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Wikileaks shows internet’s resilience against fools

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, December 8th, 2010 - 22 comments
Categories: interweb - Tags:

A fascinating side-effect of the attacks at various levels on Wikileaks in the last week has been a demonstration of exactly how tough it is to take out a site without widespread support from people on the net.

renesys.blog has a excellent post looking at what has been happening to keep Wikileaks alive on the net. I’ll just pick off the high points.

Love them or hate them, you have to admit that these folks are effective at creating and sustaining an audience for their content. Their glacially slow release of secret information, a few tastes each day, is calculated to feed a media storm that could easily last for months.

If nothing else, the massive amounts of traffic they are attracting, and the efforts of actors unknown to shut them down, have created a unique laboratory for studying Internet resilience.

In the beginning (a week ago)

In recent months, wikileaks.org’s content had lived happily in just a few IP address blocks, hosted byBahnhof and PRQ (two Swedish ISPs with … let’s say … liberal policies for the content they host), and French provider Cursys. Then, when the cables were first released at the end of November, WikiLeaks added additional hosting in Amazon’s EC2 cloud (presumably to cope with the tremendous volumes of traffic being generated in the first days of the release).

Then the attempts to take the site down started. So what happened?

Are you getting the picture yet?

Taking away WikiLeaks’ hosting, their DNS service, even their primary domain name, has had the net effect of increasing WikiLeaks’ effective use of Internet diversity to stay connected. And it just keeps going. As long as you can still reach any one copy of WikiLeaks, you can read their mirror page, which lists over 1,000 additional volunteer sites(including several dozen on the alternative IPv6 Internet). None of those is going to be as hardened as wikileaks.ch against DNS takedown or local court order — but they don’t need to be.

Within a couple days’ time, the WikiLeaks web content has been spread across enough independent parts of the Internet’s DNS and routing space that they are, for all intents and purposes, now immune to takedown by any single legal authority. If pressure were applied, one imagines that the geographic diversity would simply double, and double again.

And we’re only considering the website itself, not the torrented data files, which ensure that cryptographically signed copies of the website and its backing data are dispersed beyond all attempts to recall or suppress the information they contain. That’s an Internet infrastructure subject for another day.

That thousand sites only started to be assembled on sunday. It has added 500 plus since yesterday. The total will start to increase geometrically in response to the attacks (largely by people in the US) upon the internet. Similarly the financial, legal and technical support will increase to make sure that the idiots in the US and elsewhere are unable to damage the net by succeeding in taking out the site extra-legally.

22 comments on “Wikileaks shows internet’s resilience against fools”

  1. Bright Red 1

    looks the the UK are thinking of transferring Assange to US custody. No charges, no evidence, no allegations. All highly illegal but governments aren’t above operating outside their own laws.

    Of course, none of it matters. These fuckers don’t understand the nature of digital democracy and information. It cannot be destroyed by acting against Assange, it can only be made stronger in reaction to authoritarianism.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yep, from stuff report:

      “Adams said that, despite being on the WikiLeaks Advisory Board, he had not had any involvement in any of the latest leaks. He said the “hysterical response” to the latest leaks from governments would only make matters worse for them.
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      “I think if Julian’s completely taken out of the picture the organisation will grind on in its mysterious hydra-headed way. Despite all the various attempts to cut it off at the knees and legs, it will continue to flourish and embarrass, and good on it,” Adams said.

      “I’d be advising WikiLeaks to up the ante and to keep leaking and to demonstrate that it’s bigger than Julian Assange.” “

    • Its called reverse rendition.

    • I am still hoping that the fcuk up theory applies. If Assange goes to the US we all have to hit the streets, big time …

  2. BLiP 2

    Keep it up, bozos, Wikileaks needs a martyr to rally support from those otherwise wavering. An international demonstration of the realities of western justice is exactly what your enemies need. Carry on.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Next time the US or UK try and pressure China about human rights and Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, China is just going to say “Assange. Next agenda item please.”

      • Vicky32 3.1.1

        Thirded…
        I am totally ignorant about hosting and servers etc, but I am very glad Wikileaks lives!
        Deb

        • Jim MacDonald 3.1.1.1

          Yep.

          Will the folks at the Nobel Foundation kickstart the nomination process for Assange?
          The closing date is the 31st Jan of the year of the award (Wikipedia). There’s time to have the award presented to Assange for 2011.

          Note: Alfred Nobel was Swede. The Nobel Foundation is based in Sweden.

          If the Nobel folks don’t rise to the challenge, maybe China would like to inaugurate an annual international prize by presenting an award to Assange?

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1

            Assange doesn’t deserve a peace prize at this point in time. Doing so would be a political stunt, much as giving it to Obama was. The nobel committee should be avoiding politics as much as possible, as it dilutes their purpose.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes giving Assange the Peace Prize would be political.

              But when is it not political.

              Calling it a ‘stunt’ devalues the impact it would have (the right used this language trick during the Hobbit campaign – I think it was).

              And remember, if it happened the message would not necessarily be one directed at the Americans. It would be one directed at the Swedish Government.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Another science fiction nexus becoming real before our eyes.

    Interesting how Assange has become a polarising lightening rod, dividing those who understand and respect him for the immensely brave challenge he is giving to power… from that mass of conformists who refuse adamantly to listen to anything other than the Fox News propaganda.

  5. the sprout 5

    i see that paypal and visa have been bullied into nolonger serving wikileaks.
    more desperate attempts by the US at censoring those who dare to expose unflattering truths.
    ‘Land of the Free’ my arse.

  6. Eva 6

    When the internet was created, the intention was to protect documents in case of warfare by keeping them in motion instead of storing them in a physical place. That genius was right!

    • SHG 6.1

      When the internet was created, the intention was to protect documents in case of warfare by keeping them in motion instead of storing them in a physical place.

      What utter bollocks.

  7. qwq 7

    We NEED proper steering mechanism to survive the global society we created with technology. Transparancy/involvism is needed. It’s urgend, at this moment our society has an obsolete 200 years old steering mechanism. How can a few wise leaders understand these complex global issues pending ?

    Would we have gone to Iraq over Weapons of mass destruction is we were part of the diplomatic cable discussion ?
    Better of with more transparency ? Credit Crises / Cable gate shows governments are not so much in control of the global society. Wasn’t it work of the press to tell us the truth ?

    Can the government be specific what is so threatening, because NO ONE DIED by the cables released. People did die because the same amount of money did go to Foreign Affair as to public health care.

    At least the cork out of the bottle. Fact is that secrets are harder to keep anno 2010. Shutting down is naive. Discuss it is the only option.. If democracy fails, the only solution is MORE democracy!. Fill the streets and discuss where the press fails.

  8. SHG 8

    Here are two of the most sensible posts I’ve seen about Wikileaks since cablegate hit:

    http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/

    Summary: Assange is doing some freaky zen hacker shit to the whole intellectual notion of conspiracy.

    http://blog.futurestreetconsulting.com/?p=446

    Summary: Wikileaks is to government what Napster was to the music industry. Wikileaks will be destroyed by those it threatens, as Napster was, thus teaching the online community how to prevent such destruction from happening to Wikileaks’s successor – which will appear online the moment Wikileaks is closed down.

  9. Jeremy Harris 9

    With 2,000,000,000 + internet users you only need a few hundred talented people with a knowledge of how to write code for these websites and databases and the interest to do and it’s all over as far as cencorship goes…

    • lprent 9.1

      Not quite correct. If the sysops each decide that something is damaging the net, get annoyed, and enough decide to do something about it – then nothing can really stand against that for long. Their ooerational solutions are frequently quite severe and they will ask from cooperation across the networks and usually will get it.

      I suspect that kind of decision is being made about the script-bunnies doing DDoS attacks around the net right now.

      They are also unhappy about the idiots in the US and elsewhere attempting to subvert the net structure with extra-legal attacks. Look at my ISOC post

  10. anarcho 10

    Operation payback is in full swing. If you are comp savy and keen then this site will let you in on the party for freespeech;

    http://pastehtml.com/view/1c8i33u.html

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