Monday, December 06, 2010

How to feel better about the WikiLeaks kerfuffle

The WikiLeaks debacle got ya down? I've got the fix. reader or watch what Fareed Zakaria has to say on the matter:

I think John Kerry's assessment is right on too, though not quite as uplifting as Fareed's.

One thing I do wonder about is if too much credit is being given to WikiLeaks itself for being the source of the problem. After all, they didn't steal the information - someone else did that. They published it. Thing is, years ago, if you had lots of sensitive information and you wanted to get it out to the world you were pretty limited in what you could do - basically, you had to make your case to a news paper or magazine.

But these days, anyone who wants a publishing platform can have one. Just sign up for a Blogger or Facebook account. Heck, people leak sensitive information on these platforms all the time.

Sure, if you were to attempt to publish such sensitive data on a mainstream platform, it would be shut down. But how much effort would it take to find a nefarious hosting provider that wouldn't mind being involved? That, plus a free WordPress download, and you'd be good to go.

Ever since I saw Julian Assange on Colbert explaining his goal of maximizing political impact, I've thought he was bad news. And the leaks just reinforce that. But, isn't he just the messenger? A messenger that's not even really that important?


  1. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Maybe a good thing ....

    We NEED transparency as part of a proper steering mechanism to survive the global society we created with technology.
    At this moment our society has an obsolete 200 years old steering mechanism with to many crisses. How can a few wise people understand these complex global issues pending ?

    Would we have gone to Iraq over Weapons of mass destruction is we were part of the diplomatic cable discussion ?
    Better of with more transparency ? Credit Crises / Cable gate shows governments are not so much in control of the global society.
    Wasn't it work of the press to tell us the truth ?

    At least the cork out of the bottle. Fact is that secrets are harder to keep anno 2010.
    Shutting down is naive. Discuss it is the only option.. Come on free press, have vision ..take the lead.

  2. Anonymous*,

    While I'm willing to look on the bright side of the WikiLeaks issue, I won't go as far as you are and call it a good thing.

    I don't see how any government, organization, family or person can be expected to function without having a private internal dialog. If this dialog is always public, then information won't be freely shared to make decisions upon.

    There needs to be a balance between information sharing and secrecy. And we should always be pushing and pulling to find the right balance.

    But, in my opinion, WikiLeaks wasn't it - it was too far to one extreme.

    *I do think it's ironic that you think the government should have no secrets, yet you won't share your name.