A number of you have been asking me to comment on the WikiLeaks phenomema. Do we at the Flashlight approve of the work of people like Julian Assange, who fight to make classified government secrets available to the general public? Of course we do. I thought that would have gone without saying. Because despite our government’s claims that they’re deceiving, inveigling and obfuscating for “national security” purposes, keeping this information a secret has nothing to with protecting us and everything to do with protecting them. So yes, we whole-heartedly approve of Assange’s efforts, in theory. Provided, of course, that WikiLeaks is in fact what it claims to be.
What are we talking about? For years, forces within our own government have been looking for any excuse to impinge upon our right to free speech and privacy. Whether or not you believe our government had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, I dare you to try and tell me they didn’t take advantage of the situation to push through homeland security measures that violate our civil liberties in ways too numerous to count.
So think about it: a major, public leak like this gives the US government all the fodder they need to tighten their stranglehold on the interwebs, and to eradicate the anonymity it provides. Do you think that a site like the Flashlight would be allowed to exist if our government were able to see the man behind the curtain?
Again, whether Assange is a comrade in arms in the race to shed light on the truth or simply staged these “leaks” for some more nefarious purposes is not the issue. The question is, how much will our government be able to spin this event to their benefit? Information wants to be free. But our government does not agree.