When our imaginary relationship to our conditions of existence becomes desynchronized with ongoing events, phenomena such as Wikileaks become impossible to comprehend. One snowy Berlin night after the Chaos Computer Congress in 2009, I rather accidentally ended up getting dinner with Jacob Appelbaum and a few other assorted computer security experts. In the context of a rather arcane discussion of routing problems in Tor, the topic of Wikileaks was broached. Not one to mince words, I warned Jake that Wikileaks was going to get him into deep trouble. He cracked a smile in return and said “We’re not dissidents, we’re meta-dissidents. We only provide tools to dissidents.” Alas, the FBI does not make such fine-grained distinctions. Now, the situation is grim; Jacob Appelbaum is on a terrorist watch-list, Julian Assange is trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and Bradley Manning is on trial after being in solitary confinement for far over two years. In the largest leak yet, Edward Snowden has revealed that the NSA is spying on all internet communications, and finds himself a man without a country despite the help of Wikileaks. The contradictions of Wikileaks are apparent to all; the hackers that wished to free the world’s information find themselves caged within fleshspace.

Read the full review at Computational Culture.

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