Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Wiki Wars Have Begun!

The Wiki Wars Have Begun!

The headline news on the WikiLeaks Front today has been the massive number of Ddos attacks (Denial of Service) conducted by those who have taken great issue with those who caved to pressure and denied services to WikiLeaks.  MasterCard was crashed. The Targets included, which had stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks;, which revoked server space from the group; the online payment service PayPal, which cut off its commercial cooperation, and the lawyer representing the two Swedish women who have accused Mr. Assange in the sex case. The hackers also accused Visa of stopping the processing of donations for Wikileaks, and was also affected.

By Wednesday afternoon, a counterattack had begun with Netcraft, a British Internet monitoring firm, reporting that the Web site being used by the hackers to distribute denial-of-service software had been suspended by a Dutch hosting firm, Leaseweb. 
The hackers— a loosely affiliated group who call themselves Anonymous — continued to give instructions for the denial of service attacks via a Twitter account until it was suspended later in the afternoon. 
Anonymous had vowed to take revenge on any organization that lined up against WikiLeaks. The group claimed responsibility for at least the Mastercard attack, and, according to one activist associated with the group, was conducting multiple other attacks. 
That activist, Gregg Housh, said in a telephone interview that 1,500 people were on online forums and chatrooms including, mounting mass and repeated “denial of service” attacks on sites that have moved against Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks in recent days. 
The hacker army has rallied around the theory that all the actions against the organization and against Mr. Assange, including the rape accusations, are politically motivated efforts to silence those challenging authority.
“To all of us,” Mr. Housh said, “there is no distinction. He is a political prisoner and the two things are completely entwined.”

But as I’ve often said; nothing is safe on the internet and earlier today’ the tools for conducting such attacks were readily available and being passed around at an astounding rate. The principle purveyor was (and is), despite a false malware warning now posted was/is:  .

 Taking an entirely different position on the matters at hand is   In all the hubbub, however, a Philadelphia startup has seized an opportunity to support Wikileaks -- and, of course, it's now getting some free marketing in the process. Ah, the land of the free -- and capitalism. (Facebook and Twitter, to their credit, have made statements that they are not closing off the site from its services -- for now. But financial support for Wikileaks, (what Xipwire is enabling) in some ways, is perhaps even more critical at the moment.) XipWire Inc. allows people to transmit cash using their mobile phone's text messaging capabilities. The company has waived any fees associated with its service to support Wikileaks. People can make donations in $10 increments either from their website or from a mobile phone running their application. Here's a statement from Xipwire from their Website

Washington sees chance as WikiLeaks founder is jailed as battle begins to prevent extradition over sex charges
By Kim Sengupta, Diplomatic Correspondent
Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Informal discussions have already taken place between US and Swedish officials over the possibility of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being delivered into American custody, according to diplomatic sources.
Mr Assange is in a British jail awaiting extradition proceedings to Sweden after being refused bail at Westminster Magistrates’ Court despite a number of prominent public figures offering to stand as surety.
His arrest in north London yesterday was described by the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates as “good news”, and may pave the way for extradition to America and a possible lengthy jail sentence.
Related articles
The US Justice Department is considering charging Mr Assange with espionage offences over his website’s unprecedented release of classified US diplomatic files. Several right-wing American politicians are pressing for his prosecution and even execution, with Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate, saying he should be pursued the same as al-Qa’ida and Taliban leaders.
Mr Assange’s appearance in the London court, the focus of massive international media attention, puts Britain in the centre of the controversy and recrimination over the publishing of thousands of diplomatic cables which have caused acute embarrassment to the administration in Washington. If the man responsible for putting them in the public domain is to be silenced, his supporters say, the process started here.
The Swedish government seeks Mr Assange’s extradition for alleged sexual offences against two women.
Sources stressed that no extradition request would be submitted until and unless the US government laid charges against Mr Assange, and that attempts to take him to America would only take place after legal proceedings are concluded in Sweden.
Mr Assange, 39, had voluntarily gone to a police station accompanied by solicitors after the issuing of an international warrant.*xJmx*PTEyOTE4MDAwODE2NjMmcHQ9MTI5MTgwMDUxMzY*NSZwPSZkPSZnPTImbz*yY2I2OTM5M2E2NWU*ZjFmODcxNDIwMTQ2/MWEwMzM2OSZvZj*w.gif
The court heard that Jemima Khan, the sister of the Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, the film director Ken Loach and journalist John Pilger were among those who had offered to stand bail to the sum of £180,000. But District Judge Howard Rule remanded him in custody on the grounds that there was a risk the WikiLeaks founder would fail to surrender.
Mr Loach, who offered £20,000, explained that he did not know Mr Assange other than by reputation, but he said: "I think the work he has done has been a public service. I think we are entitled to know the dealings of those that govern us." Mr Pilger, who also offered £20,000, said he knew Mr Assange as a journalist and personal friend and had a "very high regard for him".
"I am aware of the offences and I am also aware of quite a lot of the detail around the offences,” said Mr Pilger. “I am here today because the charges against him in Sweden are absurd and were judged as absurd by the chief prosecutor there when she threw the whole thing out until a senior political figure intervened." Ms Khan offered a further £20,000 "or more if need be", although she said she did not know Assange.
Gemma Lindfield, appearing for the Swedish authorities, successfully opposed bail being granted because there was a risk he would fail to surrender – and also for his own protection, she said. She outlined five reasons why there was a risk: his "nomadic" lifestyle, reports that he intended to seek asylum in Switzerland, access to money from donors, his network of international contacts and his Australian nationality.
Mrs Lindfield added: "Any number of people could take it upon themselves to cause him harm. This is someone for whom, simply put, there is no condition, even the most stringent, that would ensure he would surrender to the jurisdiction of this court."
Ms Lindfield told the court that Mr Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations of sexual offences.She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of "unlawful coercion" on the night of 14 August in Stockholm. The court heard Mr Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.
The second charge alleged Mr Assange "sexually molested" Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used. The third charge claimed Mr Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on August 18 "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity".
The fourth charge accused Mr Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on 17 August without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.
District Judge Riddle said: "This case is not, on the face of it, about WikiLeaks. It is an allegation in another European country of serious sexual offences alleged to have occurred on three separate occasions and involving two separate victims. These are extremely serious allegations. From that, it seems to me that if these allegations are true, then no one could argue the defendant should be granted bail.”
However he added: "If they are false, he suffers a great injustice if he is remanded in custody. At this stage in these proceedings, the nature and strength of the allegations is not known."
Mr Assange’s solicitor, John Jones, said he agreed the case was not about WikiLeaks but was a "simple accusation" case with the right to bail.
He said: "In relation to the state of play in Sweden, it is important for the court to be aware of the background to this. Mr Assange has made repeated requests that the allegations against him be communicated to him in a language he understands. That has been ignored by the Swedish prosecutor. Another Swedish prosecutor dropped this case early on for lack of evidence and it was resurrected in Gothenburg rather than Stockholm."
Another of Mr Assange's lawyers, Mark Stephens, said he believed British authorities would go to extreme lengths to ensure his client was "perfectly comfortable" during his time in jail. While he is confident Mr Assange's time behind bars will be brief, he said he did not want to appear to be "too cocky".
"I think a lot of people, including the police, thought that he would get bail today. They were very surprised he didn't," he said.
Praising District Judge Howard Riddle's assessment of the case, Mr Stephens said: "We are incredibly grateful to the judge for making it clear to the prosecutor that he thinks he wants to have a look at the evidence, to make assessments as to whether there is a real risk of conviction or not, because that will make a difference as to whether or not he wants to put him out on bail, or not, on the next occasion."
Criticising Swedish authorities involved with the case, Mr Stephens said: "It's a persecution, not a prosecution.".
He maintained that while Mr Assange was not prepared to go to Sweden to face alleged sexual assault claims, his client was prepared to meet the Swedish prosecutor in England.
"That, I think, is a reasonable approach," he said.
The pressure on WikiLeaks, which relies on online donations from a worldwide network of supporters to fund its work, continued after Visa and Mastercard suspended all payments to the website.
A spokesman for Visa E said: "Visa Europe has taken action to suspend Visa payment acceptance on WikiLeaks’ website pending further investigation into the nature of its business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules." A MasterCard spokesman said: "MasterCard is currently in the process of working to suspend the acceptance of MasterCard cards on WikiLeaks until the situation is resolved.”
Kristinn Hrafnsson, a WikiLeaks spokesperson, said: "WikiLeaks is operational. We are continuing on the same track as laid out before. Any development with regards to Julian Assange will not change the plans we have with regards to the releases today and in the coming days."
The legal proceedings
Q Why is Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, facing legal proceedings in the UK when the allegations against him relate to events in Sweden?
A Under the European arrest warrant procedure any EU state can request the legal assistance of another EU country in the detention of a suspect wanted for an offence committed abroad.
Q Mr Assange's lawyers say he is not on the run and has voluntarily surrendered to police. So why is he being held in prison?
A District Judge Howard Riddle, sitting at the City of Westminster magistrates' court, refused Mr Assange's application for bail because he decided there was a danger he might abscond.
Q What happens next?
A First his lawyers will return to court next week to try to secure his release on conditional bail. Eventually there will be an extradition hearing at which the Swedish prosecution authorities will present prima facie evidence to show there is case for Mr Assange to answer.
Q How long will the proceedings last?
A Mr Assange's legal team are already preparing to challenge the extradition in the High Court in London. If they lose the case there, they can take it all the way to the Supreme Court, a process which could last many months.

Wikileaks: Stop Us? You'll Have to Shut Down the Web
ABC News
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PayPal Admits Blocking WikiLeaks Account After US State Department Took Action
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How WikiLeaks may give Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega an upper hand with US
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Australian FM blames US for WikiLeaks cables
CNN International
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Does Wikileaks Have a First Amendment Case Against Joe Lieberman?
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... considering a resolution that would declare the Army private suspected of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks a hero and call for his release. ...
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Xipwire: The lone US company standing with Wikileaks?
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By Laura Flanders | AlterNet
By Digby | Hullabaloo
By Lauren Kelley | AlterNet

WikiLeaks backers: We're behind MasterCard attack

December 8, 2010
Dear Ed,

Wikileaks reveals all: lies about who's dropping whose bombs, government-backed torture, the murder of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even what's on everybody's Christmas list.  The realities of war and diplomacy are stranger than fiction, as is the recent decision of the online bookseller giant Amazon to kick Wikileaks' site off of its server.  In another dirty swipe, PayPal restricted Wikileaks' account.  And the organization hasn't even been charged with a crime.  You can take action by joining our boycott of these two cowardly companies! 

CODEPINKers in San Francisco are organizing a protest to Senator Feinstein's call for prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, and urge you to coordinate an action in your city.  Will you plan an emergency response action to expose the reality of war that Wikileaks revealed?  

Next Thursday, December 16, Veterans for Peace and allies, including
CODEPINK, will stage the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history.  After a rally at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, many will engage in nonviolent civil resistance at the White House.  See Stop These Wars for more information.  CODEPINK joins United for Peace and Justice in urging everyone who can to go to DC on the 16th to support the action.

For those who can’t go to DC, we are calling on you to organize local solidarity demonstrations at noon at the Federal Building in your city.  Appropriate slogans would be “President Obama: End These Wars!”, "Not Another Day, Not Another Dollar, Not Another Life”, “Jobs Not War”, and “Bring the Troops and War Dollars Home”. 

Register your action so others can find you and so that we can show the national scope of the response.  Don't forget to put 
CODEPINK in the action description.  

During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King called our government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” This was true then—and even more so today.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grind on, killing people every day, in our name, with our tax dollars.  How long are we going to let this go on?

We believe that the power of courageous, committed people is greater than that of corporate warmongers. But we will only see our power when we use it collectively, when we stand together. 

Don't forget to tell us about your plans.  Our national team at CODEPINK is standing by to support your action with flyers, banner templates, press releases, and media outreach.  Questions?  Email Rae or call (415) 355-0300 for information.

Plus, there's something you can do to support Wikileaks right now.  Vote for Julian Assange for Person of the Year in TIME Magazine and tweet this link - - to vote online! 

Wikileaks spilled the truth, now let's create a flood of actions!

Rae, Jean, Valerie, Janet, and the CODEPINK Team 

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