AlterPolitics New Post

Time Magazine’s 2010 Person Of Year: People Vote Julian Assange, Establishment Crowns Mark Zuckerberg

by on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 10:00 am EDT in Politics, WikiLeaks, World

Here’s how Time Magazine’s Managing Editor Richard Stengel, in his letter, leads up to his justification for the 2010 Time Magazine’s Person of the Year Award:

There is an erosion of trust in authority, a decentralizing of power and at the same time, perhaps, a greater faith in one another. Our sense of identity is more variable, while our sense of privacy is expanding. What was once considered intimate is now shared among millions with a keystroke.

After reading that, you’re thinking Julian Assange — I mean, right?  Erosion of trust in authority?  Decentralizing of power?  How the hell does a Facebook account promote these populist virtues?

Answer: It doesn’t.

In fact, the Feds admit to using Facebook, and its forerunner MySpace, to better monitor us, and to better determine who we communicate with; to learn about what we may or may not be up to.  If anything, Facebook helps the power establishment — governments and corporations (prospective employers) — to keep their power centralized; to better control the masses, who willfully participate in these social sites.

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, by contrast, have literally turned the establishment on its head.  It has foisted transparency onto the world’s only super power, as well as every other entrenched power entity — across all governments and corporations.  WikiLeaks has left them scrambling to devise ways — legal or not — in which they might squash the whistleblower group, and restore their veil of secrecy — under from which they thrive.

Whereas Elliot Ness took the ever-powerful mafia leader Al Capone down using a simple tax evasion charge, Assange has revolutionized withering democracies, by merely instituting transparency.  In doing so, Assange is redistributing power from the highly-secretive power elitists back to the people.  Julian Assange has proven that information is in fact power, and he has found a legal way — using the protection accorded to him under the 1st Amendment — of putting the information back into the hands of the people.

How fitting that the people overwhelmingly voted for Julian Assange as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.  And the power establishment — as represented by Richard Stengel — vetoed the people’s wishes and chose Mark Zuckerberg instead.

Watch: First Interview With Mastermind Of ‘Anonymous’ Hacker Group

by on Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm EDT in Politics, WikiLeaks, World

RT just released an exclusive interview with the mastermind of the ‘Anonymous’ hacker group.  The group has for some time been conducting something of a cyber war using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against anti-piracy groups — including Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  They refer to their organized efforts as Operation:Payback, since the anti-piracy groups are themselves using software security companies to launch DDoS attacks against file-sharing sites.

‘Anonymous’ has most recently been in the spotlight for targeting corporations that have been complicit in trying — albeit unsuccessfully — to sabotage the unaffiliated whistleblower group, WikiLeaks.

Anonymous’s mastermind reveals how the group operates and how they coordinate their activities.  He states that the group uses volunteers, comprised of thousands of anonymous people from all over the world.  These volunteers are the ones who actually participate in the DDoS attacks:

The chances of getting caught in this are basically zero, I mean there are thousands and thousands of computers attacking at once, and there’s no way to distinguish them, and they’re voluntary attacks.  The administration isn’t directly attacking.  We simply coordinate them and direct the attacks.

Like I said the computers actually doing the attacking — the DDoSing — are volunteers who actually offer up their bandwidth to our cause.  This could be anyone, this could be people listening now, this could be you, it could be anyone.  We simply offer the means of doing it.  Everyone involved is aware of the risks.

Twitter and Facebook recently took down the accounts for ‘Anonymous’.  The RT interviewer asks the ‘Anonymous’ mastermind if that has in any way disrupted the groups’ ability to communicate with people and to garner more support:

[Laughing]  Not really.  None whatsoever, basically.  Those Facebook and Twitter accounts were made for updates and support rather than the coordination of the attacks.

We made them to update, and if they take them down we’ll put ten more up, and if they take ten down, then we’ll put one hundred more up.  I don’t think they feel like playing whack-a-mole with us.  They’re not going to stop the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

He goes on to discusses whether the term ‘Cyber War’ fairly represents the description of the group’s activities:

Figuratively, at worst.  Or it could be considered between two states.  Anonymous is not a state.  It would be expressed as more of a revolution or protest, as it is the public standing against agencies that would silence them.   But war does sound a bit better in the media, so I guess you could push war, but it’s more a protest or even a revolution.

On whether Anonymous attacked Sara Palin’s site:

We don’t really care about Sara Palin that much, to be honest.   I don’t really know what she’s trying to accomplish, or what attention she’s trying to gain, but we personally don’t really care about Sara Palin.  It might have been a member, or a group of members that have tried to do this, but not a major attack that was planned, not a major movement that was planned.  No.

WATCH the full interview: