InfoStory Quotes: Power to WikiLeaks

Joseph Galarneau: “The power of the press can be dramatically limited when the power to the press is disconnected.”

Jeff Jarvis: “Too much of government is secret. Why? Because those who hold secrets hold power. Now Wikileaks has punctured that power. Whether or not it ever reveals another document—and we can be certain that it will—Wikileaks has made us all aware that no secret is safe. If something is known by one person, it can be known by the world. But that has always been the case. The internet did not kill secrecy. It only makes copying and spreading information easier and faster. It weakens secrecy. Or as a friend of mine says, the internet democratizes leaking. It used to be, only the powerful could hold and uncover knowledge. Now many can.”

Nick Carr: “Technologies advance more quickly than do laws, and eventually cloud companies may come to operate, vis a vis their journalistic clients, the way printers have operated in the past. But one of the lessons from the Wikileaks case is that, today, there are no such guarantees. The cloud is a fickle medium, with restrictive and even capricious terms of service. Is there any journalism worth its salt that doesn’t somehow cause harm to ‘a person or entity'”?

And this is what your humble blogger said in response to Andy McAffee’s praise for Amazon and dissatisfaction with the latest from WikiLeaks (“It went from being a potentially important tool to being an organization that seems to have publicity and anti-Americanism at its primary goals”):

If seeking “publicity” was a crime, Lady Gaga would have been in prison long time ago. And Madonna’s web site (and many other web sites), would be shut down if “Anti-Americanism” was against the law. Release of information does not need to be “justified,” right? Illegally giving confidential/top secret information to others cannot be justified and that’s the only important (and most neglected) aspect of this leak. But if you prefer to exercise free speech principles selectively, why worry about information that may embarrass some people and not worry about information that may actually endanger the lives of others?

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