Whohub asks: What do you think of Wikileaks? Is it wrong what they do? Or do they keep governments honest?

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I received a message from Whohub.com asking me to comment on Wikileaks. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and decided I would write down my thoughts. I didn’t take the side of what government is doing to Wikileaks but rather what the power of one man rallying a group of people can do to the world…

I think it’s wrong for Wikileaks to put innocent citizens in jeopardy. Hacking into charge card and bank websites and grinding them to a halt is like holding the entire world hostage. This not only applies to individuals but organizations. For example, non profits helping people in dire situations may not be able to process money for donations to send supplies and much-needed assistance to countries like Haiti  if banks are targeted. And isn’t this very much like a bank robbery – going in and meddling with financial institutions and charge card companies?

In many ways what Wikileaks is doing now is much worse than whatever  secrets governments have kept from us over past decades. And sometimes government issues must be kept under wraps to ensure the safety of citizens. Why does Wikileaks feel that they have the power to decide what should or shouldn’t be made available for all to see, including terrorists?

As a journalist I know it’s important to see all sides of the story. Is Wikileaks really doing that? And will whatever they do next cause irreparable damage?

Individuals shouldn’t have that much power. Living in countries where we can vote for our leaders and governments to represent us means that we put our faith in the government, and we can still say when we don’t agree with some of the decisions made. And though it’s not perfect, it’s better than the alternatives – countries run by militants where there is no such thing as freedom of speech; countries where throwing acid in a woman’s face and scarring her for life just for looking at a man is condoned; or where peaceful individuals are incarcerated for trying to create a better society for those who live under oppression.

It’s also scary to think that one man can rally an army of hackers to do whatever he wants and hurt whomever he wishes. Sounds a lot like Hitler to me. My 2 cents. What do you think?

5 responses »

  1. Pingback: World Spinner

  2. Hi Suzanne. I agree with part of what you said but overall, I don’t agree. I don’t like that people are interfereing with Mastercard and Amazon and perhaps soon Paypal, for the very reasons you cite. Then again, these organizations brought this attention on themselves by hastily cutting off a client who still has yet to be charged with anything. I no longer trust any of the corporations involved to act ethically.

    Also, there is no proof that the hacking of these businesses is the work of WikiLeaks or Julian Assange, who has been jailed without even being charged. That’s extreme injustice. I’m glad that it’s not stopping the release of documents.

    I definitely support the goal WikiLeaks has of distributing material collected by unknown whistleblowers. In the past ten years, I have seen experienced how secretive government culture is. I’ve had to file Access to Information requests for material that should have been public in the first place and then the amount of material I could receive was limited. If government were working openly, much of this material wouldn’t have been classified in the first place. Open government minimize abuses.
    Anway, thanks for letting me respond.

  3. Thanks for your input, Tracey. I haven’t had to file Access to Information requests. I found your comments interesting and insightful – the other side of the coin, so to speak.

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