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Thursday, December 9th, 2010, 12:36 pm

Why Leaks Are Scary

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LEAKS are often just material which was supposed to be in the public domain all along. Copyright is not the issue. Since it was kept secret (often for no truly justifiable reason), input which was contained in it assumed no moderation would be needed. As such, secrecy resulted in mischief, rudeness, and often the perpetuation of misconduct, which relied on lack of wider awareness.

As I explained repeatedly over the years, I too was bullied for leaking documents which ought to have been out there all along. This is the main reason I am willing to dedicate so much time to defence of Wikileaks. I too may soon leak some more documents and I don’t want to get the “Assange treatment”. Nobody does. “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me,” writes Daniel Ellsberg this week. For those who do not know, Ellsberg was partly responsible for ending the bloody Vietnam war.

Leaks hurt. Truth hurts, too. But always bother to check who it hurts the most. Therein lies the answer regarding the ethics of a leak.

The word “leak” — like “whistle-blower” — has a negative connotation. Let’s call leaks “enlightenment” and whistle-blowers “truth revealers”.

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