The below is kinda backward. It is an open response to a private message. I will leave the sender and their original message private as they choose to open the dialogue privately.
I appreciate your thoughts *******. I will tell you that the things you are telling me echo things that I have posted against the Anonymous message boards. ( those are the people that are actually conducting the attacks on Palin, Mastercard, Visa etc ). All that I can tell you is what I am doing. I am attempting to defend my country from itself. Not to impose my opinion on others but to protect the ability people to inform themselves with real information.
I have, in the last few days, witnessed what I have most feared was coming to fruition in my country. I have watched the shutdown of an organization which is releasing verifiable information that demonstrate how our government actually does business. I have witnessed that shutdown happen in a way which literally subverted any concept of the rule of law. It could have happened by adding wikileaks to the terrorist watch list. It could have happened under an emergency session of congress. It could have happened under existing portions of the Patriot Act. Instead it was done by use of corporate power, a means that is not subject to judicial review, congressional oversight, or constitutional law. As such, I am engaging in activities which are not currently illegal but may soon so be, in order protect my country and it’s principles I have chosen to fight. Not to protect wikileaks but rebel against those who choose extralegal methods of subverting the freedom my government is sworn to protect. I have chosen to do that by supporting what they were attempting to destroy.
I am not convinced that wikileaks is the right to publish it’s information and as such I have remained silent on the matter for 3 years. That is until recent events. Those events convinced me that while wikileaks may not be right, that while it might be harmful, the people who shut them down are without a doubt wrong. That in fact the threat to my country and my values is greater from those who have chosen to suppress wikileaks than it is from wikileaks itself.
If you are assuming that I support Anonymous and Operation Payback you are wrong. What I am doing is quite different: what I am doing is helping keep truth and information flowing, what Anonymous and Operation Payback are doing is shutting down the flow of information. I am fundamentally opposed to such actions. One can not fight censorship with censorship. It must be fought with information, it must be fought in the open, and it must be fought with integrity. One must fight what one is opposed to with what one is for.
I would like to point out that your argument essentially amounts to “Shutting up is the best way to preserve freedom of speech.” or “The best way to preserve net neutrality is not to use it.” I can’t even begin to express the absolute absurdity of those arguments.
Those who agree with Joseph Lieberman that America should have an internet kill switch like that of China’s should go fucking live in China. Our society, our government, and what makes us a shining light in the world is our commitment truth, freedom, and the belief government should serve the people. (It can not do so when it does not use methods which are subject to the laws the people have put in place.) Those values are being challenged at their very core and I am fighting to preserve them. In fact, I am fighting for your right to tell me I’m wrong for doing it.
I believe that the free flow of information is the most important asset a democratic society can posses. The societies very survival is dependent upon what it knows. I am sorry that you do not feel the same.
Yes there are things that should be kept secret. Yes people should be prosecuted fore exposing those secrets. However the prosecution - or in the cases where the jurisdiction exceeds the boundaries of the sovereign nation - the censure, must be conducted transparently and in a ways that subject to constitutional law. That are open to public discourse, and that can be corrected over time if their reach is found to exceed the publics acceptable standards.
With that I really have nothing more to say in my defense. I have work to do. I believe I am doing the right work despite the annoyance I am giving to my friends, despite creating the appearance that I’m a zealot, despite the risks I am taking. Trust me I’d rather be reading, photographing, and writing poetry. My duty to my country, to society, and ultimately to humanity preclude me from engaging in those pleasures.
Also I would like to say. Do not pretend to spare me public humiliation, by withholding your opinions on my actions. If I am wrong, I deserve the ridicule and I will accept it publicly, as what I am working on is a public matter.
Sincerly and with good intent,
Please note I won’t be offering much more of a response to than this to anybody. I’m currently engaged in trying to move this conversation into a more public forum, so my time is limited. I will however read anything you’ve got to say.