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posted by janrinok on Sunday August 12 2018, @12:17AM   Printer-friendly
from the wasn't-expecting-that dept.

DNC serves WikiLeaks with lawsuit via Twitter

The Democratic National Committee on Friday officially served its lawsuit to WikiLeaks via Twitter, employing a rare method to serve its suit to the elusive group that has thus far been unresponsive.

As CBS News first reported last month, the DNC filed a motion with a federal court in Manhattan requesting permission to serve its complaint to WikiLeaks on Twitter, a platform the DNC argued the website uses regularly. The DNC filed a lawsuit in April against the Trump campaign, Russian government and WikiLeaks, alleging a massive conspiracy to tilt the 2016 election in Donald Trump's favor.

All of the DNC's attempts to serve the lawsuit via email failed, the DNC said in last month's motion to the judge, which was ultimately approved.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy for six years, is considering an offer to appear before a U.S. Senate committee to discuss alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, his lawyer said on Thursday.

WikiLeaks published a letter from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday which asked Assange to make himself available to testify in person at a closed hearing as part of its investigation into whether Moscow meddled to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. "The U.S. Senate Select Committee request confirms their interest in hearing from Mr Assange," lawyer Jennifer Robinson said in a statement.

Julian Assange 'seriously considering' request to meet US Senate committee

Lawyers for Julian Assange say they are "seriously considering" a request from a US Senate committee to interview the WikiLeaks founder as part of its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

The Senate select committee on intelligence has written to Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living for more than six years.

[...] The chairman of the committee, Richard Burr, wrote: "As you are aware, the Senate select committee on intelligence is conducting a bipartisan inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. As part of that inquiry, the committee requests that you make yourself available for a closed interview with bipartisan committee staff at a mutually agreeable time and location."

The ultimate irony would involve Julian Assange avoiding Metropolitan Police arrest by somehow fleeing to the United States.

See also: Mueller subpoenas Randy Credico, who Roger Stone says was his WikiLeaks back channel

Previously: DNC's Lawsuit Against WikiLeaks is an Attack on Freedom of the Press

Related: Prominent Whistleblowers and Journalists Defend Julian Assange at Online Vigil
Ecuador Reportedly Almost Ready to Hand Julian Assange Over to UK Authorities


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 12 2018, @04:40AM (4 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 12 2018, @04:40AM (#720462) Journal

    as control gradually slides from their hands thanks to the information revolution

    I think that you are rather naive. Many governments, throughout history, have controlled the media. In the "information age", some of that control has slipped, but governments are learning, just like people are learning. We read of censorship efforts in various countries pretty regularly. And, the censors seem to win as often as they lose. Give it time - gubbermint will probably win.

    And, you should also factor in that much of the media hopes to share control with that censorial government. America's MSM supports the more liberal/progressive party, at this point in time. Why? What is the return, for them? Do Ted Turner and Patty Hearst expect no return on their efforts? CNN, MSNBC? Do all of those people plan to surrender their wealth, to be distributed to "the people", if/when the US goes all-out socialist? If you believe that, maybe I can interest you in a bridge.

    --
    Do political debates really matter? Ask Joe!
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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12 2018, @11:03AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12 2018, @11:03AM (#720514)

    Sorry, wall of text...

    And I think you are a relic having lived under the status quo for too long. Tough shit if they've broken you into accepting their narrative of invincibility. There's still enough of us left who won't give up this easily. And if you looked more carefully, you would see the shift that is happening.

    When the internet came into existence, in its early days it was a utopia. It was a free exchange of information and ideas between mutually respecting individuals. It enabled insights in different cultures that before would not have been possible, because suddenly skin colour and foreign-looking physical appearance were obsolete concepts that did not apply in this new space. Social status or academic credentials were irrelevant, you might have been a dog and noone would have cared as long as what you had to say was relevant and interesting. It looked like information was finally free and a new age of enlightenment was coming. It looked like the start of something even more awesome, the fraternization of the peoples of the world without the petty interests of governments and rich sociopaths getting in the way. Society seemed on the verge of becoming truly cosmopolitan. I was fortunate enough to have witnessed it and I can still feel the spirit.

    Of course, the powers that be couldn't let this persist. The CIA funded a small, unknown startup named Google, the NSA quietly started subverting the very infrastructure of all of the internet and the money sacks started hiding information behind paywalls and rolling out armies of lawyers to enforce their obsolete-over-night business models. Fast forward a couple of years and the internet has turned from a place of infinite learning and deep human connection to a place of infinite surveillance, disinformation and shallow gamified social interaction. Something important has happened though: the centralized mainstream media failed to adapt and they are dying. Those in power failed to recognize their importance as a tool for control until it was too late and this is why we will win. Oh, and we have strong encryption.

    The magnitude of the surveillance operations by state and corporate players alike in tandem with an increasingly aggressive barrage of propaganda tells a story: they are convinced that they can only keep us under control by total control and monitoring of our access to information. They are trying to prevent a new age of enlightenment because they've seen what a powerful amplifier an unattenuated internet can be, melting their informational advantage and putting them on equal footing with the unwashed masses. Just like the clerics of the middle ages, who tried everything in their power to prevent the masses from reading their sacred dox, for the masses would no longer believe the bullshit they made up in the name of god.

    I think they're truly shitting their pants about what would happen, were everyone able to anonymously share information and freely speak their mind. There would be no more means of coercing secrecy from those with a conscience having to execute their dirty deeds. It would spark an era of whistleblowers followed by an era of finally holding the manipulative bastards hiding behind a corporate veil or sovereign immunity to account for their crimes against humanity.

    Even those apathetic to "things they can't change" are slowly waking up to the fact that there is a real world that is vastly different from the fairy tales those in power feed them and that they are starting to get curious, because curiosity is human nature. The democratization of publishing and the interlinked decline of old media as a trusted source of information can't be undone. The power structures of old have trouble adapting to a virtual world where their traditional methods of control are crumbling. The Goliaths are swaying. We need to give them a good shove.

    Social media in its current form is a failed experiment, started for all the wrong reasons. We need to take it from Zuck & Co in order to take back the net and its culture of human interaction. This may be the hardest part because a large part of the population has been literally and deliberately addicted to it. But meanwhile it might backfire on the elites as they are trying to adapt to the virtual space, taking their propaganda and disinformation there. While it looks to be somewhat effective, they were late to this party and most Facebook users still remember how it was being manipulated only by evil corporate overlords, but not also evil power hungry politicians and money feudalism. The legacy oligarchs and the crooked politicians in their pocket have failed to grasp that netizens have gone global and are able to ingest news and viewpoints from beyond their sphere of influence - they may preach global but really only care about their territorial claim as accepted by the other evil oligarchs. Now anyone has the power to publish, to refute their lies, to point out their attempts of manipulation. Anyone has the power to fact check in a matter of seconds. It seems that their only helpless idea is to bombard us with distractions and FUD, hoping to drown out the signal in their cacophony of noise. Ironically, it's the dying old media, stalwarts of propaganda service, that are helping educate the broader populace in media literacy and critical thinking by screaming "Fake News!" in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. Even the unwashed masses on Facebook are starting to use the internet as a tool for active interaction with information, they have disconnected from the TV trance of being fed what to think. They are learning what getting hit with a disinfo or astroturfing campaign looks like, because old media helpfully points it to them in a desperate bid to establish the internet as a place of lies where only they can provide guidance with their truths.

    The social media hotspots that are being invaded by FUD trolls and disinfo professionals were their digital living rooms, their utopia, and they likely resent the collective governments of the world waltzing in there and stirring shit up. They might soon be looking for a new utopia, just like those of us who saw actual internet utopia before the eternal torrent of shit started. Their ideals and wants may be different, but their motivation is the same.

    We are the engineers that make the net work and shape its future, we are the experts the masses turn to when they don't understand how it works, we are the trusted confidantes fixing their devices with all of their intimate private data on them. We built this place and we told the masses coming after us what was going on while they were still in bliss, marveling at the wonders of technology improving their quality of life. They were not ready to listen, but they are just having a rude awakening and now they might.

    We must learn from history how our space was turned to shit and build something better. It must be resilient to censorship, surveillance and adversarial participants and free from centralized control. I2P [wikipedia.org] is a good start. We must build a new space for us there, or on top of a similiar technology, shielded from prying eyes, greedy fucks fucking with human interaction to turn it into a magic cash generator and information warlords trying to drown out the truth in a torrent of lies. We probably need a new browser to go along with the network, with a focus on privacy while simultaneously enabling clear and darknet browsing, ease of use, and the ability to safely display modern web standards. One that is free from corporate influence and anti-technologies *cough... Mozilla*.[1]

    When the masses get hit with the next big scandal about how they are being manipulated for control and to fleece them for all they're worth in their personal space, we can tell them about our cool new place and how to get there. They will come take a look, because they will be curious and they trust us. If it's good enough, they will bring their friends. We need to educate them about the benefits and opportunities of anonymity and how to stay safe in this new virtual space defaulting to distrust but with total freedom. They can make their own choice of whether to embrace it and be free of their RL identity or flock to the first social site and self-doxx. Or they can have it both. This will be very interesting to watch how they decide.

    If we succeed in creating a perfect storm, naturally the money sacks will want in on it, but without being able to lobby or bully their way to the top or buy out the competition, with no leverage of their own, they will not gain much relevance in this space or take influence in its future development. They will be able to buy slices of our infrastructure or add infrastructure of their own to our network, but they will have to compete with established, trustworthy alternatives on our terms. They will be forced to come up with a radically good product and fair monetization model to persist. Their investment of money or resources will be beneficial to the network either way, so as long as they behave, we can welcome them I guess. We can have our cake and eat it too.

    We will have our utopia back, and we can achieve much more. We just need to stop bitching and moaning about the status quo and start taking the first steps towards a better future. An information age delivering on its promises. Take a leap of faith!

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12 2018, @11:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12 2018, @11:32AM (#720518)

      [1] Here are some ideas of how to build a better web in the dark:

      We have the chance to mirror all of the sites and services of use or mass appeal that are capitalist-controlled on the clearnet, on our own terms, before the web corporatocracy even notices. We can put all the information we can liberate from for-pay academia publishing, copyrighted or forbidden books or trade secrets revealed to us under NDA there, for free. We can infringe on any and all trademarks and "IP" to our heart's content, we can make fake facebook and twatter buttons that direct to our own, free implementations to ease transition for those of challenged understanding or high inertia. We can speak freely without fear of repercussion by an intolerant society, draconian laws or secret agencies. We can build social networks free from censorship, shadow profiles, Skinner Box addiction mechanisms and enforced filter bubbles. We can build decentralized news outlets without inherent bias, with crowd-sourced reporting and fact checking and we can build forums for open discussion of even unpopular ideas and few rules. We can build repositories to share code and software, without a care for software patents and without fear of a corporate buyout and monetization of our idealism. We can build places to upload cute pictures of kittens. And porn. And we won't be getting creepy mails titled "You might also be interested in the following products" from Amazon, offering trinkets connected to our weird sexual fetish after visiting those sites.

      All free as in libre. Of course, free as in beer would be even more awesome, but we'll have to find out how that works taking avantage of "free" commercial services. Voluntary donations, crowdfunding or micro payments seem to work for sites with quality content, we need to trial this at scale and work out the kinks. As a parallel model, we can build crowd-sourced compute and data clouds and CDNs where everyone donates a configurable amount of CPU time, bandwidth and storage but noone has central control. Instead, for their compute resources, everyone receives a proportional amount of tokens they can freely allocate to worthy projects promoting themselves in a central directory. Making informed decisions can be enabled by semantic search and built-in comparison of offered features along with the TOS (restricted to a selectable set of modular clauses written in natural language and devoid of the usual anti-consumer bullshit and weasel words, with controversial/questionable clauses marked in red.) There should be a space for user reviews that themselves can be grades for accuracy by other users and a transparent process for resolving possible violations of terms.

      A set percentage of donated resources should be kept for community purposes to be allocated by a trusted, elected council. A set percentage of bandwidth available should be reserved for improving the network (in I2P, everyone is a router). Good projects will succeed in growing by way of user satisfaction or fail by trying to force unacceptable features or policies. A lot of a little can become huge, we'll have a community-powered Amazon EC2. But with the potential to grow much larger.

      We could make it so that users can also allocate some of their tokens to an offering of for-pay rentable capacity so those willing to spend real cash to kickstart their project can do so, and those with lots of spare resources can make some money. It might be a necessary concession to capitalism, but we should make sure to clearly mark the commercial projects as such in the public directory and make it impossible to allocate resource tokens to them. At the same time, community-endorsed projects shall be prohibited from monetizing in any way. This way, capital investors are prevented from gaming the voting system in a bid to try to induce network effects by fake community endorsement donating a large amount of resources and then self-voting. We need to trial this good and hard and refine the system until it's bulletproof. When we're ready, we just wait, probably not for long, until...

      [2] The drug dealers are already there, if that floats your boat ;)

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 12 2018, @11:56AM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 12 2018, @11:56AM (#720523) Journal

      I like the message. If you have Sunday services, I might like to attend. At least sign me up for your newsletter, alright?

      But, I have problems with your message. Where to start? How to phrase it? Hmmm . . .

      Let me start with I2P. Been there, pretty often. Has it changed recently? It's probably been more than a year since I checked it out, that's time for a lot of change. On a typical day, I was able to connect to maybe a couple dozen sites, that were almost universally neglected. That is, some message had been put up, in the form of a web page, and it stuck there, forever, without any kind of updates. Worse, finding sites with meaning is something of a chore, because you have to sift among some of the worst shit on the internet - child porn shit.

      It's been accepted that if we want our anonymity, then we have to protect the anonymity of the worst of the worst. But I do get tired of clicking on something that sounds like it might be interesting, only to find that it's more CP.

      Next . . .

      When the masses . . . manipulated for control

      Sorry, I strongly disagree with that. The masses don't give a damn. You don't know how sorry I am that you are wrong, but you are wrong there. The masses simply don't CARE. You could take a hundred random people off of the street, and PAY THEM to attend a seminar exposing how crooked the system is - and 97 of them will shrug their shoulders, and go right back to whatever they were doing. They simply don't give a damn. 24/7 surveillance? Many of those damned fools are actually PAYING the surveillers to surveil them! "Oh, but Alexa only listens when . . . " People are that freaking STUPID! Those who aren't that stupid, just don't care!

      When the white man arrived in the New World, they dangled shiny baubles in front of the native's eyes, and used those baubles to "purchase" huge tracts of land, among other things. That is the way things work today, in real life. The tech companies, as well as government, dangle some shinies in front of the masses, and the masses feel like they have something wonderful. "Oh, I can play Angry Birds on my phone to kill the time, and all I had to do was surrender my privacy!" Fokkin' idiots.

      I'll give you this much: There almost certainly is some tipping point, at which the public (or at least a significant portion of the public) decides that "enough is enough". Some catalytic event may very well prove cathartic, and motivate Joe Sixpack to take charge of his computer, communications, social life, news sources, and whatever else. At this point in time, I can't imagine what that event might be.

      One of the things you need to consider is, government and it's agencies never stop learning. Jane Q. Public stops learning the day she leaves high school. You know as well as I do, that most kids toss that silly mortar board aside on their way out the high school doors, they forget 80% of what they were taught, books, pencils, and all the tools of the academic are tossed into the trash, they get drunk on their asses, and work hard to stay drunk for the rest of their lives.

      But, government never stops learning. They are listening, looking, prying, and nosing around - and they seldom forget a lesson. What's more, government uses it's collective knowledge to isolate and cull individuals who come to their attention. It is never "government vs the people", it's "government vs Wayne Witless" - and Witless almost always loses.

      I could go on and on.

      Maybe I'll fire up I2P and see if things have changed or not.

      Oh - before I post: I invite your attention to gab.ai It is a fine example of something "new". Over the years, I've stuck my nose into, and even registered, all manner of "new" things. Google+, Facebook, Twitter - I was there early for all of them, only to be disappointed. I almost missed getting here, on Soylent, because so many "new" and "different" things have failed outright, or turned to crap very soon. Gab is one of the newest "something new" - but I haven't seen anything really worthy of my attention. Everything is rapidly pulled down to the lowest common denominator, and that is how people like it. You might beat government, if you're really really good, and really really lucky. But, you're not going to beat the masses. If you succeed in building out that new technology that you hint at - the public will move in, and shit all over the place. They are like fucking pigeons!

      --
      Do political debates really matter? Ask Joe!
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12 2018, @02:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12 2018, @02:14PM (#720546)

        Sorry, I'm not in the preaching business. No sunday services from me. I'm in the humanism business, so maybe I should start printing some spiffy newsletters.

        I2P has its peculiarities. I only recently got into it and found that some important non-obvious information was not documented in any of the official places. Apparently they have ironed out a lot of bugs and network DOS vectors since last year though.

        Things they should tell you on the front page:

        • It's normal that your achievable bandwidths start out at ridiculous pre-ISDN values after connecting to the network for the first time. Also expect lag spikes and/or timeouts. This will improve with time as your node needs to discover other routers and be discovered in turn, i.e. get integrated into the network. The price for a truly decentral p2p network is that this process is akin to a mob of deaf and blind people stumbling around in an empty parking lot for a meet and greet. It can take a while.
        • You can safely ignore a "firewalled" network status if your port forwards are set up correctly but you are blocking IPv6
        • You can try to speed up your node's network discovery by setting the exploratory tunnel length and number of tunnels to a higher value for a while (IIRC I tried triple the default).
        • It's important to set your advertised network bandwidth to a value your pipe can actually deliver and leave your node running for as long as possible without interruption as you will be profiled by peers, taking into account measured bandwidth and continuous uptime.
        • To get integrated into the network faster try downloading + seeding one of the top 10 torrents from postman's tracker as this will have your node rise in rating for lots of succesful tunnels and successfully delivered packets. Or something.
        • To avoid your rating take a nosedive when you disconnect from IP2, always gracefully shut down your node.

        The more serious participants run their's on a VPS or if they have good residential lines, a Raspi at home and these never go down except for major version upgrades. They achieve respectable bandwidths (the only hard number I remember right now was a Raspi running at 500/500KB/s on the Java client, the VPS crowd may have been getting significantly more, check reddit), fast enough for streaming video and serious downloading.

        My test setup is on my shitty residential line, running the unofficial i2pd daemon (C++ codebase). After initial head scratching and disappointment I clawed together the above info for a proper setup, then just let it do its thing for a week while seeding a couple torrents. When I checked back then, network performance was acceptable.

        The network itself is still pretty small in terms of number of nodes, but the number of sites seems to grow steadily. Yes, it still has its fair share of defunct or derelict sites listed in directories, but I'm finding enough worth exploring.

        My general impression of I2P is a blast of nostalgia. Currently, the whole experience feels eerily like the early web 1.0 ride. There are no search engines, only manually updated link lists to guide you, speeds can be abysmal and the incantations required for a proper connection are byzantine. But it's free as in beer and free as in libre, the population is mostly idealists sharing a dream of a truly free society.

        Well yeah and the drug and arms dealers and kiddie porn traffickers in the dark corners. I don't mind the dealers, they provide a product for voluntary consumers and the online version of the market seems to be a lot safer than street dealers in ensuring consumers get exactly what they want in a decent, predictable quality. Net benefit to society in my book. The kiddie porn traffickers are bad of course, but I think we should differentiate between consumers and producers. Consumers are inflicted with a mental illness that is so stigmatized that safely getting treatment without exposing themselves to a lynchmob can be difficult. Giving them a place to release their urges without harming anyone is also a net benefit in my book. The producers need to get more law enforcement attention, sting operations with proposed IRL meets should be pretty effective. Bonus: no backdoors in encryption necessary.

        And there's a lot of a blank canvas, open space in need of a community to populate it and fill it with content. There's lots of work to be done until it will look like home. But the tech is ready now IMO and arguably better than TOR. Exciting!

        But, I have problems with your message.

        I can relate to your criticism, but here we have the chance to try and start over. It's a gamble on humanity being able to save itself with nothing to lose but everything to win. The only losing move is not to play.

        Thanks for mentioning gab.ai. I wasn't aware of it but this ED article [encyclopediadramatica.rs] provided some insights while being hillarious.