1993-03-01 - Re: RISKS for alt.whistleblowers

Header Data

From: Johan Helsingius <julf@penet.FI>
To: “Bill_Stewart(HOY002” <wcs@anchor.ho.att.com>
Message Hash: c151100ad43429f90d95ac147cb31addfdeba6a6c895711c9ea04f48520cf591
Message ID: <9303011215.aa06268@penet.penet.FI>
Reply To: <9303010709.AA18343@anchor.ho.att.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-01 11:05:13 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 03:05:13 PST

Raw message

From: Johan Helsingius <julf@penet.FI>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 03:05:13 PST
To: "Bill_Stewart(HOY002" <wcs@anchor.ho.att.com>
Subject: Re: RISKS for alt.whistleblowers
In-Reply-To: <9303010709.AA18343@anchor.ho.att.com>
Message-ID: <9303011215.aa06268@penet.penet.FI>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> If I were a professional who wanted to stop a group like this, and options
> like court orders, violence, or confiscation weren't appropriate,
> I'd consider a few approaches like the following:

> - Flooding - it's really not hard, even with automatic protections -

True. But at least the source of the trouble would be hard to hide.

> - Crying wolf, and other disinformation

Yes. This might be the hardest one, and the one I have been worrying

> - Posting libel, slander, child pornography, calls for violence, bomb threats

We will have to accept the fact that we are sitting ducks. It all
depends on how strong support we have.

> It's really not all that hard, if somebody's serious about it.
> Crypto-anarchy is a good thing, but governments and other bad guys can 
> hide behind it just as effectively as anarchists can.

True. And that's why we have to abide to the old banner "united we stand,
divided we fall". We need to support each other, and have organisations such
as EFF supporting our cause as well. In many ways our case (with
whistleblowers) is very similar to organisations such as Amnesty
International. Single groups and individuals are easy to silence, but a
big enough, distributed enough and visible enough organization with good
communications channels is much harder to shoot down. Hmm... Maybe we
ought to get in touch with people like Amnesty and offer our services to
them as well?

Anyway, let me give you a hypotetical case. Let's say anon.penet.fi
starts running alt.whistleblower, and some suitable US organisation
decides to shut it down. They can do it by using international
political pressure - something that would definitely be effective if it
was something that was done silently by agreement between the Finnish
and the US government agencies involved. But it would be impossible if
the thing was exposed to international media. Similarily for cases of
putting pressure to telephone/network companies, or trying to kill the
server with stuff breaking local laws or something.