Mittwoch, 27. Februar 2008

Poor Wikileaks?

Leaking can be fun. To reveal what really goes on behind the all too often closed doors of governments and businesses that affect our future is, in my mind, a vital service to democracy. For example, the White House keeps saying that they care about the climate. But if you want to know what the Bush administration really thinks about taking action (or not) on climate change, you need to look no further than their edits of last year's G8 summit agreement. Leaking is tricky, because it can be dangerous - or at the very least embarassing - for the source. At last year's World Social Forum I was thus excited to meet the people behind . They struck me as geeks with a conscience. They were techno-optimists and had some weird ideas about how spreading information via technology alone will end totalitarianism and make the world a better place. My theory of social change is more complicated, I confess. But I was still impressed at their spirit. And their service. Their website allows people to upload documents they want to leak anonymously. That does make it attractive for sources that do not want to leave a paper trail, or who may simply not know someone like me happy to provide the public service of leaking for them. - Yes, true, the anonymity of the source also means that anyone can upload anything - including rubbish. But, the Wikileakers argued, peer review - i.e. people looking for and at the stuff uploaded - will select the real stuff from the invented. This may not always be true. But, as they pointed out, leaking lies is always possible. You do not need wikileaks for that. The history of forged leaks makes that argument plausible. - That wikileaks had subversive potential is certainly suggested by all the trouble has had. Last week, a court ordered their internet provider to remove the wikileak address records from their servers after a subsidiary of a Swiss bank had taken issue with some documents on the site. The internet being the internet - and the wikileakers being smart geeks - the site can still be accessed here .... In fact, the whole story may have increased interest in wikileaks. If so, I think it's for the better. I wish wikileaks well. Even though they will not save the world. And even though I personally will always prefer leaking the traditional style. - "Hey you, seen this?" ... ;-)

Keine Kommentare: