You would have to have been under a rock to missed this story. Years from now when we look back on the state of the internet in 2010, blogging, free speech, net neutrality and the like we’ll talk about today. You will, in my opinion, be hearing about the Wikileak war in Afghanistan leak as a watershed point in transparency. Unfortunately, my instinct tells me that it’s downhill from here when it comes to government intervention in the flow of information. Here’s a link to a 24 minute video on the backstory from Journeyman Pictures. For some strange reason, all the videos stop at 9:30 seconds rather than the full 24 minutes. I can only imagine why. It reminds me of the time that the photograph of Admiral Mullen in Israel mysteriously disappeared from the Defense Department’s website and then was suddenly missing from our website here at TradeWithDave (see below).
Wikileaks back-story video: http://www.youtube.com/journeymanpictures#p/c/2C32A4BDEAD6466A/1/YEzAIEKr9Jo
If that link doesn’t work, click here and look for the video link on the left hand side of the page: http://www.journeyman.tv/
Here’s a 4 minute video from Russia Today RT.com on the posting of an “insurance” encrypted file posted to the Wikileaks site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1z4oRBUB9Y&feature=related
Here’s a link to an Associated Press story on Sat. Aug 7 detailing the challenges created to the U.S. Government in addressing the pervasive nature of the web in regard to Wikileaks: http://www.wdsu.com/politics/24547287/detail.html
Here’s a link to an August 7 article written by Stephen Lendman of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Chicago. It outlines some of the controversial issues relating to information leaks, security and wars of aggression from a progressive perspective: http://baltimorechronicle.com/2010/080710Lendman.shtml
Here’s a link on the Iran war preparations post from here at TradeWithDave.com that included a photograph of Admiral Mullen downloaded directly from the U.S. Defense department website. The article and photograph disappeared from Defense.gov and then it disappeared from TradeWithDave. http://tradewithdave.com/?p=1141
Here’s a link to our previous post on the controversial Wikileaks and the TED interview with Julian Assange. http://tradewithdave.com/?p=1400
TradeWithDave commentary – Wikileaks is a big story, the war in Afghanistan is a huge story, but there’s actually a story that is even bigger here and it has to do with the democratization of information and how we are going to deal with this. Whether you’re talking about Facebook leaking your private information, or classified government information being leaked over the internet. This “thing” we have created is unprecedented. When a part-time blogger like this site TradeWithDave.com started just over six months ago receives over 10,000 visitors per month who stay for four minutes, read three articles and is growing exponentially there’s something wrong with the entire way that we have chosen to create, distribute and market information.
I know that the growth of independent bloggers and the drop in newspaper circulation cannot and will not be sustainable from the perspective of mainstream media, the government or the infrastructure providers as was presented this week in the stories on Google/Verizon partnership (Jeff Jarvis buzzmachine.com here) http://www.buzzmachine.com/2010/08/05/evil/ (and this casual video of Eric Schmidt Google CEO at Gigaom – drag down the page) http://gigaom.com/2010/08/05/google-ceo-dishes-on-google-wave-verizon-social-strategy/. Nonetheless, I feel like I have a front row seat to the modern day drama of Free Speech vs. The Internet.
If we have struggled in the past to understand Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. test for Clear and Present Danger, we can expect to find out once and for all what the role of government is in providing “security” for its citizens. The answer will be clear, but the cost for that clarity will likely be a loss of our freedoms ~ a strange outcome when you consider the catalyst.
I know that if I was faced with the difficult choice of freedom or security the one I would choose. I’m reminded of the previously popular line from Mel Gibson’s character in the movie The Patriot; ”I’m a parent, I haven’t got the luxury of principles.” No doubt, freedom is a luxury that the internet may just not allow room for. To expand on the famous comments of Mark Zuckerberg on privacy and Facebook, I would ask you to consider the following? - Has a majority of a nation’s people come to fear, fear itself? Is the never-ending quest for freedom no longer a social norm, as it is gladly exchanged for the impossible promise of guaranteed security provided by our government? Are we finally and conveniently able to opt out of the simple choice between between liberty and death by clicking a new third option box titled simply as ”danger no more – courtesy of our government”?
As my maternal Grandfather used to say. “I’ll bet my bottom dollar”… that there will be a paragraph added to the following Wikipedia First Ammendment page and it will be about a new Supreme Court case relative to Wikileaks, the internet, freedom of speech and clear and present danger. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution