Sunday, December 5, 2010

In Which Julian Assange Demonstrates That He's Not Against Secrecy, Only Secrets Not Controlled by Him

Apparently Wikileaks's Julian Assange has an "insurance file" containing lots of secrets that he hasn't released, but which he threatens to release if he's shut down.

I have to say that I'm supportive of the idea that government should be as transparent as possible, in which case the recent state department and Afghanistan dumps are fair game--as long as Assange didn't pay for or coerce Bradley Manning for the information, he's not guilty of espionage, and he ought to have the same rights as any other (highly irresponsible) journalist. (Manning, of course, is guilty of treason and/or espionage, if news reports are correct.)

As for Assange's philosophy of damaging government apparatus by making it more and more paranoid about leaks, well, that's not exactly the right idea, is it? But in general, transparency is a public good, and exposing things that the government wants secret is often not a bad thing.

So, what is Assange's first considered action when he comes under pressure? He's going to threaten his foes with "secret information". Mind you it's not stuff that a government has managed to keep secret, it's stuff that he's keeping secret.

So much for transparency. He's clueless at best and more likely just a garden-variety hypocrite.

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