I’ve no doubt much more will come out about Wikileaks in the upcoming weeks,
and no I’m not referring to more leaked documents or even more protests of
support for the journalist Julian Assange in Australian capital cities .
Wikileaks, the NPO, the New Media Organisation staffed by volunteers, funded by
donations enabled by the World Wide Web, new-age media outlets, and founded by
Assange; is today facing an extraordinary situation. It is under attack by the
most powerful nation on earth. All NPO’s should be aware, and perhaps a little
wary at this time.
- Beware of the Cloud. It can dump you in a flash.
- Call yourself a new-media organisation? Think again. You are nothing if the US
Government doesn’t like what you say. Freedom of speech is a one-way street.
Back-track June 13, 1971...
The New York Times begins to publish the Pentagon Papers; provided by Daniel
Ellsberg highlighting the lies of Johnson to the US people, congress, and the
ultimate futility of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg is prosecuted and the Times
ordered by injunction to cease publication. The Times however successfully
appeals the injunction and promptly provides all the leaked documents to fifteen
other Newspapers (including the Washington Post), for quick publication to
ensure they were not again gagged. The NY Times are hailed heroes of free
speech. Ellsberg is ultimately vindicated and likewise tagged a hero.
Fast-forward forty years...
Bradley Manning, low-level US Army intelligence analyst is alleged to have
provided documents to the NPO Wikileaks that demonstrate lies and misinformation
by the US Government concerning, amongst other things, the wars in Iraq and
Precedent set; like the Times and Washington Post of forty years before;
Wikileaks begins to publish the documents after receiving advice from legal
other media outlets on the suitability. Wikileaks filters the output so as to
not endanger lives.
And once again the carnival begins... however this time the US Government cannot
gag the media outlet because it’s operating outside US international
boundaries. So what do they do?
- Pressure the Cloud hosting provider to dump the NPO...
- Pressure the financial organisations transacting public donations, to dump the
NPO and to illegally with-hold funds...
- Criminalise the actions of NPO management (outside of any recognised
international legal framework), to such an extraordinary extent that foreign
news reporters operating outside the US can now be charged as ‘terrorists’
simply for publishing freely provided information.
Our world is bettered by a myriad of NPO’s providing service to humanity.
Reporters without Borders Sans Frontieres (vocally supporting their colleague
Assange and Wikileaks at this time), the International Committee to Protect
Journalists, the Associated Press, the Center for Independent Media, Free
Seemingly all can be shut down by the whim of a Government exposed by its own
lies. All can be attacked by a Government seeking to gag and inhibit the right
to free speech and a free news media. Governments can (and in this case, do)
pressure other organisations so they cease to provide essential business
NPO’s need to ask the questions - Is all our data stored on the Cloud on the
servers of an external provider? Remember at the end of the day hosting
contracts are designed to serve their interests first. They can dump you on a
whim. Is your data stored on the servers in a country likely to react against
you on a political front? They can make your hosting provider dump you.
Or can they?
Wikileaks is still online – yesterday supporters and protestors raised a
quarter of a million dollars in the streets of Sydney and Melbourne to place
full page ads in the NY Times and Washington Post so as to inform the US
citizenry on the depth of the US Governments deception.
It’s not over.