Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  pinhedz on Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:48 am

Something terrible has happened. Shocked

Assange now says that The Guardian has hacked into his site, and is making secret information available to unauthorized persons. affraid

"The organization [Wikileaks] yesterday accused a British newspaper, the Guardian, of letting slip passwords that give Internet users access to thousands of unredacted cables from U.S. diplomats, a breach that exposes the diplomats’ sources and informants and potentially puts them in jeopardy."

Now I get it: Assange isn't anti-secrecy at all. He just thinks that he--not the State Department--should be the gate keeper. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  eddie on Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:22 am

Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography - review

An unfinished draft of his life story does the WikiLeaks founder no favours

David Leigh
guardian.co.uk, Monday 26 September 2011 13.30 BST


'It vexes me when the world won't listen': Assange arrives at the High Court in July to appeal against his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Marsupials are pouched animals, mostly from Australia, that give birth to their young in an unfinished state. What we have here is a weird marsupial hybrid. It's part Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and part Scottish novelist and ghostwriter Andrew O'Hagan. This mixed-up creature has given birth to an unfinished draft, dragged out of its pouch and published before its maturity under the wacky title The Unauthorised Autobiography. Assange hasn't really been well-served by his publisher's behaviour. It's the result of what seems to be a characteristic Assange imbroglio in which he will neither give back his £412,000 publisher's advance, nor deliver a finally approved manuscript. But the decision by Canongate's Jamie Byng to publish regardless, although understandable, has produced an unsatisfactory book.


Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography
by Julian Assange

The ghostwriter and his subject hadn't yet really gelled by the time of this draft. It's easy to see the fictionalising hand of O'Hagan in an early chapter about Assange's hippy boyhood in northern Queensland. It begins, soulfully: "For most people, childhood is a climate. In my case, it is perfectly hot and humid with nothing above us but blue sky …" But a later section on the Aussie hacker's souring partnership with the journalists who were to print his leaked US secrets is much more raw. The opening reads like Assange sounding off verbatim on a bad day, in a sentence full of bile and misogyny: "Vanity in a newspaper man is like perfume on a whore: they use it to fend off a dark whiff of themselves." For by the time we reach this second half of the book, O'Hagan's mediating intelligence seems to have retreated, and the digital recorder is doing much of the work. Perhaps the ghost got weary, locked up in a chilly East Anglian winter with his monologuing subject, who is currently confined there on bail, fighting extradition on Swedish sex allegations.

The lack of a final edit does other disservices to Assange's story. The narrative stops too abruptly, before publication in the Guardian and the New York Times of the third and most important set of leaks he had acquired (the state department cables), and the subsequent legal pursuit of Assange on the sex complaints. It's padded out instead with unnecessary chunks of the cables themselves, which can be read elsewhere. The unresolved criminal allegations, inevitably, make him censor a defensive account of sex with two Swedish fans. It's all very well calling a woman "neurotic", but did he deliberately tear a condom as she alleged?

Furthermore, a nervous Canongate libel lawyer, no longer able presumably to rely on Assange as a future witness, appears to have simply chopped out chunks of detail when Assange abuses those he doesn't like. This censorship muddies what could have been a lively, if defamatory, narrative, and pointlessly withholds many of the names. I myself, for example, who clashed with Assange during the Guardian saga, and co-authored a book he didn't care for, am anonymised throughout, transparently enough, as "the news reporter". Yet Bill Keller, then editor of the New York Times and considered presumably to be libel-proof under US free-speech laws, remains relentlessly vituperated against under his own name.

A final fact-check would have removed a crop of stupid errors. It must have been a transcription mistake that turned Heather Brooke into "the 'Independent' journalist" rather than the independent journalist she is. And Oscar Wilde with his rent-boys was not "sleeping with panthers", he was feasting with panthers.

For all its drawbacks, the memoir does add some good detail to the increasingly well-trodden field of Assange studies (it's the fifth book so far). The passage in which he meets his biological father, a bohemian Sydney actor, for the first time in his 20s, is genuinely poignant: "I found myself getting sort of angry … There on shelf after shelf were the exact same books as those I had bought and read myself … If I had only known him, I might just have picked his books down from the shelf … I was forced to make myself up as I went along."

And there's a telling section in which Assange, perhaps unwittingly, reveals why he seeks out unquestioning disciples, and quarrels with so many others: "Opponents past and present have the same essential weakness about them – first they want to use you, then they want to be you, then they want to snuff you out. It's a pattern that stretches in my life from toytown feds to hacks at the Guardian … Usually it ends with these people enumerating one's personal faults, a shocking, ungrateful, unmanly effort, to be filed under despicable in my book … I've been meeting [these people] all my life."

This seems to be a cry coming from a truly threatened personality, in fear of being overwhelmed and extinguished. People have criticised Assange for being preposterously grandiose and lashing out at imagined "enemies". Perhaps they should have been kinder, for there is clearly something else at work here.

It's a shame Assange couldn't get on with the Guardian. As he has the grace occasionally to recognise in this book, people there share some of his beliefs – free speech, investigative journalism, standing up to big corporations and murderous governments, the potentially liberating quality of the internet. And his idea for WikiLeaks provided an exhilarating addition to the world's journalistic possibilities. It was a neat tool – as an uncensorable global publisher of last resort, and as an electronic outlet for leaking the new kinds of huge database the computer age is bringing into existence. But unmediated leaking on a random basis, even of gigabits of purloined documents, cannot ever revolutionise all the world's power relationships. There Assange shows, regrettably, that he is living in a fantasy world.

Behind his high-sounding talk of quantum mechanics and global conspiracies, there lies a more familiar and heartfelt cry: "If only people knew what was really going on, they'd do something about it!" One sympathises. But these very memoirs demonstrate the opposite. Nothing much happened after Assange threw back the curtain to reveal his sensationally leaked Baghdad helicopter gunship video, with US pilots mowing down Reuters employees and young children in a burst of incompetent cannon-fire. As Assange (or O'Hagan) concedes: "It vexes me when the world won't listen."

That was what forced him to accept an offer from some of the world's major newspapers to make sense of the rest of his material, publish it under the authority of their own names and grant him a share of the credibility slowly built up over 190 years of reputable reporting. Thanks to that imaginative transaction, he rocketed briefly to worldwide fame. These marsupial memoirs of his seem unlikely to increase his prospects of becoming the messiah of the information age. Maybe, sadly, even the reverse.

David Leigh is the co-author of WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy (Guardian Books).

© 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.


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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  eddie on Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:55 am

Assange, who addressed the anti-capitalism campers outside St Paul's cathedral (London) a few days ago, has had his appeal against extradition to Sweden on sexual offences charges turned down

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  eddie on Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:09 am

WikiLeaks' Assange loses UK battle against extradition
By Robin Millard | AFP



WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost a bitter legal battle to block his extradition from Britain to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Two judges at the High Court in London rejected arguments by the 40-year-old Australian, whose anti-secrecy website has enraged governments around the world, that his extradition would be unlawful.

"The court dismissed the appeal," said a summary of the judgement, before detailing the four counts on which Assange had appealed against a decision by a lower court in February that he should be sent to Sweden.

Assange said he would consult his lawyers about whether to make a further appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in Britain.

He has 14 days to do so, but only if his lawyers can first convince judges that the case is of special public interest.

"We will be considering our next step in the days ahead," the former computer hacker told a scrum of reporters and cameramen gathered from around the world, in a brief statement from the court steps.

"I have not been charged with any crime in any country.

"Despite this, the European arrest warrant (EAW) is so restrictive that it prevents UK courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today."

Assange has strongly denied the allegations, claiming they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of WikiLeaks. He has been under virtual house arrest since he was first detained in December.

During an appeal hearing in July, Assange had argued that the warrant under which he was held last December was invalid because it was issued by a prosecutor and not a court.

However, the two judges presiding Wednesday said it had been subjected to proper judicial scrutiny in Sweden.

They also rejected his assertion that the claims made by two women of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and an accusation of rape would not be offences under English law.

One woman alleged that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she was asleep, and the judges rejected his lawyers' contention that consent to sex with a condom remained consent when a condom was not used.

Thirdly, the judges also rejected Assange's argument that he should not be extradited because he was only wanted for questioning and had not been charged, saying he was "plainly accused" of the crimes.

And they denied the arrest warrant was disproportionate, given that Assange offered to be questioned via videolink.

The WikiLeaks boss has been living under strict bail conditions -- including having to wear an electronic ankle tag and observe a strict curfew -- at the east England mansion of Vaughan Smith, a supporter and former army captain.

Smith told reporters outside court that Assange's morale was holding up.

"I find it amazing he's able to take the blows, and the blows have been considerable. He's been remarkably robust but then he's very committed and believes in what he's doing," he said.

Assange has previously expressed fears that his extradition to Sweden would lead to his transfer to the United States to face as yet unspecified charges of spying.

His mother Christine told the Australian Associated Press news agency Wednesday that her son was now "even closer to a US extradition or rendition".

"If (the Australian people) don't stand up for Julian, he will go to the US and he will be tortured," she said.

Scores of Assange's supporters outside the court building in London expressed outrage at the ruling.

"I have always had a lot of faith in the British and Swedish systems of justice but it just seems to me that there is something going on here which is murky," said Jason Gleeson, 35.

However, the lawyer for Assange's two female accusers welcomed the verdict.

"It has been very trying for them to live with this uncertainty, especially since they themselves have found themselves attacked," Claes Borgstroem told the TT news agency.

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  Lee Van Queef on Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:01 pm

The poppy was a nice touch.

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:39 pm

scratch

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:47 pm

user wrote: scratch

I think Twoody means that in the UK the wearing of a Remembrance Day poppy is a surefire symbol of respectability. Twoody takes a cynical attitude to this gesture on the part of Mr Assange.

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:51 pm

yepsure, i was just using that emoticon as a stopgap b4 i posted this-



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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  pinhedz on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:24 pm

eddie wrote:
user wrote: scratch

I think Twoody means that in the UK the wearing of a Remembrance Day poppy is a surefire symbol of respectability. Twoody takes a cynical attitude to this gesture on the part of Mr Assange.
Unless you're taking a cynical attitude toward Twoody's expression of appreciation of Mr. Assange's sincere gesture. geek

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:29 pm

^

Ribble ribble.

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  Lee Van Queef on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:48 pm

Me, cynical? Never.

I think our Julian started wearing the poppy even before November. Now that's respect.

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  pinhedz on Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:35 am

It looks like Cumberbatch's Assange movie is a flop.

I think maybe the public lost interest when they found out that his hottest scoop was that American diplomats think that Berlusconi and Sarkozy are dorks. Razz

The media stopped calling wikileaks a "whistle blower site" when they found out he wasn't exposing wrong doing, he's just a nosey busy body, so now they call wikileaks an "anti-secrecy site." Rolling Eyes


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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  pinhedz on Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:46 am

Dear Benedict,

Thank you for trying to contact me. It is the first approach by anyone from the Dreamworks production to me or WikiLeaks.

My assistants communicated your request to me, and I have given it a lot of thought and examined your previous work, which I am fond of.

I think I would enjoy meeting you.

The bond that develops between an actor and a living subject is significant.

If the film reaches distribution we will forever be correlated in the public imagination. Our paths will be forever entwined. Each of us will be granted standing to comment on the other for many years to come and others will compare our characters and trajectories.

But I must speak directly.

I hope that you will take such directness as a mark of respect, and not as an unkindness.

I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film.

I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about.

I believe that it is going to be overwhelmingly negative for me and the people I care about.

It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation.

In other circumstances this vendetta may have gone away, but our conflict with the United States government and the establishment press has created a patronage and commissioning market – powerful, if unpopular – for works and comments that are harmful to us.

There are dozens of positive books about WikiLeaks, but Dreamworks decided
to base its script only on the most toxic. So toxic is the first book selected by Dreamworks that it is distributed to US military bases as a mechanism to discourage military personnel from communicating with us. Its author is publicly known to be involved in the Dreamworks production in an ongoing capacity.

Dreamworks' second rights purchase is the next most toxic, biased book. Published and written by people we have had a bitter contractual dispute with for years, whose hostility is well known. Neither of these two books were the first to be published and there are many independent authors who have written positive or neutral books, all of whom Dreamworks ignored.

Dreamworks has based its entire production on the two most discredited books on the market.

I know the film intends to depict me and my work in a negative light.

I believe it will distort events and subtract from public understanding.

It does not seek to simplify, clarify or distil the truth, but rather it seeks to bury it.

It will resurrect and amplify defamatory stories which were long ago shown
to be false.

---

My organisation and I are the targets of political adversary from the United States government and its closest allies.

The United States government has engaged almost every instrument of its justice and intelligence system to pursue—in its own words—a ‘whole of government’ investigation of ‘unprecedented scale and nature’ into WikiLeaks under draconian espionage laws. Our alleged sources are facing their entire lives in the US prison system. Two are already in it. Another one is detained in Sweden.

Feature films are the most powerful and insidious shapers of public perception, because they fly under the radar of conscious exclusion.

This film is going to bury good people doing good work, at exactly the time that the state is coming down on their heads.

It is going to smother the truthful version of events, at a time when the truth is most in demand.

As justification it will claim to be fiction, but it is not fiction. It is distorted truth about living people doing battle with titanic opponents.  It is a work of political opportunism, influence, revenge and, above all, cowardice.

It seeks to ride on the back of our work, our reputation and our struggles.

It seeks to cut our strength with weakness. To cut affection with exploitation. To cut diligence with paranoia. To cut loyalty with naivety.  To cut principle with hypocrisy. And above all, to cut the truth with lies.

The film's many distortions buttress what the prosecution will argue. Has argued. Is arguing. In my case, and in that of others. These cases will continue for years.

The studio that is producing the film is not a vulnerable or weak party.

Dreamworks' free speech rights are not in jeopardy – ours are.

Dreamworks is an extremely wealthy organisation, with ties to powerful interests in the US government.

I must therefore question the choices and motives behind it: the opportunism, fears and mundanity; the unwritten rules of film financing and distribution in the United States; the cringe against doing something useful and brave.

I believe that you are a decent person, who would not naturally wish to harm good people in dire situations.

---

You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth.

Not because you want to, of course you don't, but because, in the end, you are a jobbing actor who gets paid to follow the script, no matter how debauched.

Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from the world.  

I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise.

Consider the consequences of your cooperation with a project that vilifies and marginalises a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state.

Consider the consequences to people who may fall into harm because of this film.

Many will fight against history being blackwashed in this way. It is a collective history now, involving millions of people, because millions have opened their eyes as a result of our work and the attempts to destroy us.

I believe you are well intentioned but surely you can see why it is a bad idea for me to meet with you.

By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give.

I cannot permit this film any claim to authenticity or truthfulness. In its current form it has neither, and doing so would only further aid the campaign against me.

It is contrary to my interests, and to those of my organisation, and I thank you for your offer, and what I am sure is your genuine intent, but I must, with inexpressible regret, turn it down.

Julian Assange

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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:43 am

so then, the project is a Cumbersplotch?


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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:44 am

that's too kind, it's a Cumberbotch.


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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

Post  Old Mack on Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:00 pm


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Re: Why Assange & Zuckerberg Could Destroy Civilization

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