The Trouble with Wikileaks and the Net

The leaked Afghan war documents show that the trouble with the Net is that every liberating feature its boosters claim as a virtue is also a vice. In the pre-computer age, a mole could not have got 90,000 documents out a military base and to a journalist without being arrested. Nor for that matter could a disaffected worker in Parliament copy all the receipts of all the expense claims of 650 MPs and deliver them to the Telegraph. He would need to spend the best part of a morning loading them into a removal van, rather than slipping a couple of computer discs into his pocket, and the odds are security guards would realise a crime was going down long before he had heaved in the last box.
Carry on reading

2 thoughts on “The Trouble with Wikileaks and the Net

  1. Progress is the exchange of one inconvenience for another – in this case a pile of documents for the world to look at compared with the filleted version Mr Cohen and his mates might choose to let us see. No, let us see the raw, unvarnished documents.

    I personally may not see the significance of this fact or that inference, but others surely will.

    As for protecting sources, well Dr Kelly would have been well advised to contact Wikileaks, they know a bit about the hidden data in documents that can give you away – more reliable than trusting gabby human reporters.

    Officialdom always screams “it endangers our people” but this is mostly rot – the UK and US governments have already abandoned those who helped us out in Iraq and are doing the same in Aghanistan. As for our own soldiers and spies – I think they know where they stand. Anyway, the NYK Times ran this stuff past the White House and they were not that bothered.

    What the released papers do show (as if it was needed) is that ‘security’ is mostly a cover for incompetence, corruption and wrong-doing . Where for example were those in the security services and in Whitehall who surely knew WMD was a wicked fraud and yet kept their traps shut – only one person stood up. We don’t need that kind of security.

    Is reporting in danger? Yes, reporting was a handy job for the intelligent and the well connected. A few well-placed friends and contacts made for a decent living. Nowadays a trawl of the blogs will satisfy any prejudice – no need to buy The Times or The Telegraph or the Grauniad. There are plenty of intelligent folk out there and their friends and contacts are a click or two away – and they work for free.

    The game has been raised and Nick and friends must improve theirs or go out of business.

  2. Hang on Nick – you claimed once, in one of those moments of self-delusional ignorance that you make a habit of producing, that “If you say it is illegal to overthrow a genocidal tyrant, then you have to say that genocide is legal.”

    By that logic, if you say that it is illegal to reveal the truth about a war being fought on taxpayers money (a war which you, being the closet neo-con masquerading as a true, ‘old-school’ liberal that you are, vehemently supported), then you say that suppression of the truth is legal! You swine!

    Which means you’re either a full blown authoritarian or you’re just incredibly narrow-minded and ignorant.

    Or both.

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