1. Critics have argued that WikiLeaks is now attacking secrecy on all fronts, with no concern for the consequences of the information posted on its site. Do those actions align with the ethical principles of whistle blowing?
2. Does WikiLeaks have an obligation to censor postings to protect innocent individuals who may be harmed by making the information public? Should the site take steps to verify the accuracy of the posted documents?
3. Would fulfilling the vision of a “wiki” community (with editors and fact-checkers) reduce the criticism directed at the site? Why or why not?
4. Does the decision to withhold 15,000 documents in a “harm minimization process” indicate that WikiLeaks is developing some sense of the potential consequences of its actions? Why or why not?
Movies like Silkwoodand The Insider have portrayed whistle-blowers as lone heroes working against corrupt organizations at great personal risk to their own well-being—secrecy is an absolute must until the story explodes in the media. But what if you took a different approach? What if there was a central site for any and all material that a concerned employee, civil servant, or military staffer could post with the promise of anonymity through encrypted software and the protection of national press secrecy laws? What would that do to the world of corporate and government secrecy? WikiLeaks has become the live experiment to answer all those questions. Though not the first document-leaking Web site (“Cryptome” was started by John Young in 1996), WikiLeaks has become the most prominent as a result of its apparent willingness to post any information, classified or otherwise, in the stated interest of public advocacy.

  • CreatedDecember 13, 2013
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