Government Modifying Network Security, WikiLeaks Winning

Information Week reports that the U.S. government is working on re-vamping their network security efforts “to prevent another WikiLeaks.”

According to the story, Corin Stone, the information sharing executive for the national intelligence community, testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee do discuss the upgrades.

Stone said the community is trying to find a “sweet spot” between allowing its members to share intelligence information while preventing unauthorized access to that data by people who might misuse it.

This is another case (after U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual resigned over a WikiLeaks-related issue) in which the U.S. government is playing into Assange’s hands.

Assange’s hopes for WikiLeaks were best defined in essays he published on November 10 and December 3, 2006. From the first, State and Terrorist Conspiracies:

We will use connected graphs as way to harness the spatial reasoning ability of the brain to think in a new way about political relationships. These graphs are easy to visualize. First take some nails (“conspirators”) and hammer them into a board at random. Then take twine (“communication”) and loop it from nail to nail without breaking. Call the twine connecting two nails a link. Unbroken twine means it is possible to travel from any nail to any other nail via twine andintermediary nails. Mathematicians say the this type of graph is connected.

Information flows from conspirator to conspirator. Not every conspirator trusts or knows every other conspirator even though all are connected. Some are on the fringe of the conspiracy, others are central and communicate with many conspirators and others still may know only two conspirators but be abridge between important sections or groupings of the conspiracy.

He suggests in a later essay, Conspiracy as Governance (on the same page linked to above), how a conspiracy may be hindered.

A man in chains knows he should have acted sooner for his ability to influencethe actions of the state is near its end. To deal with powerful conspiratorial actions we must think ahead and attack the process that leads to them since the actions themselves can not be dealt with.We can deceive or blind a conspiracy by distorting or restricting the information available to it.We can reduce total conspiratorial power via unstructured attacks on linksor through throttling and separating.A conspiracy sufficiently engaged in this manner is no longer able to comprehend its environment and plan robust action.

These passages are somewhat difficult to connect and put into context without reading the original essays in their entirety, which I recommend.

To put it simply, though, Assange is winning. The state is slowing down its flow of information and reducing the number of connections in its “conspiracy” as a result of WikiLeaks. I’m not suggesting here that the state will now fall apart and we will live in anarchy, but Assange is one step closer to dethroning the most powerful nation in the world.

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