Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

HP inks $400 million data center outsourcing deal with BP

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Hewlett Packard said Tuesday that it has inked a five-year outsourcing deal with BP valued at more than $400 million.

HP said it will consolidate and standardize BP’s data centers across the globe. HP currently provides data center services to BP in Europe and the United Kingdom. The new deal puts the remainder of BP’s European data centers and those in the Americas under one contract.

Services under the deal include:

  • Data center monitoring;
  • Back up and recovery;
  • Site management;
  • Support services onsite and from HP’s India services hub;
  • Maintenance;
  • Use of HP’s orchestration software;
  • And database and middleware management.

BP will have the option to use HP’s private and public cloud services and use external providers.


Categories: Business/Markets, Tech

Julian Assange says US planning to indict him

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Big News     Saturday 18th December, 2010

Julian Assange has spoken to reporters in the UK after his first daily outing in which he must report to police, who are checking on his bail conditions.

Julian Assange has spoken to reporters in the UK after his first daily outing, in which he had to report to police who are checking on his bail conditions.

Mr Assange is on strict bail in the UK as he battles extradition to Sweden on sex offence charges.

He told reporters that there had been many calls by senior political figures in the US for his execution and the kidnapping of WikiLeaks staff.

He said certain political figures in the US had also called for the execution of Bradley Manning, a young soldier who, it has been alleged, was involved in leaking information to WikiLeaks.

Assange has denied any knowledge of Manning, the former US Army intelligence analyst who is now being held in isolation in the US.

The WikiLeaks founder has also denounced the Bank of America after it halted all donations to the WikiLeaks website.

Assange said the Bank of America had said in a statement it would no longer send any transactions by any of its clients to any organisations collecting money on behalf of WikiLeaks.

He said the decision had been made by the bank to deprive WikiLeaks of funds needed to survive and to deprive him personally of money needed to protect him against extradition to the US or to Sweden.



Categories: Tech, World

Air Force blocks media sites that post WikiLeaks

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Associated Press

December 14, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force is blocking computer access to The New York Times and other media sites that published sensitive diplomatic documents released by the Internet site WikiLeaks, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Air Force Maj. Toni Tones said more than 25 websites have been blocked and cannot be viewed by any Air Force computer. The ban — aimed at preventing the viewing of classified information — does not apply to personal computers.

She said the action was taken by the 24th Air Force, which is commanded by Maj. Gen. Richard Webber and is responsible for cyberwarfare and computer security for the service. The move was approved by Air Force lawyers, she said.

The Army and Navy say they have not taken similar actions.

“If a site has republished the documents, then we block it,” she said, adding that the move to prevent access to the media sites was done recently. She said she was not sure of the date.

Tones said the New York Times is the only major U.S. newspaper included in the ban. Others include Der Spiegel in Germany, the Guardian in Britain and Le Monde in France.

Tones said that the 24th Air Force routinely blocks network access to websites that host inappropriate material, including classified information such as that released by WikiLeaks. Any computer on the Air Force network is now unable to link to the sites.

WikiLeaks released more than a quarter million sensitive State Department cables in late November.

The White House on Dec. 3 formally reminded all federal employees and government contractors that anyone without a security clearance is not permitted to read classified documents, such as the diplomatic messages published by WikiLeaks, even on a personal computer at home outside work hours.

It was not immediately clear how the U.S. government would enforce this, but the White House said employees who inadvertently viewed the information should contact their U.S. security offices at work. The notice by the White House Office of Management and Budget said publication of the files by WikiLeaks “has resulted in damage to our national security.”

The New York Times Co. issued a statement in response to the action Tuesday, saying “it is unfortunate that the U.S. Air Force has chosen not to allow its personnel access to information that virtually everyone else in the world can access.”


:: Article nr. 72900 sent on 15-dec-2010 06:57 ECT


:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.


Categories: Tech, US News

Hacktivism for Cyber Democracy

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Joel S. Hirschhorn

Because of the attacks on WikiLeaks and its founder there has been considerable media attention to the hacktivism practiced by supporters of WikiLeaks.  That has been manifested as cyber attacks on mainstream commercial websites that acted against WikiLeaks.  Hacktivism as retribution and strategy to gain political objectives is bound to become much more common.  And considering how voting, especially from the perspective of younger people, has been enormously disappointing as a means of reforming government and political systems worldwide, that seems appropriate.

Naturally, there is a fine discussion of hacktivism at Wikipedia.  There we learn that it has been around far longer than the current attention to the WikiLeaks situation.

Hacking has come to mostly mean illegal breaking into computer systems, while activism has always been either violent or nonviolent.  Hacktivism is clearly now seen as an alternative to convention activism, civil disobedience and, increasingly, participation in democratic, electoral processes.

The combination of computer programming skills, critical thinking, anger and disgust with prevailing corporate and government institutions can and probably should drive better focused hacktivism.  It could become an effective strategy for achieving major political reforms.

Cyberterrorism along with cyber crime, Internet fraud and everyday spamming are to be feared and fought, while hacktivism merits considerable respect and public support as a philosophic and political tactic responding to contemporary political and social issues and needs.  At least, as long as it does not do harm to individuals.

Those with the expertise to implement hacktivism are a new breed of radicals, revolutionaries, and power brokers that is unsurprisingly an inevitable consequence of the whole computer, networking and Internet world that has been overly embraced.  As with all technologies, there are always generally unseen and unintended negative impacts that catch people, governments, companies and just about everyone else by surprise.  If there is any real surprise it is that the world has not seen far more widespread hacktivism.

In a fine 2004 article Hacktivism and How It Got Here, Michelle Delio pointed out: Hacktivism, as defined by the Cult of the Dead Cow, the group of hackers and artists who coined the phrase, was intended to refer to the development and use of technology to foster human rights and the open exchange of information.

We should see hacktivism as a dimension to cyber or digital democracy.  It may first appear as more deadly than violent street protests against government actions that are seen frequently, particularly in Europe, but should it not be seen as just a more technological form of protest appropriate for our time?  Indeed, just as WikiLeaks is seen as a more potent, technological form of whistle blowing, is not hacktivism its logical complement?

There is a wonderful, detailed history of hacktivism on the Wikipedia site, including a citation to a 2006 published paper by the now infamous Julian Assange titled The Curious Origins of Political Hacktivism.

Listen to the thinking of a 22-year-old London software engineer known only as Coldblood, who controls the servers the group Anonymous uses to implement its hacktivist actions.  “I decided to speak as I’m passionate about how government shouldn’t censor the internet.  We suggest sites to attack, and if enough people think it’s good, it will generally happen. It’s a community thing.  By making it harder for these companies to operate online we show them a message that it’s not just governments they need to keep happy, it’s the users as well.  If their website is offline, then people can’t use their services and it affects them.  It’s like an idealistic democracy.  But everyone is aware that the attacks are illegal. Nobody is pressured into taking part.  A lot just watch.  But if they arrest one person, the attacks won’t stop.”

To see hacktivism positively today may require having a positive attitude towards WikiLeaks as the defender and protector of the public’s right to know what governments, corporations and international organizations are really doing, even when secrecy is used to thwart transparency.  In so many respects, WikiLeaks is more trustworthy than the groups it exposes.  It is performing a duty that newspapers could once be counted on to do, but with corporate ownership and censorship of media WikiLeaks offers more independence.  However, the relationship between WikiLeaks and several mainstream newspapers in its release of US State Department documents has been seriously questioned by Michel Chossudovsky: “how can this battle against media disinformation be waged with the participation and collaboration of the corporate architects of media disinformation?  Wikileaks has enlisted the architects of media disinformation to fight media disinformation: An incongruous and self-defeating procedure.”  Still, working with corporate media may have been a tactic to protect WikiLeaks.

This much seems certain about the future: The more that electoral politics in western democracies appears increasingly ineffective in fighting political and corporate corruption, economic inequality, restraints on the Internet, environmental problems, suffering in developing countries, and unnecessary wars, the more we can expect to witness hacktivism.  The most interesting question is whether the American and global plutocracy that has so successfully advanced the greedy interests of the rich and powerful will learn to live with hacktivism or whether it mounts a far more aggressive attack on it, including severe criminal penalties.  Hacktivism is not so much the problem as a symptom of a far more serious, deeper set of problems.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through]


Categories: Political Opinion, Tech

WikiLeaks Receives Amnesty International New Media Award

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Posted by Christie Silk on June 9, 2009 at 11:10 AM
The governmental and corporate document leaking site, Wikileaks, has been awarded Amnesty International’s New Media Award, for its role in the production of the revelatory document, “Kenya: The Cry of Blood – Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances, Sep 2008”.  The attribution of this award is indicative of recognition of the work done by the site by bodies similarly concerned by the exposure of human rights abuses. Moreover, the accolade should function as an alert to the mainstream press to the exisitence of a penetrative and useful journalistic resource.

The report was based on evidence provided by Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, which suggested that more than 500 men were killed or made to disappear in a police campaign.  As expressed by Wikileaks, this may have been ‘with the connivance’ of the Kenyan Government.  The document is not publicly available in Kenya. On Friday, a UN special rapporteur investigating the events called for the resignation of the top Kenyan officials, emphasising the political significance of the evidence revealed in the report, and the utility of the online resource in global campaigns for social justice.

In an interview with, Julian Assange, the editor of Wikileaks discussed the relationship of the site and the press.  Prior to the events in Kenya being brought into the public eye by the work of Sunday Times journalist, John Swain, the press was relatively indifferent to the blood spilling across the East African nation.  Even though Wikileaks ran the story on the front page for over a week, “Most journalists didn’t care about it. Even regular [Wikileaks] readers didn’t care about it”.

The current condition of news reporting is a widespread concern, as publishers strive to cut costs and journalists avoid entanglement in stories with potential legal ramifications, it is unsurprising that investigative pursuits have been increasingly neglected.  Assange is determined to reverse these detrimental trends:

“As newspapers cut back on most expensive journalism, part of our goal is to decrease the input costs, by [publishing] those documents, by decreasing the legal costs.

“I do know that mainstream journalists sit on an enormous number of leaked documents for economic reasons”.

Could the model and ethos on which Wikileaks functions provide a solution to the current impasse in quality reporting?  According to the website, Wikileaks is “a multi-jurisdictional organization to protect internal dissidents, whistleblowers, journalists and bloggers who face legal or other threats related to publishing”.  It sees its responsibility as involving the publication of leaked documents, which at the moment stand at 1.2 million, mostly offered by “dissident communities and anonymous individuals”.  To concretise their value, the next stage requires “someone familiar with that material” to investigate it and put it in political context. Once that is done, then it becomes of public interest”.

It is a disconcerting awareness that the mainstream Western press remains largely ignorant of the work that the organisation does in the developing world.  In order to achieve maximum impact and subsequent leverage to generate any changes in situations, leaked documents must be brought into the public domain.  To use a very different case but pertinent example, the expenses row in the UK has recently emphasised the fact that newspapers remain arguably the most effective medium of raising public consciousness.   Thus, if newspapers are to continue as the principle carriers of reliable investigative journalism, whether stories concern Kenya or the UK, it is in their interests to capitalise upon the groundwork produced by such organisations, which hold exposure as a crucial step towards the ultimate aim of rendering social, political and corporate justice.

Indeed, Assange is clear in his perception of the overall dynamic.  This is expressed in his conviction that investigative journalism is ‘a large driver of political reform’, which, as it is also the principle aim of the project, it is logical that the two concepts should cooperate.

Source: Wikileaks


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Hackers Attack, Take Down Site of Bank that Froze Assange Cash

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Who knew that caving to government intimidation and the threat of bad p.r. could actually backfire? A group of anonymous online activists have knocked out the website of Post Finance, the Swiss bank that froze the assets of the Julian Assange Defense Fund. Operation Payback, which also launched an attack on PayPal this morning, pledged to go after any organization that “censors” WikiLeaks. (H/T Raw Story)

Raw Story found this video explaining their philosophy posted to their YouTube channel.    Read more

By Tana Ganeva | AlterNet
Posted on Monday, December 6, 2010 @ 06:42 PM


Categories: Tech, US News, World

Assange Accuser Worked with US-Funded, CIA-Tied Anti-Castro Group

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

By Kirk James Murphy

December 5, 2010 – …Julian Assange’s chief accuser in Sweden has a significant history of work with anti-Castro groups, at least one of which is US funded and openly supported by a former CIA agent convicted in the mass murder of seventy three Cubans on an airliner he was involved in blowing up.Anna Ardin (the official complainant) is often described by the media as a “leftist”. She has ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups. She published her anti-Castro diatribes (see here and here) in the Swedish-language publication Revista de Asignaturas Cubanas put out by Misceláneas de Cuba.

From Oslo, Professor Michael Seltzer points out that this periodical is the product of a well-financed anti-Castro organization in Sweden. He further notes that the group is connected with Union Liberal Cubana led by Carlos Alberto Montaner whose CIA ties were exposed here…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo:


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