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All right, I might as well weigh in on this Wikileaks controversy that everyone's talking about, and by everyone I mean media klaxons.

Well, the fact is, so far all they've released is kiddie secrets. Wake me up when they publish some real secrets.

Seriously: Wikileaks published 250,000 classified documents a few weeks ago, and the most alarming thing the media could come up with is a straw poll of American diplomats asking them what locations they think are important to American interests, as if terrorists have no other way to guess what sites might be important to America.

And, with nothing else in those documents to raise an alarm over, the media falls back to wailing about how bad it is that some ambassador might feel embarrassed. Give me a break.

The American government and military, you'll notice, didn't exactly come crashing to its knees. Their main reaction to the Wikileaks seems to be to try stop it before anything worse happens [1]. Aside from reasonable tightening of data security, even that might be unnecessary.

Wikileaks got its most recent cache of documents from some low-ranking enlisted assclown in the Air Force, who downloaded them from a server open to certain people with clearance. Do you really think any important secrets would have been accessible to this guy?

Wikileaks could have gotten, or could be able to get, more imporant secrets than they've released to date [2]. No secret is 100% secure and you never know what people might have up their sleeve, but given what Wikileaks has revealed so far and how they obtained it, I'd say the actual threat of important information being leaked in the future is, at best, modest.

I want to make it clear that I do not support Wikileaks, but honestly, what they've done so far is not worth worrying about [3].


[1]I might add that their approach of trying to find an excuse to capture Julian Assange is quite possibly counterproductive: making a martyr out of this guy might inspire more people to reveal more secrets, but I'll hold my final judgment on that for now.
[2]I don't expect that encrypted "insurance" file to be any more dangerous than what they've released so far. More embarrassing, probably. But if there were anything really juicy in there Assange would have been smart to hint at what it was, yet it seems that he didn't. So I think it's more or less a bluff. But we'll see.
[3]I should also point out that Wikileaks has been in operation for about ten years, and nobody cared about it until they started leaking American secrets, and by nobody I mean no media klaxons. They've released documents about many other countries and organizations, including the Taliban, and those were important secrets. But I would think it's a little easier to get important secrets from the Taliban or Uganda then from the U.S. But who knows?
Tags: media, wikileaks
Last Edited: 10 December 2010, 9:03 PM
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