Wikileaks exploded the internet, quick thoughts

I’ve spent the last few days working on breaking down this Wikileaks explosion currently happening all over the internet. The result is this FAQ JZ and I have put together, which has gotten a lot of play around the internets.

There are a few things about this situation that are troubling me. Primarily, there is the issue where I personally cannot download or read any of the cables. Or, at least, I have been strongly advised not to, because at some point in the future I might want to have security clearance. If you know me, you know I react really badly to people telling me I can’t known things. There’s analysis that I want to do, that I believe is important to do, that involves me accessing the original text of the cables. I’m currently unable to do this analysis, under advice from people I trust. Whether I’m going to continue to abide by their advice remains to be seen.

On the other side of things, I’m working on a paper about hacktivism with a security researcher friend of mine. DDOS attacks have obviously attracted a great deal of attention in recent days. I’ve stated before that a DDOS attack is not the cyber equivalent of a sit-in: a DDOS attack silences opposing speech. It is not productive engagement, it is reactive censorship. The challenge is to push the development of hacktivist tools and practice that don’t merely silence speech and destroy property, but instead promote awareness and public debate. I’ll post more thoughts on this as I have them.

In the mean time, I’ll continue to update the FAQ, and will begin posting a deep-link analysis of the cables, the coverage, and hacktivists actions sometime in the next few days. (I’ve got this thing called the LSAT coming up on Saturday. Very minor. Totally not important at all.)

If you have questions that you want answered about any of this, let me know. I may not be able to answer them right away, but I’ll try.