Today's Uproar - The cyberwar developing around Wikileaks

by | Dec 8, 2010 11:36 PM ET

Julian Assange was arrested yesterday:

Julian Assange Arrested in UK, Denied Bail

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail by a judge after surrendering to British authorities over a Swedish arrest warrant Thursday. Assange vowed in court to fight extradition to Sweden, where authorities are hoping to question him over a sexual molestation case...

Assange could face espionage trial in US

Informal discussions have already taken place between US and Swedish officials over the possibility of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being delivered into American custody, according to diplomatic sources...

This immediately raises the question of his "poison pill" file:

How Secure Is Julian Assange's "Thermonuclear" Insurance File?

Once your leader has been compared to a Bond villain, you might as well go all the way, right? A few months back, Wikileaks released a giant file that's been referred to as the "thermonuclear" option, should the organization's existence be threatened: A huge compendium of some of the most damaging secrets Wikileaks has collected, protected with an intense brand of secure encryption--for use as insurance. With Assange now in police custody on sex crimes charges, the "poison pill" is on everyone's mind.

Assange's 'poison pill' file impossible to stop, expert says

The Poison Pill. The Doomsday Files. Or simply, The Insurance. Whatever you call the file Julian Assange has threatened to release if he's imprisoned or dies or WikiLeaks is destroyed, it's impossible to stop....

His arrest isn't the only thing to hit Wikileaks. Paypal cut off Wikileak's account, as did other financial entities:

Why did PayPal ditch WikiLeaks? The State Department asked it to.

PayPal cut off WikiLeaks this week, at the request of the US State Department, according to a PayPal executive...

PayPal says it stopped Wikileaks payments on US letter

PayPal has said that its decision to stop people from using its service to make donations to Wikileaks was made after a letter from the US government....

Icelandic IT firm to sue Visa & Mastercard over WikiLeaks cut-off

Icelandic IT company Datacell today said it will take legal action against Visa Europe and Mastercard in light of both companies decisions to cease processing payments associated with the WikiLeaks website....

These financial entities have been hit with massive denial of service attacks, leading some commentators to call this a true cyber war:

The Wikileaks scandal is more than just a diplomatic scuffle; it's a war for the future of the Internet

You'll have been following the Wikileaks saga, of course, because it is novel and interesting. Maybe you like it because it looks like a live action retelling of Enemy Of The State, or because history seems to be in the making. It feels big, doesn't it? It is, but it's bigger than that, too: what we're witnessing right now is the opening of hostilities in the first big infowar. The war for the Internet is very big indeed. If you're not a digital native, or if you're some kind of hearty outdoors type, this may not seem important, but you're dead wrong. We could be spectators for the start of the cyber Great War – and they've just knocked over Franz Ferdinand.

How much damage can cyber-attackers do?

While supporters of the Wikileaks founder attack companies-- including Mastercard, an associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology is keeping tabs on the cyber war...

WikiLeaks controversy sparks cyber war:

See also:

Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments....

More info:

- How Wikileaks Works

- This is 2009 and the age of the Internet – Why do we have to resort to this kind of idiocy? -or- A Transparency Manifesto

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