Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wikileaks is a good thing

As you turn on the TV, you are bombarded with silly hyperbole about how Assange could, might possibly be a terrorist!?!  What you're actually seeing is the status quo in full damage control.  Wikileaks changes the playing field in a fundamental way, it actually makes entities accountable.

I don't see how this is a bad thing, if you're a citizen.  If you're a government that's been acting in a way that's less then transparent, it's horrifying.  If you're a corporation that's been misrepresenting itself or doing things that you'd rather not have the government, shareholders and/or the general public knowing about, Wikileaks is a threat.

Clearly, these entities understand the idea that the control of knowledge is power.

What I also find interesting is that there's been no shocking revelations as of yet.  There are no smoking guns.

What have we learned so far from Wikileaks?
* Iraq and Afghanistan are the ugly messes we all thought they were...
* Pakistan's ISI has been involved with the Taliban
* Pakistan's leaders while publicly condemning drone strikes, have given tacit approval of them because it means it doesn't cost them any troops.

I could continue to list "revelations", but we all get the idea... It's all stuff that without being outright said, we'd pretty much all deduced at this point.

While as an American citizen it's interesting to actually get some insight into the inter workings of one corner of my government, I can only imagine what other countries who have governments that are entire opaque suddenly getting some insight (albeit through our state department) into their governments, now that'll interesting!

This of course is bad news for those involved who have secrets they'd rather not talk about, so they'll attack Wikileaks, baring that they'll go after it's infrastructure.  When they can't stop Wikileaks they'll go after Assange.  When that doesn't work, they'll then try to argue about the validity of what's been released.

Now when this latest freak out over, I see a number of things happening...

Firstly, everybody possible will try to enact draconian laws which will be shot down by the judicial branch.

Secondly, the State Department and the DoD are going to make it impossible to get anything out of their networks. As an IT guy, why it's was so easy to get this information off the network in the first place boggles my mind.


Anonymous said...

Maybe a good thing ....

We NEED proper steering mechanism to survive the global society we created with technology. Transparancy/involvism is needed. It's urgend, at this moment our society has an obsolete 200 years old political steering mechanism. 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.

joel3456 said...

The obvious next step of upcoming tightening of our liberties is a very dangerous slippery slope. First Amendment should cover everything shy of crying fire in a crowded theater.

Additionally, has anyone else wondered what else is going on while we are learning of this man's breakfast / sexual charges in Europe / etc. Could it be a "manufactured story". Think about it. What better way to BOTH distract from whatever else is going on this week AND lead people to the forgone conclusion?

I say public humiliation, think a 2010 version of the stocks, should be the bare minimum for all who should have prevented these leaks.