Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Philosophy of Wikileaks

I'm following this battle intensely. It is the breaking point between the individual and the state, and one that represents an ancient fundamental choice: Do we want to live in a free world or not? I do, so I'm not going to stand by and let the media spin bullshit around your brain while your life slides further down the suck-hole of oppression.

If you want the truth, you have to go to the source and get the facts. This lies at the core of acquiring knowledge and making honest, rational decisions about the world you live in. The reason it's important is so that you can live a clear and sensible life. To that end, I've gone to the Wikileaks website and pasted key points from their "about" page to assist people who might be confused about who they are and where they stand.

What the media isn't telling you is that this is a war of ideas, and ideas are important because they decide the course of history. Because of the internet, we the common people of Earth now have a say in what that history will be, and future humans will either prosper or suffer depending on what we do with this power. Governments are hostile toward this idea because it means they will have to give up control. It scares them, and it should, because for too long they've been doing whatever they want without any consequences. Those days are over.

Welcome to the new world.

WikiLeaks is a project of the Sunshine Press. WikiLeaks is not a front for any intelligence agency or government, despite a rumour to that effect. This rumour was started early in WikiLeaks' existence, possibly by the intelligence agencies themselves. WikiLeaks is an independent global group of people with a long standing dedication to the idea of a free press and the improved transparency in society that comes from this. The group includes accredited journalists, software programmers, network engineers, mathematicians and others.

To determine the truth of our statements on this, simply look at the evidence. By definition, intelligence agencies want to hoard information. By contrast, WikiLeaks has shown that it wants to do just the opposite. Our track record shows we go to great lengths to bring the truth to the world without fear or favour.

The great American president Thomas Jefferson once observed that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We believe the journalistic media plays a key role in this vigilance.

It is only when the people know the true plans and behaviour of their governments that they can meaningfully choose to support or reject them. Historically, the most resilient forms of open government are those where publication and revelation are protected. Where that protection does not exist, it is our mission to provide it through an energetic and watchful media.

Authoritarian governments, oppressive institutions and corrupt corporations should be subject to the pressure, not merely of international diplomacy, freedom of information laws or even periodic elections, but of something far stronger - the consciences of the people within them.

In its landmark ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court ruled that "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government." We agree.

The ruling stated that "paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."

It is easy to perceive the connection between publication and the complaints people make about publication. But this generates a perception bias, because it overlooks the vastness of the invisible. It overlooks the unintended consequences of failing to publish and it overlooks all those who are emancipated by a climate of free speech. Such a climate is a motivating force for governments and corporations to act justly. If acting in a just manner is easier than acting in an unjust manner, most actions will be just.

Sufficient principled leaking in tandem with fearless reporting will bring down administrations that rely on concealing reality from their own citizens.

Through governmental corruption, political influence, or manipulation of the judicial system, abusive corporations are able to gain control over the defining element of government, the sole right to deploy coercive force.

Just like a country, a corrupt or unethical corporation is a menace to all inside and outside it. Corporations will behave more ethically if the world is watching closely. WikiLeaks has exposed unethical plans and behaviour in corporations and this has resulted in recompense or other forms of justice for victims.