Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Archive for the tag “Julian Assange”

Russians, Wikileaks Appalled

A US military judge has found Army private first class Bradley Manning “not guilty” of aiding the enemy. However, he was found guilty of 19 remaining charges, meaning that he still faces the possibility of over 100 years behind bars. Russia’s RT  network and Wikileaks’ Julian Assange cast the decision as a landmark blow against journalism and free speech. Strange, seeing as how Bradly Manning is hardly a journalist nor a clearcut whistleblower, so much as a shady and desperate character and a nervous basketcase whose weaknesses were exploited by both the Russians and their puppet mouthpiece — Assange, who might as well be tied at the hip to Putin. Boo freaking hoo!

One…Hundred…Billion Dollars!

First the North Koreans threaten to nuke us. Now the Anonymous beehive is pledging to rain down chaos in retribution against the US Department of Justice for strong-arming Internet guru Aaron Swartz, compelling him to commit suicide.

Anonymous hacked the US Sentencing Commission website on Saturday and implanted this video warning. Lord knows, the Department of Justice is hardly a paragon of justice. But it’s impossible to take the Anonymous cyber Robin Hoods seriously when they hold forth riff and raff like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning as their idols. Go ahead boys, hotwire a Cheetos factory and strike a blow for global freedom. H/T Small Dead Animals

Blowing the Whistle on Ecuador

Ecuador has offered political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the international gadfly known for his whistleblowing. Yet Ecuador under President Rafael Correa has one of the most abysmal track records in the Western Hemisphere as far as harassing journalists and suppressing free speech.

Over the past five years, Correa has interrupted TV and radio broadcasts 1,340 times to attack his media critics and to present fawning reports showcasing his regime’s “progressive” accomplishments. He has shut down scores of media outlets and outrageously filed an $80 million lawsuit against the newspaper El Universo in a kangaroo court controlled by Correa. On his own TV show, he regularly describes journalists as “filth,” “vultures,” “cavemen,” “a pack of hounds” and other similarly colorful epithets.

Why would a tinhorn Banana Republic leader with a pronounced distaste for free speech offer asylum to Assange? And why would Assange, supposedly a voice for global transparency, throw his lot in with such a despot? Amos Roberts from SBS Dateline in Assange’s native Australia travels to Ecuador to explore this ironic twist of fate.

DietPepsi Circles Assange

AntiLeaks, led by a shadowy hacker calling himself DietPepsi, is circling the wagons to thwart arch-nemesis — Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks. From August 3 through August 13, the WikiLeaks website was driven offline as a result of a massive denial  of service attack that DietPepsi claims to have coordinated. WikiLeaks remained out of commission until a US-based content delivery network, CloudFlare, agreed to disseminate the website. Saving Wikileaks’ hide won’t sit well in certain quarters, but CloudFlare has been embroiled in controversy before, having previously provided similar services for the hacking group LulzSec, as well as for the Turkish government.

Julian Assange at New Media Days, 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We don’t discriminate against customers based on a political belief of what’s good or bad,” says CloudFlare’s CEO Matthew Prince, out of San Francisco. “We try hard not to play censor.”

With CloudFlare’s support, WikiLeaks re-emerged from Internet oblivion, but the US-based DietPepsi wrote the Des Moines Register vowing this wouldn’t be the end of the story. “WikiLeaks web server is now hidden behind five CloudFlare servers. CloudFlare isn’t actually hosting WikiLeaks content itself but acts as a reverse web proxy. This makes it especially difficult to attack WikiLeaks, as each CloudFlare server can handle 10gb/second,” DietPepsi said in an email to the Register. “”I am in the process of finding the actual IP address of WikiLeaks web server. I have a couple of leads and believe I will be able to do it, however it will take some time.”

To emphasize AntiLeaks’ resolve, DietPepsi claimed, via Twitter, that the group had taken down two other websites — one belonging to RT, the Russian global TV network, which has carried extensive favorable coverage of Assange, and a second website belonging to Bambuser, a Stockholm, Sweden-based firm that provides livestream video services for individuals to broadcast directly over Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The specific target in the Bambuser outage is believed to have been a “citizen-journalist” feed by a James Albury, who has been broadcasting from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been holed up since June, fighting extradition to Sweden.

Here’s some of the banter on Twitter today:

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Meanwhile, WikiLeaks ally Anonymous issued one of its patented YouTube threats against AntiLeaks, promising, “We do not forgive. We do not forget. Aunty Leaks we request you dessist (sic) in your activity or you will Expect us.” Unbending, DietPepsi shot back on Twitter, “Semper fi. Expect us.” Earlier, he denied any connection with the US government, although WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson from Iceland has implied that such a linkage exists.

For visitors wanting more on this geeky battlefront, here’s an appearance by CloudFlare’s Prince, last fall on Bloomberg Television, explaining how his company has improved its web security services by building a better paradigm to thwart DDoS attacks, drawing upon its experience of deflecting the barrage stirred up against LulzSec.

And here is RT’s broadcast report about its website going down in the DDoS attack claimed by AntiLeaks.

DietPepsi Takes On WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks is now getting a taste of its own medicine as a hacking group calling itself AntiLeaks has launched a massive denial of service attack against the WikiLeaks website. Led by the shadowy DietPepsi, AntiLeaks also has claimed responsibility for taking down the Ecuadorian president’s website in response to the request by WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange that he be granted political asylum in Ecuador.

“What prompted us to form AntiLeaks is the impending decision by Ecuador to presumably give Julian [Assange] asylum, which should happen within days after the Olympics are over,” DietPepsi wrote in an email to the Des Moines Register, further claiming WikiLeaks is a terrorist organization.

Some have speculated that the American-based AntiLeaks is a US government-sponsored front, but DietPepsi laughed off those rumors. “I want to make it clear to all the conspiracy theorists out there that we have nothing to do with the United States Government…,” DietPepsi wrote. “We find it quite humorous to read all these Twitter comments from people who suspect us of being NSA/CIA/FBI/or even WikiLeaks themself.”

RT, the Russian global TV network, interviewed Loz Kaye, the leader of the United Kingdom’s Pirate Party, about this latest twist in the WikiLeaks saga. The Pirate Party has embraced WikiLeaks’ broadsides against governments worldwide. Pirate Parties exist in several countries, the most active being in Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

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