A taxonomy for the suppression of dissent

Daniel Lemire, Weblog, Dec 08, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I agree with Noam Chomsky, who has said that the Wikileaks documents reveal a profound hatred for democracy. But regardless of how they stand on the particular issue, I hope people watching the Wikileaks saga are taking in the lessons of realpolitik being practiced before our eyes. As a full-scale cyberwar (see also) is being waged between governments trying to shut down Wikileaks and hackers operating in support, a campaign has been waged in more traditional channels. Brian Martin describes the campaign; Daniel Lemire summarizes them in this post:
- The first tactic of outrage minimisation is cover-up. The Wikileaks web site has been taken down due to repeated denial of service attacks.
- The second tactic is denigration of critics. It has been (falsely) reported that Assange is being accused of crimes.
- The third tactic is reinterpretation (…). If you search for wikileaks cables "nothing new", you find hundreds of thousands of documents.
- The fourth tactic to minimise outrage is to use official channels to give the appearance of legitimacy.
- The fifth tactic to minimise reactions to corruption is intimidation (…) The founder has been repeated threatened with assassination.
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