Monday, December 06, 2010

A nice article about the vulnerabilities in the Internet openness

I found this link on the Codeproject newsletter, a place where I often find news that are not reported anywhere else and opinions that are well informed and interesting. So, here it is: The Weakest Link: What Wikileaks Has Taught Us About the Open Internet.

What it basically says is that the Internet is open only as the huge private companies that control it are willing to allow this openness. Governments and companies alike can pressure key points in order to control the spread of information. The laws (which set of laws, btw?) are vague, allowing a limbo in which only the powerful have the upper hand. Two services we take for granted, like DNS and the newly found fab cloud computing are easily attacked or pressured into blocking access or revealing information.

But what I found even more troubling is the way this challenge of Wikileaks (because what else can you call wearing the underpants of the biggest bully as your flag) has been answered so mindlessly by the US. The government that is trying to get its hands and make an example out of Gary McKinnon had his most secret documents openly exposed, making it look vulnerable, weak. Its response is nothing less than angry mindless rage: denial of service attacks on the Wikileaks DNS, harrassment of anybody supporting financially or technically the Wikileaks organization, very convenient rape charges against Julian Assange and so on. This is the behemoth that, behind nice faces like Obama's, does stuff like Guantanamo and has that huge inertia that would almost push humanity to extinction during the Cold War: "you mess with me, I mess with you".

However, this is a battle that any government has already lost. Short of a global appocalypse, the rabbit is out of the hat and the Wikileaks model will live on, regardless of who runs it and what structure it has. People have been shown to actually make a difference. All that media and movie onslaught of images of the evil government that can kill anybody at will and make everything dissappear has been proven a myth. They are not invulnerable. Even worse, they can't handle the stress, they are sore losers. They lost information, but also face and honor. And the funny thing is, they did it to themselves.