement that “releasing such information amounts to giving a targeting list to groups like Al Qaeda.” (How dumb do you think they are???)

Asked later about the cable, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the continuing disclosures posed “real concerns, and even potential damage to our friends and partners around the world.””… (How dumb do we think she is?)

Justice Department prosecutors have been struggling to find a way to indict Mr. Assange since July, when WikiLeaks made public documents on the war in Afghanistan. But while it is clearly illegal for a government official with a security clearance to give a classified document to WikiLeaks, it is far from clear that it is illegal for the organization to make it public. (especially when they aren’t American, anyway – you have NOOOOO jurisdiction!!!)

As to the burning question, When Do Governments become Terrorists?... On Sunday’s Meet the Press

GOP Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said of Assange:  ”I think the man is a high-tech terrorist. He’s done an enormous damage to our country, and I think he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And if that becomes a problem, we need to change the law.” As usual, when wielded by American authorities, the term “terrorist” means nothing more than: “those who impede or defy the will of the U.S. Government with any degree of efficacy.”  Anyone who does that is, by definition, a Terrorist.  And note McConnell’s typical, highly representative view that if someone he wants to punish isn’t a criminal under the law, then you just “change the law” to make him one. (in this case, the bold was added by GLENN GREENWALD, color by me)

Umm, let me see – no law for someone to break. Hate that someone. Make up new law, so can say “he break!!. I don’t want to sound like, gasp!, Glenn Beck, but, OMG!!

Hitler Did This.

Will ou r government actually cross this line? I’m peeking through my fingers; I don’t want to look. It’s like one of those awful movies where you see someone standing with their back to a cliff, slowly walking backwards… Cliff! Cliff! Look Out!!!

The Atlantic:

Wikileaks is a powerful new way for reporters and human rights advocates to leverage global information technology systems to break the heavy veil of government and corporate secrecy that is slowly suffocating the American press. The likely arrest of Assange… has nothing to do with the importance of the system he has built, and which the US government seems intent on destroying with tactics more appropriate to the Communist Party of China — pressuring Amazon to throw the site off their servers, and, one imagines by launching the powerful DDOS attacks that threatened to stop visitors from reading the pilfered cables.

(OMG! NOOoooo! It’s not even a slippery slope, it’s a CLIFF!!!…)

 

Now that I’ve given myself a headache, back to Hydras!

Wikileaks isn’t the only group with all the info:

Again, today’s NYTimes:

So far, the group has moved cautiously. The whole archive was made available to five news organizations, including The New York Times. But WikiLeaks has posted only a few dozen cables on its own in addition to matching those made public by the news publications. According to the State Department’s count, 1,325 cables, or fewer than 1 percent of the total, have been made public by all parties to date.

In recent months, WikiLeaks gave the entire collection of cables to four European publications — Der Spiegel in Germany, El País in Spain, Le Monde in France and The Guardian. The Guardian shared the cable collection with The New York Times.

First 5 heads – the allegedly free press...

Since Nov. 28, each publication has been publishing a series of articles about revelations in the cables, accompanied online by the texts of some of the documents. The publications have removed the names of some confidential sources of American diplomats, and WikiLeaks has generally posted the cables with the same redactions.

From WIRED:

A truly free press — one unfettered by concerns of nationalism — is apparently a terrifying problem for elected governments and tyrannies alike… The greatest threat we face right now from Wikileaks is not the information it has spilled and may spill in the future, but the reactionary response to it that’s building in the United States that promises to repudiate the rule of law and our free speech traditions, if left unchecked.

Scary Scary Free Press!!! Where’s “Deep Throat” when we need him? Oh, that’s right – he’s already said he supports WL.

Then there are the members of the “great unwashed masses” – that’s everyone who’s not a diplomat or the press…. Examples:

Quote from yesterday’s NYTimes about the backlash:

“an orchestrated effort [by an Internet group, Anonymous] was under way to attack companies that have refused to support WikiLeaks and to post multiple copies of the leaked material. The Anonymous manifesto singled out PayPal, which cut off ties with WikiLeaks for “a violation” of its policy on promoting illegal activities, a company statement said. “The reason is amazingly simple,” Mr. Housh said of the campaign. “We all believe that information should be free, and the Internet should be free.”…

By late Sunday, there were at least 208 WikiLeaks mirror sites up and running. “Cut us down,” said a message on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed on Sunday, “and the stronger we become.””

PC World:

WikiLeaks has asked the Web community to open mirror sites so it cannot be downed or censored and said Monday that 355 new sites are already up.

McCarthy? Watergate? Hypocrisy? Stupid threats that are going to get a LOT of people in trouble, eventually? You decide….

HuffPo (with Wired & NYTimes):

Talking about WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger your job prospects, a State Department official warned students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs this week. The State Department said they never told anyone to say this. Well, yeah. It was one of their guys just sayin’ (the obvious).

Here’s the email:

From: Office of Career Services
Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:26 PM
Subject: Wikileaks – Advice from an alum
To: “Office of Career Services (OCS)”

Hi students,

We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.

Regards,
Office of Career Services

To their credit:  On Monday, John H. Coatsworth, the SIPA Dean, reversed the university’s earlier position, affirming that students “have a right to discuss and debate any information in the public arena…without fear of adverse consequences.”

I think they are afraid of even more heads from this Hydra.  They should be.

We’ve come full circle. Our government using threats, international pressure & lies (what do you call someone who terrorizes???). A press wavering in its tracks,   unable to decide whether to stand up for democracy or cringe like a cowering dog. Hydras, brave people popping up all around the world, dedicated to restoring sanity & spreading

the truth that information is freedom.  (Isn’t that what the West keeps trying to tell all those dissidents

in “repressive” countries?) All followed by more massive hypocrisy from previously mentioned Western government. I don’t like playing this game, but Who’s the Terrorist?

NNNOOOOoooooo!!  I told you IT WAS A CLIFF!!!!!