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Alexis Ma
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  #8 Old 18-01-2011 Default Re: Debate Battle 1: Is Wikileaks justified for the greater good?

Opposing Statement

I believe that the unique role of Wikileaks has been over-emphasised. The revelation of documents intimately connected with diplomacy and national security is nothing new. A case in point: American news corporations have regularly reported on classified documents, some of which can be seen here:

Thus is it evident that Wikileaks is not the SOLE way or outlet for the public to receive classified documents and information. However, let me go on to show how Wikileaks differs from traditional news sources and why this holds some repercussions for the global community at large.

We should recognise that Wikileaks is in no way a total replica of said news corporations. Wikileaks lacks the accountability of established reporting sources, publishing what it sees fit, with no concern regarding their authenticity. This is exacerbated by the fact that Wikileaks enjoys cult-like status right now. People are willing to believe Wikileaks when it chooses to dump secret documents. This creates a problem. An informed democracy is created when the works of the government is revealed to the people, but a misinformed democracy is born when information is released without authentication, and also when information is released in a manner reminiscent of cherry-picking: Selecting only the rotten bits for the eyes of the public.

Wikileaks also enjoys some form of immunity from prosecution and persecution due to its multi-jurisdictional nature. This is ominous, because while established networks are incentivised to report responsibly because they can suffer the wrath of the government or the people, Wikileaks does not. This means that Wikileaks will not feel obliged to keep secret documents that might get people killed, nor will it withhold documents that jeopardise the framework of global peace.

Another problem with Wikileaks is that it comes under the purview of a single man, Julian Assange, which is troubling both in principle and in practice. Principally, when a single person chooses to wield this powerful tool Wikileaks, it is thoroughly undemocratic. Who is the organisation is to say which material is too harmful to be released, or which document should be released when? Mr Assange plays a game of brinksmanship and cat-and-mouse with governments who hunt him by released documents in timed intervals, and by having his own "Insurance file". This is not transparency, it is transparency handcuffed by a single person.

Last edited by Alexis Ma; 18-01-2011 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Loading more ammunition into the argument gun.
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