Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wikileaks--Providing a Valuable Service?

I find it interesting that nearly all the coverage of Wikileaks makes the implicit assumption that organized governments are against Wikileaks. A good analysis of the situation however leads me to question that assumption.

1) Wikileaks has operated with impunity for a remarkably long period of time and until fairly recently from Amazon.com servers. If wikileaks were as big a threat as the 6:00 PM anchor implies they would have been pushed out of the mainstream far sooner.

2) Wikileaks provides a great opportunity for America (and it's allies) to embarrass political (and/or military) opponents (and get away with it). That is a rare and unusual privilege. It would be hard to argue that government agencies haven't at least considered "leaking" certain documents.

3) Wikileaks provides political justification to ratchet up "oversight" of security agencies. In an age of growing privacy concerns this is another valuable commodity.

4) Too much drama. Sexual scandal, hiding, then jail time while fighting extradition. The media blitz is extraordinarily and just a little too dramatic to be believable.

What I can't figure out is whether Wikileaks is fully orchestrated by a government agency or if it's a "public/private partnership". I suspect it's the latter, but in any case the Wikileaks side is playing their role beautifully. This could be a truly historic moment--the first widespread internet based misinformation campaign. If so I have to give a round of applause to however organized it--this has been very, very well done.

I don't have any "evidence" to "prove" any of this. I just analyze things. But, like the old saying goes, "When you see hoof prints think horses not zebras". Right now everybody is talking zebras and that doesn't analyze.

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