If a secret set of rules is making you less likely to express your viewpoints (and support certain press organizations), that is already a consequence. It's unfortunate that rational people don't feel free to exercise their freedom in today's United States.
Apparently commenters here feel that I must be irrational, because I feel free to express my freedoms every single day in the US without repudiation. I'd love to hear the personal stories of those who downvoted me for how they know that no rational human being in American can express their freedoms.
But on a serious note. Besides 'terrorists winning' in this game. You know who else won? Every little vindictive pest that you could run into in your daily life. Your neighbor hates your lawn? -- He can report your for suspicious behavior or just donate $5 to Wikileaks in your name.
You got a bigger bonus than your co-worker? He puts a nasty comment about the president on a liberal forum somewhere.
Possibilities for abuse abound. Once the collection of data has been enabled, data will be siphoned through. It could be decades before a court case, a new employment opportunity or overseas travel all of the sudden will trigger a search and will open that archived file and all this stuff will be there. No way to correct it. You would have forgotten about that one incident with your neighbor 20 years ago, but it will be there.
What I fear will happen is that one of the triggers to open and inspect that file will be you participating in any kind of protest. It will be a Constitutionally legal thing to do. However, once you do it, you end up on a list, and now that 'ol file gets opened again and all these things from the past start appearing. You get pulled for random searches in airport. You miss every single flight you book. Every time you enter the country you get interrogated for an hour. All your electronic devices get confiscated.
Basically, once the government is acting irrationally it opens the door for others to exploit that -- angry neighbors, scorned lover, upset employees. How do I know? This is what happened in the Soviet Union. It was for a while common for neighbor to denounce each other for 'anti-Soviet' activities, if they didn't get along. In the best case and best times, those get ignored, in the worst time, whole families disappeared overnight.
"This is what happened in the Soviet Union."
Be careful when you're choosing your enemies. You become them.
Reading or accessing wikileaks cannot threaten your security clearance. As stated, it is the possibility of being compromised that will threaten your clearance. The more you are scared of accessing wikileaks because you are not aware and assertive of your rights, the more you could be compromised by blackmail, which is the threat. It's mostly not what you do, but whether it can be leveraged for manipulation that threatens clearances.
Self censorship at work. And your real name is in your profile.
But if we really believe that, and we believe the nation will further slide in a fascist state then we probably shouldn't say _anything_ online or over the phone.
Who would have thought that Obama would bring back the Espionage Act? We used to imprison people for publicly supporting Communism and/or publicly denouncing wars, and the courts upheld it. The Overton Window makes people really complacent in a pretty rapidly changing world, and the civil liberties regressions by Bush that are being institutionalized and explicitly legalized by Obama could give a future Santorum (or his ilk's) administration a bunch of scary options.
In the future, we may regret having had conversations like this on the internet or over the phone. I'm taking that risk.
edit: sentence fragment
edit - relevant: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4259441
We need to encourage people to speak their mind. Can everyone be an enemy of the state? There is strength and anonymity in many voices, many who would not speak, do.
I suppose they could automate the persecution of dissidents by denying them services or charging them more taxes. That way there wouldn't be a labor shortage for actually carrying out persecution.
Can you cite people being jailed for supporting Communism or denouncing wars under Obama.
also note that the leadership in doing this came from Lincoln and Wilson....
liberals politicians increase police power, conservative politicians increase social spending. their bases let them get away with it because they're "on their side", and their opposition let them get away with it because it's what they wanted anyway.
So - Bitcoin won't keep you anonymous.
Edit: Sorry - I was reading your comment in the context of the previous commenter worrying about ending up on a government watch list.
In that vein I'm polling HN users: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4261481. Please participate.
AFAIK Visa and Mastercard still auth/capture the card and they've just changed their gateway provider. So if the US govt does manage to designate them as a foreign terrorist organization then it will be illegal for any US company to process funds for them.
From 2010 re trying to get wikileaks designated FTO:
Why it took so long, I don't know, I guess FDNN is not used to such a big case as wikileaks.
As for why visa/mastercard accept this now, they don't, all payment are actually processed by "Carte Bleue", which is
100% compatible with Visa (they get their license from the european Visa company, which despite the same name has nothing to do with the american company, they only license the brand). Those license (Visa US => Visa EU, and Visa EU => Carte Bleue) are mostly irrevocable, and getting the french banking system to "ban" you because someone high up doesn't like you is much harder than what they did in the US with wikileaks.
I do not know about the mastercard situation, but the cards are accepted pretty much anywhere here so I wouldn't be surprised if Carte Bleue had the same sort of deal with them (but every Carte Bleue is not a Mastercard, unlike Visa).
Not an expert on the subject so I might be wrong on some things, but I hope it helps clear things up.
Is WikiLeaks really doing enough to need such a large budget?
So if you are a US citizen, what chance do you think there will be that you will be prosecuted for treason if you donate to Wikileaks?
Note: I am not expressing an opinion here, merely following the logic of the recent court case against Bradley Manning.
And if you doubt the link between supplying mere money (as opposed to information) and aiding a terrorist organisation, note that an Icelandic bank was declared a terrorist organisation by the UK Govt:
Also recall that US senators have in the past called for Wikileaks to be branded a terrorist organisation:
I'm not sure if people don't understand this or skip over it for the purposes of hyperbole..
This page was down when I clicked the link. Not sure what the deal is? As others have said this not a solution to being able to safely support the organization from a personal perspective.
Why are they not accepting Bitcoin donations? If they have a bank working with them it should be trivial for them to setup a Mt. ox or other merchant account to turn the bitcoins into money. I feel like this coudl solve several problems.
Can anybody comment on why they (Wikileaks) would be opposed to accepting bitcoin? Maybe a major bitcoin exchange or merchant (which already has some trust among the bitcoin community) could set up a way to do proxy donations? I see the possibility for fraud out there, but there has been successful bitcoin fundraising in the past...
Also, anyone who hasn't already checked out assange.rt.com should! JA has been producing high quality interviews with some of the most interesting world leaders while under house arrest.
I don't understand the value of the entire world being able to read secret diplomatic and intelligence communications between nations. If we disagree with a specific national policy or ideology, then we should be donating instead to political candidates that support our worldview rather than short circuiting a process that has led to deaths and substantial disruption.
For example, as a direct result of Wikileaks, Iranian Majid Jamali Fashi was executed by Tehran for his role in disrupting the Iranian nuclear program. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-han...
The same people supporting Wikileaks are ostensibly against US/British/French/Israeli nuclear armament or anti-terrorism efforts, yet sabotage efforts to prevent these weapons from reaching the hands of rogue actors. It seems like the Wikileaks crowd is often the same crowd that blocks the Brooklyn Bridge for their own vanity, yet ignores the unintended consequences of their actions (for example, a worker being hours late for his job.) The 1% would just use their helicopters. The real power isn't affected by childish acts, despite the childish miscreants hoping otherwise.
It isn't much different than a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. Perhaps not surprisingly, the same crowd complains about copyrights and have no problem with illegal downloads. Rather than working to change the system legitimately (or through the courts,) they instead ignore the law simply because they don't like it. I don't like paying $1800 per month in taxes so my neighbors living rent free in Section 8 housing can stay up until 3am having parties while I'm trying to sleep for work the next day. But I'm not firebombing the IRS because of it -- I simply vote for the candidates who most support my views. Firebombing gets headlines, but it doesn't catalyze change. Voting does, contributing to political campaigns does, volunteering to knock on doors does.
It just seems incredibly selfish that some people feel like they have a right to every piece of information or have a right to steal any content they want without any regard for the consequences or the effects of this "freedom" on the people that produce the information. You right to information shouldn't override a person's right to not get killed because of it.
It seems like the people most passionate about Wikileaks are people that have little experience with the nature of classified information and the consequences of releasing sources and methods to the general public. Perhaps if more people spent time in public service rather than public criticism, we could really improve the governments of our respective countries. When was the last time anyone here on HN ran for a local school board election or even went to a city council meeting? When was the last time anyone here wrote and mailed their congressman an actual letter? How many people here have applied to work in the Foreign Service, the military or even the Peace Corps? I know for a fact that CIA, NSA and FBI would be salivating over the qualifications of many of you here, yet many of you would never even consider those careers because of a jaded anger or indifference towards the government, yet, the government is us. If we don't step up, things will never change. You can't achieve justice from the outside looking in. You can vandalize, steal or threaten your way to a better world.
I do agree, however, that there is a large amount of information that is classified for reasons other than protecting sources or methods, but is instead classified for political purposes. For example, the Fast and Furious documents are being protected under "Executive Privilege" for the sole reason of protecting politicians from the scrutiny of voters. The 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations files, for example, are classified not because of national security concerns, but political ones; the same goes for many 1960s-era East-Germany operations, as well Vietnam-War era documents. However, we should be pressuring politicians to evaluate the rules of classification or appoint an independent FOIA commission to evaluate document requests objectively instead of through the current lens of political expediency.
I expect to get down voted into oblivion, but hopefully, someone will get it.
Governments have proven over and over and over again throughout history that they cannot be trusted with much power, and knowledge is one of the greatest powers. I find your overall authoritarian point of view disturbing, as if government (and its cronies) are sitting around thinking what they can do for us, instead of how to get more from us, or how to cover their own asses.
I agree with your point that there are good people working in govt but I fail to see how the abundance of secrecy helps them do their jobs better. I hope one day in the future that govts are fully transparent in everything they do because technology allows everyone to be a spy.
Then I don't think you really understand statecraft or warfare. Two essential components of any sovereign nation. No offense meant. Just saying, secrecy are central tenants of both of those, and they are two of the most important functions of government.
Also, it's not a tantrum to recognize that the notion of working INSIDE a system that you are trying to change, or perhaps stop from doing nasty things like slaughtering women and children, is not going to respond to you asking politely or petitioning.
Your link does not mention wikileaks at all. The closest I could find was a HuffPost article citing "experts" saying that Wikileaks could be responsible as someone with a "vaguely similar description" was implicated in one of the cables.