26 January 2011

The Lid is Off

WikiLeaks has opened a Pandora’s box of goodness:

Although the mission of WikiLeaks is to "open governments," it's done quite a lot to make us think about how to open journalism as well. We've seen a number of new whistleblower sites crop up - OpenLeaks and Rospil, for example - as well as major news organizations - Al Jazeera, and perhaps even The New York Times - investigate ways to facilitate more whistle-blowing and leaking.
But why wait for local newspapers to roll out their own anonymous tips pipeline when a project from CUNY Graduate School's Entrepreneurial Journalism program has designed just that thing.
Using Localeaks, you can send an anonymous tip, including a file, to over 1400 newspapers in the U.S. through one online form. Choose your state. Choose the newspaper. Enter your information and submit your anonymous tip.

At this point, it’s too late for the government to stop this, unless it literally shuts down the internet.  It’s difficult and generally fruitless to play catch-up on defense, at least in the realm of information technology.  Thus, there is no way the government can expect to keep the lid in much anymore.  Really, the only thing it can do is ensure that government employees are loyal to the government.

Alternatively, the government can clean up its act and make all its dealings public. I won’t be holding my breath on it, though.

UPDATE: the NYT is preparing to release a book on WikiLeaks, and includes some of the original cables as well as detailed analysis of the leaks.

No comments:

Post a Comment