For those who have not heard about Wikileaks, it is a non-profit organization whose aim is to inform the public of news and information. It provides an “innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists.” Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange has claimed to be a journalist, but also acts as an activist. His goal is to make available all information available for the public; for the truth to be known for all so that justice is brought. This at first sight seems like a noble ideal; for justice to be brought upon those that have done wrong. However, we also need to discuss the complexities of all information being made available to any member of the public.
One of the major events that have characterized Wikileaks is the publication of 250,000 U.S government cables in February 2010. These were records made by U.S diplomats abroad that were communicated back to the U.S government describing the political situations of different countries. Some of these cables also described in great detail the personal information and habits of foreign leaders and their senior officials. The video below produced by the BBC outlines just a few of the cables that were released and the damaging impact these cables have had on U.S foreign relations.
These cables were classified information that was leaked to Wikileaks to be published. No matter how much desire we have for truth and freedom information, it is important to understand that some things need to be kept secret. Assange and Wikileaks advocate the right for freedom of information, but doesn’t each individual also have the basic human right to their own privacy? These cables were private communications between diplomats and their superiors back in the U.S. They should have the right to keep their conversations in private if that is what they desire. Our basic rights for self privacy should not be superseded by the rights of other’s under freedom of information. We are the bearer’s and owners of information and it should be ourselves who determine whether this information should be kept to ourselves or made available for the public. We all have secrets that we want to keep and I am sure that none of us would like those secrets to go public.
Cover Image: http://bit.ly/176Azlg