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WikiRebels

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, December 12th, 2010 - 16 comments
Categories: interweb, Media, youtube - Tags:

A documentary that aired in Sweden last night. Fascinating.

The origional can be viewed here. The following is from YouTube as it is more likely to handle the load.

16 comments on “WikiRebels”

  1. Cheers lprent. Very interesting. Any idea where the third part can be sourced? The link does not seem to work.

  2. Carol 3

    I have mixed feelings watching these vids – (thanks for posting them, they are very interesting and informative).

    I do think Wikileaks is a very significant development in the struggle for freedom of the press, and against the duplicity, lies and hypocrisy of the political establishment in many western governments. For instance, people like Obama and Hillary Clinton don’t seem to be aware of their contradictory attitudes to democratic freedoms. At the very same time that they are praising the valiant struggle for human rights and democratic protest by Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo , they are aiming to curtail, censor and criminalise the activities of Wikkileaks. And these attempts to suppress Wikileaks are being made because it has exposed the way the US military machine casually kills civilians as if they were participants in a video game, and lies about its military invasions, and about the way it bullies smaller countries like NZ to further the aims of the powerful corporates.

    OTOH, the documentary on Wikileaks reminded me in parts of an Oliver Stone Hollywood treatment of history and struggles for democracy. This was partly because of the highly emotive orchestral music accompanying some of the leaked video footage. But also because of its portrayal of individual heroic hackers. It had echoes for me of Hollywood heroes, villains and anti-heroes. It’s no wonder then, that some people have difficulty accepting that someone like Assange is anything other than an all-round hero, who MIGHT be less than heoric in his personal life.

    I know that this is complicated by the way powerful entities (especially the US government) is out to identify, capture and silence the prime mover/s behind Wikileaks. But what they don’t fully grasp, is that the Wikileaks networks are the powerful forces working for democratic and press freedoms, and these are bigger than any one person. This is THE BIG story and development here – and without the collaborative mobilisation of thousands of participants across the globe, Wikileaks would not have succeeded and will not continue to succeed.

    The Hollywood-ised treatment reminds me a little of the mythologising of the early hackers and geeks who developed the internet and participated in the rise of Siliocon Valley as a global IT industry centre. That also was a milieu of collaboration and cross fertilisation (eg through the homebrew club). But some of the early participants were Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who went on to work more for control of their big business, highly profit-making ventures. Meanwhile the open source movement continues to keep alive the ideals of the original hackers, the homebrew club etc.

    The collaborative networks of thousand of dedicated people are the centre of the Wikileaks struggle, not glorified, romanticised leaders that the forces of oppression and suppression will pick off and attempt to neutralise.

    PS: Hah! The NZ wikileaks cables about NZ’s anti-nuclear position just got a mention on Al Jazeera NewsHour.

    • lprent 3.1

      This was partly because of the highly emotive orchestral music accompanying some of the leaked video footage. But also because of its portrayal of individual heroic hackers. It had echoes for me of Hollywood heroes, villains and anti-heroes. It’s no wonder then, that some people have difficulty accepting that someone like Assange is anything other than an all-round hero, who MIGHT be less than heoric in his personal life.

      The music was pretty badly over the top for a documentary, and not only on the leaked footage. I was wincing quite a few times.

      I have no hesitation in thinking that Assange probably has feet of clay – that is quite clear from the record. The mythology doesn’t conceal that he is also a pretty lousy handler of people. Which is why OpenLeaks is starting up with dissidents from WikiLeaks, and I’m sure others are underway.

      But what does infuriate me is the manner in which both WikiLeaks and probably Assange have been attacked in a manner that is covert, likely to be illegal and that clearly violates both international law and the general code of conduct for the net. Quite simply WikiLeaks acts as a publisher in a very similar manner to the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Speigel, etc and other news outlets.

      To attack WikiLeaks and not to attack those outlets as well for the same reason (not that I’m advocating it) is a exercise in mind-blowing hypocrisy. However to do so would be to expose that freedom of the press as a mythological beast that doesn’t survive the internet age. Not that I think any of this will affect the overall operation of WikiLeaks and its various emulators and ancestors like CrtytoMe regardless who is in charge. At some point the legal and valid international operation of net enterprises was going to run headlong into the some such residue of the nation states and the legal inadequacies of national law.

      I’m expecting to see some really interesting legal contortions in the US and elsewhere trying to somehow differentiate between traditional publishers and new publishers. But I also suspect it is an effort doomed to futility because it will get a lot of commentary pointing out the basic lack of difference. Someone somewhere has put a lot of thought into making sure that for democracies to attack WikiLeaks is to also to attack some of their own inherent contradictions.

      China and Russia and other states with even more dubious press freedoms must be beside themselves with amusement because the actions of the US at present are going to remove the democracy and freedom of the press moral high ground that the US has wrapped so many of its foreign policies around.

  3. Jenny 4

    For those of us used to the printed word:

    “WikiLeaks backlash: The first global cyber war has begun”

    The Guardian

    capcha- “opposing”

  4. Nico 6

    Thanks for the video. I’d also like to send my congratulations to LPrent for his earlier analysis of Marianne Ny (the Swedish prosecutor). This was particularly useful as there is very little Swedish information. I have found, however, a very informative, non-right wing Swedish website based in Florida, which is currently criticising the anti-Assange reaction to the so called ‘rape’ case in Sweden and Swedish media, and translating from it. It can be found at http://www.skandinaviflorida.com/ Among the many interesting pieces of information it has outlined is that the Swedish politician and prosecution lawyer who re-opened the Assange case, Borgstrom, has a legal practice with the ex-Swedish Justice Minister, Bodstrom, and that they are currently trying to establish a practice in the U.S.

  5. Nico 7

    The Florida Swedish site above (http://www.skandinaviflorida.com/) has just translated a statement by Marianne Ny asserting that the decision to appeal Assange’s bail was made by the British prosecution, not her. Over to you, LPrent.

    • lprent 7.1

      Curious. There are papers like NYP, guardian, et al quoting the swedish prosecutor who is in England stating that she was appealing the bail decision for Sweden. I can’t seem to translate the tabloid he was referring to. I will have a look when I get up (and use something with google chrome -I want chrome for iPad).

      But I suspect Ny is arguing a semantic point. Obviously Sweden has no direct standing in a british court. It is argued by British prosecution based on the evidence provided by the Swedes. The British prosecution are the only people capable of appealling the bail decision. The decision to appeal must be made by the British. The question is what are the Swedes urging them to do. That appears to be quite clear.

      • Nico 7.1.1

        The latest on this from http://www.skandinaviflorida.com/: ‘The infamous Director of Communications at the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office, Karin Rosander, told the tabloid Aftonbladet today that the Swedish prosecutor was not involved in the appeal. Supposedly it was the British authorities that made the appeal. So are the Brits fighting each other or is Karin Rosander lying?’ Much of the site consists of analysis in English by Swedish expatriots and most of the Swedish material is translated.

        The general tone in the Swedish press seems to be that they see the British as being responsible for the denial of Assange’s bail. Of course, the Swedes are behind the prosecution decision and the site is clearly investigating them from that point of view, but the vast difference in the presentation of responsibility in the two countries does seem more than semantics. Do you think there could be something hopeful in this for Assange? Do you think the Swedes are feelng more vulnerable to public opinion, or do you think they are being careful because the Defence lawyer, Hurtig, has begun talking about a confidential piece of information which will destroy their case?

        The site has some more interesting facts on whether Ny was qualified to act as a prosecutor, and the nature of the interrogations (apparently ‘concept’ ones involving general impressions not written down answers) of the two accusers.

        It will be good to hear what you think. Congratulations again on your pieces on this topic.

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