If you’re not paying attention to what is happening on the internet — warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, Google pulling out of China — then you should feel ashamed unless you’re an ultra-conservative who just loves to see autocratic or dictatorial governments in power doing whatever they deem necessary, regardless of the rule of law.
The reasons the framers of our US Constitution were so careful about ensuring there was a checks and balance in place with our three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) was to thwart attempts to seize or consolidate power. The problem? The internet is creating a cross-country, cross-cultural and cross-legal platform that is causing all sorts of angst among the intelligence agencies, militaries and governmental bodies throughout the world.
But if you believe (as I do) that sunlight is the best antiseptic, it’s an imperative that there are places like Wikileaks, Cryptome and groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that are willing to stand up for transparency, freedom, justice and legality in the 21st century and be places where whistleblowers can be confident of help in bringing to light injustices, crimes against humanity or violations of our basic freedoms or privacy.
The video below is one of the best snippets I’ve seen yet on one of these organizations, Wikileaks, that is a repository for leaked information and, in my and other’s view, a key place to ensure information needing to be leaked is leaked.
These leaks are submitted by whistleblowers anywhere in the world, people that would usually be too fearful to come forward. If you don’t think leaks and whistleblowing are important, then just remember that one led Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to break the Watergate story, ultimately bringing down President Nixon and forever changing the level of trust the citizenry has in the executive branch.
Apparently there is significant surveillance and covert activities focused on shutting down Wikileaks being done by the US intelligence apparatus because of a “…a film exposing a U.S. massacre we will release at the U.S. National Press Club on April 5th” and, most likely, because Wikileaks is a thorn under the saddle of several countries, not just the USA.
If you knew that I did this, you might ask why I just donated to Wikileaks or am a consistent donor to EFF. It’s because of my deep desire to ensure that liberty, freedom, democracy and justice prevails…no matter what the cost. For all I’ve received from living in a country for which my previous generation fought and died to keep these at the forefront, it’s the least I can do for them and for my children…
…let alone for oppressed people in other countries to whom we’re increasingly connected via the internet that is making a Wikileaks possible!
Watch this video about Wikileaks and decide for yourself: