US State Department wants info on pretty much everyone on Twitter

January 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

From 21st Century Fix…

This, via Dave Winer, came my way this evening:

US subpoenas Twitter, seeking information on WikiLeaks’ 635,561 followers.

The article he links to can be found here:

A Dutch investigative journalist blasted the US Department of Justice for requesting information on everyone following WikiLeaks’ Twitter account and everyone they follow.

So this doesn’t only mean that I now potentially form part of a US government criminal investigation. It also means – if I’ve understood the slightly ambiguous phrase correctly – that if by any chance I decided to follow you on Twitter, you, as the recipient of the attentions of someone who also follows WikiLeaks, may just as easily find yourself the object of the attentions of some random US National Security official who – at some time in the future – will end up sticking his or her legalistic nose in your electronic communications, bank details, personal associations and cloud data.

But not because you yourself followed WikiLeaks. Simply because someone else who followed you also followed WikiLeaks.

Anonymous stop hitting the wrong target in their support of Wikileaks

December 10th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

The ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous have had a change of tactic, so we’re led to believe if this image that’s been popping up about the internet is anything to go by (lick to enlarge):

Anonymous take a different tact. Operation: Leakspin is about disemmination of information rather than illegal wars of revenge.

This change of tact away from trying to bring The Enemies of Wikileaks to their knees to distributing the information Wikileaks is releasing is A Good Thing.

Anonymous have been attacking Amazon, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal for supposedly bowing to pressure from the US government and withdrawing their services. The reasoning behind the attacks, using an opt-in botnet, is…

We are trying to keep the internet open and free but, in recent years, governments have been trying to limit the freedom we have on the internet

This is all well and good, but if it’s to keep the internet open and free like the good old days then they were going for the wrong target.

The whole point of an open and free internet is letting people/companies/entities interact with who ever they want. No censure and no coersion or being bullied into dealing with anyone you don’t want to.

Not only are the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks illegal but are they are completely at odds with the ‘open and free internet’ethos.

Of course, some companies need to grow a backbone and not cave in to government pressures when told to stop business with any particular organisation with out a court order. It’d probably be better for their reputation to be seen to be supporting something that is generally seen as A Good Thing rather than withdrawing services at the first whiff of alledged pressure from government under the guise of broken terms and conditions, especially when those terms and conditions must have been being broken for sometime.

But if those companies are being leaned on then they are victims just as much as Wikileaks are.

The people Anonymous should be attacking are the people leaning on companies to stop a lawful activity. With this new direction, it looks like they are doing just that, legally.

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