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Posts Tagged ‘wikileaks

Will revolution start on the Internet?

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I guess many people recalls cyberpunk books written by writers such as William Gibson these days. The conflicts between hackers and corporations, post-industrial world, dirty businesses and corrupted politicians. The struggle against them. A few decades ago it all looked like an intriguing fiction or great ideas for a movie.

Today, it’s not a fiction anymore. We witness a growing conflict between organized (but leadership free) groups of hackers such as Anonomyous and corporations or governments. In many places of the world we face an environmental disaster caused by big businesses or tragic effects of globalization such as mass exploitation and degeneration. We’re monitored by thousands CCTV cameras and surveillance tools, we’re forced to eat GMO foods, we’re influenced by corporate propaganda and threatened by economic compulsion. Mortgages, unemployment, crisis… we face a number of issues like these every day. It’s not something new though. The political movements opposing capitalism are trying to cope with it from many years. We had massive Seattle protests in 1999, anti-capitalist Genoa in 2001, direct actions led by groups like ELF, ALF or urban guerillas from Greece, Italy, Argentine or Chile. Zapatistas, Argentinian workers and their cooperatives, social centres. Revolts in France and Greece. And many many more. Those actions caused a lot of confusion and fear among politicians and shareholders. But the system remains strong. At the end of day you may see a black block with molotov cocktails but the other side have tanks and guns.

The system remains strong because it’s hard to fight the enemy who’s way more powerful on the streets. It’s hard to win with an opponent who’s so violent and depraved. However as we learned in a last few years it looks different when it comes to the Internet. Internet gives people the tools they wouldn’t find in reality. Internet allows people to organize themselves anonymously and democratically. It gives them freedom of expression and creation. At the same time it is a way to exchange unlimited information on any subject. On the Internet it doesn’t really matter whether you’re white, black, gay, Russian or Canadian, queer, Christian or Jew.

So when you see such a bastion of freedom in the enslaved world of capitalism it’s not surprising that it becomes a threat to the system. In fact, it was the work of Internet activists that shook its foundations. Wikileaks leaks such as CableGate or Iraq War Logs were and are the cause of the crises of several governments. Their impact is really huge and in consequences it means their activity seriously affects the reality we all live in. And when the US administration and fellow corporations tried to shut Wikileaks down they received a quick response from Anonymous. It’s quite fascinating that the web attacks were more serious for all the companies and governments than thousands of protests and boycotts. It brings us to the question, what does it mean?

Perhaps we’re looking for a change in the wrong place? We expect that the Occupy Movement or Arab Spring will inspire a revolution. But most people are not on the streets. Most people are on the web though. That’s why you got so big resistance re PIPA, SOPA and ACTA bills. That’s why sites like PirateBay are so popular and Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world. People want to share their knowledge, information, music, films, ideas. People want to live together and organize themselves freely. They want to join projects, they want to leave projects, they want privacy, they want freedom. On the Internet they realize they don’t need governments or big businesses to rule their lives. The progress of civilization is amazing on the web. The current system with all those copyrights, profit-based think tanks and neoliberal perspective can’t follow it, can’t understand what’s actually going on. They’re still looking for money when people are building a new kind of social and political relations. No borders, skills sharing, open source, free speech, free culture. Anonymous group even released A Declaration of the Independence of CyberSpace where they state:

In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

In other words, maybe this is the place where the revolution starts?

Written by Kruk

March 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Terrorists from Wikileaks?

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Last leak which Wikileaks put on its website shocked the American administration. As a reminder, Wikileaks published the secret reports on the war in Afghanistan. The data presented in the reports are overwhelming for the coalition troops, whose PR specialists struggling to build a positive image of Western troops, when in fact they are accountable for the death and suffering of the civilian population. From the reports we can learn about the many attacks on civilians (which are never mentioned in any relations), cover-ups and falsified statistics of victims who have suffered as a result of the coalition. Under these typical words are real tragedies of families and individuals. he soldiers of our countries have made their lives hell. Just to cite examples of firing a bus with the children by French soldiers and the shelling of another bus by U.S. soldiers. It is also worth mentioning the missions carried out by execution squad (Task Force 373), which would lead to casualties among the Afghan population. In one of its actions seven children were killed and in another an innocent woman was killed. Such examples can be multiplied. Importantly, reports indicate a lack of investigation and verification versions given by the soldiers. In practice this means covering up the events that took place, and that the investigations would reveal an entirely different course of events than that reported. In practice this means covering up the events that took place, and that the investigations could reveal an entirely different course of events than that reported. As Jullian Assange (founder Wikileaks) said at a press conference in London, published reports may thus provide evidence of war crimes and in themselves should be a reason to carry out investigations. At same time we should review the role played by coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Why publish war reports?

The natural result of the publication of reports, was media storm, which broke out in most countries. Leakage problem was particularly troublesome for the U.S. administration. Not only that, it placed another intelligence slip-up, but it is aware of the enormity of the tragedy that happened in Afghanistan since 2004 and which are kept secret from the citizens of all countries participating in the mission. So we are dealing with information that shows the world how unnecessary is this war. Contrary to the theories, it leads to spreading military conflict, not a settlement. You can say that this is a war like any other. In every war civilians are killed, there are crimes. Well, it’s easier to say the farther we are from the ongoing fighting. Secondly, the fact is that those who started this war and those who lead it relate their acting to the idea of freedom and democracy. They say that the West is fighting terrorism (which incidentally was the result of policies of western countries), that threaten us all. This slogan sounded nice right after 9 / 11, but nearly a decade later, we know that the word terrorism has become a gateway to breaking human rights. There was also lots of talking about the opportunities for the Afghans, but it turned out it wasn’t true as well. President Karzai highlited it on the occasion of the next raid in which civilians were killed and said: the Afghan people lives are cheap for the coalition. In the face of these facts, this war is therefore a negation of the values that proclaim the western coalition. Not to mention anti-democratic decisions to send to Afghanistan (and Iraq) troops, despite the open opposition of international society. So it may seem that the real reasons for unleashing this war do not have nothing glorious, and are implementing policies which bring benefits to specific countries or groups. The same is happening in Iraq. Anyway, this does not happen the first time in history.

However, the first time in history, activits managed to expose the deceptive propaganda and real face of policy-makers, sending their own people to death and accepting death and suffering of the innocent. These reports are overthrow of a convenient vision that was presented by all sorts of militarists hiding reality. They strike directly at the hypocrisy of politicians and military and expose their cynicism and ruthlessness. Contrary to what they said, “our” soldiers do not bring nor democracy nor freedom. In Afghanistan, after so many years of struggle you will not find any of those. And it never meant to be there. War does not help to achieve a great society goals but helps the particular interests of specific groups of people.

An anti-Wikileaks campaign

An example of this may be a reaction of the U.S. administration. Representatives of the military accused the portal that the publication will cause casualties among coalition partners. As part of its disaster Pentagon demanded a return of the rest of files, and Wikileaks’ Twitter began to appear slanderous entries of proud Americans. Also U.S. military officers ordered personell to not visting Wikileaks website. It’s probably just the beginning of a campaign against the portal, especially since we know about previous attempts to harm Wikileaks. Perhaps soon we will find out that Wikileaks activists are terrorists!

As a result of these events, none of the U.S. administration did not even think about raising the issue of civilians killed or refering to the tragedy that has befallen innocent people. None of them did anything that could relate to the humanity and empathy. Apparently, such expectations are too much for political and military elites. Another great proof of the regime-style thinking of people in power is a matter of Brad Manning, who was arrested for the publication of the video in which American soldiers killed Reuteurs’ reporters. He will probably spend 52 years in prison for this!

So here we can see an aggressive response to the any quest for truth. It seems that according to rulers the society has no right to know the truth, and those who do reveal it are cruelly punished. On the basis of shared knowledge it is difficult to believe that the military prominents are extremely worried about a plight of potential victims of leaked reports. This can be seen as a tactical move. Army commanders care more about their own fate than others. So it might be worth to look at it slightly differently. The elites threaten (as always) there will be plenty of victims in result of this leak. But what if this leak will actually save people’s life? What if dozens of young people in different places around the world ranged over their involvement in this war but as a result of the storm that erupted after the leak they decided not to participate in it? Speculation? Yes. Like speculating about the hypothetical victims, when we are dealing with thousands of real victims.

This war is not much different from the others. Every war is a horror. However, perhaps thanks to Wikileaks and disclosed reports less people will be fooled by the world’s rulers and armies will have less recruits. The hope is also that through these publications, people will be fully perceived that going to war means killing in the name of someone’s interests.