Wednesday, December 1, 2010

National Security Song and Dance, Part 2

Last week the Department of Homeland Security shuts down Torrent and yet does nothing but send a letter regarding Wiki Leaks displaying classified information.

“My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!” the exasperated owner of Torrent-Finder told TorrentFreak this morning.

“I firstly had DNS downtime. While I was contacting GoDaddy I noticed the DNS had changed. Godaddy had no idea what was going on and until now they do not understand the situation and they say it was totally from ICANN,” he explained.

Critics of the bill object to it on a number of grounds, starting with this one: “The Act is an unconstitutional abridgment of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment,” the 49 law professors wrote. “The Act permits the issuance of speech suppressing injunctions without any meaningful opportunity for any party to contest the Attorney General’s allegations of unlawful content.” (original emphasis.)

Wired: Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee

And Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web, said, “Neither governments nor corporations should be allowed to use disconnection from the internet as a way of arbitrarily furthering their own aims.” He added: “In the spirit going back to Magna Carta, we require a principle that no person or organization shall be deprived of their ability to connect to others at will without due process of law, with the presumption of innocence until found guilty.”

Wired: Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee

The government acts tyrannically with COICA but does nothing regarding WikiLeaks. Are Wiki Leaks true leaks or is the Obama administration leaking this information for gain. If the government can shut down servers for illegally disseminating copyrighted material then surely it can do so for classified information.

A copy of the letter that the State Department sent to Wiki Leaks can be found at Reuters: Text of State Department letter to Wikileaks and The New York Times

A portion is presented below:

Dear Ms. Robinson and Mr. Assange:

I am writing in response to your 26 November 2010 letter to U.S. Ambassador Louis B. Susman regarding your intention to again publish on your WikiLeaks site what you claim to be classified U.S. Government documents.

As you know, if any of the materials you intend to publish were provided by any government officials, or any intermediary without proper authorization, they were provided in violation of U.S. law and without regard for the grave consequences of this action. As long as WikiLeaks holds such material, the violation of the law is ongoing. ...

Publication of documents of this nature at a minimum would:

* Place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals -- from journalists to human rights activists and bloggers to soldiers to individuals providing information to further peace and security;

* Place at risk on-going military operations, including operations to stop terrorists, traffickers in human beings and illicit arms, violent criminal enterprises and other actors that threaten global security; and,

* Place at risk on-going cooperation between countries - partners, allies and common stakeholders -- to confront common challenges from terrorism to pandemic diseases to nuclear proliferation that threaten global stability.

(The letter is signed by Harold Hongju Koh, legal adviser to the State Department)

So WikiLeaks is a true threat to international stability and our government doesn't do anything. But they close Torrent?

Makes sense to me.

Below is a copy of the actual letter sent by the DOJ to WikiLeaks:


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