Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Search Authors: Blue Box Blog, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, AppDynamics Blog, Vormetric Blog

Related Topics: Open Web, Cloud Expo

Open Web: Article

Assange, WikiLeaks, Cloud, and Fascism Renewed

The WikiLeaks Acolytes Are Catalysts for the Opposite of What They Want

Cloud Computing has been flexing its muscles over the past week, much to the discomfiture of the American government and numerous other diplomats worldwide.

The ability for Julian Assange and his acolytes to keep the information flowing on the one hand, and to paralyze websites of those that they oppose on the other, demonstrates the original brilliance of the Internet's decentralized structure and protocol.

These cyber-gymnastics will, unfortunately, most likely provoke a reaction opposite of that intended by WikiLeaks and its supporters. 

Rather than bullying governments into a new era of transparency and disclosure, it is likely to unleash an underlying fascism that will manifest itself in increased calls for insane ideas like Internet kill switches, international prior restraint treaties, and strengthened Patriot Act-type nonsense under the guise of anti-terror laws.

If you think the American government has acted fascistically in the past, well just wait, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Just as it is now clear that the so-called War on Terror transcends political parties, it will become equally clear that a riled-up donkey is at least as dangerous as an angry elephant.

Who Is On Your Side?
Well played, laddies! You now have noted democracy icon Vladimir Putin on your side, and somewhere, China's leaders are smiling.

It struck me as ironic that many of the world's most technically adept people--ie, geeks--are now telling diplomats how to do their jobs. I can't think of a less diplomatic gathering than a roomful (real or virtual) of geeks; perhaps a room full of umpires or DMV employees.

Opaque, misleading, treacherous diplomacy has been a fixture of all civilizations for thousands of years. The revelations coming out of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable fiasco hardly seem to qualify as anything of a major major nature.

As one German diplomat has commented, "you should hear what we say about you (Americans.)" And anyone who's ever worked in an organization of any size can no doubt recount politics and business moves of a far dirtier nature than anything that's come of light from the WikiLeaks leaks.

Diplomatic Code
But the episode does make me wonder what would happen if geeks ran the diplomatic corps. I guess we'd have reports of "a frank exchange of flame," "agree to mutually trash one another," and "my esteemed hopeless idiot colleague."

The flip side of this is the question of what would happen if diplomats wrote software?

If diplomats had created MS-DOS and Windows, for example, we'd have had the Blue Screen of Denial all these years. The Mac OS would throw a smiley face your way rather than a bomb when it crashes.

There would be no "404 error - page not found" but instead a "404 episode - page accord expected." You would never have a "registry error," but instead a "senior-level communique."

In a world of software created by diplomats, we'd no doubt be faced with inscrutable error messages, a confusing welter of non-standard standards, defiant stonewalling from companies whenever anything went wrong, and an inability to find out for sure what is really going on inside our systems.

Oh wait, maybe diplomats did write all this software after all! Maybe geeks are the same people, playing some sort of double-role spy game on the rest of us.

What is True?
Or maybe geeks are simply the yang to diplomats' yin--whereas diplomats are liars who speak facts as if they are opinions, geeks are truth-tellers who speak opinions as if they are facts.

The DDOS attacks on Visa, Mastercard, et al perfectly demonstrate the concept of the anti-corporate tripwire that exists in the minds of so many of Assange's supporters. These folks are just waiting for an excuse to launch against one of the evil corporate masters who control the world today. 

Their mission is a political mission, one that should be viewed as an outlier position within the political spectrum.

To my mind, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Accepted political debate in the US these days, for example, maddeningly runs the gamut from slightly center-left to slightly center-right.

But the idea that a "war" has been declared is the sort of dangerous talk that gets people killed. The famous Churchillian dictum that "jaw jaw" is preferable to "war war" is an evergreen.

One of Mr. Assange's stated goals is to end the war in Afghanistan. Well, who's against that except for all of the powebrokers in Afghanistan who benefit from the continued largesse of the US and its increasingly slim roster of allies?

Setting aside for a moment whether he's chosen a wise way to pursue his goal, one has to ask how declarations of a new war from some of his backers will end the old one.

War talk is cheap to create, but becomes dreadfully expensive when taken seriously. And you can believe with all of your heart and soul that the US government is taking it seriously, and actively (joined by the tacit approval of the usual suspects who enjoy letting the US be the bad guy in geopolitical affairs).

It's time for the geeks to tone down the rhetoric a bit, to stop promulgating the "fact" that Mr. Assange is some sort of political prisoner, and to stop using WikiLeaks activity as a pretext to act on pre-conceived conspiracy theories about American arrogance and corporate malfeasance. 

Keep it technical, laddies.

Go ahead and mirror WikiLeaks utnil you've run out of IP addresses; but keep the war talk and actual cyberattacks to a minimum, please. It's not helpful, and is likely to provoke the opposite reaction from what you intend. Read this scolding from Reporters Without Borders to get the big picture: http://bit.ly/9lgLGE

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...
There are lots of challenges in IoT around secure, scalable and business friendly infrastructure for enterprises. For large corporations, IoT implementations are one of the top priorities of the decade. All industries are seeing a competitive need to sustain by investing in IoT initiatives. The value addition comes from improved customer service, innovative product and additional revenue streams. The data from these IP-connected devices can be leveraged for a variety of business applications as well as responsive action controls. The various architectural building blocks of an IoT ...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is an up-and-coming standard that enables real-time voice and video to be directly embedded into browsers making the browser a primary user interface for communications and collaboration. WebRTC runs in a number of browsers today and is currently supported in over a billion installed browsers globally, across a range of platform OS and devices. Today, organizations that choose to deploy WebRTC applications and use a host machine that supports audio through USB or Bluetooth can use Plantronics products to connect and transit or receive the audio associated with the WebRTC session.
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provides a high level technical overview of many cloud services available to mobile app developers, includi...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable older adults to live independent lives while staying connected to loved ones. M2M will continue to gr...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004. Cybozu's kintone.com is a leading global BYOA (Build Your O...
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
In 2015, 4.9 billion connected "things" will be in use. By 2020, Gartner forecasts this amount to be 25 billion, a 410 percent increase in just five years. How will businesses handle this rapid growth of data? Hadoop will continue to improve its technology to meet business demands, by enabling businesses to access/analyze data in real time, when and where they need it. Cloudera's Chief Technologist, Eli Collins, will discuss how Big Data is keeping up with today's data demands and how in the future, data and analytics will be pervasive, embedded into every workflow, application and infra...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
How is unified communications transforming the way businesses operate? In his session at WebRTC Summit, Arvind Rangarajan, Director of Product Marketing at BroadSoft, will discuss how to extend unified communications experience outside the enterprise through WebRTC. He will also review use cases across different industry verticals. Arvind Rangarajan is Director, Product Marketing at BroadSoft. He has over 19 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in various roles such as Software Development, Product Management and Product Marketing, applied across Wireless, Unified Communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @ThingsExpo Blog launched with 7,788 original stories. @ThingsExpo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @ThingsExpo Blog can be bookmarked. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.