Wikileaks i DN, Cryptome lekker korrespondanse
Dagens Næringsliv skriver lørdag 5. september flere sider om varsler-tjenesten Wikileaks. John Young i den eldste lekkasje-møllen, Cryptome, bli intervjuet av DN’s journalist om Wikileaks og svarer med å legge ut email-korrespondansen. Her kommer Young med en del skarpe observasjoner om lekkasje-bransjen:
You might wish to know that Cryptome publishes inquiries about Wikileaks.
Wikileaks strength is its capaciousness for publishing a wide range of information unnecessarily withheld from the public, in the process strengthening democracies, weakening authoritarians and helping diminish the power of self-selected judges of what the public should know.
Wikileaks weaknesses are about the same as its strengths due to its lack of transparency about its operation.
Wikileaks suffers the disease of righteousness of privileged journalism and privileged government, obsessed with keeping to itself its sources, means and methods while touting them as indicators of value.
Both journalism and government prattle and brag way too much about obligations to the public while being determined to maintain power, influence and concomitant benefits of funding, prestige and condescension to consumers. And, to be sure, whining like spoiled children when challenged, disrespected, neglected or asked to justify the perks of privilieged access to information and exploitation of sources «oh no, we never pay for information» — a manifest dissimulation to conceal that notoriety is the fee paid.
No way to double-check the validity of information provided by those who themselves cannot be double-checked at the very moment the information is provided. Hoary claims for protecting sources have become discredited by the failure of the claims-makers to subtantiate their own credibility by abuse of source-protection claims to vaunt the significance of information — a practice long used by spies, a holdover from the days of believing only torture provided truth.
Dispensers of public information would benefit from sustained investigation by outside parties as with any other closed and secretive public interest organization. Regulated oversight and self-investigation is fruitless, as evidenced by the advanced practices of exculpation by media and
government, both learning from and leaning on the other in complicity of assuring one another’s continued success.
Wikileaks too much resembles those whom it seeks to expose. And that should not be the case, as it should not be for journalism or its kissing cousin secret government.
I would hope Wikileaks matures into a publicly accountable operation, subjecting itself to the means and methods it has adopted from those who believe information asymmetry is just great. It could show professional journalism, and maybe some distant day government, how to do that. And give up the obnoxious addictive vainglory.