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REAL VIRTUAL WAR - THE AGE OF THE VIRTUAL CROWDS

by Fábio de Oliveira Ribeiro Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 at 1:05 PM
sithan@ig.com.br

It is necessary to continue the effort to study and to understand the reality.

This week all of the newspapers televised Brazilians announced the attacks to the infrastructure of banks, operators of cards, Swedish authorities, etc... that were done by hackers (sometimes called pirates). Any communication organ, however, it tried to understand or to explain the phenomenon.





It is not the first time that hackers act. The virtual sabotage is as old as the Internet and it was already very well studied by David MacMahon and Dan Verton.





The innovation in this case is the scale of the attacks and his reason. Julian Assange's prison and the attempt of virtual destruction of Wikileaks carted the attack to the chosen objectives. The cybernetic sabotage actions were accomplished with unit of purposes, coordination, defined political purpose and they left of the most several points of the planet. It is treated, therefore, of a new phenomenon and that it deserved a little more attention.





Through Twitter, for instance, I was knowing that the attack against the website of Visa (www.visa.com) it would happen in 10 minutes of the postage of the warning. In the published schedule the attack was accomplished and, consonant the information that I got in real time, in 23 seconds it carted the fall of the attacked website. Visa kissed the canvas fastest than some opponents of Mike Tyson. The global scale of the attack certainly helped to produce this result.





In PSYCHOLOGY OF THE CROWDS (Gustave Le Bon) we learned that:





"The disappearance of the conscious personality and the orientation of the feelings and of the thoughts in a same sense, first lines of the crowds in organization road, not always they implicate the several individuals' simultaneous presence in a single place. Thousands of separate individuals can at a given moment, under the influence of certain violent emotions, a great national event, for instance, to acquire characteristics of a psychological crowd. Any case that gathers will be enough them then so that his conduct soon is covered in the specific way of the actions of the crowds. In certain hours of the history, half dozen of men can constitute a psychological crowd, while hundreds of individuals gathered accidentally cannot constitute it. "





Taking into account the defined criteria for Le Bon, we should end that, in spite of they belong to several nationalities, they speak several languages and they be distant thousands of kilometers some of the other ones, hundreds (maybe thousands of virtual activists) they had constituted a temporary Psychological Crowd with specific purpose that it was expressed in way absolutely coherent and deliberately destructive. This Crowd challenged public powers and the economical power for humanitarian reasons: the defense not only of the freedom of conscience, of expression and of press of Julian Assange, but also of the right to the information access guaranteed the all of the citizens of countries that signed the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights.





The Crowd that attacked authorities, banks, credit card operators, does it put in evidence the governments' need to rethink some of their actions? Who has the economical power it will have to moderate their actions in the government's favor and against the citizens' interests? The answer the these two questions are YES.





It is evident that the governments cannot give up the secrecy and they cannot be exempted of his duty of governing. But this cannot be made with violation of minimum warranties to the civil freedoms. The governments are not able to nor they should try to silence the media. State that tries to impede their citizens of they have access to the information that had fallen in the public domain violates several International Conventions.





I won't discuss the illegality of the leaks here. This if it turned irrelevant after the thousands of North American documents had fallen in public domain. The legality or not of the conduct of the public servant that reviewed the information to the journalist it only affects his personal and professional life. It cannot affect the journalist's personal and professional life or the one of the citizens that had and they have access to the information because each one is responsible just for their conducts and the criminal and respective condemnation grieves should never cross the convict's person.





I won't also discuss here the criminal accusation that it weighs on Assange. If he committed a sexual crime should answer the lawsuit and being judged by the competent authority and the sentence will only be valid with base in proofs picked with warranty of defense right to the accused. But his responsibility for sexual crime doesn't have any relationship with the operation of Wikileaks. Just as everything it was published in the last days, we were with the impression that public and financial authorities took advantage of the accusation of sexual crime done against Julian Assange to destroy the financial and virtual infrastructure of Wikileaks. But from when does a crime justify other?





The governments and the bankers are not or they should not be above the Law. Everything well judged, the only relevant thing in this planetary incident is the deliberate attack against the freedom of press and to the citizens' right of they access information that already won public domain. The authorities and involved bankers trampled the International Law to silence a man that, accomplishing his professional mission, he made exactly what many have not been doing: to supply relevant information to the citizens around of the planet.





The resentful reaction of a part of the Brazilian media is also significant and lamentable. Julian Assange put the finger in a rotted wound. His professional attitude should be praised and no condemned by oblique road. The disqualification of his work because of an accusation of sexual crime is really lamentable. Just as it has been practiced, the propaganda/journalism that legitimates illegal wars and it is limited to publish the official versions that the governments build of the facts strayed of his essential mission. Wikileaks helped to correct this distortion supplying the journalists and the citizens of what has been lacking: primary sources about secret government actions that affect the lives of all, as well as the health of the national and international public institutions.





What some journalists really want? To maintain all happy reproducing government propaganda as if they were reports? To legitimate questionable government actions just diffusing the official versions? Done to foment wars that violate the International Law and to hide war crimes practice during the same ones? The questions are inconvenience and they are implicit in the action of this virtual Crowd that it was organized for it produced the largest and more organized attack to the cybernetic infrastructure of those that were considered enemies of the freedom of press and of the right to the information. And it is for this that I dare wait a deep and careful analysis of these attacks to the enemies of Wikileaks.





After all, some Brazilian television journalists' version that this was just a criminal action or pirate is not sustained. The one that happened was a reaction political, organized, deliberate and that it demonstrated the great discomfort of a significant portion of the citizens of several countries. A proof that still health exists in the western societies.





Journalists... Attention! Don't silence this virtual Crowd, don't just disqualify their actions considering the activists only hackers, cybernetic criminals or pirates. In this case, the true enemies of the freedom of press and of the right of information of the population of the planet they are not them, but those that trample International Conventions to censure the free circulation of information that they fell in public domain.

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MORE Fábio de Oliveira Ribeiro Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 at 3:24 PM
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