It's not exactly a pg classic, but it does give good insight into his motivations and thought processes.
I might be completely off base and confusing certificates and keys here, though...
Gibson Research Corporation created a page that shows the real signature for some common websites (and lets you check any site you want). You can then connect to them and view the signature in your browser and compare them. This is what you would have to do to know if you were being MITMed with a "real" certificate.
Here's a current list of Moz's
Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9dhO0iCLww
Skip to 3:30 and, um take something to get in the mood of the era...
Is there any project which digital store some index of news articles outside the control the publishing newspaper? Maybe Google could give such index (and only index), so as to enable investigating reports and citizens to notice when articles get pulled.
- We should create human readable (memorable) hashes to map names to specific data, so people can trust the documents they have are not tampered with and so that such documents can't be removed from the public record. Sort of an immutable DNS system for data built on hashes. Readability is important so the keys can be transmitted independently of computer networks. Bitcoins may be a good reference technology for this. (See: "So this Bitcoin replacement" and passages leading up to that)
- We need secure, robust communication systems for medium sized groups of people (think revolutionaries) that don't need to rely on centralized (government owned) networks. Possibly use UDP to message someone (since without ACKs you can send to many hosts, and a listening host looks the same to the network as an unrelated host). More ideas about this in passage: "Right, so you send it to random internet hosts"
- The internet lets one hear their own beliefs echoed back with such force that it drowns out any other input. It reinforces (makes extreme?) the person's original thought. This creates a "radicalization of internet educated youth," makes us highly political.
- The US doesn't need to care as much about free speech since free speech won't change the fiscal outlook of those at the top (US is in a "rigid fiscalized structure"). China and Egypt are a more political society though, so they still need to control free speech. (See passage:"I am not going to say governments")
- "censorship is always cause for celebration. It is always an opportunity, because it reveals fear of reform. It means that the power position is so weak that you have got to care about what people think."
- Censorers don't care what information exists in darknets. They only care that their bosses don't find out about the darknets. (See: "Even the censors in China" passage)
- There is a second type of censorship beyond overt government censorship: "Censorship through complexity." Harkens back to the earlier discussion in the interview about the 'self-censorship' pyramid for journalists.
- Journalists should give all of their source data, not just choice quotes, so that people can make up their own minds. (See: "scientific journalism")
- "Most wars in the 20th century have started as a result of lies. Amplified and spread by the mainstream press. And you go, well that is a horrible circumstance, that is terrible that all these wars start with lies. And I say no, this is a tremendous opportunity, because it means that populations basically don't like wars and they have to be lied into it. And that means we can be truthed into peace."
This is why sender spoofing should also be considered a feature and not a flaw.
- Systematic crime/injustice requires a paper trail. The threat of making documents public disrupts that paper trail, which causes mass ineficiency in an organization. ES: "So it's exactly your point, so that in order to kill six million Jews, you actually have to write it down." JA: "It's a big logistical process"
- "Fundamental justification [For Wikileaks] is that, there is really two. First of all, the human civilization, its good part, is based upon our full intellectual record, and our intellectual record should be as large as possible if humanity is to be as advanced as possible. The second is that in practice releasing information is positive to those engaged in acts that the public support and negative to those engaged in acts that the public does not support." [Ok, I don't really buy this. Small groups are just as capable as large groups of harbouring secret plans that the public is opposed to. Secrecy is a double edged sword for both those in power and those outside of it.]
- If you support these ideas, you should "give money to WikiLeaks [Laughter]". But seriously.
- "Courage is not the absence of fear. Only fools have no fear. Rather courage is the intellectual mastery of fear by understanding the true risks and opportunities of the situation"
- "because we all only live once, we all suffer the continuous risk of not having lived our life well. Every year. Every year that is not used is 100% wasted, it's not a risk of that, it is a dead bet"
- Assange's response to accusations that wikileaks causes harm, is interesting. See: "Up until Collateral Murder"
- Interesting aside about the purpose of the Pentagon's posturing, see: "WikiLeaks became the status quo"
- A great story straight from Firefly, episode "Our Dear Mrs. Reynolds" See dialogue after: "The woman from Catalonia"
- Leading through values instead of through command and control allows an organization like WikiLeaks to be better protected against two types of organizational attacks: infiltration and getting members plucked off (scared away?). This creates a P2P network of people instead of a classic client/server hierarchy.
- Wikileaks does premature redactions not because there is a "risk of producing harm as a result of disclosure", but because "there is a probable risk that if we don't engage in that sort of behaviour, our opponents will opportunistically attempt to distract from the revelations that we have published." Once again goes back to "controlling the story" conversations they had earlier. Interestingly, Assange failed to control the story w.r.t. rape allegations, and that is now what he and wikileaks is known for. Resulting discussion on the slippery slope of redaction is interesting. Assange would ideally like the source of the material to provide the redactions.
- "If it is true information we don't care where it comes from. Let people fight with the truth, and when the bodies are cleared there will be bullets of truth everywhere, that's fine"
- Lisa asks "How do you know if you've won?" JA: "... [insightful comments snipped]...I think we can make some significant advances and it is perhaps, it is the making of these advances and being involved in that struggle that is good for people. So the process is in part the end game. It's not just to get somewhere in the end, rather this process of people feeling that it is worthwhile to be involved in that sort of struggle, is in fact worthwhile for people."
There's a lot to think about here. Regardless of Assange's actual character, he has some amazing ideas. I think I may have a new answer to "If you could have dinner with one person in the world..."
Anonymity is where wikileaks breaks down. All of the lies and deception Julian speaks of are possible because there is no systemic transparency or accountability in the information ecosystem. All of those lies are abstraction events in the cognitive plane of existence and require action in the physical plane to manifest any outcome.
At the end of the day, I think people must step up to the plate and say, "no, this happening, it needs to stop and I am cosigning this information with my community identity on the line." At that point, a wise community should support that person through any life interruption or transition, if the individual cannot.
The thing about living a lie is that it is extraordinarily expensive to sustain or scale because the lie must defy nature and reality. The internet news information systems make it easy to proliferate small/trivial lies in/for a short period of time, but it makes any non-trivial lies much more expensive to sustain. People need more information, more transparency and more accountability.
If you have the accountability, you won't have the "boy crying wolf" problem at scale because of the individual cost of lying.
Ironically, one such platform exists and is six months into beta, but this community hell-banned it in week one. Think about how that will look, PG, in a couple of years. I have screenshots and the record won't be going away. nwzPaper is lean and will be here, it will continue getting better as an application and stronger as a community.
"There is many ways for people to transmit anonymously. One of the greatest difficulties for sources is their proximity to the material. So if they have high proximity to it and it's a limited number of people know it. It actually doesn't matter what technical mechanism you then apply at the top. It would be quite difficult for them to evade scrutiny. And it doesn't matter what country or regime you are in."
Can anyone elaborate on this? I don't quite get how the whole system could possibly be implemented. Also, it's been two years, are there any papers/projects related to the idea?
Namecoin, for example, achieves this by leveraging Bitcoin's historical journal (in a separate blockchain):
The obvious hammer for this nail is just a radically transparent information system with accountability for public information an individual contributes to the public record.
Search algorithms are, largely, a commodity code now. Before you argue otherwise, the complexity and proprietary nature only arises when you try to show preference to less desirable content before other content information consumers desire. Ie - advertising
Even with advertising in the mix, it is trivial for a search company to append a query score with its query results. With a transparent query score and a transparent algorithm, the community has a trustworthy third-party between the content producer and consumer.
Transparency and that includes the information source!!!
From the looks of it, Eric definitely seemed to be a supporter (especially considering how he mentioned getting in trouble for being against Patriot I and Patriot II), yet Google hasn't spoken out against CISPA. Seeing as how Assange mentioned how important funding was for the movement, I would think it'd be very easy for Google to funnel a few million dollars to Wikileaks if they truly wanted to help.
Too bad there's not more about those aspects being discussed.
That may also relate to the book they were working on, now called the "The New Digital Age" and to be released in 3 days apparently ( http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Digital-Age-Reshaping/dp/03079... ) - this interview is great marketing for the book then.
The Draw Shop has a nice summary of what's in the book - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39tvjOATrCA
The problem I think is two-fold: 1. Google aligning with Wikileaks/JA will be seen as a political landmine for Google, since Wikileaks' agenda is very much at odds with many governments. This would obviously be something Google will have little interest in pursuing.
2. It's not in Google's best interest to propagate anonymity (as of now). Google's core revenue model derives from its ability to track people on the Internet. Making it easier for them to don anonymity will undermine and possibly destroy this model.
Whether Google's/Eric Schmidt's ultimate goals are good or evil is anybody's guess, and I don't think I gained any new insights into it based on this interview. It does appear that Eric/Google do have an interest in seeing freer access to information, as evidenced by them pushing for faster Internet, more secure/private browsing (https, 2-factor authentication, fighting official requests for access to user accounts ), access to the Internet in North Korea, etc. The more people are on the Internet, and the more they browse, the greater Google's revenues.
Google's upper management have also allegedly (and secretly) played a part in the Arab springs, which I would hazard a guess was a altruistic move, rather than a purely political one, but that's speculation .
Oh, and BTW, the timing of this 'leak' a few days before Eric Schmidt's book is highly suspect, no? :)
(sorry this is not the best source, but Googling around will get you the actual Wikileaks cables and analysis)
[JA quickly grabs her laptop and turns it upside down]
JC: Ha ha ha! Why do I feel that has happened before?
LS: Did you see how fast he was? It was like an impulse.
I greatly appreciate Julian Assange's views, even if his approach runs afoul of the law.
"Assange has not yet been formally charged with any offence. The prosecutor said that, in accordance with the Swedish legal system, formal charges will be laid only after extradition and a second round of questioning. Observers note however that Assange has not yet been interviewed about several of the allegations, including the most serious, and that Swedish law allows interviews to be conducted abroad under Mutual Legal Assistance provisions."
Instead, ask, what has he done that is unjust?
[Sorry, I accidentally downvoted you when I meant to hit reply.]
So if we look at the attacks on us, they always talk about the words "placed people at risk." But risk relative to what? Is it a proportionate risk? Is it a risk that is significant enough that it is even worth speaking about?
So these rhetorical tricks are often used by people who are making their argument in relation to security. What has to be done is people need to engage in an intellectual defense against manipulation by rhetoric by understanding that if someone mentions that there is a risk without saying the risk is higher than crossing the road, or the risk is twice that of being stung by a bee, then you must ignore it. Similarly with possibility versus probability.
In particular, I am intrigued by JA's thoughts on a peer-to-peer mobile network. For those who understand this well, can you explain how feasible it is to do this today? What are the challenges involved? Why isn't a startup doing this? It would be nice to one day, bypass the telecom company towers to transmit data directly to another person/phone.
There is no financial incentive. A recurring theme throughout the interview.
"So, on the one hand we have live dynamic services and organizations... well there's three things. Live dynamic services. Organizations that run those services, so that you are referring to a hierarchy. You are referring to a system of control. An organization, a government, that represents an organized evolving group. And on the other hand you have artefacts. You have human intellectual artefacts that have the ability to be completely independent from any system of human control. They are out there in the Platonic realm somehow. And shouldn't in fact be referred to by an organization. They should be referred to in a way that is intrinsic to the intellectual content, that arises out of the intellectual content! I think that is an inevitable and very important way forward, and where this... where I saw that this was a problem was dealing with a man by the name of Nahdmi Auchi. A few years ago was listed by one of the big business magazines in the UK as the fifth richest man in the UK. In 1980 left Iraq. He'd grown rich under Saddam Hussein's oil industry. And is alleged by the Italian press to be involved in a load of arms trading there, he has over two hundred companies run out of his Luxembourg holding unit. And several that we discovered in Panama. He had infiltrated the British Labour political establishment to the degree that the 20th business birthday in London he was given a painting signed by 146 members Commons including Tony Blair. He's the same guy who was the principal financier of Tony Rezko. Tony Rezko was the financier and fundraiser of Rod Blagoyevich, from Chicago. Convicted of corruption. Tony Rezko has been convicted of corruption. And Barack Obama. He was the intermediary who helped Barack Obama buy one of his houses and then the money not directly for the house but it bouyed up Tony Rezko's finances came from that... [indistinct]. So during the - this is detail, but it will get to a point. During the 2008 presidential primaries a lot of attention was turned to Barack Obama by the US press, unsurprisingly. And so it started to look into his fundraisers, and discovered Tony Rezko, and then they just started to turn their eyes towards Nadhmi Auchi. Auchi then hired Carter Ruck, a rather notorious firm of London libel solicitors, whose founder, Carter Ruck, has been described as doing for freedom of speech what the Boston strangler did for door to door salesmen.
And he started writing letters to all of the London papers who had records of his 2003 extradition to France and conviction for corruption in France over the Elf-Acquitaine scandal. Where he had been involved in taking kickbacks on selling the invaded Kuwaiti governments' oil refineries in order to fund their operations while Iraq had occupied it. So the Guardian pulled three articles from 2003. So they were five years old. They had been in the Guardian's archive for 5 years. Without saying anything. If you go to those URLs you will not see "removed due to legal threats." You will see "page not found." And one from the Telegraph. And a bunch from some American publications. And bloggers, and so on. Important bits of history, recent history, that were relevant to an ongoing presidential campaign in the United States were pulled out of the intellectal record. They were also pulled out of the Guardian's index of articles. So why? The Guardian's published in print, and you can go to the library and look up those articles. They are still there in the library. How would you know that they were there in the library? To look up, because they are not there in the Guardian's index. Not only have they ceased to exist, they have ceased to have ever existed. Which is the modern implementation of Orwell's dictum that he controls the present controls the past and he who controls the past controls the future. Because the past is stored physically in the present. All records of the past. This issue of preserving politically salient intellectual content while it is under attack is central to what WikiLeaks does -- because that is what we are after! We are after those bits that people are trying to suppress, because we suspect, usually rightly, that they're expending economic work on suppressing those bits because they perceive that they are going to induce some change."
I mean I don't expect him to write code or know the implementation details of TCP/IP but as Google CEO he should at least know a little about the field his company is playing in and the right names for the more important technologies.
Or is this some kind of practical joke I don't get?
Tech is massive, multifarious, and constantly growing. It's easy to believe one's parochial corner is the center. Tor, it's safe to say, is not the center.
So I guess it really was a practical joke I didn't get.
> In fact, we can usually spot people who haven't read any of our website (and have instead learned everything they know about Tor from news articles) by the fact that they spell it wrong.
Accuracy is important when you're complaining about the failures of other people.
The guy has been an (excellent?) engineer, then a CTO and later on a CEO of a major multinational corporation. And AFAIK, he did each of his jobs vastly better than the norm.
Who are you with your pretentiousness?
Edit: With your original post you clearly displayed your ignorance in the open, the ignorance of not even being bothered to check the background of the person you are attacking for their background.
Am I ignorant of tech, because I barely know anything about electronics and bitcoin?
If you want to write a book about it then yes.
> Who are you with your pretentiousness?
Also please let's keep the discussion polite and non-personal.
If I want to write a book, I needn't have any competence in the domain. Often, indeed most of the time books about societal topics start with the author having little to no knowledge about the specifics. And the biggest part of writing a book is doing research about the domain. And this transcript is exactly that. Research.
And I believe that this book is going to be about society and people, not a technical manual.
And even if it were. Quality of the book is never judged, by the amount of knowledge the author had about the domain at the start of the process. What matters is the quality of knowledge within the book.
And even that quality is pretty much relative to the knowledge of the intended audience. I am pretty sceptical that either you or Julian Assange are the prime audience.
Also having a clueless author at the start of the process about a specific domain gives room for interesting observations and conclusions down the road.
Edit: Calling you out on your pretentiousness is hardly personal. I am merely observing a fact. Maybe it is redundant as I am certain that other readers are aware of it on their own.
Sorry, you're a little bit too aggressive for me. Please excuse me as I won't reply to your posts anymore.