Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WikiLeaks – “stateless organization”

An interesting article from the Guardian UK that shows the trail of how the WikiLeak organization first brought video, earlier this year of a US Apache Helicopter attack, to the public's attention, releasing it showing the death of a Reuters photographer and his driver as well as other civilians.

The video had it impact but WikiLeaks had no credibility as an organization. Its recent release of what are being called the Afghanistan war logs to overseas newspapers made it impossible for the US government to stop publication of these top secret documents.

There is a give and a take among its members within this organization at present that sprouts from hacker traditions and experiences. Julian Assange has published free software for the web, some of which and its encryptions can be used to protect whistle blowers. 

Why WikiLeaks turned to the press
Around the time that the video was released, hubris among the WikiLeakers was thick. In the New Yorker piece, we hear from a friend and supporter of Assange's, a Dutch hacker named Rop Gonggrijp, who smugly says that "we are not the press" and "the source is no longer dependent on finding a journalist who may or may not do something good with his document".
WikiLeaks is stateless (sounds very global) and suddenly a household word and concept. How long before it conforms to acceptable journalistic standards in its quest to make an impact on the modern mind and media? Being stateless at the moment has what impact on imitators down the road? Will these imitators be for the good or bad? Who is to say.

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