Chinese Leaders Googling Themselves?

In Social Media on December 5, 2010 at 9:33 am
Julian Assange (2)

Image by bbwbryant via Flickr

In the New York Times this week the Wikileaks stories keep rolling along.

The latest thrilling installment (and it really is!) details the obsessive paranoia that Chinese leaders had (have?) based on their ability to Google their own names, and then discover articles that were critical of them and their abilities.

A lot of questions emerge from this saga…. Will Julian Assange be arrested and be jailed, or executed for treason as one US politician has called for? Will America’s relationships with a number of countries be irretrievably damaged? Will the US government find a way to stop Wikileaks from operating? What will they release next?

These are some of the questions that come to mind immediately.

I wonder whether Julian Assange is actually planning not only to be arrested, but where to be arrested, so that he can rely on the protection of the authorities in whatever country it happens. I believe that he must realize that it is inevitable that he will be arrested. His situation must surely be that his next move is to become a martyr for the Wikileaks cause, with a plan for continuing releases of documents damaging to the US to take place. That would show that the whole Wikileaks structure is sufficiently decentralized to not require him to be in place as the key spokesman.

More interesting is the question of whether it is physically possible to stop the proliferation of documents once they have are on a server somewhere in the world, without switching off the Internet as a whole… I suspect that while it I am sure it would be possible to stop access to a domain name, as took place in the US last week, when the government requested Amazon, who apparently hosted the Wikileaks server, to take it off-line. They acceded to the request, as you might expect.

But surely the content will just be republished on blogs and on other web sites that get under the radar?

I have put a bunch of links below that may shed light on these questions.


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