The truth is out there

Has your mum ever told you that if you didnt have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all? Well maybe governments need take their mothers advice. If governments are doing things that they don’t want people finding out about then maybe it’s a good indication that they shouldn’t be doing it. There are countless example throughout the past decades of government cover-ups, to only have to truth leak out later. During the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon lied about the US bombing in Cambodia, once this information was released to the public, over 700 school, universities and colleges closed due to protests.

We need whistleblowers. We need people to tell us what government’s wont. We need people to ask the hard questions that politicians can’t avoid. ‘Collateral Damage’ did just that. As much as the government tried they couldn’t deny the footage of the soldiers killing civilians,
I don’t see Julian Assange and the other whistleblowers as criminals. To me they are mere truth tellers and they overcome any obstacle (or firewall) to get the truth out there. They are allowing us to be fully informed, instead of being blinded by ignorance.

I understand the legal issues of hacking into government agencies etc but it’s not as if they are stealing money from the government or disarming their military, all they are doing is releasing the truth.

The way I understand it, governments fear what they can’t control or stop, and WikiLeak is just that. Wikileaks can’t be easily be dismantled 9the internet would basically need to be pulled apart if someone tried to do end Wikileaks) and even if this is, many other hactivists will continue their work. The internet has given us freedom of expression and curiosity and individuals are using this to try and seek the truth.

Has there being any severe consequences from doing this?

Has anyone been killed or attacked as a result of WikiLeaks? (I have not heard of this happing, but if anyone does know if this has occurred, send me a link).
As the X Files taught me, the truth is out there’ and a geeky, anti-social tween is going to find it.

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5 thoughts on “The truth is out there

  1. I used to be one of those naieve people who thought everything was rainbows and smiles and that the government hid nothing from us but after being a media and communications student for the past 4 years i have realised that this is far from the truth. Have you ever looked into various consipiracy theories? It’s really interesting to explore the boundaries and look at how oblivious we all are to the horrible actions of various governments and the secrets they try and hide from the public. It really opens your eyes and makes you realise that we do need things like wikileaks and anonymous and various hackers to remind the government that not everything is secret and that one day we will discover the things they are trying to hide from us. It also reminds me to not be so oblivious and openly trusting to the things going on around me. You should have a read of this TIME magazine article it’s really interesting and looks at some conspiracy theories you might’ve never heard of before. http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1860871,00.html

  2. Agreed! I never knew all of this stuff was going on until I began studying! It’s crazy to think about! I do beleive that the government are hiding things – but do we really want to know EVERYTHING? I think that some of us might go crazy with some of the things they probably do (somethings are meant to be hidden) although I understand the desire to undercover these secrets and tell the world – but when that is also done in an unethical way you begin to question their integrity as well so its really just a constant cycle to me. No one is 100% pure and perfect. But it’s scary to think that hacking even exists – am I going to be hacked?! (not like I have anything to hide……)

  3. I disagree with you. Although Wikileaks has uncovered some truths that should be of public interest, the cables that expose private conversations between diplomats are causing problems. These sorts of conversations are a similar discourse that you might have at work about your boss. You would expect this conversation to be private. In fact, this privacy affords you to maintain a certain image. The Wikileaks document dump damaged diplomatic ties because privacy was removed, and little tidbits of information caused a stir. I think there is a right for the public to know, but not absolutely everything. And sure, no one has directly died from it. But this TIME article outlines a few consequences of the leaks, and a few of the less important conversations leaked. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2034488-1,00.html

  4. I found an article (http://mag.newsweek.com/2010/08/02/taliban-seeks-vengeance-in-wake-of-wikileaks.html) that suggests the information leaked by WikiLeaks had some serious consequences for local civilians that were providers of information to the allied forces (USA/Australia/UK) in Afghanistan. The Taliban targeted villages that were named in the leaked material for having cooperated with the USA forces. Whilst specific individuals may not have been named in the material the Taliban believed they had been cooperating and sent death threats etc.
    This raises questions of whether local civilians will be more wary of collaborating the foreign troops if they know that the information may be released.
    Whilst I believe the dissemination of important documents that highlight secrecy on a Government or large corporation’s behalf should be encouraged I think a filter needs to be applied by groups like WikiLeaks so that information that may directly lead to someone’s torture or death is not published. It is a fine line, deciding what information the public needs to know, and what information severely damages on-the-ground relationships between soldiers and civilians. Similarly, information that places a person’s life a risk, when their actions are determined by their Government, should be filtered out before released over the Internet. WikiLeaks and other hacktivists have an important role in ensuring Government accountability and transparency, but perhaps it shouldn’t be at the expense of civilians, informants or soldiers lives.

  5. I love that in all your blog posts you use really relevant and relatable examples because my mum used to say that to all the time! I agree! Although, sometimes its hard for this information to reach the general public or even sift through as WikiLeaks store an enormous amount of information to look through with the organisation itself admitting to this as it presents both opportunities and challenges for them. Here is something to consider… Were you aware that WikiLeaks has formed partner ships with traditional media outlets such as The Guardian and the New York Times in order to reach an existing audience whilst helping to put information into context rather then simply posting documents on a ‘random website’? In An article titled “Still wondering why we need a stateless media entity like WikiLeaks? This is why” explains of why WikiLeaks has teamed up with traditional journalists and why we need WikiLeaks more then ever http://gigaom.com/2013/08/19/still-wondering-why-we-need-a-stateless-media-entity-like-wikileaks-this-is-why/
    Responding to the comment above, I don’t think you can compare the example of talking to your boss to a conversation between diplomats. I understand exactly what you are trying to say but government and military personnel are responsible for a countless number of lives and futures. Your boss does not hold anywhere near as much power as government and military personnel do and that’s why we need WikiLeaks. I believe we should have to right to know what is going on within our own governments, as every decision they make will effect their population in some way or another.

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