Government Enemy Number 1: Whistleblowers

Do we really know what happens in this world? I mean we always have these leaks come out and tell us something new is happening we aren’t supposed to know. What are these leaks? Why are they going global so quickly? Why are they so hard to get offline? These are probably some questions the government keeps asking themselves. The answer is in the networks. Look at wikileaks, this organisation has leaked more than its fair share of incriminating evidence against the US government; and yet they still leak documents online and are yet to be taken down or IP’s blocked.

Why is it the leaks can’t be stopped by government officials though? Well According to Raffi Khatchadourian, it is the number of networks and relationships Julian Assange’s people have created over the years. The data they get sent is so encrypted and protected it is on hundreds of servers across the globe before it is finally leaked online. So you can stop one server, but there are hundreds more with the same information so the internet can continuously reload it. That’s some cool tech right there, and it is why the whistleblowers for wikileaks can never be traced. The best part is According to Assange himself, the raw data is so encrypted, that even if you traced potential leaks, you would have a fun time decrypting it to see if it was a leak or something else.

“we use this state of the art Encryption to bounce stuff around the internet to hide trails, pass it through legal jurisdictions like Sweden and Belgium to inact their legal protections” – Julian Assange 2010, on TED talks, which can be seen below .

These leaks that Assange’s organisation has provided the world have really given a good insight into what really happens behind the scenes in some of the worst places in the world. If it wasn’t for Wikileaks, you wouldn’t know that the NSA can hack your phones and were doing it; if it wasn’t for Wikileaks we wouldn’t have seen the REAL Afghanistan. We need wikileaks like we need toilet paper, “These sort of things reveal the true state of let’s say our own governments are like” (Assange, 2010)

These leaks are what stirs the pot in this world, the journalist’s willing to report on them and submit these documents to the public take huge risks. Look at Julian Assange right now, he is held up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London because leaving will mean in some way him going to America to face Espionage charges. So what will be the next big leak, Will we find out America can hack our webcams on our laptops and watch us? Will we hear that our government keeps up –to-date profiles on their population from their online activity? No one really knows what the next leak will be however, we know the leaks will come, and it will be sometime before they are deleted from the world of cyberspace.


TED 2010, Julian Assange: Why the world needs wikileaks, Online video, 19th July, Viewed 29/09/2013

Khatchadourian, R. (2010) ‘No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency’ The New Yorker, 7th June, viewed 29/09/2013

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5 Responses to Government Enemy Number 1: Whistleblowers

  1. youfoundbec says:

    As someone who understands almost nothing about hacking this is just so fascinating to me. It’s amazing how involved Assange’s operation is, it seems like it’ll never get taken down. I agree, it’s great that censored information is getting released to us because I think in most cases, we have a right to know. The example of the video taken from the helicopter in Iraq is a great example of this. Good post.

  2. lelefos says:

    I also know very little about hacking and find the image of hacking an interesting topic to discuss. The word ‘hacking’ seems to have a negative connotation but in the case of organisations like Wikileaks I feel like they are in fact hacking for the greater good. I have been watching the TED interview you posted and finding it really interesting. The drive behind Wikileaks seems to be “shining a light” on information that governments or corporations have hidden from us, which benefits themselves. I am not well researched in the topic but I feel as if the target (govs or corps) then try to shift the blame they receive from Wikileak allegations back to Wikileaks. In a sense drawing “the light” back from themselves and placing it on Wikileaks instead. It seems like a round about process that isn’t really going anywhere. It would be great if more people supported what Wikileaks was trying to do, and didn’t get sucked into the negative image of Wikileaks that a lot of media portrays.

  3. Assange depicts some fantastic insights on the notion of “free flow of information” and free speech. The entirety of Wikileaks actions has resulted in millions of people now being exposed to shocking facts about various governments, the US government in particular, leading people questioning their own governments. The collateral murder video is a prime example of this, as it was what made Wikileaks so well-known, and exposed the wrong-doings of the US military.And, as you point out, no matter how powerful a government and how much they dislike Wikileaks, the organisation has created such a broad network of relationships and servers that they can never be shut down completely.

  4. jamesayre says:

    No one knows everything that is going on in the world. Intelligence agencies in every country spend billions trying to sift through the information flow in and out of their country but the volume is so huge that it is virtually impossible to achieve total monitoring. If we use a immediate context – we don’t know everything that goes on in our own households so when you dob on a sibling for a domestic misdemeanor does that make you a whistle blower?

  5. jessbain91 says:

    This is a really insightful explanation of how Wikileaks managed to avoid the information being taken down. I like how you discuss the dominant the role of the government, and their fears behind transparency. As Australia (and the United States) is considered politically stable, I know myself I have a reasonable level of trust for our government. Wikileaks exposing particular facts emphasizes the lack of transparency in all institutions. People need to be in tune to what our governments could be hiding, especially if we want to be considered a true democracy.

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