Wikileaks reaches critical mass

Some thoughts regarding the wikileaks leak of the Afghan war diaries:

First, Julian Assange is a first rate spokesman for wikileaks and the community should be proud of the work he has done. But not just the Hacker community, all the world, and Americans especially. He is doing exactly what Thomas Paine would be doing if he were alive today.

Second, the Hacker community needs to do a better job of exposing threats. The questioning of an MIT hacker several months ago should have been more widely publicized. What is needed is a site just like Who is sick? called Who’s been questioned? Anyone who had been questioned by the FBI or the CIA could post the questions that they have been asked.The questions and especially their aggregation would contain a lot of very interesting information.  Patterns emerge, and the threats to freedom will be understood more clearly.

Third, the US military industrial public relations complex has/is about to declare war on freedom, in particular free software which they (wrongly, I might add) see as a threat.  The fact that the RIAA and the MPAA and other strong-IP entities also harbor ill will towards free software will only add fuel to the fire.  The exhibit number one is the questioning of Jacob Applbaum

July 31, 2010 4:16 PM PDT

Researcher detained at U.S. border, questioned about Wikileaks
Elinor Mills
Senior writer

LAS VEGAS — A security researcher involved with the Wikileaks Web site was detained by U.S. agents at the border for three hours and questioned about the controversial whistleblower project as he entered the country on Thursday to attend a hacker conference, sources said on Saturday.

He was also approached by two FBI agents at the Defcon conference after his presentation on Saturday afternoon about the Tor Project.

Jacob Appelbaum, a Seattle-based programmer for the online privacy protection project called Tor, arrived at the Newark, New Jersey, airport from Holland flight Thursday morning when he was pulled aside by customs and border protection agents who told him he was randomly selected for a security search, according to the sources familiar with the matter who asked to remain anonymous.

Appelbaum, a U.S. citizen, was taken into a room, frisked and his bag was searched. Receipts from his bag were photocopied and his laptop was inspected but it’s not clear in what manner, the sources said. Officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Army then told him he was not under arrest but was being detained, the sources said. They asked questions about Wikileaks, asked for his opinions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and asked where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is, but he declined to comment without a lawyer present, according to the sources. He was not permitted to make a phone call, they said.

After about three hours, Appelbaum was given his laptop back but the agents kept his three mobile phones, sources said.

Wikileaks reaches critical mass