Normally I would not cite this fellow but when it comes to the Latte sipping set he is a bit less inclined to just follow the usual hymn sheets than many of his fellow travellers although his real name is known to me he posts on the Net as “Cosmic Jester”. In his post about the recent arrest of Julian Assange he says:
I agree with whistle blowing, openness and accountability, I also agree that governments need to conduct some matters in private. There is not a clear line that can show where a piece of classified information. Assange’s opinion seems to be that exposing truth is justified in all circumstances and any attempt by government to keep certain things classified is akin to corruption. What about when it is government information on private citizens however? I dont think many of the Assange supporters would support a massive leak of documents of the Australian Tax Office, that could be private information about them. Whats that, you dont support a leak of government medical records, that could have information on you. Well what about the private citizens names in the hundreds of thousands of leaked documents in the recent embassy cable and Iraq and Afghanistan leaks? Its nice and easy to be all for openness and accountability when the spotlight isn’t shining on you.
A silly comparison you say? Wikileaks is about shining the light on corrupt governments. But of the quarter of a million cablegate leaks most are fairly mundane diplomatic chatter. Americans think Prince Andrew is rude, Rudd a control freak. Its hardly Watergate, its more Perez Hilton. Sure, there are more important leaks such as confirmation of US nukes in Turkey and the former opposition leader saying he would back the US in a China/Taiwan standoff and I would defend wikileaks goal’s and mission if its leaks were reduced to just things that exposed corruption and governments lying to the people. But that is not what wikileaks is about.
Julian Assange is a former hacker and he carries the hacker mentality into wikileaks. More and more the leaks aren’t about what they reveal but how large the leaks are and how secret. Its about getting what is hardest to get, what is most protected and what will give the biggest reason to boast. Journalists dont publish everything that is confidential, they use their judgement to publish what is in the public interest. There is never a clear line as to where the public interest begins, but Assange’s idea of public interest seems to be any government material that is private.*
I don’t care where I find good well argued angles on the topics for consideration here at The Sandpit in fact I think that its examples like this that give us hope that anyone with the Latte sipping predilection can be redeemed for the light over the darkness.