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WikiLeaks attacks herald future battles

It seems clear to me we are only at the beginning of a long global guerilla war against censorship and corruption.

The leaked WikiLeaks cables confirmed what we all knew: That the Russian and Chinese governments are fully prepared to use dirty tricks on the internet to further their political agendas. We may find that our own government do the same on occasion.

Now we also see how quickly UK and Swedish officials wilt in the face of American wrath about these leaks.

The war against government censorship, secret deals, corruption, cyber attacks and the targeting of citizens that leak, will be fought by activists like WikiLeaks, and individuals such as Alexei Navalny.

Proxy armies of web hackers will mobilise to support them. This is what many of them have been waiting for, for years.

No doubt some of the leakers will go too far, as WikiLeaks most certainly did. (They should have filtered their leaks properly, and probably begun by leaking business-related material, which would have built more public support earlier)

But that will not stop the mirror sites that host copies of everything once it is out there, and others who want to do the same.

Leaking is the new cool thing to do for hackers, activists and others who might not have thought about it before.

The attempts at censorship by targeting Julian Assange does nothing except cause outrage, totally justified, or otherwise.

And shows how pathetically pliant the British and Swedish legal systems are in the face of political pressure.

Let’s not pretend anything else is going on here.

Who needs evidence when you have Hilary Clinton working the phones?

As a result the legions of real Lisbeth Salander’s will come out on the web in force.

Twitter, Facebook, Visa, PayPal and Mastercard and others are going to face a difficult time. Some will deserve the attention of campaigners more than others. The New York Times offers an analysis of the complexities surrounding their decisions.

Joining the Global Network Initiative will probably now seem like a good idea to many of these companies as a result.

It’s the only credible multi-stakeholder group out there on global internet freedom.

So far only Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft are members from the corporate world.

Here’s a podcast with one of the architects, Rebecca MacKinnon.

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