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#13134 - 12/03/10 09:54 AM Wikileaks beleaguered
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
It has been suggested that EveryDNS’ justification for its decision to stop supporting the Wikileaks.org domain is little more than a technical and legalistic excuse to hide outside pressure. (Whether that pressure came from another customer, the US government, or another party altogether is immaterial to this point.) After all, so the argument goes, DDOS attacks and defense options against them are well documented, while EveryDNS’ referral to the former implies that it is not only incapable of defending against the attacks on Wikileaks, but against any attack.

Any comments on the plausibility of EveryDNS’ position?
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#13140 - 12/03/10 10:32 AM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: alternaut]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
it does appear that there's a lot of things going on in the background, of powerful groups (/governments) trying desperately to exercise control over something that has, by design and by evolution, an extraordinary amount of resistance to outside control.

At this point I'm finding anything charged against the guy as being legitimate, so at least in the eyes of the public I think it's having the opposite of the intended effect. But they don't care about public opinion at this point, they're just trying to work the system in any way possible to nail this guy down.

I imagine he's living an extraordinarily cautious lifestyle right now. But still, I'm sure there's a better than fair chance though that someday here in the not too future he's going to turn a corner and get a bag over his head and wake up in Gitmo. Up till now I've just said the guy's got guts. Now it's on a whole new level. He's more wanted by the US Govt than Bin Laden ever was, and I'm sure they don't feel the need to follow any rules to get their hands on him. And that's saying something.
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#13141 - 12/03/10 10:50 AM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: Virtual1]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
The grapevine has it that the British know his current whereabouts (somewhere in the south of England). Since the Swedish authorities got Assange a spot on Interpol’s wish list, it is believed that the Brits, as member of Interpol, have to do something soon. But if they (or others) do, what about the Wikileaks insurance? Assange may be a meritorious hacker, but is he a good underwriter?
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#13165 - 12/04/10 05:49 PM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: alternaut]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Defending against DDoS attacks can be done, but it's costly. Small ISPs and Internet DNS providers likely can't do it effectively, at least in a way that doesn't bankrupt them. (One popular DDoS mitigation tool, Arbor Peakflow, costs about $42,000 out the gate, with licensing fees then ranging from ten thousand dollars to $70,000 or more on top of that.)

I've worked with small to mid-sized ISPs before, and they barely have any money. One of my partners actually worked for a small ISP that went bankrupt a few years back. It's a commodity business, and there's a lot of competition chasing relatively small amounts of dollars--the big ISPs make a lot of money, but small ones really don't. I've seen them struggle to pay for things like a new router. Paying for the tools and hardware to mitigate a DDoS attack would likely wipe out many of the smaller service providers entirely.

EveryDNS is basically a bedroom company; it's a free DNS service with very little cash flow and a relatively small number of domain names. They ask for a donation from users of their service, but as we all know, that's a difficult thing to count on.

So I can believe that they pulled the domain name because of the DDoS attack. Having worked for and with small providers, I can easily see a provider like EasyDNS simply not being able to afford to cope with a DDoS attack. So I have little trouble believing that that's the reason they made their decision.

I have more difficulty believing that Amazon pulled Wikileaks off their cloud servers because of Terms of Service violations, as they are claiming; if that were true, the would have done so months ago.

Quote:
At this point I'm finding anything charged against the guy as being legitimate, so at least in the eyes of the public I think it's having the opposite of the intended effect. But they don't care about public opinion at this point, they're just trying to work the system in any way possible to nail this guy down.


I suspect you mean nothing rather than everything. smile

Julian Assange is an interesting character. On the one hand, he's obviously extremely passionate about free speech, transparency, and government and corporate openness. (It's easy to forget in light of the current hubbub that Wikileaks focuses on all sorts of things having nothing to do with government.)

On the other hand, he's also, by everything I've seen and heard about him, emotionally volatile, narcissistic, erratic, and self-aggrandizing. In other words, he seems to have the kind of personality traits that make him likely to be a date-rapist. He's been accused by more than one woman of making unwanted and forcible sexual advances, and I find it more plausible that these charges are genuine than that they are fabricated by the Swedish government, which (to be frank) has a history of not giving a rat's ass about other governments' embarrassment. The very same personality traits that make him so stubborn about Wikileaks also make him, I suspect, unlikely to take "no" for an answer from a date.

If I were a sinister government agent bent on some kind of secret behind-the-scenes plot to get an inconvenient and embarrassing public figure locked up on behalf of a shady cabal of some sort, I would be very unlikely to use rape charges as my means to that end. I'd have to find civilian complaining witnesses that I could get to agree to file emotionally damaging and difficult charges, and hope that they were willing to go through with it--if even one of those people were to recant, or worse yet to expose me, I'd be thoroughly screwed, and there's no way for me to control the likelihood of that happening.

A charge like rape is too emotionally fraught to be reliable; it would require a very special kind of sociopath to say "Sure! I'll file rape charges against this guy for you and then follow through in court." To find two or more such people...it seems unlikely.

It would be far, far easier, and I suspect more reliable, to fabricate some other kind of legal charge that would have more plausibility and more relevance--penetrating a secure government computer, say. Fake a few access logs and I'm done. Or robbery, or hell, tax evasion. Theft of services. Anything along those lines would get an arrest warrant signed, and I wouldn't have to rely on coercing emotionally difficult testimony out of women willing to falsely claim rape on my behalf.

And there's the matter that it seems, if I may be cynical for a moment, that just about any criminal charge you can file against someone will likely be believed--except rape. If you take a couple of celebrities and charge one of them with, I don't know, witness tampering or shoplifting or assault or drunk driving or something, and charge the other one with rape, more people will side with, make excuses for, or deny the rape charge than the other charge. I'm not quite sure why that is or how it happened, but we as a society often seem to extend the benefit of the doubt to celebrities charged with rape to a much greater degree than any other charge.

So no, I don't believe that the government concocted the rape charges against him, nor paid or coerced women to make up phony allegations of sexual misconduct. That really doesn't seem to fit the kind of behavior that a government that wanted some sort of plausible yet still easily-faked bogus charge would do.
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#13231 - 12/07/10 08:53 AM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: tacit]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: tacit
So no, I don't believe that the government concocted the rape charges against him, nor paid or coerced women to make up phony allegations of sexual misconduct. That really doesn't seem to fit the kind of behavior that a government that wanted some sort of plausible yet still easily-faked bogus charge would do.

If that pasty-faced wimp of a geek managed to land a radical (and lovely) "women's libber" in the sack... then he's a better man than me.

Here's more info than anyone could possibly care about: feed://rixstep.com/assange.xml


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#13232 - 12/07/10 09:14 AM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: Hal Itosis]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
But, from your linked article...

Quote:
Many of these Swedish radical feminists are militant lesbians who use fabricated stories of sexual harassment in an attempt to 'transform' society.

So who knows... Maybe her idea of "transforming society" is "offing" Assange?

Not that it would be a bad transformation, mind you.
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#13234 - 12/07/10 11:47 AM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: tacit]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: tacit
So no, I don't believe that the government concocted the rape charges against him, nor paid or coerced women to make up phony allegations of sexual misconduct. That really doesn't seem to fit the kind of behavior that a government that wanted some sort of plausible yet still easily-faked bogus charge would do.

They didn't have to concoct the charges or coerce the women. It appears that these charges would likely never have flown anywhere else, and bruised egos may have been instrumental in the filing. As lawyer James D. Catlin (who has advised Assange in the UK) states in the Australian Herald Sun: You need a law degree to know whether you have (been) raped or not in Sweden.

What appeared to have happened is that Assange had consensual sex with two women on two separate occasions without using a condom. In Sweden it is considered rape if the woman doesn’t agree to have sex without a condom and is forced to in an otherwise consensual situation. In fact, there is no indication that Assange used force or violence, and in at least one case a condom appears to have been used, but it broke, which legally was considered identical to not using one.

While there may have been an argument between the women and Assange about the lack of an (intact) condom after the fact, neither one of them filed an immediate complaint about it, but only after several days. After an initial attempt to charge Assange with rape was stopped by a higher official, the more recent accusation appears to involve sex by surprise.

Either way, we may soon hear more about the dirty details, but it already seems clear that from a non-Swedish point of view the onus isn't unilaterally and exclusively on Assange...
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#13240 - 12/07/10 06:11 PM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: alternaut]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
I'm still stuck on the "why did they consent?" part. It's not as if there's a shortage of able and willing men in Sweden or anything, so maybe there was some non-sexual motive behind their activity. (a brush with fame... or something more profitable perhaps).

idunno, strikes me as odd... it all seems a little too pat somehow, as if by plan.

But perhaps Assange will leak a sampling of his most successful pickup lines. smirk

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#13267 - 12/09/10 03:25 PM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: alternaut]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: alternaut
Originally Posted By: tacit
So no, I don't believe that the government concocted the rape charges against him, nor paid or coerced women to make up phony allegations of sexual misconduct. That really doesn't seem to fit the kind of behavior that a government that wanted some sort of plausible yet still easily-faked bogus charge would do.

They didn't have to concoct the charges or coerce the women. It appears that these charges would likely never have flown anywhere else, and bruised egos may have been instrumental in the filing.


There seems to be a great deal of misinformation flying around about the exact nature of the charges filed against Assagne. I think that's inevitable; when a celebrity figure is charged with a crime, the natural impulse of supporters is to minimize the nature of the charges.

From what I've read, the notion that he is being charged with rape solely because he had sex without a condom is false. In point of fact, he's being charged because one woman alleges that he held her down and had sex with her after she said "no," and also failed to use a condom when she asked him to. The other woman charges him with non-consensual sex while she was sleeping (which, incidentally, is illegal in the US as well). Both charges do involve the lack of a use of a condom, but in neither case is that the whole of the charge, as many Web reports would have you believe.

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#13268 - 12/09/10 04:11 PM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: tacit]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
I completely agree with you that we're on the outside looking in, and I'm the first to admit that I am at best incompletely informed (although my understanding is similar to yours). That said, I have no particular interest in the outcome of Assange's case one way or the other beyond hoping that the proceedings will be conducted fairly.

So far, the charges made against Assange are more or less serious (the terminology used is still confusing, hence the hedging), but as yet unproven. In Sweden, like in the US, solid proof is required for any conviction to follow, but in cases like this such proof will be difficult to produce. We'll see.
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#13274 - 12/10/10 05:43 AM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: tacit]
dboh Offline


Registered: 08/04/09

From what I've read, the notion that he is being charged with rape solely because he had sex without a condom is false.


I heard a "conspiracy theory" from someone who also kept referring to Big Brother: The truth, according to him, was that both instances were consensual sex, that a condom had been used, but that in both cases the condom had broken, which is a crime in Sweden. Anti-Sweden, anti-woman, all in one charge!

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#13276 - 12/10/10 08:15 AM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: dboh]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Yeah... and they waited 4 months before embarking on this big worldwide manhunt. Perhaps after the recent leak the authorities said "oh... you mean that Julian Assange".

smirk

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#13311 - 12/13/10 03:44 PM Re: Wikileaks beleaguered [Re: alternaut]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: alternaut
I completely agree with you that we're on the outside looking in, and I'm the first to admit that I am at best incompletely informed (although my understanding is similar to yours). That said, I have no particular interest in the outcome of Assange's case one way or the other beyond hoping that the proceedings will be conducted fairly.


One of the biggest problems I see with the whole affair is the inability to separate Julian-Assange-as-Wikileaks-founder from Julian-Assange-as-accused-rapist. In my mind, these are two entiely separate things, unrelated to each other; the way I feel about Wikileaks is not the same as the way I feel about the charges.

I don't know if the charges are true or not. I do think they're plausible, but that isn't the same thing as true.

I do not believe that Wikileaks is evil, the way many people (and most politicians in the US) seem to. I do not think it's entirely good, either; I think that other Web sites, such as Cryptome, do the same thing with a lot less fanfare. Assange strikes me as being self-aggrandizing and more than a bit narcissistic, but on the other hand, it works--how many people have heard of Cryptome, even tough they've been doing the same thig as Wikileaks for years?

But as much as I separate Julian-Assange-as-Wikileaks-founder from Julian-Assange-as-accused-rapist, the two are likely to be inextricably entangled for better or for worse. He's been arrested in the UK because of the Swedish rape charges, but if he's extradited to Sweden, Sweden has already said they'd likely hand him over to the US to face conspiracy and espionage charges here. Without the rape charges, neither Sweden nor the UK would be particularly likely to detain him.

So regardless of whether they are trumped-up charges or he really is enough of a narcissist to have committed rape--the latter of which I find more likely, for reasons I've already outlined--he's likely to end up facing trial in the US on the Wikileaks thing because of the rape thing.
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