Recent Forum Posts
From categories:
page »

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said “Without Freedom of thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of speech”, and I also believe that Julian Assange express what he felt needed to be publicly known and available for the mass through the Wikileaks site.
Failed to get internet users attention by publishing restricted data on his website, he went to the Guardian newspapaer to jump start an interest in what he is publishing, and paid off. at the beginning it wasn't the public who caught attention of what Assange was puplishing, it was the activists who most of them happened to be hackers. DATA, mainly internet-hacked data started flowing at the Assange's mailbox and website. From documents reveling how the Kenyan former president steeling massive amounts from the country, to who was responsible for the leakage of toxics in the African rivers to documents incriminating banks in Iceland. Implications were mainly the elimination of access to the website.
But it was till the leakage of large amounts of documents (the largest in Wikileaks ever) that brought an outstanding public attention. in the documents published there were videos, pictures, and secret documents about the United States military action in Iraq and Cuba (Guantanamo Bay detention camp GBDC), videos shown US military helicopters intently shooting at armless civilians in different sites just for fun according to Assange, the officers were actually laughing after the shooting. different documents showed and reveled how prisoners in GBDC were inhumanly treated and Tortured, one of them was 15 years old.
So without mentioning specific names that could endanger its holders, does wikileaks exercies it's freedom of expression? or does it endanger the public security by reveling these documents?
the answer is a simple question, will the military have done these inhuman crimes (yet believed to be for the greater good) if it new that it was going to be published to the mass?

Wikileaks' response by Kareem MoussaKareem Moussa, 02 May 2011 20:46

Wikileaks. I have heard and read this word so many times in the last few years. To be completely honest, media made such a fuss about it… So much so that they made it seem something so complicated, I thought I could never catch up with it. It’s trying to solve trigonometry problems without knowing basic algebra, or trying to read a detective story or starting to watch a thriller half way through… It is not impossible to try keeping up with it, but some important information and crucial details are missing and the story is just not as enjoyable anymore. Am I making any sense? Anyways, this whole Wikileaks thing seemed in full swing and there was so much going on as related to it… I was obviously trying to follow, but without fully understanding what it was. The documentary helped filling in the blanks I had about this whole story… It retraced the most important steps, achievements, and mechanisms of Wikileaks…
So, this is the point where I should write my impression to what has been said in this 50-minute-documentary, right? I’ve been trying to beat around the bush, but now it’s time… Thing is, I don’t really know what to say. As the very honest person I am, a person who hates lies, half-truths and considers omissions just as bad as actual tall stories, I would say that what Wikileaks has done is the best thing that could happen to the public. Knowing everything that is going on in the world should be a good thing. Well, that should normally be media’s responsibility and I think it is disturbing to discover that Wikileaks alone disclosed more information to the world than all the other media outlets put together… It is deceiving for the public and it actually shows how media fail at doing their job. However, I found myself wondering if really the world needs to know absolutely everything, if it is really relevant for every single person in the world, or at least those who actually have access to the news. I believe that some horror and reasons for grief could actually be concealed from the general public, or at least filtered by media experts… I am obviously not talking about myself in the first person, I believe I am educated enough to understand and interpret what is shown in the different media footages and leaks. However, some others might get worried needlessly. I’m thinking, for instance, about my grandmother who watches about six news shows per day and then somehow pours her concerns on my family members. She is always worried and jumps every time she hears an ambulance’s siren, and I wonder if this is really necessary. I don’t know… As I write this I find myself disagreeing with this last thought because I believe in the full disclosure of the truth, but I also kind of see the point of saving the world a little violent images…

This documentary really gives me hope for a future where governments and corporations could be much less corrupt. Julian Assange's vision of building a mass-wide movement to publicize classified information is key to proper democracy. I don't blame governments for wanting bring down terrorists before they even tried to commit terror attacks, I don't think anyone does, but the measures they've taken tell all just how far they've come at minimizing it. 95% of the people I know today have smart phones, either blackberries, iPhones, or Androids, and what they all have in common is tracking ability. Just the other day, I was thinking about all the technologies that have emerged over the last decade or so, and I was thinking just how possible it all would fit together. Since the year 2000, smart phones became immensely popular, Google maps/earth was created, Facebook and Social networking sites skyrocket, and now the cloud is slowly making its way into our lives. Think about it, if anyone even tried to start plot of attacks they probably wouldn't go so far before being caught in the future. But just as much as the government might have the right to use these technologies in catching culprits, I think it's only fair for the public to know if immoral acts go on behind the curtain of the government. Corrupt people exist everywhere, and unfortunately they will continue returning to the scene, but only when we have an open, well-crafted, online source to expose them will they think twice about there actions. It might not change them, but at least it should minimize corruption. Nevertheless, governments still need to have a level privacy that would help protect their nation's security, and I think for Wikileaks, since Assange and his network of hackers around the world are not immune to arrest and conviction by those very people who might be trying to cover up something, they should be very careful with the information they do publish. Everything would have to be properly checked again and again in order to only expose the culprit, no one else.

My jaw dropped when I heard Wikileaks oppositions accusing them of being terrorists! I was shocked at the way the tables were turned; Wikileaks’ purpose was to expose the terrorist to the world and the result is, Wikileaks is accused of terrorism. I could not help but laugh sadly at the irony. How can someone buy that totally irrational suggestion? Saying that the people who were bluntly fighting terrorism were themselves terrorists?!! I was reading a BBC article recently about Bradely Manning; the man who helped in exposing about 400,000 confidential US Military reports. According to that article; the UN was not allowed unsupervised prison visits with Manning and there was uncertainty about whether he was treated decently in his imprisonment or not. While reading the article, I spotted irony yet again. What Manning was trying to save people from could actually be exercised on him. He was trying to expose crimes committed by the US among which was the inhuman treatment of prisoners. Eventually, he found himself one of the victims he was trying to protect. Sadly, it makes me wonder whether he was right when he thought that what he was doing was “young, naïve and stupid?”

I was gob smacked to hear that wikileaks has released more classified documents than the rest of the worlds media combined. Assange is right to say that the media is doing such a bad job. It’s a shame.
A saint or a rapist? Though always a skeptic, I can’t help but think it would be too much of a coincidence for him to be charged with rape allegations so suddenly after the massive Iraq war logs leak. This same idea was mentioned several times in the comments section below the video by several different viewers.
And for some reason I felt alot better when I heard him say that the real reason they publish files on wiki leaks is in order to provide justice. There needs to be another force that monitors those in power and im happy wiki-leaks is doing that.
I loved the line “ is for those people who wish to blow the whistle on abuse of power”
It was also interesting to hear how the senders of information hide traces of themselves before publishing the information on wikileaks. Another thing that struck me was when it was mentioned that the majority of the readers don’t bother checking who sent the information. For some reason I don’t find that a positive point. Tomorrow if decides to publish something false it is the general public that will be fooled. Wikileaks may also abuse power in the future, just a thought ;)
Seeing the basement in Sweden was very interesting and I loved the line “ticking information bomb” and “hopefully this bomb can stop conventional weapons”. True, true, all true.
The way Assange talked about the Guantanamo bay manual was inspiring. He seemed to be extremely determined in what he wanted to do. Such talk truly makes me feel really proud of my major, Computer Engineering.
OMFG! This Manning dude has some next level guts to do something like that. I was exteremely astonished at what I saw. A very brave move I think I might just like this guys facebook page. :D
A very emotional moment, viewing the scenes from the helicopter and how ruthless it all is, this has more than ever convinced me to support the wikileaks movement.
It was also very interesting to hear how Assange planned to distribute the rest of wikileak’s files. One of the most important statements I’ve heard was how the news agencies should work collaboratively in the best interest of the story rather than compete against each other.

This is a good, informative and interesting documentary, showing the whole hacking scene that developed even before Wikileaks became public. It's interesting to see how they defend they work, and that can be related to what we discussed in class, about letting people know and telling the truth, is fundamental in a democratic society. There are some terrible scenes here, especially when the US soldiers kill some civilians in Iraq, because they think he is armed. US soldiers killing innocent people, caught on tape, is of course not popular within the government. This episode reminds me of a story about the “Pentagon papers”, which were some reports that said that the progress in Vietnam was going in the wrong direction. The sitting president said the opposite to the public, and the pentagon papers became public 8 years after they were written, I think. This shows of course that governments will do whatever it takes to not show and tell things to the public which will hurt them. Here is Wikileaks so important, because they are arguing that they are working for the people and the truth. The issue and tension between telling everything and national security is important in these matters. Should you publish every single bits of information, even though it can cause a threat to national security? This is always a dilemma in journalism, especially in times of war. This makes the story of Wikileaks so interesting and important, and I’m sure that Wikileaks will inspire to more discussions and debate in the future.

I agree with you Ola that Assange is definitely a hero. I think that the only reason the documentary does not have more views is because it's so long. Few people go on YouTube to watch hour long documentaries. But i feel like more people need to have an awareness of wikileaks in general. And I was watching the documentary I started thinking, has Egypt taken a place on Wikileaks at all? Have we made use of it? Have we caught its attention? That would be interesting to know.

It was the first time for me to look closely at Wikileaks, and I honestly enjoyed the documentary very much. Not only did it provide lots of information about Wikileaks and how it came about, but it was also very powerful in delivering to the audience the whole spirit of Wikileaks. I think it was able to do this through the touching videos that were leaked to it, and through the comments of the spokespeople on those videos. What I found the most interesting was that Wikileaks does not have a specific target that they leak information about, but that they stand against injustice in general (for example the leaks about the Kenyan president), and that they believe that people should suffer the consequences of their action. Even though they grew big, huge actually, they still manage to keep their mission in front of them and do not sway an inch from it. I think Julian Assange is a key character in keeping the spirit of Wikileaks clean. You can see from the way he responds to the touching videos that even though he's been subjected to these atrocities in a major way, he hasn't gotten numb and still gets very emotional just talking about them. I thought that like almost any major successful business, Wikileaks would be corrupt, but I was wrong. I was just wondering though, what happened at the end of the rape accusation against Assange? And did it affect Wikileaks at all?

One of the aspects we can tackle if we use this topic is the instantaneity which dominates almost everything now and its implications. In other words, since everything now is done instantly thanks to the internet, internet users (especially the ones who grew up in the digital age) – myself among them – are growing impatient and are wanting everything instantly.

I think that this Wikileaks documentary is really powerful and informative. It does provide a massive amount of information about this mysterious website and its administrators as well. It was nice seeing in the documentary the place/basement where all the leaking operations are being conducted. I loved that word "Information Famine" that was mentioned in the document by one of the Assange’s supporters since it typically described the helpless situation and condition of the world before the sudden emergence of Wikileaks. In my own point of view, I believe that Wikileaks’ collaboration with some popular newspapers strengthened Wikileaks’ position even more. Nevertheless, the documentary did not go in-depth with respect to how Wikileaks obtains its information or in other words it did not refer to the main sources of Wikileaks’ critical data and classified documents. Personally, I believe that Julian Assange is a real hero who was able to draw the world’s attention to painful realities in various countries. He has this message to the voiceless people worldwide to stand up for their rights, be powerful and never tolerate any kind of unjust practices because such tolerance would make these acts happen over and over again. It is really interesting that despite the various counter-attacks against Assange, he is still persistent to reveal serious information like that of the United States war in Iraq. I was really touched by the video which had the two Reuters journalists killed by the U.S military troops in Iraq and wondered how the U.S justified this act of killing innocent civilians. Unfortunately, I think that Julian Assange is more likely to be killed or assassinated because he had been charged by several countries of threatening national security specifically in the United States. Consequently, no one could really predict what could happen to Wikileaks since its future is undetermined and linked to Assange’s survival. Finally, after watching the documentary on YouTube, I noticed that it has about 94,426 views which are not enough. I think that its views have to exceed the 1,000,000 views boundary because all people have to see such documentary and have an attitude towards the confidential unjust and painful practices worldwide.

Like you Yasser, it's the first time for me to look closely at the Wikileaks issue and I found it very interesting. Adding to what you mentioned above, I was impressed by their mission statement which was to warn people of the consequences of their actions and to disclose people with abusive power. Before watching the documentary, I didn't know where to stand in terms of what Assange did; I didn't know whether I should be understanding or judgmental. But the video has given me a closer insight into Assange's rationale and morale. Now I can sympathize with what he did and I can also defend it passionately. What affected me the most was the examples given about what Wikileaks disclosed. From the unnecessary cold blooded murder in Baghdad to the tens of thousands of civilian casualties which the US has withheld from the public and the torture practices exercised by US Iraqi allies. I was appalled by the cold "matter of factly" way in which the reports were written. The killing and murders were written "as an escalation of force in a bureaucratic". The fact that human lives were so cheap that a bomber could not wait for a civilian to pass by before shooting, was horrific. I never agreed with the phrase "the end justifies the means". But after watching the video, I am starting to think that sometimes the above phrase could be the only solution.

the documentary was really informative and it is my first time to watch material about WikiLeaks. The documentary helped me understand lots of things about WikiLeaks including why they are there, what they do, and their vision. What I liked most about the movie is Julian Assange's comment on the privacy issue and whether or not he or anyone has the right to get stealthily governmental or military documents, videos, or photos which governments consider it as threats to their internal and external security. Assange said that governments expect to violate rules, disrespect human rights, and conspire against the governed with no one or group to audit them; therefore, For the sake of sabotaging this conspiracy he launched Wikileaks to no more allow governments to communicate secretly and to diminish the power of authoritarian states. He believes that WikiLeaks will force openness and lead to more progressive forms of government.

I like this idea. My VIP paper was about how virtual identities shape our offline identities so it's kind of related to the topic you're suggesting. I think this topic is worth researching and it could be really fun.

I find that topic is very interesting since I found an article about the issue and how companies bury harmful information so that it would be hard to find. However, the information is still there for someone who knows what s/he is looking for can find.

This is broad. How the social media today affects our offline identities. Are we critical enough to what we read online? Are we less patient when collecting information and reading news online? Are we shaped by the social medias development? Does the new social media set the agenda, which we have to follow?

Effects of the of the digital era on a person's level of focus and their urgency for information.

I think this is very interesting because with the speed and ease of digital media, it is often difficult to fully grasp how the things that you post never go away.

I think this is a pretty interesting idea, we can also bring in the concept of Kairos and how the social, political and cultural environment is affecting the evolution of websites such as Facebook. We can use photos of how the facebook looked in the past and how it looks now. I am very interested in such a topic.

Re: Topic 3892654932865 by nalphonsenalphonse, 06 Apr 2011 09:13

I am thinking about discussing that topic of information privacy through talking about the appearance of Amn El Dawla or Police Leaks on Facebook where some individuals in Egypt had access to such critical diocuments after the Egyptian revolution of the 25 January and put it on a Facebook group under the same name where the number of members in this group has exceeded 20,000 members.

I thought that topic was kind of interesting. I had always thought that once my facebook profile is deleted, no one can ever access it. We can discover the implications that this issue has on our dealings with online databases and how we handle our personal information knowing that it is always going to be out there somewhere. We can also discuss how this can sometimes be positive and some other times can have harmful effects.

page »
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License