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Posts Tagged ‘WikiLeaks’

THIS JUST IN: Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange to Speak at SXSW 2014

THIS JUST IN 2He is America’s second favorite soubrette of treason, because that’s admirable to hipsters.

To wit, Julian Assange is being rewarded with even more fame and notoriety for spilling America’s secrets on the Web — he is now a keynote presenter at one of the nation’s greatest gaggles of creatives, South by Southwest (SXSW).

If you want to hear how Edward Snowden got away with his royalty-free sedition, get your tickets fast because this dance card will fill up—and SXSW will collect the cash.

My question is…why?

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Wikileaks to Release Album. The Musical Kind.

Wikileaks, the organization that released a cache of confidential American diplomatic cables in 2010, causing an international scandal and sparking debates about everything from freedom of speech and transparency of government to national security and treason, is about to release something else into the public sphere – an album. The kind with music on it. Yes, really.

According to Time, the album, which will be released August 5 in an effort to raise funds for the financially blockaded organization, will be titled Beat the Blockade, and will feature 12 tracks, including “The Ballad of Julian Assange,” “B Manning,” and “Where There Are No Secrets.” The album will cost $5.

Although there is a ballad bearing his name, it is not yet known whether founder Julian Assange, who is currently seeking political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, will be featured on any of the tracks.

While this will be the organization’s debut into the music world, they do already have their own online TV show called The World Tomorrow, and a social network, Friends of Wikileaks.

WikiLeaks Has a New Promo Video

What Does it Cost to Change the World? from WikiLeaks on Vimeo.

WikiLeaks has a new video that outlines the costs of keeping up its work, uses some powerful imagery to bring a message of change, and features an appearance by its founder Julian Assange. Assange has been under house arrest in the U.K. since December.

After describing the millions in costs and the donations the group has lost, the clip directs viewers to a site where they can support its cause. The clip also does a good job of using Mastercard’s own “priceless” marketing gimmick against it. [via Mashable]

Hacker Response to Sony Breach Better Than Sony’s Response

On Monday, the Sony Online Entertainment Network had to shut down its services because of a data breach that affected 24.6 million subscribers and some financial info.  Services are still down.

Sony also had to shut down the PlayStation Network on April 20 after a data breach on April 19 that may have affected 77 million users. Sony did not admit to consumers that this breach happened until six days later. The attack, one of the biggest ever, could cost more than $1 billion.

“Sony put the burden on consumers to ‘search’ for information, instead of accepting the burden of notifying them,” said Rep. Bono Mack (R-CA) during a Congressional hearing that took place yesterday. Sony did not accept an invitation to appear at this hearing, but sent a letter instead.

“If I have anything to do with it, that kind of half-hearted, half-baked response is not going to fly in the future,” the Congressman continued.

There were suspicions that hacker group Anonymous might have been responsible for the big PlayStation attack. What did they do? Issue a press release. Are we living in an augmented reality?

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Crowley Resigns from State Dept. After WikiLeaks Gaffe

Top State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned on Sunday after criticizing the handling of Bradley Manning, the soldier likely to be courtmartialed if found guilty of passing classified information to Wikileaks.

In front of a tiny crowd last week at MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media, Crowley–full title United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs–called the Dept. of Defense’s treatment of Manning “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”   The DoD is holding Manning at Quantico, in a setting comparable to Supermax conditions, prompting some to express concerns of torture.  Manning’s lawyer suggests it’s payback for his client’s sarcastic remarks.

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WikiLeaks’ Assange Speaks to the Media

After nine days in jail, the media may not have been the first thing on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange‘s mind. Still, a PRWeek UK story says his appearance to journalists on the courthouse steps was “well-handled.”

“If justice is not always the outcome at least it is not dead yet,” he is reported to have said in reference to the British justice system.

Comments from PR experts cited in the story included calling his media appearance “textbook PR manipulation” and suggesting his modesty and understated words were necessary to help him “sustain support.”

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Mark Zuckerberg is Time’s Person of the Year

Mark Zuckerberg‘s image just keeps getting better and better.  (His eyes in this cover image are intense.)

Over the past couple of weeks alone, Zuckerberg has added to his philanthropic endeavors by joining the Giving Pledge. Then he had a monster 20-minute interview with 60 Minutes to announce a Facebook redesign and demonstrate his new media savoir-faire. Now, the Facebook CEO is Time‘s Person of the Year. Congrats to him!

Facebook has been a big deal for a few years now, so it’s kind of strange that he was chosen this year. But in any case, Zuckerberg’s interview with the magazine has some interesting points that PR pros might want to take note of.

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Cyberattacks In Support of WikiLeaks Pose PR Dilemma

An activist hacker group called Anonymous is taking responsibility for an orchestrated cyberattack against Mastercard and says that it’s planning other attacks in order to “wreak revenge on any organization that lined up against WikiLeaks,” according to the NY Times.

The story says that Anonymous doesn’t have a leader, and one of the activists stated in a telephone interview that 1,500 hackers were lined up to attack various companies and individuals. On the list of those that have been hit are Amazon.com, PayPal, and PostFinance, the financial side of the Swiss postal system.

This situation poses a big strategic question for PR pros working with companies that have come in contact with controversy.

(Updates after the jump.)

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Assange Case Won’t Deter WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in a British court today where it was decided that he would remain custody until his next court date on December 14. He was arrested after submitting to authorities and says he will resist extradition to Sweden where he “faces questioning in connection with alleged sex offenses,” reports the New York Times. The story also says that this promises to be a long legal process.

Wikileaks tweeted the message above earlier today.

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Icahn Launches Site in Bid to Take Over Lionsgate

'Rabbit Hole' starring Nicole Kidman is a Lionsgate film opening this month.

Carl Icahn is taking his hostile bid for entertainment company Lionsgate to the Web.

Icahn has launched SaveLionsGate.com, which lays out a 27-page presentation about why the company needs change. Moreover, Icahn pulls a WikiLeaks-style maneuver, including e-mails and texts between studio executives in the document, The Wrap reports. He currently owns about a third of the company. His hostile takeover bid has been ongoing for much of the past year.

Icahn has a number of suggested board members that will be voted on during the company’s annual meeting is on December 14.

Lionsgate divisions cover films, home entertainment, television, and more.

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