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With World Watching, Wikileaks Falls Into Disrepair 258

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
JDRucker writes "Supporters are concerned. Very concerned. Would-be whistle-blowers hoping to leak documents to Wikileaks face a potentially frustrating surprise. Wikileaks' submission process, which had been degraded for months, completely collapsed more than two weeks ago and remains offline, in a little-noted breakdown at the world's most prominent secret-spilling website."
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With World Watching, Wikileaks Falls Into Disrepair

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  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:10AM (#32758480) Homepage

    Wikileaks provides an extremely useful service, one which is only possible on the Internet, considering its widely accessible scale. Here's to hoping things get straightened out -_-;;

  • Absurd (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:13AM (#32758520)

    Manning got caught whistle blowing because he was tooting his own horn.

    If you leak shit, stfu about it. While I don't agree with Manning on leaking the cables, the video was a little more understandable. I have also lost a lot of respect for Wired and their coverage of this. They are far too involved and it looks like a serious conflict of interest.

  • by Michael Kristopeit (1751814) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:15AM (#32758560)
    the service isn't useful if it doesn't work
  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:17AM (#32758582)

    Wikileaks lost the majority of their credibility in January when they decided to stop actually being a decent site and instead beg for donations for a few months.

    Right, anyone that won't work for free is not to be trusted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:18AM (#32758586)

    Nice job quoting an article with more spin than a v8 unicycle.

    For those who actually follow these things thou, it's important to note that Kevin Poulsen (of Wired) is the same Journalist (and I use the term loosely) posting the edited chat excerpts from conversations between whistleblower Bradley Manning and wannabe hacker/cum police informant Adrian Lamo.
    So much for an actual story.. moreso just Wired trying any attempt it can to bring down Wikileaks.

    (Protip: Reading the comments on the wired story alone give you most of the information publicly available on the Poulsen/Lamo lovefest)

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:18AM (#32758604)

    Wikileaks lost the majority of their credibility in January when they decided to stop actually being a decent site and instead beg for donations for a few months.

    You're right. They should have just shut down in January instead of waiting until now to run out of money. Do you see the problem with your logic here?

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnonGCB (1398517) <7spams AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:19AM (#32758628)
    Yes, the webmasters should have to pay for the site out of their own pocket. Seriously? It's like PBS. Everyone loves them until they start asking for money so they can actually RUN.
  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:22AM (#32758682) Journal

    Freedom is not free. I don't see any problem with wikileaks or wikipedia or any other site asking for donations to pay the bills
    .

  • by Biggseye (1520195) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:27AM (#32758746)
    Although Leaking in some sense is an good thing when you are talking about dealing with the extremist of the world, leaking can also be, and more often is, done for less honorable reasons. 30 years ago the politicos and the media, especially the Main stream media were MORE trustworthy. Now I question the reason why anything is leaked. politicos, media types, governmental employees, people with an axe to grind, liars, cheats, thieves, criminals defense lawyers, and people that just do not like some policy use "leaks" as a way of getting information, often un-vetted, or purposely false and vicious. out in the public eye. Even the person(s) that ran wikileaks is not above doing this if it were to meet their personal agenda.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:28AM (#32758766) Journal

    Yeah nothing at all. Well except for that video of US soldiers killing innocent journalists and children (and then laughing about it). And revealing ACTA in its early carnation. And other information that the People deserve to know. But yeah other than that, it's worthless than an NES.

    I found this bit interesting. I wonder if the owner has been pressured to not renew the license? Or maybe he's just lazy. (shrug). "the site failed to renew its SSL certificate, a basic web protection that costs less than $30 a year and takes only hours to set up..... Wikileaks' head Julian Assange declined to comment." - What's he hiding?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:28AM (#32758776)

    So wikileaks response is an outright attack on the reporter of the article, without even the slightest attempt to dispute a single fact in it? For a site like Wikileaks, this type of behavior is beyond unacceptable.

  • by thijsh (910751) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:29AM (#32758780) Journal
    When the video of the US air-strike spread across the globe I started the waiting game to see what kind of shit would be thrown at Wikileaks... It was obvious that this could not be allowed to continue, since they were doing exactly what they should: finding and publishing the truth, and I have to say better than most journalists.

    I guess other journalists don't take kindly to people doing their jobs better... WIRED: "They took our jobs!'
  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:30AM (#32758806)

    If your goal is to /really/ spread around leaked documents for the benefit of mankind, you will find a way to do it regardless. Complaining that people aren't giving you enough money and taking down a site is simply babyish. Yes, you aren't going to become a millionaire* by doing it, but if you are /really/ doing it for the benefit of mankind, you will do it for free and find ways to make it work.

    *Assuming you don't get a list of future lottery numbers or something

    Except that it really does cost money to run a server, pay for bandwidth, pay for lawyers, etc.

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ctsupafly (1731348) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:39AM (#32758938)
    Well, when you run out of money to pay bills, there really isn't a whole lot else to do. I'm sure the bandwidth provider doesn't give a flying fuck about the good of humanity until it's been paid "enough" money to keep the site up.
  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:41AM (#32758972)

    PB only upsets entertainers.

    WL upsets people with real power. People who can make you disappear. People who are willing to do really bad things (TM) to you.

    They could have failed to get the SSL or someone could have made them fail to get the SSL.

    I don't care if they ask for money. It's an easy way for those of us without free servers and admin time to help out (and yup I've donated).

  • by FrankSchwab (675585) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:47AM (#32759072) Journal

    Which doesn't change the facts of the Wired article at all...either submission forms work, or they don't. It's an easy question.

    Attacking the source of a factual article is a bit...unseemly.

    /frank

  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:48AM (#32759084)

    That would depend on your definition of useful and which side of the leak you are on... ;)

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:50AM (#32759114) Journal

    Uh... Not everyone. I think PBS is a waste of money. It was originally sold to the congress as an alternative to the 3 TV networks. There are now hundreds of alternatives so the tax dollars still being paid to PBS are a legacy to a problem which was fixed long ago.

    No, because we need a non-commercial voice on the public airwaves. We've essentially given away our public bandwidth to big corporations. We should maintain at least one commerce-free public station. Corporate interests are not our interests.

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by virtualXTC (609488) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:55AM (#32759200) Homepage
    Troll much?
    The awards list [pbs.org] alone should be enough to counter your argument that there is a comparable alternative.

    Tax dollars account for less than %1 of the operating costs of PBS.
    There are NO commercial alternatives for truly important investigative reporting such as FRONTLINE, no commercial childens programming comparable to Sesame Street, no commercial news broadcasts that are willing to do more than a sound bite on any topic other than the PBS World Report.
  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by richardellisjr (584919) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:55AM (#32759204)
    The problem with torrents is that anyone can see the IPs getting the files, and in some cases it may be as important to protect the source as it is to protect those wanting information. If you can imagine an oppressive regime trying to stop the spread of some information would likely try to find the individuals in possession of the information... which would be anyone that connected to the torrent.
  • by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:10PM (#32759456)
    I don't really have a problem with leaking the video. What I do have a problem with is their faulty analysis that they attached to it, and the setting up of a flame war by calling the site collateral murder. That website was commentary, not news. This is the issue I have with the mainstream media too. Tell what happend, not your analysis of what happened - if people are too stupid to be able to understand it blame them, their parents and the crappy school system. What I really want are just the facts with no ideological filter. Something that unfortunately is extremely rare, and all but impossible today. Part of impartial reporting is keeping you moral outrage / preaching, etc to yourself, even if most people agree with you.
  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster...man@@@gmail...com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:11PM (#32759470)

    If I were running a company dealing exclusively in secrets, I wouldn't trust anyone who came forward to donate their time toward handling said information to not be a mole.

    Regardless, no mater how much time gets donated, they would still need at least some capital.

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:20PM (#32759624)
    While I think there is a lot of crap on PBS there is a lot of good stuff to like "Nova", and I really like "This Old House" and "New Yankee Workshop". Also, if you've been paying attention there is a lot of advertising on PBS, it comes in big chunks between the shows in the form of sponsorships. I think that PBS only gets 5 or 10 percent of it's money directly from taxes, but they also get a lot of tax breaks too.
  • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:21PM (#32759656) Homepage Journal

    When the video of the US air-strike spread across the globe [...] they were doing exactly what they should: finding and publishing the truth,

    So editing and editorializing the promoted version of the video to make very strong untrue implications (the group had no weapons, the air-strike people knew that was they said looked like a RPG was actually a tripod, etc) is "doing exactly what they should"?

    Wikileaks is primarily an anti-establishment propaganda group, that has chosen to operate by means of (sometimes misrepresented) leaked information. The public benefit of the leaks is only incidental to their purpose. This can be seen by their very public actions.

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:22PM (#32759664)

    The awards list [pbs.org] alone should be enough to counter your argument that there is a comparable alternative.

    Industry mutual masturbation is not a counter argument, but the rest of your point stands.

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:23PM (#32759676) Homepage Journal

    The citizens will NOT revolt when the message is being stifled. The message IS being stifled, have you not been paying attention for the last several... lifetimes?

    The citizens MIGHT revolt if you threatened to take away their iPhones or cancel their favorite TV show.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:33PM (#32759850)

    I get the distinct impression that "media used to be more trustworthy / less vicious" is just another of those false nostalgia things, along the same lines as every generation claiming children are spoiled. The easiest way to see this would be to look at presidential campaign coverage since, well, everyone after Washington. Propaganda has been common since at least as far back as the invention of the movable type press.

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mdarksbane (587589) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:38PM (#32759934)

    I think people don't protest because the only people with a legitimate complaint here are the urban kids getting screwed by the drug war. Pretty much anywhere else... what are you complaining about? There are plenty of details to bitch about, to go support a candidate about, to write letters to the editor. But society is still working. We can still get up, do mostly what we want, go home to our families.

    It doesn't effect people. For all that we're invading two different countries right now, the monthly casualties are less than the people who die in car accidents in a single state in the same time.

    The scale of things just isn't bad enough to make anyone get out the pitchforks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:50PM (#32760180)

    Can you cite a good reason why a murderous establishment with ties to drug running, toppling democratically elected governments, assassination, torture, unlawful imprisonment, human trafficking, and many other horrible things SHOULDN'T have a fervent anti-establishment organization looking to expose its wrong doing?

    You're acting like the establishment is some poor, maligned soul who is just misunderstood. Yeah, they're misunderstood all right. The majority of folks actually believe the establishment is there to help and look out for them, not use them as a disposable resource for the enrichment and centralization of their own power.

  • by Cytotoxic (245301) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:53PM (#32760254)

    Tell what happend, not your analysis of what happened -

    But, but.... how are we to know what to think!?

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Atario (673917) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:02PM (#32760454) Homepage

    This is why it makes me sad to see PBS sliding into being almost just-another-commercial-outlet. Remember when underwriting acknowledgments at the top of the show were a textual/voiceover mention of the company, and not a whole ad-like video segment? And when no PBS station would be caught dead airing show-length commercials and pretending they're shows [salon.com]?

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ahankinson (1249646) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:23PM (#32760822)

    Ha! If anything, PBS is more necessary now than it was before. With all of the big corporate entities buying and merging, your radio, newspaper and television media is increasingly controlled by fewer and fewer people. Or are you one of those people that think that corporations are more benevolent and altruistic than your government? At least in government there's always the threat that a politician will lose his or her job if they displease the people. With a corporate entity, they don't have to appease anyone as long as they make money.

    Taxpayer-funded national broadcasters, like ABC (Australia), BBC or CBC can be critical of the government in a way that corporate broadcasters cannot be critical of their parent company.

  • Hm? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dotKuro (1762182) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:28PM (#32760924)
    I don't see the problem with Wkileaks, frankly. All sites have downtime; people simply mock the famous ones when they are down. I hardly think that downtime is "falling into disrepair".
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:47PM (#32761344) Journal

    Wikileaks IS an anti-establishment propaganda group. As such they provide a very important counterbalance to all the pro-establishment propaganda we are saturated with on a daily basis. Why is it that no one complains when the US government deliberately omits information (or flat out lies) to win public opinion?

  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:53PM (#32761472) Journal
    The article contains one correct fact: The submission form is down. Apart from that, it's basically a bunch speculation based on basically nothing.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:59PM (#32761596) Journal

    I can think of some doofuses who got a whole bunch of soldiers killed. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and yes Barack Obama.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:04PM (#32761686)

    Ya I think people need to separate "factual" and "true". It is perfectly possible to have something where the entire content is composed of facts, there are no lies or made up information, and yet have it not be true. The reason is that you can selectively choose what facts you present, what ones you ignore, and use that to editorialize something that is different than the whole picture. So while their information may be factual, the overall picture is not true.

    I saw someone on /. who talked about how Bill Orielly does that. He doesn't tend to lie, to make up things outright. Rather, he tends to have a conclusion that he likes and he then works to find facts to fit it. He picks and chooses what he presents, showing only facts in support, nothing that would refute it. As such it isn't as though he's just making shit up, just that he's misrepresenting the truth of the situation.

    Well, the same shit can easily be true here, especially in a war zone. Different rules apply in war. That isn't just a pithy saying, it is literally true at a national and international level. There are different laws covering conduct in combat from civilian peacetime conduct.

    So while the helicopter pilots may well have been callous and uncaring, that doesn't mean their actions were illegal. To judge that, you need to see the situation in full, and also to have a good understanding of the rules of engagement in that situation. As with anything liek that, the question isn't what you feel, the question is a matter of law.

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:11PM (#32761796)

    The most likely cause for a revolution at this time is termination of unemployment benefits for the 10% of the workforce which can't find a job.

    Considering the trillions they are throwing away elsewhere, that $100 to $140 billion is pennies on the dollar vs sending the national guard and paying police overtime to maintain order.

    There are a lot of graduations below outright revolt. Increase in crime (with resulting increases in policing costs and incarceration costs ($30k a year to house a robber vs $12k to $18k unemployment benefits), protests (increased police costs), riots (increased police and national guard and property damage), vandalism, petty theft, drug abuse, etc.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:15PM (#32761878)
    I saw no guns and no rocket launcher.

    Then you weren't looking. Even the "editors" at Wikileaks reported having a bit internal fight over how to deal with the fact that they saw an obvious RPG launcher in the video. Regardless, have you bothered to read up on the reports from the ground (by third parties) in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the insurgents? You know, where the RPG ammo the guys were carrying was found scattered around (even under the body of one of the reporters)? At least be a little intellectually honest, here.
  • by abulafia (7826) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:30PM (#32762160)

    Yes, they produced an edited video that demonstrated a point of view. Quelle horreur! That's completely unlike the Washington Post, the IHT, the Economist, the NYT... Ahem.

    In fact, what is completely unlike them, Wikileaks published the unedited video at the same time. Unlike establishment journalism [techdirt.com], Wikileaks offered source material from which you can form your own opinions.

    Given the choice between an organization that offers an opinion and also the unedited information from which they formed that opinion, and one that only offers the opinion while withholding the unedited information, which one do you want to call a "propaganda group"?

  • Re:Wikileaks.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unitron (5733) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:00PM (#32763748) Homepage Journal

    Name one of those alternatives where I can get what I get from PBS.

  • by unitron (5733) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @04:18PM (#32764062) Homepage Journal

    Garbage collectors, the real ones, the guys who come around on the truck into which they empty your garbage cans, and do it in whatever the weather is, as long as the truck can get through, are far more important than any of the other categories indicated.

  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @05:52PM (#32765700)

    This is the issue I have with the mainstream media too. Tell what happend, not your analysis of what happened.

    The problem with just reporting what happens is that it will also usually involve reporting what the government says. So in effect you already get an analysis/opinion. e.g. "The President said we need to stay the course and that pulling out of Afghanistan would encourage the terrorists.". If you look at the BBC news website, which prides itself on "balance", you will see this kind of reporting all the time. They report the event, e.g. an attack on a NATO base in Afghanistan and then some statements by officials. So you get some facts and the opinion of those in power. You can't get much more one-sided than that, yet the BBC is under the illusion that this is balanced reporting.

  • by the_bard17 (626642) <theluckyone17@gmail.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @07:56PM (#32767288)

    I've said it before, I'm gonna say it now, and I'll probably say it again.

    I can defend the first "firing run" of that attack helicopter. The video quality isn't great, but there may or may not be weapons carried by the group. Something that may be a shoulder mounted RPG or may be a large shoulder mounted camera/camcorder is being held up. Considering the circumstances, I can see where the pilot would be concerned about a possible ambush, and I'm ok with his decision.

    The second "firing run", where the van is fired upon? Yeah, I hope there's a God to weigh that pilot. He calls out to the wounded journalist, telling him that all he has to do is pick up a weapon. If the wounded guy has a weapon, the pilot can fire again and kill him (put him out of misery, I suppose... or provide another reason for a trigger happy pilot to fire again). Then watching the van arrive... its occupants clearly assisted the unarmed man, and the pilot declaring to his superiors that the van occupants are "clearing bodies and collecting weapons"... that's a clear lie. The pilot's already noted the man is unarmed, and he is obviously wounded (and hence, alive). No collection of bodies, no collection of weapons.

    He lies to his superiors, and gets approval to fire again, wasting the van and its occupants. That's what pisses me off. Not the first firing, but the second. The first is war. It sucks, it's bad, but it's war. The second? That's murder. A line was crossed.

    I hope that pilot spends the rest of his nights dreaming about the occupants of that van went through.

    I'm pissed that our military covered it up. I'd be a lot happier if our government stood up and said "We're sorry. This happened. This is why it happened. This is where we made our mistake. This is what we're doing to make sure things like that never happen again."

    Instead, I get to hear about it through Wikileaks, get to hear about *MY* government hiding things from *ME* that shouldn't be hidden, under the guise of national security. I'm sorry, but when a mistake is made, *MY* government should man up, admit it, and fix it. It should not sweep it under the rug to be hidden away, pretending that it's going to seriously impact the safety of the nation.

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