The Whistleblowers: Is WikiLeaks a Blessing or Curse for Democracy?

Wikileaks posted more than 91,000 internal US military documents online – unleashing debate about an unpopular war, secrecy and media, technology, whistle-blowing, and whether the release is courageous exposure or a dire security threat. WikiLeaks.org publishes leaked documents deemed secret by companies and governments. Documents titled the Afghan War Diary are archived into 100 categories as well as by date, region, mission type – each with a Google map. US defense officials call Australian founder Julian Assange, his five employees and group of volunteers “irresponsible,” yet such meticulous cataloging of US incidents and intelligence might have prevented the 9/11 attacks and war in Afghanistan. “For Assange, the fundamental rule in open societies must be that everyone should be able to communicate freely about everything,” write John Goetz and Marcel Rosenbach. While the US public initially supported the war, a disaffected individual within the system can alter popular perception by selectively exposing hitherto secret developments. Fear of exposure by leaks may now discourage candid appraisal and information. – YaleGlobal

The Whistleblowers: Is WikiLeaks a Blessing or Curse for Democracy?

John Goetz, Marcel Rosenbach
Thursday, July 29, 2010

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan.

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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