Digital McCarthyism is how Julian Assange tweets (twitter.com/JulianAssange) about the latest activities targeting WikiLeaks.
One week after distributing a fraction of the documents available some like what WikiLeaks is doing and others don’t.
Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers in the early 1970’s calls Assange’s act courageous and important. Rep. Ron Paul says WikiLeaks should not be stopped. Reporters Without Borders said, “This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency”.
Yet a number us U.S. Senators are calling for a bill to restrict the leaking of documents and some U.S. politicians including Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sarah Palin and Fox TV are calling his activities espionage, treasonous including former presidential candidate Gov. Mike Huckabee who is calling for the death penalty for Assange.
Pay Pal stopped accepting donations Friday after over $1 million dollars in contributions were sent to Wiki Leaks. England’s MoneyBookers also bowed to pressure and discontinued accepting donations. Amazon stopped offering storage services for WikiLeaks data on Wednesday and EveryDNS no longer provides domain name service after they were hit with massive denial of threat attacks from within the U.S. this week.
Nevertheless, the Wikileak site switched to new providers at http://wik¬ileaks.de/¬, http://wik¬ileaks.fi/ and http://wik¬ileaks.nl/. Digital whistleblowing probably has a big future according to the Digital Journal. WikiLeaks has mirrored their site in several countries (all mirror sites are located at http://mirror.wikileaks.info/ ) with Iceland being the latest to welcome WikiLeaks. Iceland recently passed legislation to encourage and support free speech journalism as a strategic opportunity and business strategy after their massive recent economic collapse. So it might be hard to stop WikiLeaks there.
Free press advocates are also fighting back. On Saturday, several customers on PayPal’s forum started dropping and switching money out of their accounts. Amazon customers are also started boycotting X Mass sales and Europeans are saying “This is like East and Soviet jamming of Radio Free Europe in the old days.”
Most of the information leaked has already been reported on according to news reporters like Bob Woodward and Defense Secretary Robert Gates indicated the leaks only contained “modest” news.
More problematic, however, are embarrassing tidbits from 274 embassies and possible future leaks from Bank of America documents. It is the bank leaks that may be worrying U.S. politicians more than the already leaked military documents which is causing the massive retaliation taking place over the weekend according to several followers. Forbes magazine is reporting that WikiLeaks may expose tens of thousands of documents related to abusive banking problems.
Other sources, Fox News included, are heralding event as a new ear of digital war. Is this event a glimpse into a new clash between transparency and secrecy under the name of security, a cyber World War I?