Monday, July 19, 2010

Word from WikiLeaks Hero

Who he is and what is WikiLeaks? -

Hello to all my friends and fans in domestic and international surveillance [audience laughter]. I am here today because I believe we can make a better world. Julian, unfortunately, can’t make it because we don’t live in that better world right now, because we haven’t yet made it. I wanted to make a little declaration for the Federal agents that are standing in the back of the room, and the ones that are standing in the front of the room, and to be very clear about this: I have on me, in my pocket, some money, the Bill of Rights, and a driver’s license, and that’s it. I have no computer system, I have no telephone, I have no keys, no access to anything. There’s absolutely no reason that you should arrest me or bother me. And, just in case you were wondering, I’m an American, born and raised, who’s unhappy. I’m unhappy with how things are going [audience: huge applause]. I’ve dedicated my life to helping other people who need help, in general, and, specifically, I work with human rights activists. I work with people who care about a woman’s right to choose, the ability to freely vote; I work with people who are working for some kind of social change that is positive in this world. This is extremely important
to me, and I don’t expect all of you to do this as well, but I expect you to support me, and I expect you to support the activities that take place that are in support of these things. To quote from Tron, “I fight for the user.”

I’ve done some other things, they’re not really that important, but they’re in line with what I believe Wikileaks is in line with: I want to teach people, I want people to learn, I want them to collaborate, I want them to cooperate. And, I want them to be able to speak freely without fear of retribution. That’s why I work on Noisebridge and that’s why I work on Tor. I think that if you can, you should organize. You should organize locally in order to make things like this possible. You should help people in whatever way that it is possible. You should also write free software if you have the opportunity, because it is only then that people will be able to trust what you do. There are people whose lives depend on software the hacker community writes. It’s kind of a scary thing to think of that, considering some of the quality [audience: laughter], but, in general, it’s extremely
important. So you should consider the fact that it’s not just about politics. And, I am here speaking on behalf of Wikileaks. I am not here as a representative of the Tor project, who employs me. I’m sure that they probably would not be too unhappy with me speaking here right now, but they certainly didn’t know about it before this moment.

So, I believe that we are complicit in crimes against humanity when we know about
them, and when we don’t stop them. I think that it is quite clear, to me, that every single person in this room has in some way contributed to the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. And I wonder how you all feel about knowing that you are the ones, I am the one, that has funded every bullet that has shot a child, and every woman who has to come home to a family that has been decimated by troops. Where there is no justice, where people don’t have recourse of any kind whatsoever, where the standard operating procedure is for someone to take a 50-caliber machine gun and shoot across the engine block and kill the driver. I’m not sure that that’s the world I want to live in, and I’m not sure that that’s the world I want to fund. I’m pretty sure it’s not. How about you guys, what do you think? Is that what you want? [audience: “No!”] So what are you doing to change it?

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