WikiLeaks Watch 12/12/2010

WikiLeaks Watch 12/12/2010

I’m going to start writing all my Wikileaks posts under the the Heading “WikiLeaks Watch,” and I will create a new page tab that will serve as a central repository for all the WikiLeaks related posts for easy access. My observations stem from a perspective of radical politics and a background in coding, IT and an early youth spent with a fair amount of dabbling in the 1337 art of a hax0r. Take them for what their worth…

Status of the Wikileaks Official Mirrors
Since EveryDNS removed it’s zone file from the Wikileaks.org domain from it’s DNS servers, I’ve been running daily dig traces for wikileaks against all the TLDs and have basically established that there are 5 geographical provders: One in Sweden, one in Germany, one in the Netherlands, and one in France. The French provider was at one time down, but now it is back up. The downtime of the French provider that started last Saturday was explainable by the threats of the French government the preceding Friday. However, since then, it appears the the hosting provider sought legal clarification from a French Court, or is in the process of doing so, and has resumed hosting services.

The 5th is in Russia, and unlike the other four which are operating under legal protection, the Russian provider might be an example of so-called “Bullet-Proof Hosting,” which means that “terms of service contracts” are usually pretty much void of any jurisdictional legal compliance language.

Assange and WikiLeaks have issued statements in essence “condemning” the Anoymous DDoS attacks. I think Wikileaks “feigned ignorance” on this topic is bit suspect since Wikileaks.org is now redirecting to a site hosted by HEIHACHI LTD, which was the same provider hosting anonops.net before that domain went into it’s own DNS black hole.

Hactivism DDoS Attacks
The original issue of WikiLeaks being subjected to DDoS coordinated attacks remains cloudy. DDoS is a coordinated BotNet bandwidth attack against a target network. A BotNet is usually comprised of compromised machines infected with malicious software. This things are almost always used toward a “criminal end,” and that criminal end is almost always “spam.” Reports of DDoS attacks on Wikileaks were likely just lone “patriot Hackers” using an exploit tool based on the “Slowloris” exploit that attacks Web Servers at the application and transport layers. This a DoS attack, not a DDoS attack; it can be carried by a single attacker. EveryDNS claimed it was hit with a series of DDoS attacks. This was the rationale for deleting the wikileaks.org zone file from it’s Name Servers. As of now, this attack has not been replicated against any other wikileaks DNS providers. And I’m still waiting on the status of the criminal investigation that should have ensued with respect to the EveryDNS DDoS. If there was a coordinated DDoS attack against EveryDNS, there would be a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, a Hactivist Group, “Anonymous,” in response to actions taken by Amazon, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard took time off from their jihad against Scientology and the RIAA to launch actual DDoS attacks against the offenders. These were actual BotNet attacks, but they were “voluntary Bot Nets.” The execution of this attack was to distribute a software tool from their website that anyone could download and knowingly and voluntarily become part of a BotNet. Then the participants would gather on the “Anonymous” IRC channels to decide what targets to hit, with willing participants using the software to synchronize a temporary BotNet attack against a target. In this way, DDoS attacks were carried against a number of targets.

The AnonOps website, anonops.net, essentially disappeared into a DNS black hole. A NsLookup querying the .net TLD servers returns a NameError authoritative response, which means the domain does not exist. But whois query on the registrar, enon, returns 4 name servers(dns1.registrar-servers.com, dns2…,dns3…,dns4…). A Nslookup against these name servers returns an answer record with an authoritative response. For fun, we can do a whois query directly against whois.verisign-grs.com and get back no name servers for this domain. This all implies that the .net TLD zone file for anonops.net domain has been removed. More VeriSign shenanigans? Or is this the result of actions taken by the registrar? The A record returned from querying enon’s name servers points to a non-configured web host via a provider in the Netherlands. The old anonops.net IP, 92.241.190.94, which pointed to HEIHACHI LTD, simply times out with respect to any http request. Frankly, I’m not sure who is actually at the root of being responsible for this domain being sucked into a black hole.

In any event, it looks like AnonyMous has reorganized around anonops.eu. And it may have been premature to declare the DDoS attacks over. My opinion of these attacks? They are fucking counter-productive for the following reasons:

(1) It is my understanding that the software tool used to coordinate the participants into a BotNet attack tool doesn’t actually mask the participant IP Addresses. So if you participate, you might expect a visit from your government

(2) It’s useless as a civil disobedience tool because it has no hope of changing politics or political economy. In fact, it only serves to strengthen such. These things only serve to provide cover and impetus for “Internet Kill Switch” bills which are nothing more than a pretext for oligarchical control of the internet. These attacks are the equivalent of “anarchist bomb throwing.” They don’t work; they never will work.

Julian Assange’s Legal Status
The US Justice Department has now declared that Assange’s political motives preclude him fro being treated as a journalist and Wikileaks as a journalist organization. No Fucking surprise there. Last summer, this is exactly what I warned they would do in excoriating brain-dead “beltway libertarians” for having their heads up the asses of the Washington Media Class.

The question is would the US Government actually do it: extradite Julian Assange to the US for prosecution under the pretext of espionage? The Assange legal team seems to think so. I’m not sure the US Government, if the chips are down, are willing to go that far. It would constitute a “lifting of the mask moment.” Yes, a majority of Americans would likely approve of it, but a not no insignificant minority of Americans would view it as an act of tyranny. Of course, the rest of the world, sans their political classes, would almost unanimously view the US a fascist, oligarchical power. The pretense of the liberal American world order would be gone. The legal ramifications on speech in the United States would be such that you would see a more and more severing of Political Economy from empirical reality; Political Economy would become subsumed in a cesspool of DoubleThink. This, of course, would be utter corruption.

If you wanted a return of radical politics in America, this would do it. But, then again, you would have the bright future of ubiquitous DHS screens installed virtually in every public place, including places of commerce, warning us to be on the look out not only for “suspicious Behavior,” but “bad behavior,” complainers, those complaining about the price of bread or politicians, or whatever.

The Real War–The Political Economy of Planning Against Competition
I always cringe when an often quoted line is parroted: “The government invented the internet.” That’s not true. But is true to say that the totality of what we would call the internet is built, in large, from a joint “public-private partnership.” The reason an Open Systems Interconnection model built over a packet-switched network became so predominate is because this joint “public-private partnership” was “open.” In the language of Hayek, we would say this cooperative process was “planning for competition.” But it has always been out there that this joint “public-private partnership” would eventually turn toward “planning against competition.” A point I keep making is that while the 32bit internet(IPV4) has been a powerful instrument of individualism, the 64-bit internet(IPV6) risks being a powerful instrument of collectivism because the “public-private partnership” with respect to the ongoing development of the latter hasn’t been quite so “open,” and the planning has tilted more and more toward “planning against competition.”

Wikileaks is important because imagine such a political economy where speech criticizing political corruption is criminalized…

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