Sunday, 5 December 2010

Wikileaks: the messenger and the hydra's teeth

You can understand that it is uncomfortable for some to find their dirty washing hanging out in public.  I am all for privacy...

But whose privacy? Do we want privacy for government and surveillance of the individual?  Or the opposite.  Transparency in government and privacy for the individual?

Governments, senior politicians and powerbrokers everywhere are leaning hard to close down Wikileaks...   their DNS servers, their Paypal account.  One is struck by the effort going into closing down the source of the leak - rather than admit to or address the issues raised.. 

But why shoot the messenger?  Whistleblowing is a recognised and protected principle.  Journalistic sources are protected  - for instance in the Swedish constitútion - and in many countries including the US, there are laws protecting individuals rights to blow the whistle on misdoings and get protection for it...   In Britain for instance the Public Interest Disclosure Act covers dicslosure of
  • a criminal offence;
  • the breach of a legal obligation;
  • a miscarriage of justice;
  • a danger to the health or safety of any individual;
  • damage to the environment; or
  • deliberate covering up of information tending to show any of the above five matters
Do the cablegate leaks count?  Well judging by the international coverage of them I'd say the case for public interest is proven.... 

So do we want THEM to put the genie back in the bottle?  To go back to feeding us a massaged variant of the truth?  Well... mixing my metaphors a little - it looks like it is not going to happen.  Wikileak mirrors are springing up all over to carry the torch.  Cut off a head and another grows in its place.

The truth will out... inconvenient or not...

For information on Wikileaks mirrors check here...

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