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The Almighty Buck The Internet The Media

WikiLeaks Losing Support From Anonymous 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins-and-the-julians dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that members of computer hacker collective Anonymous have distanced themselves from WikiLeaks, claiming the whistleblowers' site has become too focused on the personal tribulations of its founder, Julian Assange. A statement linked from the Anonymous Twitter account, AnonymousIRC, described WikiLeaks as 'the one man Julian Assange show,' and complained that the website implemented a paywall seeking donations from users who wanted access to millions of leaked documents. 'The idea behind WikiLeaks was to provide the public with information that would otherwise be kept secret by industries and governments. Information we strongly believe the public has a right to know,' said the statement on behalf of Anonymous. The dispute could starve WikiLeaks of potentially newsworthy leaks in the future, as some of Wikileaks' recent disclosures – including the Stratfor emails – are alleged to have come from Anonymous."
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WikiLeaks Losing Support From Anonymous

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  • oblig (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @11:57AM (#41632973)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @11:59AM (#41632997)

    Yeah, Anonymous, that well known organisation made up of a heirachy of people who all speak with the same voice, united under a single person.

    Oh, hang on, no, they're made up of a whole slew of individuals who do not speak for each other. What was I thinking of.

    Apparently, the Guardian didn't manage to break out of this incorrect belief about the structure of Anon.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. And we both for example obviously are high ranking leaders of the organization, after all we're both obviously anonymous. Maybe we should hold a press conference right away...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Also, I really need to stop having conversations with myself in public like this. It's so...awkward.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:23PM (#41633271)
      Did they say anywhere that the group had a single unified voice? All they said is that some people are changing their minds about Wikilinks, and have broadcast the message to their Twitter followers. Maybe that is why the story here is titled with "losing support" instead of "lost support." A single voice would be the latter, a mass of people lacking hierarchy can still have trends in their actions and support though.
      • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:20PM (#41633837) Homepage

        Did they say anywhere that the group had a single unified voice?

        WTF? Did you even read the first paragraph? They use two verbs that imply a single voice:

        The computer hacker collective Anonymous has distanced itself from WikiLeaks, claiming the whistleblowers' site has become too focused on the personal tribulations of its founder, Julian Assange.

      • Yeah, quoting one twitter account doesn't really show much more than a segment of "Anonymous"'s opinion. They [twitter.com] have [twitter.com] quite [twitter.com] a [twitter.com] few [twitter.com]. Tweet from the last one: "Anonymous not unanimous. We don't have to agree w/ each other all the time. We choose to take part in actions we support, or not. #Wikileaks".
        • by Rei (128717)

          I read an article with an interview with an Anonymous spokesman on this issue who took the time to drive home the fact this statement doesn't speak for all members of Anonymous because Anonymous does not have a single voice or opinion on anything; however, he stated that this has become the predominant view in the organization as of late and there's been a lot of anger over it, and that this has been brewing for a while as Wikileaks increasingly turns away from leaks and more toward lionizing and defending

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Regardless of whether the author fully grasps the structure of Anonymous, the summary clearly states that it's the members (i.e. individuals) who are disenchanted with WikiLeaks.

      The fallacy lies with one member claiming to speak for the whole. "...on behalf of Anonymous"

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      The converse to that is that anyone can "speak for" Anonymous, insofar as they represent a sub-group with a certain opinion. And if the majority of people who identify themselves as "Anonymous" or at least the majority of the vocally active individuals who do so espouse a certain belief, then "Anonymous" can be said to be saying that. Of course, not all the individuals might say or think that, but it doesn't matter if the de facto leaders all do.

      And Anonymous most certainly does have de facto leaders, it'd

    • Any guesses as to whether most individuals who participate/do/makeup/whatever anonymous individually support wikileaks though? It's all well and good that anonymous is mysterious and unknowable, but I'm more interested in whether or not Assange's issues are tiring the crowd or if this is some sort of smear campaign. Because I suspect it's the latter: that this reporter was lead to or ordered to say "Even his supporters are getting sick of him, don't pay attention to the stuff they're about to leak, just r
    • my good man you don't need a dictator to reach consensus before you speak as a whole, but ill grant you anyone can pose as anyone, they do have official channels i presume posers would be hunted down for posting there. Consensus ... as with lulzsec and dabu , they kinda distanced themselves
  • by trifish (826353) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:00PM (#41633013)

    paywall seeking donations

    Paywall by definition means REQUIRED payment (fee). In contrast, a donation is a VOLUNTARY payment (gift)

    • It quite obviously means required payment.
      If you are saying that there is no such thing it is obviously a huge mistake or a lie was made (the entire summary is basically backed up by that one "fact").

    • by rsxaeon (2506670)
      From TFA: "Some users are unable to view WikiLeaks material unless they choose to donate money to the site."
  • Silly story (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:10PM (#41633131) Journal

    So anonymous is a group that is not a group but acts like a group when the group wants to exert its influence on topics that the group finds interesting. But since the group is not a group but a movement, it cannot give or take away support from Wikileaks.

    Makes sense to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So anonymous is a group that is not a group but acts like a group when the group wants to exert its influence on topics that the group finds interesting. But since the group is not a group but a movement, it cannot give or take away support from Wikileaks.

      Makes sense to me.

      You forgot that, because this group is not a group, they can't be wrong (since that requires groupiness), unless they're right, in which case they're not wrong, and they're not a group which is a group which we can all get behind while not being behind them, because that might be illegal, if it were a group, which it is not, which makes them right, which they are, because they're not.

      It's so simple; I just don't see how these plebs keep getting this so wrong. Maybe it's because they're a group.

  • So basically, they're having a lover's spat between thieves, and this is news why? Wikileaks sunk itself because it put all it's eggs in a basket named Julian. When you're fighting the good fight against a government, exposing and embarassing them, they're going to target your leaders. The first duty of any political movement is to ensure continuity; Because your leaders will be taken out of the game. Wikileaks was too centralized, and so all it took was removing this one guy and making three phone calls (t

    • Ugh. "Its", not "It's"... This is what I get for not having my morning mountain dew before logging in. *flogs self* Oh, grammar gods, forgive this young and foolish geek! *flogs self* I have seen the error of my ways! *flogs* ...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "So basically, they're having a lover's spat between thieves, and this is news why?"

      Why would it not be news? Have you read a newspaper recently? A lover's spat between thieves sounds like a pretty decent story.

    • Wikileaks got hammered by the government pressuring any businesses providing infrastructure. If your service providers and your financiers are willing to cave in, there's not much you can do *regardless*. Wikileaks isn't some guy in a basement FTPing PDFs.

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:47PM (#41633535)

      ... countries without journalistic shield laws (Yes, United States, I am looking at you).

      Journalistic shield laws are a terrible idea. Freedom of expression should be recognized for all citizens, not reserved for a privileged elite.

    • Are you the stinking spawn of derivatives dealers? Hedge fund super-thieves, or just lowly bankster scum?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xA_glFb0oWs [youtube.com]
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:35PM (#41634007) Journal

      Yes, that was a veiled reference to the diplomatic cable leaks -- Bad Plan, Darlings. We don't need to know that our diplomats are sexually promiscuous, or that they're having marital problems, etc. Those are private matters -- diplomat or not, we need to respect the privacy of others unless there's a compelling public interest reason for disclosure.

      If that's all you learned from the Diplomatic Cables, you should put down the gossip magazines and start reading serious news.

      Things the diplomatic cables revealed:
      1. The USA was bombing Yemen and lied to the American people about it. The Yemeni government provided cover for the USA's involvement.
      2. Confirmation that the Chinese government directed the hacking of Google's servers in China
      3. Our ally Kuwait refuses to take back the Kuwaitis we've picked up in Afghanistan and have been holding in Guantanamo
      4. Funding for al-Qaeda, is still flowing from various rich individual in Saudi Arabia (our ally)
      5. Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of President Hamid Karzai, is on the CIA payroll and a major drug dealer.
      6. Indian politicans were giving and receiving bribes in order to vote for a nuclear deal with the USA
      7. The US Government was secretly lobbying New Zealand and Canada to institute shitty copyright laws
      8. The State Dept pushed The Washington Post into watering down a story about security contractors bribing Afghans with drugs and teen partyboys
      9. The USA used the acceptance of Guantanamo detainees as bargaining chips
      10. US troops rounded up and shot 11 people, then called in a missile strike to cover their murders. [wikipedia.org]

      Feel free to go point by point and argue why there isn't a "compelling public interest reason for disclosure"
      From what we've seen, a lot of what gets classified is either embarrassing, illegal, or a war crime.
      Not anything whose disclosure would be a threat to national security, unless you consider justice a threat.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        There might have been information in those cables that the public had a right to know, but a lot of it they didn't, and Wikileaks should have shown some discretion in what to publish and what not to. How would you like it if private communications with friends and family were leaked to the public because you happened to work for a company that engaged in unethical behavior that due to the leaks became public? Sure, the public had a right to know about that, but not your stuff too. And that's what the diplom
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:41PM (#41637817)

          Blah blah blah. You're rehearsing all these old arguments about journalistic responsibility. Here's the problem: the leaks are so big that it's impossible to know what's in them. No single organization has the resources to pick through them and find everything of interest. Once it has been ascertained that they contain some information which it is in the public interest to release, the choice is between releasing everything and releasing practically nothing. Only releasing relevant documents is simply not practical.

          The analogy with personal communications is a false one. The diplomatic cables were produced by government officials while they were in work getting paid to write them. They are not personal communications.

          • Here's the problem: the leaks are so big that it's impossible to know what's in them.

            That's a new definition of "Impossible" of which I was previously unaware. See, the word I would use is "inconvenient." Well, taking responsibility is inconvenient, but that's not an excuse for being irresponsible. That's the kind of thinking teenagers and children use, not mature adults who come into possession of information that could cost others their lives if handled poorly.

            The analogy with personal communications is a false one.

            Does the same argument apply to the e-mails you send your friends from work? Unless you're doing some kind of mental acrobatics to

            • by jkflying (2190798)

              There was a reasonable effort. For instance, the names of informants were all redacted to prevent harm to them.

              Claiming that what wikileaks did was a bad thing because they went too far, well, if the government hadn't been classifying all of this stuff wikileaks wouldn't be necessary in the first place. Don't blame Wikileaks because the government is mixing all of this 'personal' information in with stuff that should be released to the people. That is like terrorists using human shields to avoid snipers.

      • by abigsmurf (919188)
        Most of those were public secrets at best. Remember, this was all information accessible with a very low level of security clearance.

        Release massive dumps of private data publicly with the hope that a small portion of that data is in the public interest is all sorts of immoral and goes against the principle of responsible disclosure.

        You could use the justification for the diplomatic cables leak to justify hacking into every Slashdot user's email accounts. There'll probably be a few users who've been d
        • by bug1 (96678)

          Release massive dumps of private data publicly with the hope that a small portion of that data is in the public interest is all sorts of immoral and goes against the principle of responsible disclosure.

          Withholding massive dumps of public data privately with the hope that a small portion of that data is not in the public interest is all sorts of immoral and goes against the principle of responsible disclosure.

          • by abigsmurf (919188)
            The data was not public, it was rightfully classified and 99% of it was not in the public interest, it was little more than diplomatic tittle tattle.
            • by bug1 (96678)

              The data was not public

              Only the public can decide what is in the publics interest.

            • by jkflying (2190798)

              You are aware of the stance on hostage takers, right? No bargaining. Well, the government has purposefully mixed in 'hostages' with this data which should be released to the public. Are you seriously saying that we should play to their game?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wikileaks died good??

      Fuck off. Thousands of people have the ability to set up the next wikileaks, but nobody has the balls to do it - or it would be already done.

      Easy to ridicule Assange, a shame that nothing you do will ever have the impact that his actions had on the world. Because he had (and has) courage.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With friends like Anonymous, who needs enemies?

  • by NinjaTekNeeks (817385) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:33PM (#41633389)
    To my knowledge Assange is just the face of the company, people provide wikileaks with the info and Assange is the messenger.

    It is important to realize that the messenger is the one getting the flogging, not those who have committed crimes or broken the law. Just the messenger. It's specifically a message from the government "If you mess with us and reveal our secrets we will lock you away like Bradley Manning!".

    Citizens pay taxes, which fund governments which are be accountable to the public who pay the taxes, that's how it *should* work. What Assange is going through shows very clearly that when we attempt to hold those in power accountable for their actions, actions which they have kept(hidden) from the public, they will go after you tooth and nail. That's the country we live in folks, keep paying taxes and keep your mouth shut, or face the wrath of the government.
    • Bullshit (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wikileaks is all about Assange's psychotically huge ego. Cryptome has been doing the right thing for much longer, much more effectively.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Cryptrome do nothing, never have, never will. So, bullshit to yourself. Whether you like Assange or not, he has a face, he gets media coverage, which leads to media exposure of leaked information. At least until the CIA told Sweden to do a number on him.

      • by jkflying (2190798)

        The moment Cryptome releases documents which are actually politically sensitive (you know, like the US cables, or the current Syrian emails), I might start taking them seriously.

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Just because someone's paid by taxes, that should not mean they forsake any rights to privacy nor should it be a case that a Government should never have secrets.

      Should military tactics be made public? Should the secrets about how to make advanced weaponry be public? Should I be able to to hear or read every phone call and email from Obama? Even if it's to his family about family matters?

      Should a $16,000 a year government paid cleaner have the same lack of privacy? Should I be able to see who has rece
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why doesn't Anon just pWn wikileaks and leak the leaks?

  • Computer hackers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Revotron (1115029) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:04PM (#41633701)

    computer hacker collective Anonymous.

    I stopped reading right there. Emphasis mine.

    There are idiots on 4chan who spend all their time trolling forums, staring at gore pictures, and fapping to underage girls, and they call themselves "Anonymous". Then there are script kiddies who download LOIC and DDoS websites with their parents' internet connection, and call themselves "Anonymous". Then there are actual computer "hackers" (crackers?) who actually break into systems, steal data, and commit crimes, but I don't see very many of them flying the "Anonymous" flag nowadays.

  • Yes, JA is being railroaded, but it is beyond tiring of WL coyly dangling carrots to stay relevant by picking and choosing small drips what to release. Anonymous would probably dump everything at once and mirror it across the world a hundred times over.

    Can't remember the particulars, but there was a former WL principal that took a goodly chunk about embarassing banking dirt and deleted it (or sold it back, or?). This info is too valuable to keep in a few precocious hands that think they alone can change
  • I suspect that might be true, but then the "leaks" movement is much more and greater than Assange:
    http://globaleaks.org/ [globaleaks.org]
    Recommended reading: Andy Greenberg's This Machine Kills Secrets

    Recommended viewing:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xA_glFb0oWs [youtube.com]
  • Ok maybe I am a newbie to this. But can someone please explain what is Wiki Leaks?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+is+wikileaks

  • Just as file sharing evolved to make it more and more difficult to track people, so will this movement evolve. Another organization will arise to take the place of WikiLeaks, and they will learn from WikiLeaks' mistakes. They won't make it about one person, and if their leadership (if they have one) is discovered and exposed, the reins will be passed to protect the cause.

  • Shocking! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    NEWS FLASH!

    Organization loses support from an unknown number of people who refuse to own up to their true identity.

    You heard it here first, folks. We have no idea who isn't supporting Wilileaks anymore, but we do know that they claim to be numerous and belligerent.

  • The Guardian is MSM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @02:53PM (#41634755)

    The Guardian (as well as other MSM outlets) opposed publishing information regarding Israel, leading to Assange being called an agent of Israel. Assange managed to offend the ego of a Guardian 'journalist' so the journalist has it in for Assange. A Guardian 'journalist' leaked the key used to encrypt the so-called 'insurance' file. The Guardian as MSM is threatened by a successful Wikileaks model.

    Who is the CIA contact at the Guardian?

  • Guardian Angels? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:18PM (#41635007)

    The Guardian is not exactly an unbiased news source for matters related to Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

    The Guardian was one of the newspapers given access to the unredacted cables that sparked global controversy. Initially, they honored their promise to keep the source material secret - after all, it contained names of sources whose lives might depend upon anonymity.

      The Guardian's "Investigative Editor" David Leigh decided it would be OK to publish a book about Assange and Wikileaks, which incredibly contained the password for the unredacted cables file already circulating on torrent sites.

    How many lives David Leigh affected will never be known - but obviously after this, the relationship between Wikileaks and The Guardian soured dramatically.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Huh, I was unaware that the password for that giant unredacted file was released. Surprised that didn't make bigger news... that or I was under a rock for like... a month or two.

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Sorry, the blame ultimately goes on Assange's piss poor security procedures. He was put in charge of the data, the data (ironically) got leaked

      His "brilliant" idea of making the encrypted files public (purely as a selfish insurance policy) meant that a 7 month old password getting made public fucked everything over and there was nothing he could do. He presumably sent passwords to journalists across the world, it was only a matter of time before a working password became known.

      He was arrogant about se
      • by jkflying (2190798)

        Claiming that it is Assange's fault that the Guardian editor leaked the password... how utterly twisted is your logic?

        • by abigsmurf (919188)
          No, it's Assange's fault that what should've been an old expired password was capable of completely compromising the data.

          It was a piss poor security policy for data that was so sensitive.

          When a website is hacked and plaintext passwords for all their users get leaked, few here would say "I don't blame the website, it's all on the hackers!". People would be angry that the website has poor security measures that allowed it to be compromised and they'd be even angrier that the data required minimal effo
          • by jkflying (2190798)

            That's essentially what he did: sent out encrypted files, and gave the password to just a few people who he trusted. A website or single system is far too easily compromised, anything other than what he did is dependant on a central server and is far too easily taken down by something with the resources of the US government. His problem wasn't with his technical skills or choice of encryption technique or password, but rather with his people skills and his choice of people to trust with the password. One of

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