Think twice before leaking into the internet

Nowadays, handling English has become inevitable, especially for those who move within the web most of their time, whether for social or professional reasons.
Since result explores and evaluates international grounds I chose English for an international and web based topic that has moved the online and offline world. In that order.

Wikileaks currently is a ubiquitous topic in international media. But what’s these days’ fuzz all about?
Lounged in 2006 and founded in Sweden, supposedly with the help of a Chinese dissident, the organization defines its core purpose as “publish[ing] anonymous submissions and leaks of otherwise unavailable documents while preserving the anonymity of sources.” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikileaks9) So basically, what they do is to stir up and alienate people of influence who keep the public from the truth (whatever that is). They make transparent what is bound to be concealed, they fight against what it defines as “unethical behaviour”.
This July their strategy has obviously hit the bull’s eye, considering the worldwide reactions. Julian Assange, the organization’s founder, and his peers posted thousands of classified military field reports about the Afghan War, provoking a massive outcry not only within the Obama administration. There is no need in giving you a detailed summary of the reports. However, what it comes down to after my research is this: War is, surprisingly enough, a cruel business!

The reports state that the US army were obviously involved in two wars. An official and an in official war, last of which has been following other, unethical rules. Rules, that didn’t quite consider human rights and which accepted ethnically motivated persecution. The U.S. Military, the U.S. government and Hamid Karzai scrutinized the leaks for their tremendous risks to those Afghan informants that where mentioned in some of the publicized documents. Julian Assange’s reaction when he was asked on NBC was: ”If we had, in fact, made that mistake, then, of course, that would be something that we would take very seriously.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/world/asia/29wikileaks.html?hp)
Well, isn’t that a bit too late, Mr. Assange? Despite the warning, that he could be accused of being held a co-conspirator to espionage, violating the 1917 Espionage Act, he released them anyways. Why did he do it?
To show, how powerful he was, or to reveal, what this war was really about?
It cannot come a surprise to anyone that politicians and media never tell us the whole story. There are reasons for this, whether for the better or for the worse. If you are a well-educated person you will be able to read between the lines.
Don’t get me wrong: I think transparency is good, but only as long as you don’t risk other people’s lives. If you are in possession of secret information you better think twice spreading it on your website like it was some harmless entry on your facebook account.
The wonderful accomplishment of the internet is that there are hardly any boundaries despite the judicial ones. Information can spread easily – well, I am telling no news. Every single user spreading information is responsible for its effects. This may not be present at all times and I hope there will be some lessons learned from the Wikileaks issue. There is no sense in using the web’s weapons at all times and costs.

Von | 2010-08-02T08:34:56+00:00 2. August 2010|Kategorien: Allgemein|Tags: , |

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Ein Kommentar

  1. Alexa Brandt 2. August 2010 um 12:39 Uhr

    Before coming to the question, what the information provided by WikiLeaks might cause, one may ask first of all: What actually are the criteria under which WikiLeaks-makers determin to publish bits of information? Who decides what is relevant to the punblic and what is to be kept under tight wraps? As far as I understood there are thousands of documents “WikiLeakers” decided not to publish. Wouldn’t/Could’t one bit of information chance the whole picture and lead to other interpretations? I agree with the founder of the platform that there is a real need for transparency (and that the internet is the most effective way nowadays to provide it), but not only on behalf of governments but also on WikiLeak-makers themselves – especially so, when reaching out for potential sponsors.

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