4 posts tagged social media
The WikiLeaks Twitter feed announced on 20 May 2012 that the WL Friends/Friends of WikiLeaks (FoWL) network is ready to launch an ‘encrypted Facebook’. This comes amidst growing concern for user privacy and safety at the Facebook website.
Facebook recently came out in support of CISPA, a proposed US law that infringes on privacy and freedom of speech. Facebook’s attitude towards user privacy has led some to leave the site. “…I think it’s important to not use services that you have issues with, even if they are free,” wrote Engadget and Gizmodo cofounder Peter Rojas, and artist Hazel Dooney recently cited the same issues on her blog as her reason for leaving.
The ‘about’ page at Friends of WikiLeaks states:
Friends of WikiLeaks (FoWL) is an independent network made up of people from across the globe who defend WikiLeaks and promote its mission and values. We are a global collection of people with shared beliefs and intentions linked together as a strong and resilient network.
FoWL clarified that it is independent from WikiLeaks:
FoWL is not a subsidiary of WikiLeaks, nor is it subordinate to WikiLeaks. FoWL is a separate network that has the express purpose of supporting, promoting, publicizing and encouraging any individual or collective which shares WikiLeaks’ common values and goals.
One WikiLeaks tweet noted that “Facebook sells your information to governments, is lauded by MSM. WikiLeaks gives government information to you for free and we’re terrorists”. Following this statement, WikiLeaks tweeted a dozen reasons why this new site is better than Facebook.
- WL Friends introduces you to people you want to know, but don’t know yet. Facebook connects you to people you already know - no point.
- Facebook is a mass surveillance tool. You put your friends into it, you betray your friends. Do friends betray friends? WL Friends doesn’t know your friends. It introduces you to new friends.
- Facebook records everything you do, hands it over to the US government and corporations. WL Friends doesn’t.
- WL Friends keeps your data so encrypted, not even the system admins can decrypt it. You and your friends decrypt on login automatically.
- WL Friends uses military grade cryptography and the best industry standards (OpenPGP + Elliptic Curves).
- WL Friends even uses homomorphic encryption for certain operations so WL Friends doesn’t even know how many friends you have.
- The more you use WL Friends, the less you use WL Friends. WL Friends is designed to build, not control, a robust network of shared value.
- WL Friends is designed for more than just WikiLeaks. It is a general solution to build a robust support network under hostile conditions.
- Friends of Israel, Friends of Palestine, Friends of the Tea Party, Friends of Catholicism are all possible with WL Friends.
- WL Friends is designed to make infiltration costly. No person can be seen to be more important than any other or individually targeted.
- WL Friends builds a strong support network instantly for any shared belief by connecting supporters in a way that maximizes communication.
- As time goes by the WL Friends network for any shared belief is designed to mathematically grow stronger and stronger.
The Friends of WikiLeaks site is now signing up members.
FoWL is currently in its beta stage. This means that people from all over the world are registering to be part of this network to support WikiLeaks. For some time, nothing else will happen - we need the network to be of a certain size before we can start introducing you to candidate friends. Registering now will allow you to be a part of the network before the beta stage network gets full. As soon as we are ready to give you some candidate friends we will let you know.
It takes less than 5 min to register at https://wlfriends.org.
Note Anonymiss: While I have no intention of signing up on facebook or yet another social network, the list of 12 reasons is a goodun to pass on.
China’s ultra-popular, Twitter-like service moves too fast for censors or propagandists to keep up, but it’s changing more than just the spread of information.
April 16, 2012
When the message appeared on the Weibo account of Xinhua, China’s official news agency on April 10, announcing charges against the family of high-profile party leader Bo Xilai, it ended many days of public speculation on China’s largest political crisis in decades. But it also left Chinese web users even more deeply confused about the distinction between political truth and rumor, one that has always been hazy in China but is now blurred even more by social media.
Chinese web users began speculating, following Bo’s firing as Chongqing party chief in March, about the Bo family’s possible role in the mysterious death of Neil Heywood, a British businessman with close ties to the family. China’s Internet censors muzzled the online discussions. The government spokesmen stonewalled inquiries from the British government and told curious Chinese that Heywood died of “excessive drinking,” admonishing them “not to spread groundless rumor.”
On the morning of April 11, Chinese web users woke up to find that the reports that had previously filled their Weibo pages — in coded words adopted to evade the censors — now featured the front page of every official newspaper. The rumor, repressed by censors and dodged by government spokesmen, had become a state-approved fact overnight.
“What was treated as attacks spread by ‘international reactionary forces’ has now become truth. Then what other ‘truths’ exposed by foreign media should we believe?…God knows!” wrote Weibo user Jieyigongjiang. “How did it all become truth? Was I being fooled?” user Zousifanye asked.
Spying on Social Media
By Tom Burghardt, April 10, 2012
Under the guise of “cybersecurity,” the new all-purpose bogeyman to increase the secret state’s already-formidable reach, the Obama administration and their congressional allies are crafting legislation that will open new backdoors for even more intrusive government surveillance: portals into our lives that will never be shut.
As Antifascist Calling has frequently warned, with the endless “War on Terror” as a backdrop the federal government, most notably the 16 agencies that comprise the so-called “Intelligence Community” (IC), have been constructing vast centralized databases that scoop-up and store all things digital—from financial and medical records to the totality of our electronic communications online—and do so without benefit of a warrant or probable cause.
The shredding of constitutional protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment, granted to the Executive Branch by congressional passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) after the 9/11 attacks, followed shortly thereafter by the oxymoronic USA Patriot Act set the stage for today’s depredations.
Under provisions of multiple bills under consideration by the House and Senate, federal officials will be given broad authority over private networks that will almost certainly hand security officials wide latitude over what is euphemistically called “information-sharing” amongst corporate and government securocrats.
As The Washington Post reported in February, the National Security Agency “has pushed repeatedly over the past year to expand its role in protecting private-sector computer networks from cyberattacks” but has allegedly “been rebuffed by the White House, largely because of privacy concerns.”
“The most contentious issue,” Post reporter Ellen Nakashima wrote, “was a legislative proposal last year that would have required hundreds of companies that provide such critical services as electricity generation to allow their Internet traffic to be continuously scanned using computer threat data provided by the spy agency. The companies would have been expected to turn over evidence of potential cyberattacks to the government.”
Both the White House and Justice Department have argued, according to the Post, that the “proposal would permit unprecedented government monitoring of routine civilian Internet activity.”
National Security Agency chief General Keith Alexander, the dual-hatted commander of NSA and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), the Pentagon satrapy that wages offensive cyberwar, was warned to “restrain his public comments after speeches in which he argued that more expansive legal authority was necessary to defend the nation against cyberattacks.”
While we can take White House “objections” with a proverbial grain of salt, they do reveal however that NSA, the largest and most well-funded of the secret state’s intel shops will use their formidable surveillance assets to increase their power while undermining civilian control over the military in cahoots with shadowy security corporations who do their bidding. (Readers are well-advised to peruse The Surveillance Catalog posted by The Wall Street Journal as part of their excellent What They Know series for insight into the burgeoning Surveillance-Industrial Complex).
As investigative journalist James Bamford pointed out recently in Wired Magazine, “the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies” is “truly staggering.”
In a follow-up piece for Wired, Bamford informed us that when questioned by Congress, Alexander stonewalled a congressional subcommittee when asked whether NSA “has the capability of monitoring the communications of Americans, he never denies it—he simply says, time and again, that NSA can’t do it ‘in the United States.’ In other words it can monitor those communications from satellites in space, undersea cables, or from one of its partner countries, such as Canada or Britain, all of which it has done in the past.”
And with the eavesdropping agency angling for increased authority to monitor the electronic communications of Americans, the latest front in the secret state’s ongoing war against privacy is “cybersecurity” and “infrastructure protection.”
More on GlobalResearch.ca: SPYING ON AMERICANS: Obama’s Backdoor “Cybersecurity” Wiretap Bill Threatens Political and Private Rights
From the Twitter company blog:
Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.
We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld.
A continuation in the recent upsurge in internet censorship.