Tagged: Public Interests Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:50 on 11. December 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Checks and Balances, Counter-democracy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Public Interests, , , , , , , , , , , , , , State, , , , ,   

    WikiLeaks: Pros and Cons II. 

    Shirky: Wikileaks should not be able to operate as a law unto itself [but] we need to keep [it] alive today; http://eicker.at/WL

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:50 on 11. December 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Shirky: “Like a lot of people, I am conflicted about Wikileaks.Citizens of a functioning democracy must be able to know what the state is saying and doing in our name, to engage in what Pierre Rosanvallon calls ‘counter-democracy’, the democracy of citizens distrusting rather than legitimizing the actions of the state. Wikileaks plainly improves those abilities. – On the other hand, human systems can’t stand pure transparency. For negotiation to work, people’s stated positions have to change, but change is seen, almost universally, as weakness. People trying to come to consensus must be able to privately voice opinions they would publicly abjure, and may later abandon. … In the US, however, the government has a ‘heavy burden’, in the words of the Supreme Court, for engaging in prior restraint of even secret documents, an established principle since New York Times Co. vs. The United States, when the Times published the Pentagon Papers. If we want a different answer for Wikileaks, we need a different legal framework first.Over the long haul, we will need new checks and balances for newly increased transparency – Wikileaks shouldn’t be able to operate as a law unto itself anymore than the US should be able to. In the short haul, though, Wikileaks is our Amsterdam. Whatever restrictions we eventually end up enacting, we need to keep Wikileaks alive today, while we work through the process democracies always go through to react to change. If it’s OK for a democracy to just decide to run someone off the internet for doing something they wouldn’t prosecute a newspaper for doing, the idea of an internet that further democratizes the public sphere will have taken a mortal blow.”

      Gillmor: “Of course, the New York Times, Washington Post and many other news organizations in the U.S. and other nations have published classified information themselves in the past – many, many times – without any help from WikiLeaks. Bob Woodward has practically made a career of publishing leaked information. By the same logic that the censors and their media acolytes are using against WikiLeaks, those organizations and lots of others could and should be subject to censorship as well. … Media organizations with even half a clue need to recognize what is at stake at this point. It’s more than immediate self-interest, namely their own ability to do their jobs.Like Clay Shirky, I’m deeply ambivalent about some of what WikiLeaks does, and what this affair portends. Governments need to keep some secrets, and laws matter. So does the First Amendment, and right now it’s under an attack that could shred it.”

      Sauter/Zittrain: “Everything You Need to Know About WikileaksWho is responsible for redacting the documents? What actions did Wikileaks take to ensure that individuals were not put in danger by publication of the documents? – According to the Associated Press and statements released by Wikileaks and Julian Assange, Wikileaks is currently relying on the expertise of the five news organizations to redact the cables as they are released, and it is following their redactions as it releases the documents on its website. (This cannot be verified without examining the original documents, which we have not done – nor are we linking to them here.) According to the BBC, Julian Assange approached the U.S. State Department for guidance on redacting the documents prior to their release. One can imagine the State Department’s dilemma there: assist and risk legitimating the enterprise; don’t assist and risk poor redaction. In a public letter, Harold Koh, legal adviser to the Department of State, declined to assist the organization and demanded the return of the documents.”

      Madrigal: “How to Think About WikiLeaks – In the days since WikiLeaks began releasing a small percentage of its cache of 250,000 cables sent by State Department officials, many people have tried to think through the event’s implications for politics, media, and national security. – Writers pulling at the knot of press freedom, liberty, nationalism, secrecy and security that sits at the center of the debate have produced dozens of fantastic pieces. We’re collecting the very best here. This page will be updated often. New links will be floated near the top of this list.

  • Gerrit Eicker 13:03 on 5. December 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , Anarchy, , , , , , Corruption, , , , , , , , , , , , , Ideology, , , , Informational Self-determination, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Public Interests, , , Reporters Without Borders, , , RWB, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    WikiLeaks: Pros and Cons 

    The impact of WikiLeaks? Duty to basically reconsider and agree on informational self-determination; http://eicker.at/WikiLeaks

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 13:04 on 5. December 2010 Permalink | Reply

      WikiLeaks: “…is a not-for-profit media organisation. Our goal is to bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists (our electronic drop box). One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. We are a young organisation that has grown very quickly, relying on a network of dedicated volunteers around the globe. … WikiLeaks has combined high-end security technologies with journalism and ethical principles. Like other media outlets conducting investigative journalism, we accept (but do not solicit) anonymous sources of information. Unlike other outlets, we provide a high security anonymous drop box fortified by cutting-edge cryptographic information technologies. This provides maximum protection to our sources. We are fearless in our efforts to get the unvarnished truth out to the public. When information comes in, our journalists analyse the material, verify it and write a news piece about it describing its significance to society. We then publish both the news story and the original material in order to enable readers to analyse the story in the context of the original source material themselves.”

      Wikipedia: “The term informational self-determination was first used in the context of a German constitutional ruling relating to personal information collected during the 1983 census. – In that occasion, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that: ‘[…] in the context of modern data processing, the protection of the individual against unlimited collection, storage, use and disclosure of his/her personal data is encompassed by the general personal rights of the [German Constitution]. This basic right warrants in this respect the capacity of the individual to determine in principle the disclosure and use of his/her personal data. Limitations to this informational self-determination are allowed only in case of overriding public interest.‘ – Informational self-determination is often considered similar to the right to privacy but has unique characteristics that distinguish it from the ‘Right to privacy’ in the United States tradition. Informational self-determination reflects Westin’s description of privacy: ‘The right of the individual to decide what information about himself should be communicated to others and under what circumstances‘ (Westin, 1970). In contrast, the ‘Right to privacy’ in the United States legal tradition is commonly considered to originate in Warren andBrandeis’ article, which focuses on the right to ‘solitude’ (i.e., being ‘left alone’) and in the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects persons and their belongings from warrantless search.”

      Democracy Now: “Goodman: ‘…not all transparency advocates support what WikiLeaks is doing. Today we’ll host a debate. Steven Aftergood is one of the most prominent critics of WikiLeaks and one of the most prominent transparency advocates. … We’re also joined by Glenn Greenwald. He’s a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com who’s supportive of WikiLeaks.’ … Aftergood: ‘I’m all for the exposure of corruption, including classified corruption. And to the extent that WikiLeaks has done that, I support its actions. The problem is, it has done a lot more than that, much of which is problematic. It has invaded personal privacy. It has published libelous material. It has violated intellectual property rights. And above all, it has launched a sweeping attack not simply on corruption, but on secrecy itself. And I think that’s both a strategic and a tactical error. It’s a strategic error because some secrecy is perfectly legitimate and desirable. It’s a tactical error because it has unleashed a furious response from the U.S. government and other governments that I fear is likely to harm the interests of a lot of other people besides WikiLeaks who are concerned with open government.’ … Greenwald: ‘If you look at the overall record of WikiLeaks – and let me just stipulate right upfront that WikiLeaks is a four-year-old organization, four years old. They’re operating completely unchartered territory. Have they made some mistakes and taken some missteps? Absolutely. They’re an imperfect organization. But on the whole, the amount of corruption and injustice in the world that WikiLeaks is exposing… I criticize them, for instance, for exercising insufficient care in redacting the names of various Afghan citizens who cooperated with the United States military. They accepted responsibility for that, and in subsequent releases, including in the Iraq document disclosures, they were very careful about redacting those names.'”

      Reporters Without Borders: “Wikileaks has in the past played a useful role by making information available to the US and international public that exposed serious violations of human rights and civil liberties which the Bush administration committed in the name of its war against terror. … But revealing the identity of hundreds of people who collaborated with the coalition in Afghanistan is highly dangerous. It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks. … Nonetheless, indiscriminately publishing 92,000 classified reports reflects a real problem of methodology and, therefore, of credibility. Journalistic work involves the selection of information. The argument with which you defend yourself, namely that Wikileaks is not made up of journalists, is not convincing. Wikileaks is an information outlet and, as such, is subject to the same rules of publishing responsibility as any other media.Wikileaks must provide a more detailed explanation of its actions and must not repeat the same mistake. This will mean a new departure and new methods.

      Reporters Without Borders: “…condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. … We stress that any restriction on the freedom to disseminate this body of documents will affect the entire press, which has given detailed coverage to the information made available by WikiLeaks, with five leading international newspapers actively cooperating in preparing it for publication. – Reporters Without Borders would also like to stress that it has always defended online freedom and the principle of ‘Net neutrality,’ according to which Internet Service Providers and hosting companies should play no role in choosing the content that is placed online.”

      Preston/Guardian: “Be clear, right from the start. Any editor presented with a quarter of a million US State Department documents on a WikiLeaks plate has a duty to sift, check – and publish. Newspapers exist to get news into print, not shilly-shally around as pompous (and, alas, often American) champions of the public’s right not to know too much. And if, thus far, the most unexpected story of the lot is Washington’s inability to keep its diplomatic traffic secret, that’s a public service, too. … At which point – casting aside assorted bits of legislation, editing codes and sheaves of moral guidance – a more basic test applies. Do you, printing the WikiLeaks bumper bundle, feel queasy or certain you’re trying to do the right thing? How would you feel if you didn’t print them? And, equally, would you feel chastened, angry, maybe ashamed, if your telephone hacking exploits were laid out to the full by Private Eye?” (Guardian’s WikiLeaks-coverage)

c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel