Anyone who claims that Julian Assange has no plan is (net) deluded. Read this excellent piece by Aaron Bady that details Julian’s political theory. Whether or not you agree with his theory of conspiracy, there is a method to the “madness”. And this “madness” is about to trigger the proliferation of WMD’s, WikiLeaks of Mass Disruption. Get ready for the Clone Wars.
Why? Have a look at what happened to the music industry. As Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom wrote in “The Spider and the Starfish,” the biggest players with the best lawyers in the world went up against P2P file-sharing companies like Napster and Grokster. But as the labels were repeatedly winning lawsuits, “the overall problem of music piracy was getting worse and worse. It wasn’t that the labels weren’t vigilant enough. It was actually the exact opposite—the labels were adding fuel to the fire with every new lawsuit. The harder they fought, the stronger the opposition grew.”
When Napster was shut down, more decentralized P2P file-sharing sites began to spring up that became harder to eliminate, e.g., eDonkey, eMule, etc. The same will happen with Wikileaks. As the group becomes increasingly targeted, they will become more decentralized and will inevitably spawn “copy-cats”. And not just technology copy-cats, but legal-copy cats; as participants at NewsFoo repeatedly noted, WikiLeaks is a legal-hack, distributing servers across liberal democracies. (Meanwhile, by the way, the US government will become more centralized and closed).
Just yesterday I proposed a “Humanitarian Wikileaks” on Twitter and got numerous enthusiastic replies, DM’s and emails. And check out this site (OpenLeaks) still under construction (updated just 2 weeks ago), owned by CINIPAC Webhosting: Offshore, Secure, Anonymous.”
What’s going to happen next? Read these “8 Principles of Decentralization.” WikiLeaks is just the first generation. Future spin-off’s will become more specialized, sophisticated and will make fewer mistakes. Julian is often criticized for focusing primarily on the US. What people fail to understand is that all he has to do (and has done) is to trigger the Clone Wars to bring this disruption to many other shores.
On a personal note, I’m less worried by WikiLeaks than the actions that “open” democracies are taking to eliminate the initiative.
Updated: As is widely known, the US government and Amazon forced the wikileaks.org domain off the Web:
Here is WikiLeaks’ response:
See also: Former WikiLeaks Activists to Launch New Whistleblowing Site from the Spiegel Online and WikiLeaks: Moving Target by Renesys blog.