What was Bradley Manning’s real crime? His real crime was in trusting Adrian Lamo and in not using the TOR network and other anonymity services to leak the information he had extracted from the military network he had access to in Iraq.
Had he, however, dumped his data to something like New Yorker’s Strong Box—a new feature on their website that was developed for sending in anonymous tips by the late web activist Aaron Swartz—he wouldn’t be getting the Gitmo treatment in solitary now. Instead, a sanctioned news agency would be taking the heat and leveraging their plethora of lawyers and spin doctors to fight off government officials embarrassed by the real secret that had been revealed: That our foreign policy and war strategies were foisted upon the US (and the rest of the world, natch) by a small
cabal FUCKTOCRACY of arrogant white men who simply refused to believe how stupid they are. (I mean, what else did the Collateral Murder prove but that our GUN-ho soldiers hadn’t been trained to properly identify and select military targets?)
Don’t make the same mistake! By using Strong Box which, in turn, can only be accessed through the TOR network, aspiring leaker, your chances of being tortured or held indefinitely in solitary are greatly reduced, as TOR (properly used!) eliminates the possibility of tracing the origin and destination of traffic sent through the TOR network. Basically, each TOR node collects up lots of traffic, encrypts it, and then sends this whole wad to another TOR node (or “Onion Router”), where it gathers up traffic originating from a bunch of nodes and then encrypts the whole ball again. If anyone has the ability to crack TOR, it is only a handful of governments in the world, and they won’t risk revealing what they can do unless it’s something really important. Go on over to TOR and download a TOR browser and poke around a bit. If you are going to access, say, Dangerous Minds without leaving a trail, make sure the browser is showing https, because TOR doesn’t automatically encrypt your traffic as it enters and exits the TOR network.
TOR itself is fascinating as the basic ideas were developed by Cypherpunks and other anarchically inclined people in the 1990s, and most nodes are run by private individuals on their own time and dime. Through TOR you can also check out Silk Road, an illicit substance marketplace that functions a lot like eBay. Of course, you can’t actually buy anything on Silk Road unless you have learned how to handle Bitcoins (and have an account), but it is fascinating (is it not?) to see a “TOR hidden service” like Silk Road, the physical location of which can’t really be determined (and I mean to tell you, it would be hard for even top-secret government agencies to determine the location of the Silk Road servers).
This, my friend, is freedom, though it’s not what you might have thought freedom was going to look like. But it’s a freedom that was taken through the sheer force of mathematics, and there is probably no government on earth that has the power to stop it.