Jay Caines-Gooby

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Why I'm mirroring wikileaks

Monday December 06, 2010 @ 04:39 PM (GMT)

I’m mirroring wikileaks as well as providing DNS for it, because I believe that the heavy-handed attempts to censor it are the thin end of a very thick wedge.

Let’s take a brief look at what’s happened recently, prior to the whole wikileaks cablegate releases:

If net neutrality ends, then broadcasters and news and entertainment corporations with deep pockets can pay to put their content in front of ISP users. There’s no incentive for the ISPs to prioritise or perhaps even carry packets to the second-tier domains. Thus we end up with lowest denominator content being the norm. Not that different from what we currently receive from our broadcasters. Obviously, this is a comfortable place for both the the media industry and government to be in. It’s the status quo. Channel 5, ITV 2, 3 & 4, 24/7. No Wikipedia, no Vimeo, no blogs, and so on.

If a government can both lean on hosting and other internet companies to stop providing their services to sites that the government would rather not see, and yet at the same time exercise the ability to remove a company from the internet by confiscating their domain, at what point will one threat follow another? Is it feasible that a US ISP who provides hosting to wikileaks, and who refuses to stop serving them, will then have their own domain confiscated?

So, to me it seems that some heavy-handed governmental censorship is not far in the offing. Wikileaks is just the start and so I’m siding with the Internet on this one.

Paul Carvill expresses this much more eloquently than I can:

“The free distribution of data, and resistance to top-down evaluation of the merit of that data, is what the web excels at. It is more important now than ever before that individuals are allowed to publish and consume information as they see fit, within the bounds of the law. The world wide web, must be allowed to operate neutrally and independently of governments and corporations, including domain name registrars, ISPs, data carriers and other and infrastructure providers. Everyone who uses the web benefits from such independence, and should promote and support it wherever possible.”

The Tech Herald has a detailed roundup of the wikileaks events this week.

Twitter has played a big part in my involvement. On Friday I saw Nic Ferrier tweet:

what about a campaign to get absolutely everyone to add wikileaks to their domain?less than a minute ago via web

Tom Morris responded:

@nicferrier Zone file edited for tommorris.org. That’s the sort of activism I can actually do. ;-)less than a minute ago via Echofon

And then by Friday night, there were a ton of hosts and subdomains pointing at the changing wikileaks IP:

WIKILEAKS: Free speech has a number: http://88.80.13.160less than a minute ago via web

Saturday brought the mass-mirroring project:

#Wikileaks mass-mirroring begins! Give server space to fight #censorship! http://46.59.1.2/mass-mirror.html #StreisandEffectless than a minute ago via identica

Twitter has been stalwartly been letting wikileaks news through. At one point it seemed to be the only place to get the current IP of the official site.

There was an Etherpad being collaboratively edited on Friday, but that’s no longer available.

#imwikileaks and #cablegate didn’t trend in the US or the UK across the weekend, but then again, #xfactor was on. There’s been a noticeable uplift in traffic this morning (Monday 6th), so we’ll see…

What a difference a weekend makes

In just three days, 3rd – 5th December, wikileaks went from a couple of official domains along with some unofficial mirrors that were being DDOS-ed off the web, to having hundreds of working official mirrors and a full-text search of all the currently released documents. Score one for the Internet.

Still in doubt? http://sowhyiswikileaksagoodthingagain.com/

Comments

Good work, Jay. A great summary of the issue and a clear explanation of your support for freedom of information and net neutrality and its implications for the wider web.

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Monday December 06, 2010 @ 09:51 PM (GMT)

Amen brother.

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Alex
Monday December 06, 2010 @ 10:11 PM (GMT)
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