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I think that this is going to pull much in way of discussion. On one hand, I am mindful of the critique against it in terms of hampering governmental ability to conduct business as well as the the natural challenge of ensuring confidentiality. I think that this is a legitimate concern. If one examines the website itself, there is a very zealous claim made that the purpose of the site is to inform the public and initiate discussion between the people and their government. In this light, one sees the essential function of the media in serving as "the fourth branch" of government. At the same time, I think that the one question that surrounds WikiLeaks is not necessarily why the documents are being published, but rather how the site is able to come into contact with it. If government is concerned about security and being able to be in control of its own web presence and diplomatic image, there should be a discussion as to how to better prevent classified documents ending up into the hands of Wikileaks. In a world where there is concern about security and being vigilant, I think that this would be an effective discussion to have.
This is a very broad topic and there are so many aspects of it to look at.
First, I do not believe at all that Wikileaks is serving some higher purpose. I do believe that governments must absolutely have secrets. Every person in the world has secrets that he or she would not want exposed to public view. The same must be true of governments and this is not always sinister.
Take, for example, parents talking about their children. They must of course speak candidly to one another about their kids' talents, problems, etc so that they can devise ways to raise their children as well as possible. But they would not want the child to hear their discussions.
The same goes for many of the leaked documents. Our diplomats must speak candidly about their opinions of leaders, countries, etc. Honesty is necessary in order to form good policies. But these are "private" thoughts and no good comes of revealing them.
I believe that Assange and his followers are just people who revel in causing trouble. I do not believe they have a higher purpose.
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