What if the current administration is doing evil something behind the back of the electorate? How would we know about it?
You see, secrecy is a catch-22 proposition. If you're trying to do actual real work of tracking down terrorists, you don't want the whole world to know(at least until years later). But if you're doing something EVIL behind our back, the world have the right to know.
The cablegate? Hardly any reason to get angry over. It make the government looks good. But politicians are overreacting.
A lot of, if not most of, the current tension in the Middle East dates back to just after WWII, when someone decided it would be a good idea to stick all the people that no one wanted (but wouldn't come right out and say it) in the middle of a bunch of people who were ill-prepared to absorb them (and didn't particularly want them, either).
That pretty much paved the road to our current little slice of Middle Eastern hell.
Much more substantial were the efforts of the US government to overthrow moderate regimes for hardlines who would support them, as well the UK's efforts to deliberately screw up the decolonization efforts by drawing up national boundaries with no regards to the inhabitants' will.
It's complex, but it's ridiculously easy to see where things were wrong, and you don't need the hindsight either.
Take any news report about the middle east and replace the names with cananites, babylonians, persions, egyptians, romans, etc - the story doesn't change.
In fact if you read any books by Josephus - it sounds just like CNN (except better written)
The main safeguard is rule of law. There's a whitelist of information that is allowed to be classified -- spelled out in http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13526 .
Information shall not be considered for classification
unless its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be
expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to
the national security in accordance with section 1.2 of
this order, and it pertains to one or more of the
(a) military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
(b) foreign government information;
(c) intelligence activities (including covert
action), intelligence sources or methods, or
(d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the
United States, including confidential sources;
(e) scientific, technological, or economic matters
relating to the national security;
(f) United States Government programs for
safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
(g) vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems,
installations, infrastructures, projects,
plans, or protection services relating to the
national security; or
(h) the development, production, or use of weapons
of mass destruction.
Between rule of law, a law that outlines which categories of things the government is allowed to keep secret, and the fact that even really secret programs of any significant size have to ultimately be staffed with lots of normal citizens, I think it's actually a pretty safe and sane system.
I think the existence of an 'administration' and an 'electorate' pretty much guarantees that they are doing something evil behind your back.
Would the same arguments be made about censorship if WikiLeaks' instead posted health records, or confidential conversations between attorneys and their clients? (which are confidential and legally protected, similar to security clearances).
The debate should be whether we want to protect communications between our politicians and diplomats, not the inevitable publication of released confidential material and the vilification of the one who does it.
This release does show, however, that once this type of information is on the internet, whether it's medical records, nuclear secrets, or what the Secretary of State said to some diplomat, no one can stop its availability, as long as there are people who support its release.
Saying 'no' to online censorship is not equivalent to some cosmetic changes, it's a fundamental thing to do and in the end of all we do is place some buttons then I doubt that would put a dent in to the plan of those that would have it differently.
Contributing directly to the EFF (I believe VISA and Mastercard are still processing donations to them, possibly even PayPal) would be one way, what other ways are there in which we could make more than just a symbolic stand here ?
Criticism does not need to be made by someone participating (I can't think of a better word, hm) to be valid.
I think that Wikileaks is a good thing, but I can't (won't) run a mirror because right now I'm not going to risk the legal consequences (and because I think that Freenet and Tor are better ways to host such data than HTTP).
In addition, running a mirror is not the only way how you can help Wikileaks: Donate money, run Tor nodes (even if they aren't outproxies), etc.
Wikileaks is currently mirrored on 1289 sites (updated 2010-12-08 19:07 GMT)
Does the world really need a 1290th mirror site?
That being said, the EFF already does enough and hosting wikileaks would likely cause more problems than it would solve.
Should that perhaps read http://wikileaks.ch/mirrors.html ?
If my company is working on a new product containing details we consider secret, is it OK to post those on the web?
If the gov't has secrets that could compromise our national security, is that Ok to post on the web?
How do we determine where to draw the line?
Is your new product paid out of taxpayer's money?
Will it do a lot of harm to people?
The line is quite clear to me.
I'm not saying I am against the leaks of most of the cables/documents, but putting national security at risk is a different story
putting national security at risk is a different story
If "national security" is compromised from the leaks of a couple of documents to the public, than the nation wasn't so secure in the first place. After all, if Wikileaks got a hold of those documents, how hard do you think it is for somebody with a couple of millions in cash and the right connections to do it?
But yeah, we should think of the children.
Instead of selling buttons or memberships, how about offering to host the documents on eff.org?
Action > words.