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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Griper Blade: Megaleak

Wikileaks' logoAccording to Wikipedia, Wikileaks was founded in 2006. That sounds about right to me. I remember reading about it at the time and thinking it was a good idea -- a sort of investigative journalism without the journalist middleman. I checked it from time to time, but soon found that -- ironically -- all that raw info was a little hard to make use of without someone taking the time to weed out all the trivia. In short, what I'd originally thought of as direct journalism required a journalist to make sense of it.

Still, in just four short years, Wikileaks has gone from a backwater site of interest to few to an international controversy. Founder Julian Assange has become an international fugitive on Interpol's Most Wanted list, for rape charges which may be trumped up. He's a frontrunner for Time's "Person of the Year" for 2010. He's hated by some and beloved by others. To lift a line from an ad campaign, he is "The Most Interesting Man in the World."

It's probably a mistake to think of Assange in journalistic terms. A former hacker, he's more of an information extremist. After releasing video of US soldiers mistakenly gunning down journalists in Iraq, Wikileaks had to move their site to the same host that filesharing site The Pirate Bay uses -- Pirate Bay founders are likewise free-information activists. It's a strange world these people operate in, where legal and illegal aren't as important as right and wrong and there's no need to obey unjust laws. The very existence of both Wikileaks and The Pirate Bay are acts of civil disobedience and protest. And, while they're making enemies around the world, they're gaining political support and power elsewhere, mostly as part of global anti-corporate and transparency movements...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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