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1. Pakistani newspapers have been caught fabricating news stories based on alleged Wikileaks data. Joshua Keating expresses surprise this didn’t happen sooner.

2. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has weighed in on the Wikileaks issue, criticizing the US for putting pressure on banks and corporations to withdraw their connections with the site. In other words, to paraphrase Micah Silfy (h/t Johoblog) the current UN human rights position is not necessarily pro-Wikileaks, but certainly “anti-anti-Wikileaks.”

3. Does the recent rash of direct-actions against Paypal, Amazon, and Mastercard constitute a “cyberwar”? Or just a form of cyber-contenious-politics? Or something else? One view from Wikileak.org (a Wikileaks-watching-site): whatever else they are, the DDOS attacks by Anonymous are probably illegal – as are counterattacks against Anonymous. Meanwhile, alternative sites for channeling donations to Wikileaks have sprung up for interested readers.

4. A competitor to Wikileaks is preparing to launch Monday. (Wikileaks itself is apparently no longer accepting submissions.) The new entity “OpenLeaks” appears to be planning to address some of the ethical concerns surrounding Wikileaks (though by no means all). In particular the organization will limit its activities to receiving leaks but rely on third party organizations to filter and publish them. More here. But watch the NYTimes for Evgeny Morozov’s predictions about how Wikileaks might retain its market share.

5. Lawrence Lessig weighed in this week in a discussion at the Berkman Center. This site includes the podcast and transcript, plus a variety of other useful resources.

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  • Ben

    Regarding 3:

    I think this represents a fundamental shift in how private organizations are going to act in the future. Private organizations fighting other private organizations in public? Even if there was encouragement by the FBI (as is alleged), it hasn’t been made explicit, so the public face of the event is private organizations attacking and counter-attacking.

    Is this the world we want to live in? Private organizations with a profit motive, some with access to mountains of personal data, attacking other private organizations or individuals?

    I think this just further illustrates how the Wikileaks story slips through the cracks of our conceptual frameworks we usually use to describe public events. It also points to the need for a strong public norm for what constitutes acceptable action, by Wikileaks and other private organizations.

    The wiki you started for hashing out a public standard for Wikileaks’ behavior is a strong contribution to this effort. I don’t know why you don’t hype it more.

  • ajay

    Joshua Keating expresses surprise this didn’t happen sooner.

    It did: al-Ahram had a story about unreleased Wikileaks documents revealing US support for the PKK that, as far as I know, was completely made up.

    • Robert Farley

      Tom Friedman made up his own leaked wiki-cable in a column last week…

  • DocAmazing

    Regarding item 4: as sites pop up that allow whistleblowers to post their hacked and leaked info, it is inevitable that at least one of those will be run by the intelligence/law enforcement community, to ensnare hackers and leakers. “The intelligence/law enforcement community” is not, unfortunately, limited to government agencies; look for some Blackwater-esque outfit enticing a leaker to come forward, then tracking her/him back and bundling him/her off to some courtroom somewhere.

    • Morbo

      Courtroom? That’s assuming they don’t use the person’s leaks to blackmail the government themselves.

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