Showing posts from December, 2010
From Frank Pasquale at Balkinization , "Why should a country that can't even raise taxes on its richest citizens think it can keep its communications secure? Where's the commitment of resources?" and this incisive statement: "Neoliberal policy that always prioritizes freedom over security, liberty over equality, invites the kind of social disintegration of which Wikileaks is a symptom. The Wikileaks cables reveal the ugly bargains needed to sustain a global dream of "spontaneous order" generated by markets. Now a state that has promoted out-of-control information flows finds itself undermined by their reckless uses, and ever less capable of combatting the problem because of the unconstrained capital flows it has also championed. Both the process and the substance of the Wikileaks affair can be embedded in a larger tragic narrative of the unintended consequences of the neoliberal project for its chief exponent."
Can Julian Assange be extradited to the US, assuming he is caught? Roger Alford takes a look and thinks it will be tricky. I personally think it will be a really interesting case when the political offense exception gets invoked. This is something I wrote about fairly extensively in my book. It seems to me that Assange'as acts are going to trigger a discussion about whether they can be seen as "purely political" offenses or simply political offenses compounded by other crimes. The final decision makes an enormous difference. This (un)helpfully, but more interestingly, in turn produces a series of political decisions masquerading at times as judicial decisions. This should be fascinating to watch, in other words. (The fact that Assange is claiming to be prepared to release some really juicy stuff (or a "poison pill" ) if he gets pinched is additionally intriguing) I do wonder why Assange chose to got to England to hide rather than, say a country tha
Lloyd Gardner has some worthwhile thoughts on the Wikileaks from a historians point of view. Reading Other People's Mail with Wikileaks Some of the most cutting perspective on the U.S. response to Wikileaks that I've seen comes from Glenn Greenwald in his typically and relentlessly oceanic style. It is worth just going to read his page in full, but a couple of examples: I like his comparison of Joseph Lieberman's campaign and the campaign in China to prevent any access to the documents: "That Joe Lieberman is abusing his position as Homeland Security Chairman to thuggishly dictate to private companies which websites they should and should not host -- and, more important, what you can and cannot read on the Internet -- is one of the most pernicious acts by a U.S. Senator in quite some time. Josh Marshall wrote yesterday: "When I'd heard that Amazon had agreed to host Wikileaks I was frankly surprised given all the fish a big corporation like Amazon has
Sometimes it is nice when contemporary issues make classrooms discussions suddenly and intensely relevant. (True, it helps that this semester I'm teaching classes on globalization, US empire, and Korea, which are ever-giving wells of contemporary focus). This week there is an embarrassment of riches from the sudden and quite bizarre emphasis on exceptionalism on the right (and critiqued from the middle ) and of course most of all with the State dept. cable leaks, as well as the net neutrality issue, North Korea, and on and on. Too bad the semester is ending (well, in this sense anyway). My upper level students have been excited about the diplomatic cables on Wikileaks, and any time students get excited about primary documents this is a good thing. The fact that my globalization and empire class just finished a couple of weeks on cyberlaw and international relations (including discussion of Goldsmith and Wu ) has made this whole affair even more timely (as has Eurore's an