Julian Assange protest comes to Canberra

By 11 December, 2010 48

16 December, 2010
5:30 pm

Assange van [As seen in the Inner North]

Facebook brings word of a “Protest to Defend Wikileaks and Julian Assange – Canberra”, set to happen in Garema Place next Thursday.

Join the protests around Australia and the world to defend Assange and Wikileaks. The Canberra demo will be on Thursday the 16th of December – two days after Assange’s next court appearance.

Spread the word.

Briefly some thoughts on this:

    1. A lot of people are projecting their own fantasies onto Julian Assange.
    2. Almost nothing has been leaked that is news to anyone who was paying attention to the world in the first place.
    3. The actual leaker Bradley Manning is likely to die in prison making Julian Assange a hero for very little actual increase in public knowledge.
    4. Get a subscription to The Economist if you have been taken by surprise by wikileaks revelations and would like to keep up from here on in.
    5. Have a thought to your future security clearances if you start taking part in Assange protests, and remember you could get jail time for joining the “Anonymous” payback attacks.
    6. You’re a grown up, make up your own mind.

poster

UPDATE: The Register is now drawing attention to the fact that Bradley Manning’s defence fund has not had one red cent out of Wikileaks.

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48 Responses to Julian Assange protest comes to Canberra
#1
PedroPJ9:47 am, 10 Dec 10

I don’t think it’s possible to easily classify Assange as either a hero or a villain. What this whole Wikileaks saga appears to be morphing into is a realisation in the importance of democratizing information – i.e., sharing information in a way that allows citizens to actually know what their tax dollars are being spent on.

If none of this information has revealed anything that wasn’t already known, then why was it classified as secret in the first instance? Clearly there is a small subset of information that should be kept secret, information that may actually harm an individual or a state, but everything else should be in the public domain. Further, it is great that the internet community can now place pressure on companies in the same way that governments can.

For mine, I’ll attend the protest if it focuses on the right of an Australian citizen to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the right to receive consular assistance. I will not attend if it simply designed to glorify Assange as a martyr.

#2
JessicaNumber9:49 am, 10 Dec 10

I’m also a fan of the Assange Love Van but Wikileaks lost its cool this year. For 10 years everyone was glad that there was a place to share secrets anonymously. Then came the paywall and the media storm.

#3
Diggety10:11 am, 10 Dec 10

I like the idea of WikiLeaks.

What I worry about is that Julian or anyone else who leaks, may have a political agenda other than the ‘transparency’ stance.

#4
Chaz10:11 am, 10 Dec 10

anyone else have a feeling that this wikileaks issue will lead to net censorship?

#5
troll-sniffer10:16 am, 10 Dec 10

The whole Wikileaks saga has served to show how little humans have evolved from our primitive beginnings, in that the behaviours we share with chimps of lying and deceitfulness, and the toleration of and expectation that those around of us will be dishonest and more than happy to lie as a matter of course.

Perhaps, in some future generations, when we start to mature as a species, lying will be the exception rather than the rule. My only regrtet is that I was born into a society that views lying and cheating, dishonesty and half-truths, as perfectly acceptable.

Wkileaks won’t change a thing, but it certainly shows up the deficiencies we all accept.

#6
p110:30 am, 10 Dec 10

I was talking to an old guy the other day, who told me that Julian Assange and wikileaks had totally fucked over Australia and should be hunted down and shot as a terrorist.

Cold war fear of the red peril dies hard it seems.

#7
M0les10:33 am, 10 Dec 10

Wow.

And it’s all walled-up in BookFace.

I think there’s a special kind of irony in that. No sir, I shall not be attending, it will be only fractionally more productive that launching a cyber attack against credit-card companies.

#8
Swaggie10:37 am, 10 Dec 10

JessicaNumber +1

Half the crowd who turn up will just be ‘rent a mob’ who don’t know the slightest thing about wikileaks other than that it’s flavour of the week.

#9
Skidbladnir10:49 am, 10 Dec 10

In other news, the US State Department took a break from pursuing Wikileaks only for long enough to announce World Press Freedom Day.

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
1124hrs Washington, DC December 7, 2010

MR. CROWLEY:… Just to start off, the United States is pleased to announce that we’ll host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in 2011 from May 1 to May 3 here in Washington, D.C. UNESCO is the only UN agency with a mandate to promote freedom of expression, and its corollary, freedom of the press. The theme for this commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. Obviously, we decided upon this before the latest round of news.

The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. There certainly is an irony here. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to the exercise of freedom of – for the right of freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor or silence individuals and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.

Source transcript
Video (The above snippet occurs between 0:46 and 2:07)
His sheer awkwardness under scrutiny once he recognises the absurdity of his situation truly is a sight to behold.

#10
TVStar10:56 am, 10 Dec 10

I’ll be there in the background taking photos of CIA and ASIO agents. Maybe follw a couple home.

#11
Deref11:33 am, 10 Dec 10

Skidbladnir said :

In other news, the US State Department took a break from pursuing Wikileaks only for long enough to announce World Press Freedom Day.

Here’s a challenge to all RiotACTers – find a greater example of hypocrisy.

#12
PedroPJ11:36 am, 10 Dec 10

Here’s a challenge to all RiotACTers – find a greater example of hypocrisy.

The only thing that would come close is Chris Mitchell suing Julie Posetti.

#13
astrojax12:48 pm, 10 Dec 10

Diggety said :

I like the idea of WikiLeaks.

What I worry about is that Julian or anyone else who leaks, may have a political agenda other than the ‘transparency’ stance.

i don’t think mr assange is doing the leaking. and even if there is a political agenda to the leaks, the scale of leaked docs that allegedly exist (my understanding is wikileaks has only published a fraction of what mr manning provided) would suggest that this is beyond a political agenda…

#14
jensen12:48 pm, 10 Dec 10

jensen said :

Here’s a challenge to all RiotACTers – find a greater example of hypocrisy.

The only thing that would come close is Chris Mitchell suing Julie Posetti.

I need a ‘like’ button

#15
boo boo1:00 pm, 10 Dec 10

Boo… He’s an ideological terrorist. To the stocks with him.

#16
joller2:14 pm, 10 Dec 10

Why anyone would support Asange is beyond me.
Do you know what they used to publish before all the cool war documents came into their hands?

Questions for different tests for IT certifications, among other things.

Can you tell me what ethical reason they might have had for that? For publishing certification questions, so everyone can pass without preparing properly?

This guy will publish anything he can get his hands on, just because it’s secret.
It’s the old hacker mind set he has.

“You have something you want to keep secret, I got my hands on it, and I published it, I win”.

Also, threats to release unedited documents if he gets convicted? Yeah, that’s going to do everyone plenty of good.

#17
Jungle Jim2:17 pm, 10 Dec 10

Why does there need to be a derogatory ‘yankees’ statement at the bottom of “message”?

#18
Jungle Jim2:26 pm, 10 Dec 10

Sigh. *the “message”.

#19
joller2:27 pm, 10 Dec 10

Deref said :

Skidbladnir said :

In other news, the US State Department took a break from pursuing Wikileaks only for long enough to announce World Press Freedom Day.

Here’s a challenge to all RiotACTers – find a greater example of hypocrisy.

So freedom of press means they should be allowed to publish classified information?
Do you realize there’s a reason why information gets classified, and the reason is usually not ‘to mislead the public’?

Say if you’re coca cola, and someone steals your secret formula for mixing the popular drink, as an example. You’d be OK with this getting publish, for ‘freedom of press’?

Freedom of press means press should be allowed to publicize current event news without being blocked by the government, without ‘taboo’ subjects that they are unable to discuss due to fear of censorship or repercussions from the government.

Releasing information you know is classified can still be a criminal offence, and has no relation to freedom of press.

When you consider that they realize the person who delivered the information has commited a crime, they’re no better then a typical ‘fence’ who deals in stolen merchandise, and considering WikiLeaks, possibly much worse.

#20
joller2:31 pm, 10 Dec 10

Jungle Jim said :

Why does there need to be a derogatory ‘yankees’ statement at the bottom of “message”?

It’s ‘Yankies’ written on the Van by the way.

Also the rest of the statement ‘my kind of man – a real man’ – what is that supposed to mean? the rest of us are what, not real? you’re only a real man if you leak secrets and have one night stands with groupies, whether consensual or not?

#21
johnboy2:32 pm, 10 Dec 10

joller said :

Also the rest of the statement ‘my kind of man – a real man’ – what is that supposed to mean? the rest of us are what, not real? you’re only a real man if you leak secrets and have one night stands with groupies, whether consensual or not?

I hope you’re not suggesting there’s anything wrong with having one night stands with groupies.

#22
joller2:39 pm, 10 Dec 10

johnboy said :

I hope you’re not suggesting there’s anything wrong with having one night stands with groupies.

I’m jeleaous, I don’t have groupies ;)

I just hope it isn’t a criterion by which one is considered ‘a real man’ and I can’t really figure out what other claims to being ‘a real man’ this guy could possibly have.

I guess one should ask the van owner what the criteria are for being ‘a real man’.

#23
Me no fry3:15 pm, 10 Dec 10

Deref said :

Skidbladnir said :

In other news, the US State Department took a break from pursuing Wikileaks only for long enough to announce World Press Freedom Day.

Here’s a challenge to all RiotACTers – find a greater example of hypocrisy.

This reminds me of a bit from the movie Mars Attacks, where the aliens are running through the streets shooting everyone they can see while at the same time carrying a machine which says “we come in peace” (or words to that effect).

#24
fozzy3:45 pm, 10 Dec 10

Some meta thoughts:

1. I think the points listed above are helpful and well balanced, with one caveat, about security clearances. Engaging in public protests does not (IANAL) someone getting clearance. Only if you go further than a peaceful protest may that not be the case.
2. The best summary I’ve seen of the whole discussion is that WikiLeaks is to Governments/Diplomacy/Statecraft what Napster began 10 years ago for the music and movie industries. They are still hanging onto their old business models rather than re-inventing themselves. Will it also take governments 10+ years to figure out what it means to live in a digital age?
3. As has been said, none of the leaks are particularly revelatory for any News junkie. But the overall meta-analysis has been great, particularly Guy Rundle’s pieces in Crikey.

#25
Mr Waffle4:29 pm, 10 Dec 10

Mr Waffle said :

UPDATE: The Register is now drawing attention to the fact that Bradley Manning’s defence fund has not had one red cent out of Wikileaks.

I’m sure I read last week that wikileaks is going broke since it doesn’t actually have any sort of income (eg advertising) other than donations. Can’t recall where now…

Also, I’m still confused as to how a mere Private in the US Army could gain access to and leak diplomatic cables. Why would the military have access to those?

#26
housebound5:14 pm, 10 Dec 10

Let’s face it, in a an ideal world, a lot of that ‘classified’ information would not have been written because it is nasty gossip, but in this world it is passed off as intelligence and kept secret (until now).

On the other hand – outing Arbib as an American patsy may have done us all a favour.

I tend to come down on the side of those who say if Asange has done the wrong thing, then so have all the media he has co-opted into publishing the material as well.

#27
BerraBoy685:20 pm, 10 Dec 10

To me, the odd thing about the public’s reaction to the information now coming out on wikileaks is that everybody seemed to ‘believe’ that the behavior contained in the leaked documents went on behind the scenes anyway… they just didn’t want to have ‘know’ that it actually does go on.

#28
I-filed6:15 pm, 10 Dec 10

I’m inclined to wait for the outcome of any Swedish rape trial before I come out in support of Assange.

I’d also like to know whether Wikileaks’ transparency extends to their financial affairs. Has Assange made serious money out of the venture? And what’s with this “no money for the leaker’s defence fund!” What the!

I have reservations about the “Assange worship” that seems to be based on his looks (though they are fading fast)

Frankly, a hack attack on the possible rape victims’ lawyer’s website was disgusting – I don’t think Assange has come out and decried that act.

I think there’s too much potential for trendoid rentacrowd business with this protest.

#29
creative_canberran6:58 pm, 10 Dec 10

Chaz said :

anyone else have a feeling that this wikileaks issue will lead to net censorship?

The FCC is actually working on legislating regarding “Net Neutrality” at the moment because service providers are attempting to censor what users access. Should be interesting to see what they come up with given whatever they do will reflect on their own ability to censor sites.

#30
Skidbladnir8:24 pm, 10 Dec 10

How did a private get access to diplomatic cables?
SIPRNet is a US Govt system of Secret (NOFORN) or higher level access that uses a Permit All Once Access Granted, Only Deny If Requested user access architecture in response to Sept 11′s “We had it on file but nobody knew about it” problems.
Manning abused that inherent flaw.

It has a user base of three million people, and evidently confidential diplomatic cables are also filed in it.Much to the frustration of people like Kevin07 and Arbib, since it meant they weren’t actually being treated as confidentially as they seemed to expect.

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