Rob Beschizza at 11:44 pm Wed, Dec 8, 2010
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The Snowden Principle
Errr, that last is presumably legal (if less than noble) because it very clearly spells out that it’s a financial transaction. It’s not actually the company’s responsibility to ensure that all players can read, that’s a parental duty.
As for wikileaks, consider that Napster was found guilty for merely providing a service by which copyrighted material might by illegally shared. I tend to think a reasonably strong case will, in the end, be made a against wikileaks, a site whos entire purpose is to spread around illegally shared materials.
Then there’s the doctrine where shouting ‘fire’ in the crowded theater is not protected speech, as your rights cease to be protected when they endanger others. A reasonable case can be made that much of the published data endangers lives.
Similarly, it is illegal to knowingly purchase/sell stolen goods. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that extended to information. And, of course, there are very serious reasons to doubt that wikileaks would qualify as a ‘journalist’, or the ‘press’, given that it doesn’t write stories, analyze data, or otherwise do much except present raw information. Or it might well be considered treason – that the battle is done with data doesn’t make it less a declaration of war, really.
Even the EFF admits that, though weak, there may be a case there. It’s a bit absurd to expect the government not to protect itself here. I mean, failing all else, wikileaks basically decided to publish a bunch of private emails this time around. That rather violates the ambassadors’ rights to privacy, if nothing else.
The ancient opurpose of the criminal law: to prevent sharing…or, some sharing….
Information is not a physical commodity: and these materials were prepared by the US Government.
Copyright? I don’t think so.
Guardian is not journalism?
Treason? As in ‘death by hanging”? For a foreign national?
Your entire comment is bogus: information NEVER “belongs” to anyone.
To grant it such a status “in Law” is the shortest and most direct route to tyranny, and to rule by terror.
I’ll paraphrase your true argument as I see it:
Watch what you say, and to whom you say it! First ask yourself: Does that info belong to you? Because if you cannot PROVE that it does, you are going to jail…or worse (hint hint)….so better pay me now.
Children cannot hold property: nor shall a Court enforce any contract made by a Child….
“…that the battle is done with data doesn’t make it less a declaration of war, really.”
Complete and utter bullshit.
If I was to come into possession of classified documents from the Chinese government, say, and make those publicly available, what law would I be breaking? I am not a Chinese citizen, and am not subject to Chinese law.
The arrogance of the United States, my own country and one that I fight regularly, is staggering.
“…and yet you would imprison people and execute people for [sharing information] – for the first time in US history.
People beyond the borders of your own Country, no less.”
The information our government producdes is owned by the public, and the government must demonstrate that negative consequences would follow from not keeping it secret. This is the law, regardless of the fact that it’s turned on it’s head and our government requires people who obtain this information to demonstrate that they should have it (and courts largely accede in this.)
Sharing information that the American government keeps secret, wrongfully or rightly, is not an act of war or an act of treason. In many cases it is our patriotic duty to inform the public of wrongdoing committed by our government. And so far no one has demonstrated how anyone might be harmed by any of this information being released, so no that argument can’t “reasonably” be made because it isn’t being made at all; people just keep shouting that this information is harmful, without any convincing examples (or examples at all, really.)
One day when people are interested in their liberty and the preservation of democracy, we will be more interested in discussing what’s in these cables, and less in providing excuses and justifications for state power and government mendacity.
The internet also seems interested in making sure Obama keeps his word as well
Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
What Obama meant to say was: “GO BACK TO SLEEP YOU DIPSHITS”
Every name that is associated with those hosts and servers will get put on the no-fly list and circulated to Interpol.
Anin #9: The names will go onto a secret list, without any chance mush less right of review or of appeal.
Punishment without crime?
Very fair, very just!
Hillary’s photo is precious… and utterly guffaw-inducing esp. considering her exasperated comments regarding how the leaks endanger lives of the troops, blibbity blabbity blooooo….
Information by definition must be capable of being shared: indeed, all information may be shared without limit as to the number who may share therein, and in fact today information may be so shared essentially without substantial cost: and yet you would imprison people and execute people for so doing – for the first time in US history.
People beyond the borders of your own Country, no less.
We musn’t break the rules now should we. That’s all that’s really happened here. They broke some unwritten rules, and arbitrary ones at that. Fuck the government. The only reason they require so much secrecy is because they are up to no good. Evil requires deception in order to operate.
In an age of warrantless wiretaps, it’s only fair that the governments dirty laundry be laid out for all to see.
to quote an old adage of domestic spying advocates – if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.
If wikileaks only leaked things that were proof of the US involvement in crimes as opposed to a massive amount of gossip, then I would have considered them whistleblowers.
Freedom is good.
Until it doesn’t serves our intrests anymore…
Well Xanth, I look at it this way. The cable releases have already hurt the US diplomatically. That’s observable fact. It might not be a LOT, but the pain is there. And if those cables ARE collectively owned by the public, I think it’s still a bit absurd to think that that gives the whole world free reign to do as it pleases with them. The correlation would be that a coke stock holder (no matter how small) could legally give the coke formula to pepsi, which is illegal – corporate espionage. Besides, traditionally the government is allowed to defend whether harm will come of info release in court BEFORE it happens. The sane assumption has to be that the government is telling the truth until a judge decides otherwise. Else, there’s no point at all.
Secondly, consider. If I get a guy to, say, raid fort knox, and then distribute the gold, am I not a criminal? The word you might be thinking is ‘fence’. That’s basically what wikileaks is – an information fence. And, frankly, in this day and age, information is every bit as material as gold bricks, and more valuable in a lot of cases too.
Remember the iphone 4 case a while back? Remember how it’s illegal to knowingly buy or sell stolen goods? Giving them away counts too. And it’s a bit beyond belief that wikileaks didn’t know that the cables were stolen goods, which is the typical defense there.
Those so very in support of this behavior by wikileaks should remember that what’s been done is really not that different from someone posting all of your mail, your email, your medical files, and videos of stuff you did in 3rd grade, to a website. That wouldn’t be legal either, if only due to privacy violation statutes.
“…information is every bit as material as gold bricks”
“…due to privacy violation statutes.” ?
Which specific ones are you referring to?
Is that in the same “law” that makes information “the same” as physical property?
I notice that wikileaks is not seeking to sell the actual physical papers or USB flash drives themselves, but merely repeats what it may have read therein whilst it was allowed to inspect them, by someone who no doubt violated some obligation the in turn had not to show the papers, but who nevertheless otherwise had legal access to the documents, or claimed to…but how would Wikileaks have known that? or even care?
Why would Wikileks be bound by whatever obligations the leaker had previously agreed to with respect to the information with some other entity?
And were Coke Co. stupid enough to let a shareholder get its secret formula, they would not then seek to have Pepsi thrown in jail for obtaining it…trade secrets only have whatever protection the Corps can give it by operation or contract: the average shareholder need not keep any secrets she may come across about Coke from anybody, absent some prior contract with the Coke Corp.
And AFAIK Pepsi would be under no liability whatsoever to Coke if they obtained such info from a third party, with whom they had had no prior contacts.
If you cannot keep your secrets, do not expect the Law to keep them, to bring them back, for you.
The cable releases have already hurt the US diplomatically. That’s observable fact. It might not be a LOT, but the pain is there.
It is not Wikileaks’s responsibility to make sure that US diplomats’ lives are comfortable and stress-free.
If I get a guy to, say, raid fort knox, and then distribute the gold, am I not a criminal?
The US hasn’t lost the cables – they’re all still there. Your analogy would apply if Bradley Manning, after having (allegedly) downloaded the cables, deleted the originals.
A better analogy would be Watergate, or the Pentagon papers.
Those so very in support of this behavior by wikileaks should remember that what’s been done is really not that different from someone posting all of your mail, your email, your medical files, and videos of stuff you did in 3rd grade, to a website.
The actions of the US government, whose stated goal is to serve the US public, whose reach and power are immeasurable, and who belongs to the people, are of higher interest and relevance to the people than somebody’s private mail. For those reasons, it’s a lot harder to argue for the government’s privacy than it is for yours and mine.
Here ya go: looks like you’re not on strong ground:
If this is a cyberwar, I don’t think the US govrnment is winning. (The people of United States probably are though.)
I guess this is the problem with posting comments on a website.
Someone declares WL illegal.
I’d really like to know what exact law they have broken. Actually, kattw, if you know, I believe the State Dept would like to know as well. Since you now know more than them, or more than other lawyers who have declared WL have done nothing illegal, then I think you could make some cool public service money.
But, alas, I don’t get no satisfaction.
This curve looks dangerously exponential – how long till the whole internet is wikileaks mirrors?
also – Coca-cola formula has been public knowledge since the ’70′s.
Hey I did not know that.
Did the formula become public knowledge “illegally”?
Or are those circumstances themselves “illegal knowledge”?
Today’s random sampling seems to be functioning better, yesterday many didn’t respond or had not be updated with the last several days worth of updates. Good sign that they’ve worked out some details.
Will the US make an example of one of the US hosted mirrors?
You know, to be absolutely fair, wikileaks did something illegal. Very illegal. Now, whether it was right or wrong is another matter entirely, but it’s founded upon the principle of doing illegal things, and hiding where nobody can touch it.
The US response hasn’t actually been that absurd. Wikileaks did something so illegal (publish highly classified documents, top secret stuff, etc.) that the government cares enough to pursue it.
It’s kind of like personal freedom. The government supports personal freedom, yet doesn’t support people going out on killing sprees. Well, I really don’t see any evidence that the government doesn’t support a free and open internet here. That doesn’t mean it is going to, or that it should, stand by while illegal actions are taken utilizing the internet. It’s just like the DDOS attacks. They may make people feel good, but they’re illegal. It’s not about free speech, it’s about legal and illegal actions.
Wikileaks did something illegal. Maybe something necessary, or good, but still something illegal. It’s currently paying the price. The US may be losing right now, but I tend to suspect that it’ll win in the end. There are a lot of people lining themselves up for jailtime right now, and poking the government in the eye while they do it.
No, to be fair, Wikileaks did NOTHING ILLEGAL.
To be fairer, Wikileaks did NOTHING ILLEGAL EVEN IF YOU THINK THEY DID BASED ON SOME NOTION THAT YOU GET FROM A TALKING HEAD ON THE TV OR FROM SOME INTERNAL NOTION THAT WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE DONE THAT ACTION IS THEREFORE ILLEGAL.
To be fairer still, Wikileaks HAS DONE NOTHING ILLEGAL AND HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED WITH ANYTHING IN ANY COURT OF LAW IN THE U.S.
To be even more better fairer, even if the WIkileaks organization were to be indicted for violating U.S. law, the organization would be entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Look, pro-lifers don’t like it when women get abortions…but that doesn’t mean women who get abortions have broken the law. Same here. We get it that a bunch of sanctimonious, awful, fence sitting Americans want to come off as having the “high ground” by at once valuing the potential good of Wikileaks while still “acknowledging” that they broke the law — yes, we understand that is your little game to try and build up the perceived honesty of your opinion. It’s simply WRONG. It’s a rhetorical device, and not a particularly good one at that. I absolutely hate it when people phrase their opinions so that it’s really clear they “see both sides of things”. It’s a silly waste of time — Unless you can cite to a law that Wikileaks broke, then shut the fuck up about it breaking the law.
No. YOU did something illegal. Veeeeeeery illegal! So there!
Wait …. someone’s just telling me that merely saying something is illegal doesn’t make it so. Something to do with .. .wait .. .what? … “courts and shit”.
So … instead … you smell! Nuuh!
wikileaks is not doing anything illegal. the person who leaks the information to wikileaks may be breaking the law but not wikileaks. if it was then the new york times would have been in violation of american law for publishing the pentagon papers. also, since wikileaks is not in the united states or owned by an american citizen it is not subject to american law.
Wikileaks has done nothing whatsoever illegal. You’re full of shit.
Also, corporations and organizations are never subject to criminal penalties in the USA.
And secret Government-approved or -orchestrated DDoS attacks on Wikileaks are a-ok, huh?
“..utilizing the internet for illegal things…”
I see that this is legal, though:
You know, to be absolutely fair, wikileaks did something illegal. Very illegal.
Are you sure about that? What law did the people of WikiLeaks violate?
It may be unlawful for someone who knows the information in the cables share it with those who are not authorized to learn it, and it may be unlawful for someone in the United States to share the information with someone who is not authorized to learn it, and it may be unlawful for an American to share the information with someone who is not authorized to learn it. But I’ve yet to read anything suggesting that any of those are the case here.
Is it unlawful for someone outside the United States to share information the United States Government wants kept secret? I don’t think so.
Actually, it isn’t illegal. And if it were, wouldn’t the NYT and UK Guardian be just as guilty for publishing the exact same stuff? What is the difference between this and the Pentagon Papers?
Here’s my list of mirrors (official an unofficial)
Internet freedom doesn’t apply to us?
Princess Leia: The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.
@ anon #2-
Cute comment but this ain’t a dress rehearsal or a movie or a video game.
am i the only one who gets a totalitarian feeling from the wikileaks people?
I’m not sure that means what you think it means.
Governments are totalitarian.
Not loose organizations…
I’m just a regular dummie with little knowledge of these things, but wikileaks seems like a pretty “tight” organization rather than a loose one. they also seem to know what is best for me.
Nobody knows what best for you but you – and don’t let anybody tell you different, or I KILL YOU!
OOPs…excise “…or , I KILL YOU!” from the above comment.
Slip of the keyboard.
[cue Nelson laugh] HA-ha!
beat me to it but I have to do it anyway – Ha-Ha!
America, the land where the rules only apply to everyone else… including her non-special citizens.
It appears that people of the intertubes fully support Hilary’s statement and are doing everything they can to help her in keeping her promise.
i wonder how long it will take them to figure out they’ve already lost?
the only way they can kill this one is to completely kill free speech, tiananmen square style. at which point, this war on “terror” and “our way of life” will be pointless.
“It has no central location. It’s everywhere, it’s in the internet, and connections, every computer on the planet.”
Lousy friggin WikiSkynet…
Smell it, Hillary.