WikiLeaks - The Future of 'Crowd Sourced' Journalism?

| 6 Comments

WikiLeaks is certainly not the first whistle-blower organization, this has a long history; however, it has a high profile because it comes at a time when technology has created instant news and an immediate global reach. Researchers need information and good data and these documents have already lead to some published, peer-review assessments. Once the dust settles, it will be interesting to see what the long-term impact of this is. Certainly, the government will be tightening down their security procedures and hopefully somehow we might see increased transparency as officials realize that making information public still has value in a democratic society. I was able to write up a brief summary about WikiLeaks for Information Today's NewsBreaks on "WikiLeaks-A Critical Catalyst, But for What End?" that was just posted today. I learned a lot from some very interesting, smart people. I'd be interested in your comments as well!

6 Comments

I really liked the comments, but I wonder if these were really leaks or if they were planted. I can't believe there isn't something more sensitive in all these documents. I'm not a conspiracy type, but it makes me wonder. Thanks for the summary.

Leaking is inherently an anti-authoritarian act. It is inherently an anarchist act.

The problem isn't the web site, it's with the system and with those you leak stuff. Think about times when having whistle-blowers really helped people. And every article I've read came from papers like the New York Times - would they publish something without thinking it was true? This is supposed to be a democracy isn't it? I like what they are doing.

The issue of transparency in government and freedom of the press is being represented in the supportive statements of many different organizations and groups. Recently the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in this statement:

ARL Joins in Letter Concerning WikiLeaks and Freedom of the Press

ARL joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others in the not for profit sector in an open letter to US government officials calling on these officials to respect freedom of expression. The letter focused on the public debate over the disclosures by WikiLeaks. The signatories of the letter urged caution “against any legislation that could weaken the principles of free expression vital to a democratic society or hamper online freedoms.” The letter also noted that:

* Publishers have a First Amendment right to print truthful political information free of prior restraint, as established in New York Times v. United States.
* Publishers are strongly protected by the First Amendment against liability for publishing truthful political information that is lawfully obtained, even if the original disclosure of that information to the publisher was unlawful, under Bartnicki v. Vopper.
* Internet users have a First Amendment right to receive information, as repeatedly endorsed by a series of Supreme Court cases, including Stanley v. Georgia.
* The public has a First Amendment right to voice opinions about government activities. This is core political speech, which receives the highest protection under the Constitution.

The full document is available as well @ http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg/wikileaks_open_letter_final.pdf

ARL Joins in Letter Concerning WikiLeaks and Freedom of the Press

ARL joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others in the not for profit sector in an open letter to US government officials calling on these officials to respect freedom of expression. The letter focused on the public debate over the disclosures by WikiLeaks. The signatories of the letter urged caution “against any legislation that could weaken the principles of free expression vital to a democratic society or hamper online freedoms.” The letter also noted that:

* Publishers have a First Amendment right to print truthful political information free of prior restraint, as established in New York Times v. United States.
* Publishers are strongly protected by the First Amendment against liability for publishing truthful political information that is lawfully obtained, even if the original disclosure of that information to the publisher was unlawful, under Bartnicki v. Vopper.
* Internet users have a First Amendment right to receive information, as repeatedly endorsed by a series of Supreme Court cases, including Stanley v. Georgia.
* The public has a First Amendment right to voice opinions about government activities. This is core political speech, which receives the highest protection under the Constitution.


You can read the full statement @ http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg/wikileaks_open_letter_final.pdf

Wikileaks is considered by many journalists as a non reliable source i.e. all theses reports and cables are written by the US army...Do not expect to read in these reports "yeah well today we have had permission to shoot on civilians just for the fun of it", these reports are "politically correct" so at the end of the day, wiki is just airing politically correct cables and reports...among the hundred of thousands stuff they aired only a few are really valuable.

Leave a comment

Recent Entries

Impatiently Waiting for the Innovation to Begin: PDF & the Future of 'Reading'
Are you getting sick and tired of the PDF as a reading format for ebooks? Join the crowd. So, why…
The Challenge of Accessibility & New Media
Ebooks are starting to show the technological edge with EPUB 3 and HTML5 - however, a larger issue looms as…
Cengage Learning Using Bankruptcy to Restructure for Future Growth
Earlier this Fall, Cengage Learning - a major publisher for academic markets - made a very open public disclosure of…