In a news update from WikiLeaks’ Twitter account, wlcentral, an “unofficial WikiLeaks information resource” reported that Evgeny Morozov cautioned in The Financial Times that the U.S. backlash against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange may have unintended consequences:
“WikiLeaks could be transformed from a handful of volunteers to a global movement of politicized geeks clamoring for revenge,” Morozov writes. “Today’s WikiLeaks talks the language of transparency, but it could quickly develop a new code of explicit anti-Americanism, anti-imperialism and anti-globalization. … An aggressive attempt to go after WikiLeaks – by blocking its web access, for instance, or by harassing its members – could install Mr. Assange (or whoever succeeds him) at the helm of a powerful new global movement able to paralyze the work of governments and corporations around the world.”
Julian Assange: “Geopolitics will be separated into pre and post ‘Cablegate.'”
Amazon Inc., best known as an online bookseller, also has an Internet hosting service called Amazon Web Services that lets individuals and institutions make their websites available online. Amazon kicked WikiLeaks off its servers and issued a statement strongly condemning it for publishing hundreds of thousands of top-secret government documents, including sensitive diplomatic cables.
Amazon said WikiLeaks had violated terms of service and thus kicked it off its servers. Last week, WikiLeaks posted on Twitter that it had been “ousted” by the Seattle company. Paypal also has severed ties with WikiLeaks.
U.S. military members warned: Stay away from WikiLeaks
First, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut successfully nudged Amazon into kicking the site off its servers. Then the Library of Congress blocked the site for all employees and users of its computer terminals. Now the State Department is warning prospective hires that if they write about Wikileaks on Twitter or Facebook, they might not get that job.
And now Gawker has learned that military installations in Iraq are trying to keep soldiers from reading about Wikileaks.
John@gawker.com reports: “A tipster wrote to tell us that ‘the Army’s unclassified, NIPRNET network in Iraq has blocked every major news website because of the Wikileaks issue,’ going on to say that Foxnews.com, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, the Huffington Post and a variety of other sites are blocked on the Army’s unclassified network. A spokesperson for U.S. forces in Iraq disputed that claim, saying that the websites aren’t actually blocked – it’s just that attempts to access them on the unclassified network brings up a warning page saying that you’re about to break the law.”
China is obsessed with Google, engaging in attacks on American military and political data, WikiLeaks’ released cables revealed.
Hands off our Internet!
Despite a Congress that says they can’t and a federal appeals court that says the FCC has no legal authority, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is ignoring the mandates and plowing ahead with “Net neutrality”. Julius Genachowski says he has “a sound legal basis” to pursue so-called Net-neutrality rules that would prevent companies such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T from blocking or serving up some web sites faster and at better quality than others.
An editorial in the Washington Times titled “Wave Goodbye to Internet Freedom” calls for freedom and openness to continue to be the governing principles of the Internet.
But the FCC’s two Republican members blasted the proposal, saying the agency does “not have authority to act”. One promised to “strongly oppose this ill-advised maneuver.” The FCC is scheduled to vote on the proposal Dec. 21.
While the beavers at the FCC are busy building dams, regulators at another government agency, the Federal Trade Commission, want to create a “Do Not Track” list to stop marketers from tracking our web-browsing habits and other online behavior. But how to do it is the question.
Patterned after the Fed’s “Do Not Call List” for telemarketers, “Do Not Track” is one of several recommendations released last week in a report that lays out a plan to protect consumer privacy online and offline as our personal data collection becomes widespread, often without our knowledge.
And that raises another interesting question: How many of us actually notice the ads on our screens? A majority of Americans – 63 percent according to one survey – say they ignore Internet advertising. Yet Internet ad revenues in the U.S. are at an all-time high.
In recent Surfin’ Safari columns, I’ve reported that the proposed COICA bill is designed to increase the government’s censorship powers, allowing the seizure of domains of alleged piracy sites. As we’ve recently seen, seizing a domain name was already easily done by Department of Justice actions last weekend and earlier this year. But site owners have found a workaround to Big Sis’ Department of Homeland Security’s domain seizures.
When you think spam, think 23-year-old Russian kid
Agents from the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission had been tracking Russian Oleg Nikolaenko’s activities since at least 2007. On Nov. 4, while in Las Vegas for a car show, the 23-year-old was arrested for flooding the world with 10 billion spam emails a day.
Nikolaenko reportedly used a network of more than a half million zombie computers. He now faces a $250,000 fine and up to three years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.
Coincidentally, last month, Russia was the No. 1 source of spam in the world. A connection?
In case you’re wondering, here’s where all your spam comes from.
Google throwing dollar(s) at “street view” lawsuits
In 2008, Pennsylvania couple Aaron and Christine Boring sued Google after a Street View car took pictures of their house located at the end of a clearly marked private road. Now they’ve been awarded $1, and Google is officially labeled a trespasser. The evidence? Google’s own website!
Street View lets you pick a point on a map and see a panoramic street-level image of the surroundings. By adjusting the location of the point, you can take a virtual walk down the street. Google constructs the images from panoramic photos taken by cars it has equipped with cameras.
A billion reasons why Cyber Monday was a success.
Research firm ComScore reports that last Monday was the heaviest online shopping day in history, representing a 16-percent increase from last year’s $887 million Cyber Monday.
Nearly half of all shoppers – 48.9% – shopped from their work computers, while 45.4 percent made their digital purchases from home.
Nine million of us each spent an average of $114.24; roughly $60 for each of 17.1 million transactions. Sales reached just over a billion dollars.
Tech gift-giving: The year of the Tablet
2010 was supposed to be the Year of the Tablet. Not so much. Experts say 2011 will be the Year of the Tablet.
Here’s a handy interactive guide that compares the latest offerings: Apple iPad, HP Slate, Dell Streak, BlackBerry PlayBook and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
Stepping up with Facebook and Twitter
And for the “hipster” in your life …
An iDevice cover, a Control Deck, a Sprocket Rocket – and if you don’t know what they are, you’re probably not as hip as that hipster on your list.
Sarah Palin, “The Daily Show” and Tweeting
Gr8t Palin SendupByDalySho. PalinEnvy=SoSweet. WishinTheyCuldSellAsMany bks undr 140 chrctrs. SarahSez:Its How I Roll! Read ’em and weep.
A look back in time
1992 – U.S. Marines land in Somalia
Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers Florence Merkel of Marysville, Ohio., and Lindsey Jackson of Southampton, Pa., who were among the first to correctly guess actor Meryl Streep who portrayed Sophie in the 1982 Oscar-winning movie “Sophie’s Choice.”
Based on the novel by William Styron, the film tells the story of Sophie, a survivor of Nazi concentration camps who is haunted by the nightmare of her experience of having to make an excruciating choice no parent should ever have to make.
The quote was: “You are a Polack, not a Yid. That gives you a privilege, a choice.”
View the scene. Warning, contents might be disturbing.
This week’s quote: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!