Tag Archives: wikiLeaks

Let people filter the Wikileaks

Is information knowledge? Does more data mean greater understanding, even minus context and editorial filters?

This was a tweet from Barkha Dutt for her show We the People debating Will Wikileaks change Diplomacy forever?

The last bit of the question set me thinking. Does Wilkileaks require an editorial filter?

NO. Was my initial and intuitive response.

After a pause I thought, how different will editorial filter make Wikileaks look like? What will form the basis of filtering the information? Finally in the era of information sharing will it be possible to curtail the raw information going out to people?

In my opinion, which could be challenged, it’s alright at times to let the information flow out in raw form and let people make a judgement. For there is no guarantee that people will agree and toe the line editors dish out.

What Julian Assange has done is going to change the way people in power communicate, though it might not have an impact in the way diplomacy is conducted.

Validate

As Mukul Kesavan on the NDTV show pointed out that the New York Times went ahead and took the cables to the US government and after a check published them shows where not to go for reading the cables.

I agree, for the fact that one can’t be sure reading NYT in that case if that is the complete information.

Beyond Assange

A blog in the economist suggested WikiLeaks needs an ethical review board? It further observes WikiLeaks is an important organisation that’s doing something the world needs. But like other human-rights and humanitarian organisations, it needs to lay down some clear, public ethical guidelines about how and why it does what it does.

I trust the way they handle it, in part because I know who they are. Who’s WikiLeaks? Besides Mr Assange, I don’t know, and they’re not really telling. Do you know? If so, start a wiki about it.

Wonder how different this would have made the situation, agreed that nobody except Assange is known to the world, but what if that is the organisation policy?

Right now one persons motives are being doubted, if there were more than one then sceptics or critics would have questioned more motives.

This would also have given governments irked by leaks more people to make targets and drift the focus away from the actual issues at hand.

As of now there are five reputed media outlets apart from Wikileaks to make a choice from, it for the readers to pick their choice. There is raw data as well as filtered one available, make your choice and take a call.

In fact the readership of Wikileaks and others post disclosures will give an indication what people want.

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Social network censorship against Wikileaks by the US government

Mind your tweets and facebook posts students!The US state department of sent this warning across to the students of school of International and Public Affair, Columbia University reports Huffington post.

When the tweet landed in my tweet roll my first reaction was is that some joke.

a screen grab from Huffington post showing the email to students

It took me to the link and made me go through the entire piece.

Students were categorically warned not to post anything related to Wikileaks or else it could hamper their career prospects.

Questions

Has the US administration lost it? IS there anything earth shattering that these cables revealed which people did not knew in as many words before? What purpose will it serve to stop the information on few hundred tweets/facebook posts?   ‘Will Social networking censorship’ be the next big diplomatic step?

Varied thoughts ran to the mind space and I feel instead of doing any good they generated more interest and fuelled yet another debate.

Well this message too was ‘leaked’ and in no time there were over 56,000 blog posts and 288,000 web pages on google(At the time of filing this post). It spread like forest fire and started a leak bashing of its own. it only confirms that the leaks have hit the US administration hard and that too where it hurts.

How far is it fair to curb people’s choice of tweets/facebook post. You can’t and should not censor what occupies people’s mind space.

The reason mentioned for this ban is even stranger it says; “The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents.”

Well just a few days back Hilary Clinton declined to validate these documents and cables.

First it contradicts the secretary of state’s quote and secondly makes US a laughing-stock trying to curb something which has already reached beyond control.

As New York Times reports a few days back a faculty at the Columbia University Gary Sick, who has worked on the National Security Council during the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations, posted some thoughts on his blog that his students are now presumably advised not to link to on their blogs or Twitter or Facebook accounts.

Wonder if there is a way to scan all tweets /FB meaagses.

However,with most federal government jobs require a background check, they might be able to curb some post but in my opinion the move will do more harm than favours.

Post script: Government workers asked not to read Cables (NYT)

Timing is the key folks, you have missed the bus.

Government Workers Ordered Not to Read

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Curious case of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is on the wanted list of Interpol.

Couple of days after Assange managed to leak 250,000 state secrets much to the disliking of the US government, the Australian born former computer hacker is at some undisclosed location to escape the Interpol red notice.

What amazes me is the fact that despite offending the world superpower USA not once but thrice Assange has managed to stay away from the gunning claws.

The day Cablegate was released by WikiLeaks I posted a tweet and penned a blog seeking reply to how does this guy manage to do so with an enviable precision and consistency.

No replies were expected to this question for no one but Asange knows this.But the question of how he has managed not to come in hands of the US government stayed with me.

I was thinking about the same on my way to the University today and I read in the Metro, US Republican leader Sarah Palin demanded Assange be hunted like Osama Bin laden.

A testimony that he has managed to do to US politicians I believe with a computer what Laden has over the last decade using his militants.

Though there is no established link to the US involvement in the Interpol hunt of Assange, it will be more than willing to find him behind bars in any part of the world.

Assange is wanted for charges of “rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion” in Sweden.

What surprises me is the fact with the kind of technology available with the intelligence agencies around the world Assange has managed to deceive them all and stay connected with the world media.

TIME magazine managing editor Richard Stengel spoke with Assange for 36 minutes over Skype after the leaks were made public. The Guardian, according to New York Times website Assange along with fellow hackers and WikiLeaks enthusiasts was at a secret location outside London.

Confident of Assange’s abilities his aides according to NYT are reported to have fixed an interview with a NY based freelancer in Britain next January.

The curious case of Julian Assange becomes interesting with each passing day as he prepares for the next big leak.

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