Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks…Whatever

Is not Wikileaks brouhaha already over in one day? Did public or media find anything worthwhile in hundreds of diplomatic cables published on Wikileaks websites and summaries in numerous newspapers?

•The US government imposed strict sanctions against Iran and clearly indicated that it will try all diplomatic avenues to stop Iran becoming a Nuclear power. Leaked cables confirm it.

•India openly says that Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI helps terrorists. Leaked cables also say the same.

•Diplomatic maneuvering to achieve a certain goal is common. We have the confirmation from the ‘secret sources’ that the US diplomats know how to play this game.

•Analyzing counterparts is wise. The leaked cables confirm that US diplomats are indeed wise.

The diplomatic cables indicate that diplomacy is tough. It requires thinking, intelligence and acumen that the US administration seems to possess.

Maintaining the fine line between confidentiality and free speech/right to access information is responsibility of every citizen. It seems like Wikileaks blurred the line.

Interestingly Wikileaks site asks for donation to defend the information. Is it to defend the information or use the money for espionage?

What do you think?

Source :- WIkileaks, BBC, NY Times, Washington Post, Hindustan Times

24 comments:

Insignia said...

Dont know why they are asking for money. Definitely, we got some 'useful' information. We can now call the heads of state by their 'names'. :-P Dont you think?

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Interesting topic that you have raised here. Something to be pondered on...

Ria said...

I think its the latter...i m sure this money will go somewhere where it shouldn't go.

jane said...

Does thi shave anything to do with the jimmy wales' appeal in wikipedia???

Jidhu Jose said...

its a nice information. But I don't know why the feared

chitra said...

Wikileaks.... Whatever. I think your title said it all.

Bikramjit said...

No comments

sm said...

wikileaks
regarding that i am trying to write a post
I support wikileaks

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

I support wikileaks too. I don't know that the information we gleaned this time was anything special, but I for one am sick of the ridiculous, impossible lies our governments routinely tell us, and I'm nothing but happy when some of them get revealed every now and again. As one commenter said on the Guardian website, "so... all those things you think happen... they really do happen." My point is that the government and the media try to discredit those who make educated guesses about what happens in the world and blame them for being "conspiracy theorists." And then from wikileaks we learn that many of those supposed conspiracies are true after all.

I really don't care about any of the new information, but long live the internet!

A said...

@Insignia,

Yes, we know the names of now. But some of the cables are old so you will still need to validate with latest documents. Wikileaks claims to provide far more than names though.

@Kiran,

Yes. I am trying to figure out how it benefits us.

@Ria,

My concern is if someone can get hold of Top Secret documents by hacking and/or personal contacts, what happens if I give my credit card number for donation. Not sure how the money is going to be used.

@Jane,

Nothing about Wikipedia.

@Jidhu,

The fear is what else to come. There are thousands of leaked memo and I don’t believe government know what has leaked. It is definitely not good and is an embarrassment. There is a possibility that some people are at risk.

@Chitra,

That is my take on it but I am looking for people to contradict me. Would like to see where I am wrong if I am.

@Bikram,

I am not sure if you don’t agree with me or don’t care. I am very happy to hear what you think especially if you don’t agree with me. That is the fun part.

@SM,

Why do you support WIkileaks? A lot of people support it but why?

@Emily,

I am glad you gave a completely different viewpoint. Intelligent guesses by analyst claiming conspiracy theories are usually based on cues that politicians leave in their speeches. Analysts are good in reading in between the lines and analyzing the speeches/actions based on surrounding and come up with theories. Usually they are right. Most of the time, government does not deny or agree with these theories and let people make their own conclusion. My experience is that a good government does not really lie but does not completely tell the complete truth either. But of course most people are able to get the point and accordingly vote.

With regard to internet, it is great. Of course being a telecommunication professional, I agree with that. My problem is if Wikileaks hacked the computer to get the information, it is failure on part of computer professionals.

Also I don’t completely understand the objective of Wikileaks. If WIkileaks wants to convey that it can get access to thousands of memos by hacking and/or by people, they proved their point. I get it.

However, if Wikileaks wants to prove a specific problem or fault of the US or any other government, it needs to articulate the issue and provide supportive memos as proof. On the new set of disclosure, Wikileaks did not really say the key issue…just dumped thousands of memos. A common man cannot go through all these documents to find out what WIkileaks is trying to say.

Newspapers are analyzing some of these memos and coming up with simplified information about relationship between different countries.

That is why I am kind of wondering about it.

NRIGirl said...

What do I think?! Nothing... really!

I am not the one who would frequent wikileaks to check for the latest leaks. Give me my blogs, and emails. I will be fine for the day!

A said...

@NRIGirl,

A lot of people (or may be most people) are indifferent to Wikileaks and that is okay.

Having grown up in Cantonments (Army area), I have preconceived notion in mind that protection/interest of the country comes before free speech or disclosure of the information.

I may be wrong but that is how I am.

SG said...

These are nothing but sensationalism. There are "intellegent" people in every country. They know what is going on in reality. These leaks may be news to us ordinary citizens. But not to those in the "intellegent" community.

A said...

@SG,

Yes, there is(was) a lot of sensation about it. It is more sensational for ordinary people like us - I agree. But nevertheless, intelligent people like Clinton appeared concerned yesterday. The US administration knew leaks are coming.

Choco said...

@A: I loved your reply to Emily. Way better than anything I might have to say on the topic. Maybe you should be more opiniated in the posts! But then again it is always best to just say what needs to be said and let the reader be the judge!

As always. An interesting topic. My say on it? Based on your reply to Emily, I feel any information if based on some amount of truth is good information. Those interested will decipher and hopefully pass it on as well.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

I'm a little confused at all this talk of hacking. My understanding is that Wikileaks themselves don't go hacking government databases; rather they anonymously publish information provided by "whistlebowers." In some recent cases, the information appears to have been provided by people with legitimate access to the government files (though without permission to pass on that information, clearly). I could be wrong but this is what I have understood.

I think I should reply to your points a little. You say that intelligent people and analysts know what is going on. That may well be true, but I feel as though the general public hasn't a clue what's going on. And since we live in a democracy where the general public all gets a say, I find lack of education and deliberate misinformation from the government to be very disturbing. And I have to disagree with you. I think the government lies quite often. I know for a fact that the Canadian Prime Minister lies and distorts the truth all the time, and sometimes very blatantly. He gets away with this, by and large, because the media refuse to call him on his lies. This is just one example. Politicians all over the world are renowned for lying; that's why many people are very cynical and unengaged in politics.

Back to Wikileaks and whistleblowers. Whistleblowers have a long and significant history of providing information that the public has been denied for one reason or another. Think of Deep Throat, the whistleblower of the Watergate scandal. Or think of representatives of the tobacco industry, dying of lung cancer in their old age, who finally admitted that cigarettes are cancerous and that the tobacco companies had been deliberately spreading misinformation about this.

As I said before, I don't see much of value in the current batch of wikileaks. But I do think that the organisation has a role to play in our hopefully developing into a more aware and, who knows, maybe even responsible society.

And definitely the wikileaks video I watched, a few months ago of the US air force shooting two Reuters reporters was very thought-provoking.

A said...

@Choco,

I am glad you like my reply to Emily. Let us see if she likes or not. I can be more opinionated in posts but I try to gauge the interest in the subject. A lot of time people don’t have too much interest. Usually I provide both sides but in this case, I am not too convinced about positives but Emily is. And possibly others think the same way. Wikileaks does have authentic information but with this lot what to do with it.

@Emily,

I think I am wrong about hacking part. Because WIkileaks founder Julian Assanage was charged for hacking computers and he admitted to 24 counts of computer hacking, I kind of assumed it. It is not clear how Wikileaks got the information. He developed software ‘Port Scanner’ that basically captures everything on a port and data can be used to form the information. Smart but use their mind in wrong direction.
Regardless the US government keeps the data encrypted and one needs to have key to access the data unless his contacts had keys. But then question is how many contacts does he have? Claim is 250K documents.
Let us say he got the information from Whistle Blowers. For Whistle Blowers have a cause. Deep Throat has a specific purpose in mind and there was a crime he wanted to unfold. With 250,000 documents, which crime is he trying to uncover?

I respect Whistle Blowers who have a real cause.

Also all my discussion is with regard to this set of leaks.

I can agree with you about politicians. Some are worst than others. Some just twist the facts and some may lie blatant..but there are more of first kind.

Madhu said...

MONEY always goes to wrong places.need we track em?

Stranger said...

Julian Assanage.. I respect the guys guts. Because of him US govt is bringing a new law for insiders to report about abuse of power and corruption...

The leaks helped at least me to change my perception about some of the world leaders. I am aware that my perception costs nothing and have no impact on this wide wide world but I feel I am better to have known some of these world leaders true colors and Many Arab leaders will think twice before opening their feelings to US....

Asking for donation, sure the guy needs money to live in hiding and for other expenses...

Bedazzled said...

money to pay off people maybe..

tanvii.com said...

You know I hadn't thought about it but now you made me think... but I do not have any answers!

dr.antony said...

There are no secrets for ever.Every thing comes out some time or other.Wiki or what ever.
I would say,if the information had something to do with common mans life,then protect it.If it is to save the idiotic policies of some, no need to protect them.

kavita said...

Hi A !I am here to say that i am taking a break from blogger(kids exams,hectic work schedule,two weddings in the family and a vacation later..humph)...will be back soon.
Take care.Love and regards to you and your family:)

Renu said...

I agree to what SG said, in everycountry certain people already know everything, and as a country if we must have our own espionage system i9n shape rather than thinking of getting information from some leaks.