WikiLeaks’s Freedom of information and knowledge: At what cost?

Wikileaks is a place on the internet where people can share information without giving out their name. If somebody comes across some information which should be released to the public, but they are too afraid to do so using their real name, they can have it posted to Wikileaks. For example if I was a government minister who found out the Prime Minister wanted to eat puppies, I could release the information onto Wikileaks without disclosing who I was.

Samuel Axon over on Mashable has an article comparing Wikileaks to the Pirate bay in terms of the affect that it has on society. He says that Wikileaks shares the same culture, the open source movement which is a world without borders where information can run free and be accessed by anyone with an internet connection without institution hindering independent thought.

Wikileaks is remarkable because it is totally opensource. Anyone can post information and anyone can access the site. This brings problems however. On the Wikileaks site, I came across the Afgan War diary, an “extraordinary compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010”. This information which would normally be confidential for military reasons is available for everyone to read, including the enemy.

This could be a major problem for those in the military, it could release plans to the enemy and put soldier’s lives at risk. This is the question of sites such as Wikileaks, should the public have access to this content? Does Wikileaks go too far? Where should we draw the line between free speech and confidential information? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

  • brassfacts

    I think you guys are missing the point of this leak !!! Disinformation is quite the possibility. If the War Hawks came out and said North Korea is helping terrorist. "WE MUST ATTACK, before the smoking gun becomes a mushroom cloud!" Anti-war movement people would say we heard that one before but leak some real,but ho hum,documents along with a little fake intel on North Korea and wikileak has confirmed it's true it's true! It was leaked so it MUST be true! The soldier in question "did not have the skill to do this" they say, "he must of had help" (News Flash-unwitting soldier helped by C.I.A. / N.D.O.) This is of course a conspiracy theory. No government has EVER used disinformation to start a war…. Leaks have proved (?)those bad guy North Koreans are helping Terrorist! They must be stopped, WAR with North Korea !!! Hide and watch.