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Daily links 09/29/2011

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Daily links 09/28/2011

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Daily links 09/24/2011

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Daily links 09/23/2011

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Daily links 09/22/2011

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Daily links 09/21/2011

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Daily links 09/19/2011

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Daily links 09/15/2011

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Sep 11th, 2011
  • Category: Stuff
  • Comments: 1

Daily links 09/11/2011

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Daily links 09/08/2011

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Daily links 09/05/2011

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  • tags: wikileaks assange guardian FAIL security password encryption

  • tags: Wikileaks guardian whistleblower assange FAIL security cables encryption

    • So regardless how David Leigh & Co. imagine computer security works—and right now they are desperately trying increasingly ridiculous arguments to blame Wikileaks for Leigh’s actions—there’s no reason to publish any password this sensitive—ever.
       
       The entire Leigh/Harding Wikileaks book is written in the thrilled tone of a girl scout’s diary, clearly reveling in the secret squirrel aspect of the story. And they’re clearly clueless too. Leigh at one point drives across town so Assange can show him how to unzip the Cablegate file. Perhaps not the best people to share secrets with.
  • tags: Wikileaks guardian whistleblower assange FAIL security cables

    • As usual, many of those running around righteously condemning WikiLeaks for the potential, prospective, unintentional harm to innocents caused by this leak will have nothing to say about these actual, deliberate acts of wanton slaughter by the U.S.  The accidental release of these unredacted cables will receive far more attention and more outrage than the extreme, deliberate wrongdoing these cables expose.
    • Regardless of who is at fault — more on that in a minute — WikiLeaks, due to insufficient security measures, failed to fulfill that duty here.  There’s just no getting around that
    • Despite the fault fairly assigned to WikiLeaks, one point should be absolutely clear: there was nothing intentional about WikiLeaks’ publication of the cables in unredacted form.  They ultimately had no choice. 
    • What happened here was that their hand was forced by the reckless acts of The Guardian’s Leigh and Domscheit-Berg.  One key reason access to these unredacted cables was so widely distributed is that Leigh — in his December, 2010, book about the work he did with WikiLeaks — published the password to these files, which was given to him by Julian Assange to enable his reporting on the cables.  Leigh claims — and there’s no reason to doubt him — that he believed the password was only valid for a few days and would have expired by the time his book was published. 

           

      That belief turned out to be false because the files had been disseminated on the BitTorrent file sharing network, with that password embedded in them; Leigh’s publication of the WikiLeaks password in his book thus enabled widespread access to the full set of cables.  But the key point is this: even if Leigh believed that that particular password would no longer be valid, what possible point is there in publishing to the world the specific password used by WikiLeaks or divulging the types of passwords it uses to safeguard its data?  It is reckless for an investigative reporter to gratuitously publish that type of information, and he absolutely deserves a large chunk of the blame for what happened here; read this superb analysis by Nigel Parry to see the full scope of Leigh’s culpability.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links 09/01/2011

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    • The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German syndicalist sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties. It states that all forms of organization, regardless of how democratic or autocratic[citation needed] they may be at the start, will eventually and inevitably develop into oligarchies. The reasons behind the oligarchization process are: the indispensability of leadership; the tendency of all groups, including the organization leadership, to defend their interests; and the passivity of the led individuals more often than not taking the form of actual gratitude towards the leaders.
    • “Bureaucracy happens. If bureaucracy happens, power rises. Power corrupts.”
    • Bureaucracy by design leads to centralization of power by the leaders. Leaders also have control over sanctions and rewards. They tend to promote those who share their opinions, which inevitably leads to self-perpetuating oligarchy.[1] People achieve leadership positions because they have above-average political skill (see charismatic authority). As they advance in their careers, their power and prestige increases. Leaders control the information that flows down the channels of communication, censoring what they do not want the rank-and-file to know. Leaders will also dedicate significant resources to persuade the rank-and-file of the rightness of their views.[1] This is compatible with most societies: people are taught to obey those in positions of authority. Therefore the rank and file show little initiative, and wait for the leaders to exercise their judgment and issue directives to follow.

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