The Real Significance of WikiLeaks

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you might have heard or read about “WikiLeaks” and “Julian Assange”. Though many people have diverse opinions about that website and his motives, they are missing the real significance of WikiLeaks.

We never had anything comparable to WikiLeaks in recorded history. Imagine a decentralized, inexpensive, easy to setup/update/maintain system which can disseminate leaked digital information to anybody who has the curiosity to find out. While there have been whistleblower websites and blogs for years, they were largely individual efforts with a very ephemeral existence and limited readership.

What makes WikiLeaks different is scale, timing and supporting technology. Let me break that down.

The scale of effort behind WikiLeaks is far bigger than an individual or even a small group. The scope, organization and distribution of WikiLeaks is transnational and will survive the loss of all its founding members. The wiki format has done to reference information what wordpress has done to blogging, or google to searching for websites. Even the death of its founder will not stop the juggernaut, as concepts often outlive their creator. Many religious and secular movements were started by people who were either willing or accidental martyrs.

The timing of such efforts is also crucial, as it comes at a time where a significant percentage of younger people have lost all faith in the old ways. This is one of the more overlooked reason behind WikiLeaks having a far bigger impact today than in the pre-2008 world. Given the general direction of things, disenchantment with the status quo can only pick up steam.

The price and availability of supporting technology is another overlooked factor. Note that most of these leaks have been in information dense formats such as ASCII text and pictures. The know how, technology and hardware to encrypt, decrypt, store, disguise and distribute such information is inexpensive and intimately tied to our way of life. Anybody with a 200-400 dollar smartphone, tablet or laptop can access, read, store and distribute information at will.

Technologies to enable lateral spread of information such as facebook, twitter, e-mail, blogs, micro blogs, cheap VOIP etc remove many of the older constraints against such spread. Moreover, most younger people now get their info from web based sources as opposed to censorious intermediaries like the MSM.

Some techy morons, including a retard from MIT, predict that they can stop such leaks. However these clever morons don’t get one property of information (as opposed to content). If someone can read it, see it, transfer it, back it up or send it to someone-it can be copied and unlike entertainment related content, low quality copies are as valuable and useful as high fidelity copies.

Comments?

  1. MeMyselfI
    November 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Wikileaks is a CIA operation. J. A. maybe independent, but he’s being spoon fed everything he’s publishing, AND the site is being allowed to stay up.

    The CIA, or any intelligence agency, is made up of humans. Only a stupid white american would believe that any government, or intelligence agency, is omnipotent.

    Even the KGB, or Mossad, which were/are superior to the CIA as far as human intelligence gathering is concerned would not pull that shit. You don’t seem to understand how intelligence agencies in non-arab countries work.

    Exposing your assets, or doing something overt, to a non-violent public target is supremely unprofessional and stupid.

    If the US gov *really* thought all of this leaked info was a “bad” thing then they could easily be making more trouble for the site, and for the people that are helping him. Clearly their reactions are for show only.

    We do not live in the 1950s or 1960s, when something like that was partially plausible.

  2. December 1, 2010 at 6:20 am

    While I’d cosign everything you’ve addressed here, the problem, as you’ve stated is the human element. We may live in an age of unprecedented access to information, but that only matters if someone cares to act upon it.

    Or not act like they used to.

    The next planned WikiLeak is due to expose the banking corruption of the financial crisis. My prediction is, just like the war leaks and the latest diplomatic communique leaks, there will be a brief period of indignant outrage and no one will care.

    It is more about destroying the sense of authority and propriety.

    For all the tons of evidence proving corruption, and the simple access to it, people are simply too lazy to educate themselves, much less become active enough to initiate any real change or demand justice.

    • w
      December 1, 2010 at 7:29 am

      yeah. it’s almost like a large scale bystander effect.

  3. AC
    December 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    The next leak will not see the start of an American revolution against the financial system, but in the long run people will progressively understand that the system truly has no credibility. When that happens, it will crumble just a little faster than it already is.
    —-

    A very good post on another blog about his motivations and thinking process.

    http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/

  4. December 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    The elite schools are insane was reading the hardwar crimson on TSA how everything is justified and the populous is misunderstanding and wrong about not to trust the gov’t so it should bend over in earnest

  5. Gomotharado
    November 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

    There is a book – //www.squidoo.com/burn-the-fat-feed-the-muscle-diet-book Tom venuto’s Burn the Fat book] . I’ve heard good reviews. Tom Venuto developed the diet and it’s a proven fat burning method.

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