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Monday, October 15, 2012

WikiLeaks note on Anonymous

Basic solidarity in WikiLeaks & Anonymous.

By Julian Assange

Freedom isn't free, justice isn't free and solidarity isn't free. They all require generosity, self-discipline, courage and a sense of perspective.

Groups with unity flourish and those without unity are destroyed and replaced by those who have it. Traditional armies gain unity through isolation, ritualized obedience, and through coercive measures applied to dissenters up to and including death.

Groups who do not have techniques of unity derived from solidarity and common cause will be dominated by groups with coercive unity. In the end it is the techniques of unity that dominate our civilization. Unified groups grow and multiply. Groups which lack unity imperil themselves and their allies.

It doesn't matter what principles a group espouses. If it is not able to demonstrate basic unity it will be dominated by alliances that do.

When a group grows large the public press becomes a medium through which the group talks to itself. This gives the public press influence over the groups self-awareness. The public press has its agendas. So do insiders who speak to it.

For large groups, group insiders who interface with the public press are able to lever themselves into a position of internal influence via press influence.

Because Anonymous is anonymous, those who obtain this or other forms of leadership influence can be secretly decapitated and replaced by other interests.

This is exactly what happened in the Sabu affair. An important part of Anonymous ended up being controlled by the FBI. The cooption of its most visible figure, Sabu, was then used to entrap others.

FBI agents or informers have subsequently run entrapment operations against WikiLeaks presenting as figures from Anonymous. According to FBI indictments the FBI has at various times controlled Anonymous servers.

We must assume that currently a substantial number of Anonymous severs and "leadership" figures are compromised. This doesn't mean Anonymous should be paralyzed by paranoia. But it must recognize the reality of infiltration. The promotion of "" and similar assets which are indistinguishable from an entrapment operations must not be tolerated.

The strength of Anonymous was not having leadership or other targetable assets. When each person has little influence over the whole, and no assets have special significance, compromise operations are expensive and ineffective. The cryptography used in Friends of WikiLeaks is based on this principle while WikiLeaks as an organization has a well tested public leadership cohort inorder to prevent covert leadership replacement. Assets create patronage and conflict around asset control.

This includes virtual assets such as servers, Twitter accounts and IRC channels. The question Anonymous must ask is does it want to be a mere gang ("expect us") or a movement of solidarity. A movement of solidaarity obtains its unity through common value and through the symbolic celebration of individuals whose actions strive towards common virtues.

Assessing the statement by "@AnonymousIRC". In relation to alleged associates of WikiLeaks. It is rarely in an alleged associates interest, especially early in a case, for us to be seen to be helping them or endorsing them. Such actions can be used as evidence against them. It raises the prestige stakes for prosecutors who are likely to use these alleged associates in a public proxy war against WikiLeaks. We do not publicly campaign for alleged associates until we know their legal team approves and our private actions must remain private. This calculous should be obvious.

Several weeks ago, WikiLeaks began a US election related donations campaign which expires on election day, Nov 6. The WikiLeaks campaign pop-up, which, was activated weeks ago, requires tweeting, sharing, waiting or donating once per day. Torrents, unaffected even by this pop-up remain available from the front page. These details should have been clearer but were available to anyone who cared to read. The exact logic and number of seconds are in the page source.

We are time and resource constrained. We have many battles to deal with. Other than adding a line of clarification, we have not changed the campaign and nor do we intend to. We know it is annoying. It is meant to be annoying. It is there to remind you that the prospective destruction of WikiLeaks by an unlawful financial blockade and an array of military, intelligence, DoJ and FBI investigations, and associated court cases is a serious business.

WikiLeaks faces unprecedented costs due to involvement in over 12 concurrent legal matters around the world, including our litigation of the US military in the Bradley Manning case. Our FBI file as of the start of the year had grown to 42,135 pages. US officials stated to Australian diplomats the the investigation into WikiLeaks is of "unprecedented scale and nature".

Our people are routinely detained. Our editor was imprisoned, placed under house arrest for 18 months, and is now encircled in an embassy in London where he has been formally granted political asylum. Our people and associates are routinely pressured by the FBI to become informers against our leadership. Since late 2010 we have been under an unlawful financial blockade.

The blockade was found to be unlawful in the Icelandic courts, but the credit companies have appealed to the Supreme Court. Actions in other jurisdictions are in progress, including a European Commission investigation which has been going for over a year.

 Despite this we have won every publishing battle and prevailed over every threat. Last month the Pentagon reissued its demands for us to cease publication of military materials and to cease "soliciting" US military sources. We will prevail there also, not because we are adept, although we are, but because to do so is a virtue that creates common cause.


Julian Assange

Embassy of Ecuador London

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