From Sydney: Whistle-Blowing, WikiLeaks and the Future of Democracy

Consortium News webcast from Sydney, Australia a production of of an event Thursday on Whistle-blowing, WikiLeaks and the Future of Democracy.

The speakers were Caitlin Johnstone, James Cogan, Cathy Vogan, Ambassador Tony Kevin and CN Editor Joe Lauria from Sydney. You can watch it here:

9 comments for “From Sydney: Whistle-Blowing, WikiLeaks and the Future of Democracy

  1. Mild - ly Facetious
    February 15, 2019 at 10:51

    The future of “Democracy” is in the grasp of charlatans, war profiteers and authoritarian beasts. How? Why? – Because all that we think and/or do is collected, digitized, categorized ——— Think through the below and wonder if our “freedoms” can become objectified.


    In the private space of my personal browsing I do not feel exposed – I do not feel that my body of data is under surveillance because I do not know where that body begins or ends. We live so much of our lives online, share so much data, but feel nowhere near as much attachment for our data as we do for our bodies. Without physical ownership and without an explicit sense of exposure I do not normalise my actions. If anything, the supposed anonymity of the internet means I do the opposite.

    >>> My data, however, is under surveillance, not only by my government but also by corporations that make enormous amounts of money capitalising on it. >>> Not only that, but the amount of data on offer to governments and corporations is about to go through the roof, and as it does the panopticon may emerge as a model once more. Why? Because our bodies are about to be brought back into the mix.

    The looming interconnectivity between objects in our homes, cars and cities, generally referred to as the internet of things, will change digital surveillance substantially. With the advent of wider networked systems, heralded by the likes of Google’s Brillo and Apple’s HomeKit, everything from washing machines to sex toys will soon be able to communicate, creating a vast amount of data about our lives. And this deluge of data won’t only be passed back and forth between objects but will most likely wind its way towards corporate and government reservoirs.

    With everything from heart-rate monitors in smartwatches to GPS footwear, a bright light is once again being thrown on our bodies. Will we feel exposed under the gaze of a central tower? Perhaps not, but with habits and physical stats charted against the norm, we will feel scrutinised nevertheless. Much of the justification of this is the alleged benefits to health and wellbeing. “Morals reformed – health preserved – industry invigorated” – not Apple marketing material but Bentham’s words on the panopticon.

    There may not be a central tower, but there will be communicating sensors in our most intimate objects.

    Bentham didn’t want the panopticon to be a tool for oppression, and in fact its failure eventually led him to develop a type of anti-panopticon later in life – where a minister sits in an exposed room and is surrounded by members of the public who listen and ask questions.

    The idea is that this transparency holds power to account, because the most dangerous people in society can be rulers.

    Full Text —

  2. February 15, 2019 at 06:30

    Budget? What budget? Everyone at this event was a volunteer. Not appreciating the negative comments as I was there as a volunteer.

  3. David Otness
    February 15, 2019 at 01:46

    Thanks for showing up and keeping the lamp lit for Julian again and again, Joe.

  4. Trevor
    February 15, 2019 at 01:06

    She really lost me where she said ( paraphrased ): “no here’s not a whistleblower/hacker” — YES HE IS AND WHAT SHE SHOULD HAVE SAID IS THAT NEITHER OF THOSE ARE BAD THINGS … because they are not ( bad things ). What is a whistleblower? Well, ALL good investigative journalists SHOULD BE whistleblowers … and what is a ‘hacker’? It’s someone who writes computer code … is Julian a hacker? Yes, he is … and all that means is that he is a journalist who knows how to write computer code. She is getting her terms mixed up, and what she probably means is that he is not a ‘cracker’ which is a sub-category of hacker, which is specifically skilled at cracking security / encryption << AND EVEN IF he was one of those too, she still should not say “no he isn’t one”, what she should do is say “and that’s not a bad thing” … BECAUSE IN ALL THE ABOVE CASES: where you say “he/she/they are not X”, you are enabling and validating the narrative that says “X is bad” << and this is one of the many reasons why progressive movements fail so often, because they’re constantly validating the narratives that others dictate.

    • February 15, 2019 at 06:36

      Trevor It’s important to point out that Julian Assange is a journalist who published what whistle blowers sent him. He did not personally whistle blow or hack the information himself. This is important because his defence may rely on it – and applying 1st Amendment Rights – freedom of press, expression and all that. I don’t think Cathy is inferring that hacking or whistle blowing is bad at all, she’s just trying to define the work that Assange actually did.

  5. Robert Mayer
    February 14, 2019 at 16:01

    Thanks CN 4 bypass 2 Goog Utub censorship policy imposed on my cel #… & Joe & Caitlin 4 exposing Actual Dangers 2 YOUR CRAFT… Truthtelling… as symbolized by Mr Asange’s persecution.

    While I can’t comment directly on whether Australian authorities will protect her own
    citizen… I Can point out US facts: “Grab her by the *****” … Highest Court occupied by likely sex predator… & use of spurrious accusation of similar nature by Same Individuals 2 advance… As Caitlin points out: Egregious Lies!

  6. Derrick Steed
    February 14, 2019 at 04:05

    I appreciate that this broadcast may being done on a budget – but couldn’t you at least employ a sound engineer??

    You are diluting your impact with the lack of decent sound management.

    • February 14, 2019 at 14:44

      Sad to say I agree. It was hard to watch even though there’s no worthier cause.

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