WikiLeaks. What is it?. Non-profit organization Publishes private, secret, and classified information Information comes from anonymous news sources and news leaks Has published information about many issues, including: War in Afghanistan Iraq War Guantanamo Bay procedures
What is it? Non-profit organization Publishes private, secret, and classified information Information comes from anonymous news sources and news leaks Has published information about many issues, including: War in Afghanistan Iraq War Guantanamo Bay procedures Toxic dumping in the Cote d’Ivoire U.S. diplomatic communication (i.e., between ambassadors and U.S. gov’t)
Who is involved? The director of WikiLeaks is Julian Assange He is an Australian, although he has lived in many countries around the world He was a computer programmer and a hacker before WikiLeaks
Who else? Governments around the world Military operations around the world Diplomats Humanitarian groups (i.e., Amnesty International)
Bradley Manning Has been charged with allegedly leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks Was a soldier in the U.S. army Is being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day right now, and is allowed 1 hour of exercise (doing figure 8’s)
When? The website was launched in 2006 In April 2010, the website released the Collateral Murder video footage (Iraqi civilians and Reuter’s journalists were killed by U.S. forces) In July 2010, the website released the Afghan War Diary (previously undisclosed documents from the Afghan War) In October 2010, the Iraq War Log was released (all deaths in Iraq and Iran were disclosed) In November 2010, U.S. diplomatic cables were released (correspondence between embassies and the U.S. Gov’t)
Examples of Diplomatic Cables U.S. ambassador to Moscow reported, in late 2008, that President Dmitri Medvedev “plays Robin to (Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin’s Batman”? U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered U.S. diplomats to collect the details of confidential networks used for official communication by senior UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys. (She also wanted their frequent flyer numbers, credit card details, fingerprints, iris scans, and DNA biometrics.) U.S. ambassador said about French President Nicholas Sarkozythat he has a "thin-skinned and authoritarian personal style"? Elizabeth Dibble, U.S. charge d'affaires in Rome, said about Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi that he is "feckless, vain, and ineffective"? - Gwynn Dyer
Why? “Better scrutiny leads to reduced corruption and stronger democracies in all society’s institutions, including government, corporations and other organisations. A healthy, vibrant and inquisitive journalistic media plays a vital role in achieving these goals. We are part of that media” -WikiLeaks Julian Assange argues that by making this information and these documents accessible to the public, it makes our governments more transparent.
Opposition Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the U.S. for assistance in promoting democracy and open government,” the White House declared. “By releasing stolen and classified documents, WikiLeaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals.” Gwynn Dyer The American government has warned that by releasing these secret documents, WikiLeaks is endangering the lives of American diplomats, soldiers, and members or intelligence agenices (i.e., CIA)
Discussion Is WikiLeaks in fact a way to make governments more accountable for their actions? OR Is WikiLeaks putting at risk governments and the people that serve them?