Defend Wikileaks

I feel the need to use my blog to “Google vote” to defend Wikileaks, an anonymous whistle-blower site set up as a way for corporate and government people to reveal secrets they feel the public should know.

The site’s .org address was shut down by a California court order in an incredibly offensive breech of free speech rights. There are tons of mirror sites hosting the saved data, but that is not a permanent solution.

The site has garnered a lot of criticism, sure. It even received wary words from Bill Thompson, tech columnist for the BBC, who I enjoy reading. But I think Bill was suggesting that you might not want to support the site and would never have suggested censorship or that the site should not be allowed to exist.

We are losing battle after battle in the war to keep the Internet free, and this is a gross offense. But how do we take these rights back? I doubt that me writing a blog post so that one more web page hit will pop up on Google is really going to cut it…

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4 Comments

Filed under Things That Interest Me

4 responses to “Defend Wikileaks

  1. cclaiborn

    I don’t have a cool comment about this story, I’m just letting you know that I have a blog on wordpress now…so you should subscribe to it and stuff.
    -Caroline

  2. Bill Thompson

    Hi there – you’re right that even though I’m dubious about wikileaks because I think that there are real dangers it will be used to pursue hidden agendas and there are real problems about verifying what you find there, the current action by Julius Baer and the foolishness of the US courts need to be publicised and opposed – taking the whole site offline (or rather, attempting to!) is an extreme response to the bank’s complaint and (although I’m neither American nor a lawyer) probably not consititutional.

  3. havingthehaving

    It’s this sort of things that makes me reconsider choosing not to be a part of the whole constitutional law world. Prior restraint was ruled unconstitutional in Near v. Minnesota (in 1931, for crying out loud) and the internet is the current frontier for testing that decision. Over what else could a ruling be handed down explicitly censoring an entire publication? Certainly not the print media. Slippery business, this internet. Maybe writing a blog post alone won’t do it, but the attention this is drawing won’t be lost on the lawyers who’ll get to argue this all out in the courts. Hopefully it’ll go far. It’s already federal…

  4. Obscure

    The injunction against Wikileaks was lifted, and for good reason–though I had to fight to find the original court documents, rather than–as in this case–clearly posted links “Defend Wikileaks” websites. Those were more useful.

    Anyway, I have concerns with an electronic dumping ground for non-vetted documents from understandably anonymous “whistle-blowers.” It does seem–in ways similar to certain abandoned government database ideas–like a vehicle more than capable of potentially causing irrevocable harm to individuals with no genuine means to correct misleading or fraudulent data (other than, I suppose, commenting with the rest of the crowd).

    But, it has–and has shown–some promise. I tend to foresee a site one day filled to the brim with “official” documents detailing the “truth” about UFOs, 9/11, and the elaborate alleged crimes of whatever prominent politicians exist that particular year, despite the rather vague “systems” Wikileaks claims it has or will put in place to prevent such a flood of falsehood.

    Right now, I see no reason for it to be shut down, and I hope it serves its intended purpose well.

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