Since WikiLeaks released those government cables last month (Nov 28), which arguably embarrassed numerous international figures and diplomats, British and Swedish authorities have managed to arrest of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, over rape allegations. The Assange camp argues the arrest is politically motivated, while Swedish authorities proclaim otherwise.
But the allegations are hardly the big story in all this. No the big stories from the WikiLeaks scandals are how these evidences of our world leaders behind closed doors attitudes will affect the War on Terrorism, and how Cloud Computing and Hosting will be affected. I am sure Assange was only shooting for the latter, Ha!
The Assange Breakdown
Britain has arrested Assange but Australia naturally wants to defend him. That is where he is from. Amazon.com shut down his hosting account, to whom they switched for the cloud hosting service for deeper obscurity. PayPal blocked his account. So has Mastercard, among others including one of his banks which claims he lied about his information when opening the account. A lot of this I gathered on the radio (NPR) so don’t hold me to all of these details.
The rape charge seems pretty weak. Assange is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010. [Source: Huffington Post]
Apparently there are two women with separate rape charges, alleging that he knowingly used a broken condom having sex, which is illegal in Sweden. Can that really happen to a person TWO TIMES? In the same relative period? No, not likely, so if those allegations are true then you have to wonder, was Assange hoping to impregnate these women knowing that shit was about to hit the fan?
Again, we don’t know the full details.
The Cloud Wars
Adding fuel to the fire, an anonymous and seemingly highly skilled clandestine hacker community identified as ‘Anonymous’ has launched a mission called Operation Payback top perform denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on commercial websites making Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ quest troublesome.
As WSJ writer Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. puts it,
What happened next illustrates a jungle-like aspect of the global datasphere. Businesses that crossed WikiLeaks, such as PayPal and the Swiss postal bank, have themselves come under cyberattack from its supposed sympathizers. Meanwhile, the group itself was back up and running thanks to mirror sites, hosted by hundreds of supporters in various countries. These sites, in turn, link to untraceable caches of documents on thousands of computers belonging to perhaps unwitting peer-to-peer network users around the world.
This is quite the aftermath if you think about it, and I would not be surprised if Assange is getting a kick out of things. While we can only speculate of his interests and motivation, there is probably money involved but also the idea that he was going to shake up the USA and other world governments a bit which, essentially he has achieved.
Like most men and war, Assange probably underestimated what could come out of it. It could work out for him, but probably not, although he would not be likely to regret any of it. For all we know he may pay the ultimate price for it. Who knows?
Whether he does or not is not the point. The point is that there are now some new wars going on to distract us from the failed global economy and pending doom of world politics – the Cloud Wars.
Cloud hosting and computing has several advantages over conventional hosting methods, but as is being witnessed in this WikiLeaks scandal, it also has its shortcomings. But this is only because it is still so new. Security and redundancy are always top concerns with hosting and data storage, and as people and organizations take to more and more cloud computing, these things will continue to make progress.