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Bruce Stirling on Assange

Great stuff. Hackerdom is like Cheetopia, except with more Cheetoh goodness and coding skills. But it really is great, so go read the whole thing.

Comments

Submitted by wlarip on

An insightful view of Assange and of the NSA.

Is discretion in some things necessary? Yes. But, just as Assange's motivation can be viewed as a sociopathic need to expose all, it can also be characterized as rebellion against being spoon-fed a lie. If the Emperor is naked, I'm not so sure it isn't in everyone's interest(including the Emperor) to know it.

I've never accepted the characterizations of Assange as the digital Knight Templar of truth. He does what he does because he likes it and he is willing to live a rather perilous existence because of it. But that doesn't make him a hero; it makes him a hacker.

If the net result of his actions causes the Empire to become more secretive, that will be bad;not good. The best firewall is to unplug your computer from the power outlet. But, like us, Darth is addicted. I liken the internet to the Industrial Revolution. Despite the trite analogy, it really did 'change everything'.

Given the internet's continued use by government, the question to me is what is the price of paranoia? It's already illegal to 'export' certain encryption technologies abroad. What's next?

Government tends to restrict our civil liberties based on perceived threat. Based on your view, that's either cause or rationalization. But the first imperative of power is to keep power. I think adding the phrase, 'by any means necessary' is not a quantum leap.

Many computer geeks accept 'virtual reality' as reality. There really are no boundaries. In that respect, Assange and the government are Gemini.
Both need to step back and let the rest of us breathe.

Boundaries do exist. Assange may learn that from his rape trial. What will teach the government? Maybe a few more cables.