The truth, in 2015, will set you free. Of some Bitcoin.
It’s a poorly kept secret that the U.S. Government has waged war against the whistleblowers President Obama once swore to protect. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been on the run for years. Heroic government whistleblower Edward Snowden has left the U.S. out of fears of persecution, and has sought freedom and political asylum in Russia. And countless others have met lengthy jail sentences for uncovering illegal behavior and wrongdoing with the “Powers That Be”. This shows just how far the U.S. has fallen in the realization of the ideals The Founding Fathers once set for the country to uphold. Maybe DarkLeaks can be a haven for those perky purveyors of truth.
DarkLeaks is certainly not a centralized Internet website, which could be closed down under any IP’s nebulous “Terms of Service” Agreement, which can be influenced by a bevy of third-parties. It is a free software package you can download with a source code has been published openly online via the code-sharing website Github. Within the software, a user can provide a description for any file a buyer may want to procure. From “proof of tax evasion” to “trade secrets” to “military intelligence”, according to DarkLeaks. Of course, the key to this software is its decentralized nature where “There is no identity, no central operator and no interaction between seller and buyers.”
The files are encrypted by DarkLeaks, broken into smaller pieces, and then added to Bitcoin’s block chain. A buyer can then get a small preview piece of the file, to verify it’s veracity, then purchase the rest of the file when satisfied with the contents. The seller claims their bitcoins, and then a key is provided to allow the buyer to decrypt the document.
Sites like Wikileaks began this online file sharing movement for whistleblowers and others with a secret to share. GlobaLeaks works along these same lines, but DarkLeaks is taking things to the next level, looking to make this file sharing a direct purchase transaction. These are uncharted waters.
“When you’re selling information you’re not a whistleblower under the legislative, legal definition in almost any country,” Beatrice Edwards, US Government Accountability Project executive director, told the New Scientist. “We have seen in the US an increasingly punitive attitude on the part of the government towards whistleblowers,” she said. “This could force them into some underground exchange of information like this because the Obama administration prosecutes national security whistleblowers rather than protecting them.”
DarkLeaks opens a Pandora’s Box of other sensitive documents and private releases, like celebrity photographs, and other items that may be used for blackmail in the future. Programs like this wouldn’t be seen as necessary by some if certain governments and others in power, were more transparent and accountable, or less deceptive and more ethical.
Locking up whistleblowers doesn’t cover your tracks. It only changes their path to the light of day. Like a bubble of air at the bottom of an ocean, the truth will rise to the surface, eventually. Oh, what a tangled (dark) web we weave once we practice to deceive.
Images from Wikimedia and Shutterstock.
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