Cyber anarchy

JULIAN ASSANGE is in jail on remand but the Wikileaks organisation is still pumping out more and more leaks of information on the internal workings of global capitalism and its venal power struggles.

When the powers that be put up cameras to monitor the public as they go about their lives and amass huge databases on us, for the benefit of both police and market sales teams, they tell us that if we have done nothing wrong we have nothing to fear.

Now, through Wikileaks, we can say the same to them but they are howling and furious to have their corruptions and deceptions made public. Information technology is a two-edged weapon that can and is now being wielded by the masses against the structures of the state.

Nobody knows how many supporters Wikileaks has — not even the people who run it. Their on-line collective of “hacktivists” in the group calling itself Anonymous is open to all. It has already done damage to some commercial institutions like Mastercard, Paypal and Amazon.

Meanwhile Government sites like Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are preparing for likely attacks from the hacktivists in their campaign to get Assange released.

Another group of hackers calling itself Gnosis has obtained the passwords of 1.3 million users of the gossip website Gawker, which has run blogs attacking Wikileaks. Then Gnosis seems to have used the passwords to bombard the Twitter site with messages supporting Wikileaks.

But of course this kind of war is wide open to infiltration, misuse and abuse. It is a movement with no structure and no accountability; its leaders are not elected nor do they have any control over whoever claims to follow them.

The CIA is sure to be planning to take maximum advantage of this and before long there will by anonymous “hacktivists” doing harmful, damaging and unpopular attacks “in the name of Anonymous” or “in support of Wikileaks” that will be aimed to undermine the massive popular support Wikileaks has now. If it is done crudely people will see through this but some of it may be quite subtle.

Wikileaks represents a broad anti-imperialist mass that has power to inflict serious damage on its enemy. It represents no specific class interest. It is like the use of gas in the trenches of the First World War; it kills the enemy but if the wind changes direction it could damage the good guys.

This is why we must maintain and build our own structured communist party — dedicated to representing the interests of the working class and feeding a clear and precise political perspective into the struggle — including the on-line struggle.

We must all get to grips with the new technology and keep ourselves updated on the unfolding of the new cyber war in order to give a coherent, accountable political lead.

It would be unrealistic to imagine that thousands of new “hacktivists” around the world are suddenly going to recognise or follow our political lead. But as long as we keep injecting a clear political perspective — and warnings of political dangers ahead — many will come to respect our opinion and our experience and integrity in the class struggle.

Anglo-American imperialism is in decline; the real damage has been done by the overarching ambition and arrogance of the Bush-Blair axis that was too greedy for its own good and by the resilience and courage of the freedom fighters of Iraq. They held down the armies of imperialism while Venezuela and other Latin American countries moved forward towards socialism.

Also the economic growth of China, Brazil, Russia and India has started to drive the economic power of the United States and Britain out of the Third World.

The world is changing a little more quickly now as the great economic structures of imperialism start to crumble. But the cyber battles alone will not bring capitalism down — that is a battle that is already taking place in the real world wherever workers organise to challenge their bosses and their oppressors.