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Air Force Blocks NY Times, WaPo, Other Media 372

Posted by kdawson
from the horses-and-barns dept.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Air Force, not content with blocking WikiLeaks and its mirrors, has begun blocking media sites carrying WL documents. "Air Force users who try to view the websites of the New York Times, Britain's Guardian, Spain's El Pais, France's Le Monde or German magazine Der Spiegel instead get a page that says, 'ACCESS DENIED. Internet Usage is Logged & Monitored'... The Air Force says it has blocked more than 25 websites that contain WikiLeaks documents, in order to keep classified material off unclassified computer systems. ... The move was ordered by the 24th Air Force... The Army, Navy, and Marines aren't blocking the sites, and the Defense Department hasn't told the services to do so, according to spokespeople for the services and the Pentagon."
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Air Force Blocks NY Times, WaPo, Other Media

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  • by Machupo (59568) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:46PM (#34556116)

    We don't want the stable-hands still inside to see that the horses are gone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There may be good reasons to do this, such as legal reasons. Just because they are public knowledge and everyone in the world has access to them, it doesn't mean all these documents are suddenly unclassified.

      Therefore, looking at classified material and leaving them up in a web browser might be a legal breach.

      Congress needs to pass a law stating that any publicly available document is automatically unclassified for this to be OK!

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        Agreed. My knee-jerk reaction is the same as others, but from someone in the military's perspective, it's better they not read something they aren't supposed to.

        • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:28PM (#34556466)
          Air Force, meet Streisand Effect.

          You to are about to get to know each other quite well I think.
          • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:52AM (#34556982)

            Air Force, meet Streisand Effect. You to are about to get to know each other quite well I think.

            I doubt their intent was to keep this thing under more wraps. I would guess this is someone who is just trying to cover their ass. The "in order to keep classified material off unclassified computer systems" sounds like something that, despite being completely idiotic in this case, is still someone's job. I could definitely imagine a general or congressman getting upset because airmen were viewing wikileaks and, I don't know "getting demoralized" or something, and someone's ass being on the line as a scapegoat for that technicality.

            The fact that it will do nothing in terms of the information getting out doesn't matter to the people doing it: their jobs are still safer. It seems to me that extremely few people in the military or government ever got in trouble for erring on the side of "censor it."

        • Not supposed to my ass. They have the right to these documents, just not from Air Force computers. These are now public documents and the Air Force has no right to determine what Air Force personnel read on their own time.

          However, if the Air Force allows reading other news sites from Air Force computers, this move is very petty and immature.

          • by senlis (1291980) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:34AM (#34556894)
            As I commented further down, this order is an attempt to keep classified documents off unclassified DoD (department of defense) computers. Simply because a document is leaked does not mean it is declassified, and viewing leaked classified documents, even though it is on the public domain, on an unclassified DoD computer results in a security violation. In response to such an incident, we have to spend many man-hours containing and clearing the classified material from the DoD network. It makes perfect sense in that context.
            • It seems to me if everyone else in the world has it, that it should be automatically considered declassified.

              I mean, hell you could run into the facts that anywhere!

              btw, don't read below this line if you are in the airforce.

              ----V-------V-----V-----V-------V-------V-----V------V-------V--------V--------V--------V------V-----V

              American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North's economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode.

              When one of

            • by dcollins (135727) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @02:47AM (#34557536) Homepage

              "...viewing leaked classified documents, even though it is on the public domain, on an unclassified DoD computer results in a security violation."

              No, the policy makes no sense on its face and is worthy of laughter and ridicule.

              • by Gogo0 (877020)

                No. is not.

                How does one determine classification? Only the originator or an uninterested third party is allowed to even VIEW the document, as need-to-know disallows even the highest information security officer (going by Army reg, at least) from even looking at the contents.
                When a content or perimeter scanner catches a file based on SECRET markings, it doesnt automatically tell us what the file is and if its on WikiLeaks or not. it needs to go through a formal identification, classification, and possible ne

        • by mr100percent (57156) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:04AM (#34556702) Homepage Journal

          Ah, so when the Taliban do read them and the US forces don't, it will put the Americans at an advantage?

      • Perhaps so, but that is a *really* bad technicality.
        Anything in the public domain can't really be classified, let alone when its distributed in such a massive way like how Wikileaks does it.

        I assume they arent arresting Air Force personnel for having a dead tree copy right?

    • by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:20PM (#34556414)
      I picture a bunch of high ranking Air Force guys in their fancy uniforms sitting around on futons in someone's apartment. There's a blacklight on, Pink Floyd's _Dark Side of the Moon_ is playing, and they're passing this enormous bong around the room. After taking a really deep hit, one general turns to the other and says, "Whoa... dude, I just had the most amazing idea! For years we've worried about the secrets getting OUT. What if, instead, we worked to keep the secrets from getting IN?" And then the other generals turn and say "Whoa... deep, man, deep! Wow... does anyone have anything to eat?"

      At any rate, that's how I imagine people might come up with this kind of policy.

      • by tombeard (126886)

        Dude! Pizza! Path to world peace!

      • Uh... sir, whoever you may be, the General ordered me to ask you to identify yourself, and whether you were the comedian who filled his sidearm with cheeze-whiz at the meeting, or whether you know (and remember) who did it.

        Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

      • You aren't so far off the mark. The idea is precisely to keep secrets from getting in.

        The problem is that the security regime is designed for only two kinds of documents "classified" and "not classified" -- there is no concept of "classified but now public knowledge."
        So their entire playbook is limited to one basic rule: "keep classified information off of unclassified systems." It doesn't matter how it gets there, but if it does get there they have massively annoying procedures they must follow to contai

    • by rally2xs (1093023)

      This is a good thing, as it protects service members and civilian employees. The problem is, it is a really _bad_ thing for these folks to end up with classified documents on their computers. Just becuase WL went and released a bunch of classsified docments does not mean that they are now unclassified. They are still confidential, secret, or top secret. An employee with this sort of material on his/her hard disk could be in a lot of trouble, not to mention that the computer in question would have to be

      • by Sepodati (746220)

        I don't even think it's that complicated. The sites are a time waster, just like Facebook. You want to read the cables, do it on your own time. There's no reason to be sifting through these on the job. The people that need to view them already have access on the appropriate network.

      • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:59PM (#34556666) Journal

        That's superficially logical, but it seems to centre around "keeping data secure because it has a classification attached to it", as opposed to the (subtly but importantly different) "keeping data secure in order to prevent it from being disseminated to the public". Surely classification is a means to an end; a way of limiting access? If that end has been compromised, the classification has already failed. It's accepted that these documents are widely available to the public already - wouldn't it make more sense from all perspectives, including that of the military, to declare the Wikileaks-redacted versions declassified?

        If they do manage to bring any court cases for the leaks, the fact that they were classified at the time of release isn't changed by a subsequent declassification. They don't have to like it, and it's not an admission of defeat, it's just a logical action that actually enhances the consistency of the classification system by preventing situations where documents widely distributed to those without clearance can't be seen by those with clearance.

    • Horses?

      Don't even look at the barn door.

      Actually, just don't even look in the direction of the large red unnamed building.

      We know everyone else in the world has seen it, probably including you, but don't look now. It's classified.

  • by visionsofmcskill (556169) <vision@getm p . c om> on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:53PM (#34556164) Homepage Journal

    So the ONLY people willfully kept in the dark are the soldiers meant to protect us? Are the very people who are the most likely to know the dirt anyway?

    F$%^ing brilliant. Next up, weapons ban limited to the army.

    Hey soldier, this dam is broke, please fix it... here's a spoon

    • by Cwix (1671282)

      They have weird rules in the military, and this may just be the guy in charge of keeping classified material off of classified computers covering his ass by following the letter of the rules.

      Shoot they had us fly with our weapons a few times, but they still took away our lighters.. go figure.

      • by Cwix (1671282)

        off of unclassified computers

      • Possibly a dumb question, but is information published in the NYT still 'classified'?

        • by Tiger4 (840741)

          How could the NYT un-classify something? They don't work for the US Government, and certainly they can't make fully informed judgments on how the information can damage the National Security of the US. They might make some guesses, even good guesses, but that is far from the same thing.

          • The point is, once it's actually been published in the NYT, what's the point of considering it classified anymore? What damage could possibly be done that hasn't already?

            • by Cwix (1671282)

              Doesn't matter if its tattooed on everyone's arm. If the pencil pusher is told.. Keep clasified material off this computer, and the pencil pusher knows that classified material is on these webpages. Hes going to block it. Heck he might even think its stupid, but its better to follow the rules, then to risk getting in trouble for not following the rules.

          • by MoonBuggy (611105)

            Classification is simply a means to an end; specifically: to limit access to certain data. Obviously publication can't remove the classification (despite what many of the other replies to your posts seem to think), but if the data is widely disseminated, the classification is no longer serving its purpose. Now, I agree with you that the NYT in no way have the ability to declassify information, and that whoever made this particular decision to block the sites (and thus keep material which is still classified

        • Possibly a dumb question, but is information published in the NYT still 'classified'?

          Publishing in the NYT or anywhere else does not automagically 'unclassify' it.
        • Yes. Unless some government agency allowed to unclassify something, it is classified. If they classify the information that the night is dark this info must not be circulated by people who signed agreements granting them access to classified information. Whether it is common knowledge does not matter. That's the funny part about it: If you're not supposed to know it, you may talk about it.

          As soon as you sign a paper informing you about just how horrendous a crime you would commit if you ever talked about so

    • Actually, I believe Julian Assange is also being kept in the dark. On the ABC (Australian radio) at lunchtime I heard they're keeping him in solitary confinement; that they gave him a copy of Time magazine to read, but removed the cover because it featured him.

      The fact that he's being held like this is a much bigger indictment of American policy than any unguarded opinions of the diplomats would be.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        Nah. I'd imagine they have him in solitary because of what happens to accused rapists in prison.... They have a tendency to end up dead. That would be particularly awkward in this case because everybody would immediately accuse the British government of being behind it.

  • The servicemen may be able to fly a fscking jet fighter, but they are probably not able to get to wikileaks documents through a non-airforce internet connection !!
    • by meerling (1487879)
      True. Most of the USAF pilots I've talked to are pretty stupid. They are really good at flying their planes, but other than that, most of them are dumb as bricks. And they tent to have egos larger than their multi-ton planes.
      • by pookemon (909195)

        most of them are dumb as bricks

        And they tent to have egos larger than their multi-ton planes

        tent huh... lol

      • by dimeglio (456244)

        How many pilots is that? I just thought the military in general are just told what to think. Hence they can't be expected to develop a sense of criticism we, non military people, need to survive. Otherwise we'd be sucked-in by the next big scam.

    • Sounds like the military version of the TSA incident:

      "What??? You're limiting what publicly-available classified material I can see, when I could already defect with an Air Force plane if I wanted ... [/court-martial]"

  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:55PM (#34556186)

    in order to keep classified material off unclassified computer systems.

    Perhaps the need to realize that material on a major newspaper's web site cannot by any stretch of the imagination still be considered to be "classified". Or is this just some pencil pusher trying to follow the rules are written?

    • Re:Unclassified (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tiger4 (840741) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:08PM (#34556306)

      Information is remains classified until someone with the proper authority de-classifies it. Just because it is released into the wild does not de-classify something. No more than if a thief sells your property to a third party it is no longer your property. You may not have physical possession or control of it, but you certainly would assume you still owned it.

      • Re:Unclassified (Score:4, Informative)

        by Drishmung (458368) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:31PM (#34556488)
        secret

        1. done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others

        2. kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/secret [reference.com]

        If everybody knows it because it's plastered over the front page of the New York Times it is no longer a secret. Your thief analogy is inaccurate. Regardless of the legitimacy of how it got there, you can not reasonably believe that it is, any more, 'secret'. To look at it another way: a thief stole your vase and smashed it. It is now a broken vase. Just because they had no right to do so doesn't unbreak the vase.

        • by siddesu (698447)

          It is probably viewed as a reasonable safeguard for preventing more secrets leaking, including secrets within the force, and not as censorship.

          Technically, of course, it is meaningless to keep the pretense the Wikileaks are secrets anymore. If you are in a simple situation and only have access to one, or very few secrets, this is so.

          Typical commercial NDAs are usually drafted in this fashion -- I haven't signed a single one that doesn't provide a clause that renders it void if the matters it covers become p

      • by tombeard (126886)

        Well, you can classify it any way you want, but it is still common public knowledge. RIAA et al aside, you cant "own" knowledge. Cost of reproduction is zero. Once you display any information it is owned by us all.

        • by Tiger4 (840741)

          Just because something is easy to steal does not give you rights to take it.

          Do you you own everything you see just because you can pick the locks? Does someone else own all of your possessions because they can easily take them from you? That is a pretty muddy moral world you're living in. If the only barrier to ownership is in how difficult it is to get it from the guy that has it, how is that different from Brute-force World? If the victim was willing to give it up, or deserved to be copied from becaus

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            You inherently can't steal knowledge. Therefore your entire argument is moot. This isn't about stolen physical goods (where the original is lost). This isn't even about exact copies of documents (which can be protected by copyright). This is in large part about paraphrased descriptions of documents that contain information of historical relevance. The only reasonable comparison would be with corporate trade secrets, and even that is a stretch given the compelling argument that the public has an inheren

            • by Tiger4 (840741)

              You inherently can't steal knowledge.

              So, if someone creates and compiles knowledge into a new collection never before seen, then leaves it on a computer that you happen to have access to, you just automatically assume you may freely read and copy it, and that you can and should share it with anyone you happen to think of. And none of this has any negative moral implication because "You inherently can't steal knowledge." Wow.

              Notice that at no point does the intent or even desire of the person that created

              • by spinkham (56603)

                You're not stealing the knowledge, as you are not depriving them of it.
                What you might be doing is depriving them of the benefits of having a monopoly of that data collection. What you are not depriving them of is the data collection itself.

                Copying without permission is not theft of the item being copied. That doesn't mean it's automatically morally or legally ok, just that it differs from theft in substantial ways.

      • Terrible analogy. The material is still classified but there is no longer anything secret or confidential about that information.

        To say it is like a thief selling physical property is a tenuous analogy. If a thief steals your property you can get it back, information and ideas are not like property in any way.

        • by Tiger4 (840741)

          Classified is what I was discussing. Secret or confidential in the colloquial sense was not part of the discussion.

          And I don't intend to get into your articles of faith at all.

          • To make the intellectual leap of considering information and ideas as property is your article of faith friend.

            It sounds like you're trying to justify the banning of these websites on the grounds of protecting some sort of imagined property. That the situation is absurd given that the information is no longer secret seems to have passed you completely. What warped perception of reality could lead to this is beyond my imagining.

      • by Ksevio (865461)
        And if you follow the security guidelines on classified material, any device that is touched by classified documents becomes contaminated and is then also a classified device. They don't want all their email computers becoming restricted to SIFR
      • So bad, that someone should arrest you and put you out of our collective misery. Classified makes no sense if the information is widely available-- you might as well classify the value of pi.

    • by meerling (1487879)
      It's been a while, but my understanding is that anything that gets put on the media channels is compromised, and your response should always be the standard, "I can neither confirm nor deny that statement". Of course, trying to keep your own people in the dark about things that are now public knowledge, even if it was classified, is a really bad idea that is going to screw you over real quick.
    • by IICV (652597)

      Who knows? It could be a form of white mutiny [wikipedia.org] - after all, blocking military members' access to popular news sites is a really stupid thing to do, but if the regulations say you have to do it then maybe everyone gets blocked, including the people who are in a position to change the regulations.

  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:01PM (#34556238)
    ...caused a lot of the ugly chapters of history. Being part of an organisation makes you responsible for it's actions.
  • Keep in mind... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by not already in use (972294) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:02PM (#34556244)
    Most of the guys at the top making these decisions are old and don't understand how the internet works. It's kinda cute, really.
    • by osssmkatz (734824)
      I don't think it's cute. I think it is an abridgment of the 1st amendment. And that is the scariest thing. Scarier than Guantanamo Bay. Keep in mind that the constitution has only been suspended during times of war. It is not to be permitted, not then and not now.
    • Most of the guys at the top making these decisions are old and don't understand how the internet works.

      These decisions are made by Congress. Not everyone in Congress is old, and not all of them are guys.

      Look, the military is just following the law. Which is what they should do, even when the law is stupid. They don't make the law.

      • These decisions are made by Congress.

        Did you even bother reading the summary? Specifically, the part that says "The move was ordered by the 24th Air Force."
        I've been guilty of not RTFA, but jesus christ dude, the summary?

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          They made the decision as a result of policies set by POTUS and laws passed by Congress. Trust me, many of the people in the food chain know how the Internet works, but they run smack up against politicians and lawyers and sometimes have to make inane choices.

  • by msauve (701917) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:04PM (#34556266)

    Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom ... of the press

    The military is, of course, under control of the Executive branch, which is bound to enforcing the law, not creating or ignoring it (even the little bit of autonomy, such as treaties and appointments, is subject to Congressional approval).

    • by siddesu (698447)

      That's abridging the freedom of the readership, not of the press. The wikileaks still get published, it is just forbidden to read them.

      Come to think of it, it will be a constitutional way to cut you off information when, in a few years, all press comes to your Eyepad.

      / says my tinfoil hat.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:05PM (#34556278)
    It's like confiscating matchbooks but not lighters from the stable boys after THE ENTIRE TOWN HAS BURNED DOWN !

    Yet considering what I saw when I was in the military I'm not that surprised. A plane buff I knew on base wrote to the Library of Congress (as a normal civilian using his civilian address) asking for info on the SR71 Blackbird. They sent him some cool media materials which included a poster sized drawing of the plane, all standard and unclassified press packet stuff. During an inspection of the barracks a stupid officer saw it and wanted him arrested for spying and stealing classified material.

    Because of things like that, do I get surprised when some military moron goes off half-cocked and without bullets? No, I've become convinced that most of them don't even understand the security rules or pretty much anything else that exists outside their egocentric imaginations. (And I'm pretty sure that 3 of the 5 generals I actually met were senile at the time. 4 of them were also complete assholes, but that's a different issue.)
  • FTA, "...websites that contain WikiLeaks documents, in order to keep classified material off unclassified computer systems..."

    IOW, computer systems that host WL docs are classified and USAF computers are not?

    • by Tiger4 (840741)

      Right. Think about it. If a government system was serving up classified documents to anyone that asked, it would be a major scandal. People would rightly want it shut down or disconnected. You certainly would not want classified stuff leaking out into the world, or crossing into systems it doesn't belong in.

      OK, so now we have WL serving up classified documents. So what does the government do? Disconnect from the systems doing the leaking. Can't shut down WL itself, legally, but you can minimize the l

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:39PM (#34556550)

    Speaking as a federal employee, we've already been told that we are not to access the classified documents leaked on Wikileaks unless we already have clearance and authority to view such documents (which I don't, of course). On the other hand, we were also told that we're not restricted from viewing independent reporting about the leaked documents; that is, if the NYT talks about what's in a classified diplomatic cable, we can read the article no problem, but if they serve up a copy of the document, we're supposed to avoid it.

    This applies extra in cases where we're using government computers, because it creates a problem having classified documents on a system not authorized to have classified documents on it. I don't know whether they'd press charges if someone did this anyway, but at the very least it could cost someone their job, so I'm happy to steer clear.

    • These are now public documents and they have no right to tell you what you're supposed to read outside of work. If too many accept these type of authoritarian attempts at control, we are all screwed. Stating that you cannot read these documents which are now public is both immoral and probably illegal. It is an presumption of power to which they have no right.
  • Of course it's a special kind of stupid that cares about following the letter that closely.

  • Balance? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:58PM (#34556652) Homepage Journal

    Ah, so you block the New York Times and Washington Post for posting 'traitorous' documents, but are they still rebroadcasting 'patriotic' Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in Iraq for the troops?

    The military has a special TV and radio service called AFRTS that replays shows for troops overseas, but there's been accusations of bias for years (eg all conservative shows but no liberal ones)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:04AM (#34556700)

    posting anon on purpose
    Executive Order 13526 Section 1.1(4)(c) is why you can't read wikileaks as a government contractor or a Government employee and why its being blocked by some AF networks (not all). We would lose our jobs and possibly be fined and/or prison time.

            Section 1.1. Classification Standards. (a) Information may be originally classified under the terms of this order only if all of the following conditions are met:
            (1) an original classification authority is classifying the information;
            (2) the information is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States Government;
            (3) the information falls within one or more of the categories of information listed in section 1.4 of this order; and
            (4) the original classification authority determines that the unauthorized disclosure of the information reasonably could be expected to result in damage to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism, and the original classification authority is able to identify or describe the damage.
            (b) If there is significant doubt about the need to classify information, it shall not be classified. This provision does not:
            (1) amplify or modify the substantive criteria or procedures for classification; or
            (2) create any substantive or procedural rights subject to judicial review.
            (c) Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information.
            (d) The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.

    • by senlis (1291980) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:29AM (#34556858)
      (c) Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information. This is the key part of the order. Just because a document is leaked into the public domain does not automatically declassify it. Any viewing of leaked material on DoD (department of defense owned) computers would constitute a security incident causing many man-hours to be spent containing the classified information on the network. The order this article is talking about makes perfect sense. It is so Air Force personnel do not accidentally view classified material on unclassified machines and causing major problems. I would appreciate it if people who obviously don't know what they are talking about wouldn't make ignorant jokes.
  • Well this proves that "military intelligence" is an oxymoron, much like military peace, military justice, military accountability, or even.....military budget
  • by Max_W (812974) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @12:59AM (#34557026)

    Julian Assange is the first true dissident, prisoners of conscience of the English civilization.

    I remember how the similar phenomena appeared in the former Soviet Union from the blue sky. Any structured society is based on certain set of generally accepted lies. And it is not always bad. For example, we say to each other "you look great", even in cases when it is not so.

    These people however want to bring the truth come hell or water high. But the truth is often destructive. No matter what state did to frighten them, to silence them, it did not work. These were Anatoliy Scheranskiy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natan_Sharansky [wikipedia.org] , Elena Bonner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_Bonner [wikipedia.org] , Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Solzhenitsyn [wikipedia.org] and some others.

    These people had no fear of death, some aberration of nature. For the state based on organized violence it was a major glitch, which finally brought it down.

    The Air Force is in a way right, that it recognized the potential danger of such seemingly soft spoken people. Julian Assange is a thing which may bring down the whole state. He may be stronger than all the ministries, army, fleet, police, etc. taken together. That is exactly what happened with the USSR. It is not possible to scare such people, not possible to execute them, and even less possible to silence them.

    • Julian Assange is the first true dissident, prisoners of conscience of the English civilization.

      This just demonstrates your ignorance of Western history and its figures. What about Bertrand Russel? Marie Equi? Eugene Debs? All them were imprisoned for their views which they none the less advocated their whole lives. Every civilization has its dissidents in all eras. Quite frankly imprisonment is about the best treatment a hardline dissident is likely to receive, given how many were historically executed.

  • Why does this suprise?

    People in positions of authority, more often than not, got there because they have skills at manipulating people, and asserting control. NOT because they have some innate understanding of what they are actually in control over, or some special vocational talent other than essentially bullying and mind control techniques. (No, not the tinfoil hat kind-- the 'guilt trip, and glowing smile charisma' kind.)

    As such, when the reality of the complete absence of a foundation for that authority

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @01:37AM (#34557234) Homepage

    This is one of the things that would be properly identified and probably even avoided if English language had an equivalent of the Russian word "dolboyob".

    It's a word that describes this very combination of stupidity, blind adherence to the rules in situations when it causes nothing but harm, and being a massive asshole about it.

  • by ColdGrits (204506) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @09:49AM (#34559832)
    Be they the CIA, FBI, **AA, police, DHS, the armed forces - every single one of them. Because then, all each of us has to do is include some of the Wikileaked documents on our personal sites, blogs, etc, and then none of the US authorities will be allowed to read our sites, thus protecting us all from their pathetic attempts to classify the entire world's population as dangerous terrorists. Result! Wonder if it would also stop the likes of Hillary Clinton from ordering for the illegal bugging of senior members of the UN? Opps, Wikileaked there...

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