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Posted at 8:31 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Hackers knock MasterCard, Visa offline for WikiLeaks cutoff (updated)

By Rob Pegoraro

I hope you weren't planning on looking for a new credit card or finding an ATM at MasterCard's site this morning. The credit-card firm's Web presence has been largely unreachable for the past few hours after a coordinated attack intended to punish it for refusing to process donations to WikiLeaks.


Reports such as TechCrunch's post indicate the "denial of service" operation was coordinated through 4chan, a free-form message-board site that's been used to arrange numerous other sorts of Web mischief and sabotage, as well as a separate effort called Operation Payback.

The latter site took responsibility for the MasterCard attack in a tweet earlier this morning.

(10:38 a.m. Netcraft, a British Internet-services firm, has posted a useful summary of the mechanics of this attack.)

MasterCard and other payment-processing firms, including PayPal and Visa, cut off WikiLeaks transactions earlier in the week, citing violations of their terms of service. (Earlier today, a PayPal executive told attendees at the LeWeb conference in Paris that the company did so after a request from following the lead of the State Department.)

People have since complained that these companies' actions amount to a form of government-directed censorship. Journalism professor and media critic Jeff Jarvis grumbled that he could use Visa and MasterCard to contribute to the Ku Klux Klan -- but not to WikiLeaks.

In other news, MasterCard's Wikipedia entry briefly led with a description that doesn't quite meet the crowdsourced encyclopedia's "neutral point of view" requirement:

MasterCard is an evil puppet of the US government, bowing to demand to cease handling WikiLeaks payments due to some vague reference to illegal activity. They are scumbags and should be called up on their actions!

Anybody want to bet on the odds of Visa and PayPal's sites staying intact through the rest of today?

4:57 p.m. We have our answer on that. Visa's site is down as well, yielding only an error message. Once again, Operation Payback took credit in a tweet--sent only two minutes after ordering up a denial-of-service attack via Twitter and Internet Relay Chat.

But Operation Payback's own site has gone offline, apparently after being suspended by its Web-hosting firm. Facebook has also evicted the group's page, it said in a tweet that linked to a screengrab of its removal notice.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes confirmed the page's removal. The site's terms of service prohibit using it for "anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory."

(I've changed the headline to reflect this. I've also corrected a line about PayPal's involvement.)

6:56 p.m. Visa's site is back up. MasterCard's came up a while back--spokesman James Issokson wouldn't give an exact time, saying it came online in stages over a few hours--and the Purchase, N.Y.-based firm has issued a press release saying neither its "core processing capabilities" or cardholders' account data had been compromised.

Twitter, meanwhile, has suspended Operation Payback's "Anon_Operation" account (breaking the links to its tweets above). That operation has, of course, opened a new account, "AnonOperation," and resumed its postings. It called for a new "DDoS" attack on Visa 14 minutes ago, but the site seems to be holding up.

Sarah Palin is saying her site was attacked as well, my colleague Emi Kolawole reports.

For more context, see the story Joby Warrick and I wrote about the persistence of WikiLeaks online.

By Rob Pegoraro  | December 8, 2010; 8:31 AM ET
Categories:  Finances, Policy and politics, Recommended reading, Security  
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Next: Reminder: What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet


hmm might be worth doing hedge bet on the value of mastercard shares dropping over the holiday period. Could pay for Billy's college fund.

Posted by: walker1 | December 8, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

LeWeb? seriously?

Posted by: fedssocr | December 8, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Personally I'd like to see this escalate to the point that both sides crash the internet. Then we could kick the IT folks out the door and start over in a world where the people learn to talk face to face, rather than text place to place, where businesses don't have to post notices that there is a minimum purchase of $10 to accept a credit card, and car manufacturers and lawmakers wouldn't be seriously considering disabling certain wireless features when the car is in motion:

Posted by: Flyover_Country | December 8, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Wikileaks and is followers have lost all credibility to me. They preach equality, right of opinion and openness, but they don’t remotely act this way. The group is - do as I say, not as I do. I have to wonder what my world really would be like if they where in power. They are nothing more than a radical fringe group that are heck bent to change the world in their ideology. Such a shame because in the beginning they where doing some good things.

Posted by: Wisconsin1 | December 8, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The people behind Wikileaks have proven themselves as no more than reckless vandals.

Posted by: maus92 | December 8, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Further proof that Wikileaks is a criminal organization.

Posted by: | December 8, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Pressure from the U.S. State Department! Guess a person is now "guilty until proven innocent" according to our own government even though charges have not been filed against him.

So much for the "rule of law" - it evidently applies only for the protection of those in power.

Posted by: Utahreb | December 8, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Wikileaks lost any sympathy from me when they recently released the list of sites that essentially are perfect targets for terrorist attacks against the U.S.A. This is no longer a question of free speech. This is now a question of national security and of protecting the lives of people who work at these locations.

What Wikileaks did is not what Daniel Ellsberg did in revealing the Pentagon Papers decades ago. We are not talking here about uncovering a government cover-up regarding a specific program or policy. There is no reason to publish such a list of sites other than as an provocation to attack some or all of them. That is the equivalent of the famous dictum that free speech does not cover someone hollering fire in a crowded theatre. Wikileaks just hollered "Fire!"

Furthermore, unless one has anarchistic leanings, and wants to shut down all governments, publishing the State Dept. cables only makes it less likely that within our government there will be a healthy exchange of competing ideas. Who will question policies if s/he is worried that the discussion itself will be leaked?

Posted by: j24w | December 8, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

More government intrusion and bullying.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 8, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: ozpunk | December 8, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Paypal VP of platform Bedier admits that they suspended WikiLeaks after "the State Dept told us these were illegal activities. It was straightforward."

Presumably Amazon, EasyDNS, MasterCard and Visa all responded in the same manner to the same ALLEGATION. And at the same time many legal experts and AG Holder were saying they did not know how WikiLeaks could be prosecuted, directly contradicting State Dept allegation.

Would these companies have done the same if State included the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times as organizations engaged in illegal activites?

The behavior of these companies is reprehensible. I hope WikiLeaks can bring a suit against them for damages and libel when WikiLeaks is found not to have committed a crime.

Those posters above who ignorantly blame WikiLeaks for the hacking attack should take the time to read the news before casting stones. The hacks are coming from independent groups furious about the censorship.

Posted by: ChicagoKen | December 8, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Note that the administrations' successful pressure on PayPal, Amazon, EasyDNS, MasterCard and Visa is exactly like the pressure successfully applied on the telecoms to get them to provide a feed of all of our phone calls to the government - without the benefit of a warrant.

In the run-up to the presidential election, then-Senator Obama promised to filibuster the telecom immunity act, which prevents victims of this illegal activity from suing the companies. In a move that, in retrospect, spoke volumes, Obama reneged and actually voted to give the companies immunity. How long will it be before there is a similar law giving immunity to PayPal et al.

Posted by: ChicagoKen | December 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The tweet you reference is *not* the 4chan twitter account. 4chan's twitter account can be found at .

The twitter you've linked is the twitter of "Operation Payback" an autonomous collective who's only relation to 4chan is that many of them frequent the site.

The failure to disclose this fairly obvious difference is offensive to me as a frequent visitor of 4chan and reeks of bad journalism for the sole purpose of contributing to the FUD which has been raised around wikileaks.

This same FUD, I fear, will likely lead to the regulation, censorship and downfall of the free internet as we know it.

As a post script, the first google result for "Anonymous" could have enlightened you to the difference between 4chan and Anonymous which leads me to believe you are either failing as a member of the media by not thoroughly researching your topic or you are deliberately choosing to cast 4chan in a negative light. Neither of these things should be acceptable from a such a major media outlet.

Posted by: TheCrav | December 8, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: coqui44 | December 8, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Here we have the beginnings of world-wide anarchy. WikiLeaks has increased the pace of breakdown that is facing all of us. How many years have we left?

Posted by: Geezer4 | December 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@fedssocr: Mais oui! It's supposed to be an excellent conference. But I'm not sure the Post is ready to ship me off to Paris to cover it...

@ozpunk: Yup. I don't think I need to tell you why I didn't link to that 4chan channel, though. (For the uninitiated, a lot of the images on that forum are NSFW.)

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | December 8, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@TheCrav: You do know what the adjective "latter" means, right?

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | December 8, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Cyperterrorism ok if you are attacking an American based company. All Americans should EXPECT that U.S.based companies have allegiance to our country, so why are you surprised that were willing to work with our State Department? Secondly, remember that the Post has a international audiance so some coments made here are comming directly from our current enemy.

Posted by: Wonka1 | December 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Face it, These idiots are aiding the enemy. C.I.A. should take them all out. The private who started the mess should be shot as a traitor. If liberals get in the way, at least give him life at hard labor breaking bolders into pea gravel. His supervisors also should be busted to private and put on front lines to deal with problems this has caused.
Somebody needs to rent a backbone for Obama

Posted by: cbcircustim | December 8, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Wikileaks and its followers (of low standing!) are damaging their own so called "freedom of information" image in their behavior - now they're just proving themselves to be the online terrorists by sabotaging organizations complying with the regulations. They're basically becoming online thugs and stooping as low as they can go. they've lost all respect by their actions - i'd love to see the lot of them locked up for online terrorism and not just throw away the key - melt it in the lock!

Posted by: irishcoffeekid | December 8, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to America, The Fall of The Fourth Reich, coming soon to a bank, university of corporation near YOU!

Put these ba....ds out of business. I am nauseated and shocked by the capricious imposition of sanctions against Mr. Assunge.

Ebay owns PayPal and is a big investor in SKYPE. STOP USING ALL OF THEM.

Find other sources to get stuff from than Amazon, who I believe is also in on the kill assunge movement.

This credit card demonstration represents a manifestation of power which I had only imagined. Let's take the power away and show these p....ks who is in control.

Seize the power and control. Once, the thought of GM going bankrupt was impossible. Now it is a reality.

I thought we had a Constitution which says that someone is innocent until proved otherwise. I suppose that too, has become a distant memory,

We are in BIG trouble boys and girls. Notice too how our "allies" (read: a.. kissers) have fallen into line.

A totalitarian society can only exist with power and secrecy. Let's take both away and restore our freedoms.

Boycott. Stop their flow of money. Put them out of business. And, if the mood strikes you, picket any and every one of these organizations and make them FEEL the shame.

Posted by: jimgoldberg | December 8, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

God bless Julian Assange and Wikileaks, plus all those who are supporting them. It's about time someone let "We the people" see what "our" government is doing in private.

Posted by: scoogy | December 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey.....stop feeding the dark side of the force! They'll get the idea that ultimately, the people are still there.

Don't be surprised if the nouveau holocaust reaches a theatre near you, soon.

This blatant show of imperial force and corporate totalitarianism is just getting started.

I say, f.........k em all!

Posted by: jimgoldberg | December 8, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Do business with criminals and that sort of thing happens. I'll read about it in the morning paper. Keep the presses rolling and don't let the ink leak.

Posted by: jobandon | December 8, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Wikileaks is "exposing" the raw data behind matters that have been conventional wisdom for sometime, indicating to me that it already leaked. Perhaps some enterprising journalist will trace these disclosures back to their first appearance in print.

While Julian Assange is certainly a rude young man, he doesn't deserve this trans-world lynching. His position has always been analogous to the newspapers that subsequently published the material. Embarrassed governments can't go after the New York Times or the Guardian, so they'll eat Assange alive instead.

If he had broken a law, he would have been charged long ago. The perps are the people who are actually doing the leaking -- in this case, one or more of about 5,000 people who had access to the material.

Maybe hell really hath no fury as a diplomat embarrassed.

Posted by: Casey1 | December 8, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Assange & company. They are beyond socialists but not quite communists. They are against government yet want more government. Want freedom, but only as long as the laws are for and written by them including limits on free speach. Want to control all institutions because they are too afraid or lazy to create them themselves. Sounds like arrogant omnipotent people that think they are a step better then everyone else so therefore they should rule. They have the same thinking as Karl Marx. The problem for these naïve commune thinking people, is that, the bad human personality traits ruin the equality commune ideology. The other problem is their level of narcissism.

Posted by: Wisconsin1 | December 8, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of their situation it stands as an example of the virtual world being created where you can be denied service and become a non-entity at the flick of some switches. There will develop and on the grid and off the grid sci fi world soon.

Posted by: Wildthing1 | December 8, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

So, ummm, Rob. Trying to boost the blog traffic to Achenbachian levels?

Posted by: wiredog | December 8, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It's stuff like this that convinces me there needs to be regulation of the internet. If you do things in real life that harm other people, you go to prison, or you at least pay a fine. If extrajudicial vengeance isn't legitimate off the internet, then it isn't on the internet either.

It amazes me the depths of resentment that people have for the American government. Would you like to point to a government that you prefer? Would you prefer society without a government -- no roads, no food safety commission, no public schools, you name it?

Posted by: jeffwacker | December 8, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Morpheus lives....The Matrix exists....the resistance is real....oh my!

So if Morpheus is all powerful, why not intercede at any of a couple hundred places around the world where real repression exists daily (china perhaps, Iran maybe) and bring those evildoers to justice?

Posted by: Flyover_Country | December 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Further proof that Wikileaks is a criminal organization."

Further proof conservatives have no idea what they're talking about half the time.

Here's a clue: Wikileaks and 4chan have NOTHING to do with each other.

Posted by: brickerd | December 8, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Not unusual government tactic. Restrict access to financial support or their own assets and you restrict access to attorneys and bail and so due process is neatly circumvented. These police state tactics are becoming increasingly common in the USA where the powers that be don't want us peaking behind the curtain and seeing that it is all a fraud.

Posted by: Mitchellman | December 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@jeffwacker who wrote"Would you like to point to a government that you prefer?'

Yeah, the one we had before the post 9/11 overreaction.

Posted by: ChicagoKen | December 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Casey1: While Julian Assange is certainly a rude young man, he doesn't deserve this trans-world lynching. His position has always been analogous to the newspapers that subsequently published the material. Embarrassed governments can't go after the New York Times or the Guardian, so they'll eat Assange alive instead.

If he had broken a law, he would have been charged long ago. The perps are the people who are actually doing the leaking -- in this case, one or more of about 5,000 people who had access to the material.

There was no national or international outcry when Assange released his first "revelations."

The backlash with the second release of "revelations" didn't start to ramp up until Assange threatened to expose persons responsible for the financial and banking collapse ... and then it all hit the fan.

As you noted, most of these recent releases were little more than a more detailed account of media reports over the past several months - none of which was "revealing" or even sensitive --- embarrassing perhaps .......

I'm thoroughly convinced this has nothing to do with terrorism, enemy of the state and all the other names assigned to these revelations.

This is all about people in high places within the banking and finance industry who know its all over for them if they are exposed.

They are using their power, money and influence to cover their butts because they know this time the brown stuff will flow up hill.

If they aren't able to stop Assange and his "followers" what will their next step be - kill him?

Posted by: asmith1 | December 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

TRANSPARENCY is wonderful, but like TRUTH it's a double edged sword that cuts both ways.

In your consideration, place emotions aside and as a guide, hold fast to the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.

Lawless actions will be revealed and those actions eroding the moral standing of the U.S. will be known to everyone.

As Americans we shouldn’t want it any other way.

Posted by: RAMIREZ2 | December 8, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the CYBER WAR has begun. If the establishment engages the hackers guess who's going to win?

Punishing Wikileaks for exposing the wrongdoings of the Establishment is the opposite of what needs to be done. What needs to happen is for the Establishment to clean up it's act and do what it was elected to do. Represent the people.

All the crap that Assange has exposed is just that "crap." That's not what so-called democratic open societies are supposed to be doing. The time would be better spent promoting peace, cleaning up the environment, eliminating poverty and leaving a better place for our children and grandchildren.

Posted by: inewsmaster | December 8, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

As a Visa customer, I wanted to complain to them about cutting off Wikileaks. Using the Firefox and Chrome browsers, I could not get a message through to them. I hope that the hackers are cutting them off too.

Posted by: Desertstraw | December 8, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

MasterCard and other credit processors dropped Wikileaks, claiming Wikileaks violated their TOS due to illegal activity.

So what was the illegal activity? Was it accepting "classified" document or disseminating them? Or both? Considering that media such as the NY Times, the Guardian and Spiegel both accepted and disseminated these same documents, why were they not dropped by the card processors?

Its obvious that dropping Wikileaks was political.

Posted by: DarrylScott | December 8, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The headline of this story "4chan knocks MasterCard offline for WikiLeaks cutoff" contradicts this part of the story "coordinated through 4chan, a free-form message-board site that's been used to arrange numerous other sorts of Web mischief and sabotage, as well as a separate effort called Operation: Payback." Perhaps it the headline should read Operation: Payback knocks . . . ."

Posted by: simonetta1 | December 8, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Wikileaks is a much a criminal as Galileo was wrong in his analysis of the solar system.

In each case it appears that 'truth' will be the loser. (the Pope incarcerated him as a heretic, insisting that the Sun revolved around the Earth, despite the proof to the contrary. Popes used to have what amounted to totalitarial rule.)

And you call this a good thing?

Type away, ignoramuses; you have no clues.

and at the end of the day, you will have only lies to continue to bash your stupid heads against.

I am disappoint, sons and daughters of a long line of stupid people.

Posted by: pgibson1 | December 8, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I read a story about Assange complete with quotes about his intentions. This guy is dangerous. I put him in the same category as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

"...his arrest and conviction in 1991 for 30 hacking offences, including obtaining access to information and erasing and altering data using a technique known as ‘phreaking’ – tapping into pre-internet computer systems using the phone network.
In 2006, Mr Assange, calling himself ‘Proff’, posted a blog to set out the philosophy behind WikiLeaks.
He wrote: ‘To radically shift regime behaviour, we must think clearly and boldly.
‘We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not.’"

He thinks the US government is a conspiracy and must be brought to a standstill. The guy is in serious need of psychiatric counseling.

Posted by: MrBethesda | December 8, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

After all what’s the point of freedom and responsibility and opportunity if you are denied such things only to have the world figured out and sold to you in convenient episodes that so often serve to conveniently serve the indoctrinated/vested power bases and their infomercial packages?

After all is it really all about freedom as Mastercard so often boasts in its commercials? I wonder...

Posted by: iamandami | December 8, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Um, is a marketing site. Ditto for I've never gone to either for anything related to my credit cards, none of you have. So what's the point of this?

Posted by: hardgj | December 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh Dear, When are you folks going to lift the blinkers? That's it just a little! See the light? Just because someone releases reports and documents upon which decisions on your behalf are made, you accuse them of all sorts of heinous crimes. Just take a step back, have a cold hard look at what has happened!

So called classified documents are released on-line, not just a couple, but tens of thousands. You may asked yourself; How did they get hold of them? Who knows!

They reveal how the politicians make decisions on YOUR behalf - remember they are YOUR representatives, YOUR public servants; surely YOU should know how and why they come to their decisions on YOUR behalf!! They are asking you to fight and die based on these decisions. Surely YOU must have the right to know why! - not just accept that they know best, and just do as YOU are told.

When the proverbial hits the fan, the whistle-blower is blamed for releasing the documents, not those that should be made accountable for the content and subsequent decisions & actions of the document.
The politicians then scurry and hide behind "patriotism' as a defence of what was said and done, and we know what hiding behind patriotism is - the last refuge of scoundrels!

We then see various politicians fulminating at the mouth in protest, saying how guilty & dangerous Wikileaks is. In other words judged guilty; of what? Not sure, but we have teams trying to find out. Let's shoot the messenger though! The maxim, "Innocent until proven guilty", - seems to have been thrown out the window.

Wikileaks is then punished, by whom. Denial of service on the internet, punitive financial interventions by different companies etc. Who made these decision? Given the actions of past American governments and agencies, the answers raise heaps of questions. What if I became a whistleblower, would my financials and credibility be denied? In other words, do as you are told, otherwise we have ways of making you "non-exist"

I think folks it is time to wake from the somnolence, find a voice and start asking questions! Or are we just like a flock of sheep? (Oh dear, I forgot about all those good bible believers. Then again "we like sheep have gone astray", and I think old JC had something to say about money changers, rich men, deceit and corrupt authority!), We are often led by the nose by the latest guru able to get a 15 second grab of an un-enquiring, non- investigative, dumbed-down & paid off media.

Start thinking; PLEASE!!! I know it is sometimes painful, and you may find truths that are not compatible to your mindset - but for the sake of our future, we need to do it!!! Don't just accept what the vested interests tell us to accept. Don't just accept what the above described media tells us to accept. Start asking questions of YOUR representative, YOUR public servant!

Posted by: dpsmail0 | December 8, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The biggest mistake that WikiLeaks made is allowing their ego to get the best of them. This will not happen again. The next leak will be completely anonymous. You cannot stop information!

Posted by: izivkov | December 8, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

As an Amerian Mastercard customer, I want to commend Matercard for doing the right thing. HAIL the USA!

Posted by: Hattrik | December 8, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@simonetta1: Your are correct. I had to change the headline anyway to account for the Visa news, so I took advantage of the opportunity to fix that too. (Can't do anything about the post URL, though.)

@hardgj: It's a form of protest, and protests are often about symbolism. Also, there are quite a few banks that issue MC and Visa cards. How do you pick which one to attack first?

- RP

Posted by: robpegoraro | December 8, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Those who attempt to silence the truth will only destroy themselves.

"In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."
Rupert Murdoch, 1958

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | December 8, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Those who attempt to silence the truth will only destroy themselves.

"In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."
Rupert Murdoch, 1958

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | December 8, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

By shutting out WikiLeaks, International Govts are acknowledging their guilt, and unleasing an era of "internet terrorism" by groups who may be motivated by interests not neccessarily altruistic. This act of "containment" might infact snow-ball into massive privacy breaches and possibly down-fall of some powerful and mighty. It would have been better to involve Assange and his "team" in a dialogue and subvert the "genius" of the team for postive purposes(getting rid of some rotten folks without engaging in war, for eg.?).

Posted by: ssbalepu | December 8, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

In a way, this is kind of good.

Now I have an excuse for not spending any money using my Visa debit card and charging up crap I don't need in the first place, using those other debt ridden credit cards.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | December 8, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Visa, Mastercard, and Sarah--the big three? Yeah, right. Get a grip, Palin. Not everything is about you.

Posted by: moxilator | December 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

My problem with Wikileaks is their blunderbuss approach. A real whistleblower acts in a targeted way, reacting to specific abuses, rather than dumping mass quantities of godknowswhat into the public debate and then leaving it for others to figure out what's what. Most of what they've released is inconsequential -- embarrassing at worst -- and on that basis people might ask why the massive pushback to what they've done. Two responses to that -- since most of the material is relatively unimportant, we can ask "what was THAT all about"; yet others who gave docs to Wikileaks will suffer the punishment. Even more important: the net effect of their massive info dump, in the long run, will be far LESS transparency and access to information, and far MORE obsession with classifying even the most trivial tidbits. In that sense, our ability to monitor actions and decisions taken in our name -- as somebody above rightly points out -- will be *reduced*. It's hard to escape the conclusion that it's all a massive ego-trip on the part of the Wiki-leakers...

Posted by: mjohnston1 | December 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Wikileaks is opaque and their supporters are cyberbullies.

They've lost all credibility and moral highground.

Posted by: steve1231 | December 8, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

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