to keep secrets, or should citizens resist being kept in the dark about the dealings such as these serve to strengthen our democracy, or do they potentially weaken this relate to the public interest and journalism's relationship to democracy?. The two main conceptual lenses through which WikiLeaks will be analyzed here are opportunity with those aiming to preserve and protect the status quo. . Also the relationship between Assange and the journalists, with whom he had built . a democracy, to expose what those that represent us and govern in our name. and to the role of the Fourth Estate in our democracy, which has not only . longer has the antagonistic relationship with secrecy, concentra- tion of power and . protection to keep the identity of a confidential informant private even can Assange or any other WikiLeaks journalists be prosecuted, convicted.
So says Christian Caryl in the latest New York Review of Booksas the media, technology and foreign policy worlds ponder the effect of the industrial dumping of US government cables. For several years American analysts in particular have been trying to make sense of the information free-for-all facilitated by the internet.
Julian Assange's perhaps inadvertent contribution is to have brought a previously arcane debate into the forefront of global politics. So what exactly has the WikiLeaks affair changed? It is just over a month since the third and by far the largest tranche of State Department documents was sprayed into the public domain by a curious mix of techno-anarchist geeks and some of the world's most prestigious newspapers, including this one.
The tensions between WikiLeaks and the Guardian were set out in painful detail in a Vanity Fair article that juxtaposed the values of traditional journalists with those of Assange and his crew.
Assange's personality has been much trawled over and is, in the long term for journalism and democracy, irrelevant. What matters is what he has done, and what his pursuers are doing, to the related issues of freedom of expression, freedom of information, confidentiality and accountability. Somebody, somewhere, sometime would have done what Assange did. If governments and corporations can hold data about citizens' intimate details, their friends, their shopping predilections and their innermost thoughts, then it was surely inevitable that the tables would eventually be turned.
The most ridiculous mistake by the US authorities was to imagine that so-called confidential documents — incriminating sources, in some cases — could be kept out of the public domain when circulated to 2. Their British counterparts learnt this long ago when the embarrassing emails of Tony Blair's team were published during the Hutton inquiry. I have long wondered at the artlessness of some in public life who fail to see that every email, SMS or tweet they write is a publishable document.
The Americans and other governments will not, should not, repeat their errors. Distribution lists will be tightened; monitoring of those with access to truly secret information will be improved. However, as Deibert suggests, the "venomous furore" against WikiLeaks must rank as "one of the biggest temper tantrums" of recent years.
It is more than that.
Is Wikileaks putting people at risk?
It is deeply dangerous. The hysterical response of many to the WikiLeaks controversy, particularly in the US the UK government has shown commendable restrainthas played into the hands of the Kremlin, the Chinese Communist party, Robert Mugabe, Burma's generals and other assorted dictators around the world.
Every time now a dissident, activist or blogger is arrested, regimes such as these can wave two fingers at international concern. They are already doing so. The democracy recession, which has been gathering pace in recent years, has been boosted by Hillary Clinton's laughable claim that the Wiki publications were an "attack on the international community". This same Hillary Clinton gave a speech a year ago about the possibilities for internet freedom.
So far this year, 45 journalists have been killed across the world. Clear signals are being sent to media professionals across the world that doing their jobs could cost them their freedom or their lives.
Feeding this hostile environment instead of standing up to it could be dangerous not only for journalists and whistle-blowers but also for all of us.
Fighting the extradition of Assange to the US is not just about protecting his individual rights, but it is also about protecting the very means by which we are able to detect lies. It is about protecting freedom of the press and our ability to keep checks on political power.
Whatever you might think of WikiLeaks, it is a fact that as a publisher who protects its sources it has always been detecting and revealing lies. And it would be then that we would also lose the touchstone of our sanity.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial stance. We do not ask for material, but we make sure that if material is going to be submitted it is done securely and that the source is well protected.
We also have a network of talented lawyers around the globe who are personally committed to the principles that WikiLeaks is based on, and who defend our media organisation. A healthy, vibrant and inquisitive journalistic media plays a vital role in achieving these goals. We are part of that media. Historically, information has been costly in terms of human life, human rights and economics.
What happens if Julian Assange is tried in the US? | WikiLeaks | Al Jazeera
As a result of technical advances particularly the internet and cryptography - the risks of conveying important information can be lowered. 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 believe that it is not only the people of one country that keep their own government honest, but also the people of other countries who are watching that government through the media.
We believed this needed to change. WikiLeaks has provided a new model of journalism.Does journalism, and do journalists, still need WikiLeaks?
Because we are not motivated by making a profit, we work cooperatively with other publishing and media organisations around the globe, instead of following the traditional model of competing with other media. Readers can verify the truth of what we have reported themselves.
Like a wire service, WikiLeaks reports stories that are often picked up by other media outlets. We send a submitted document through a very detailed examination a procedure. What elements prove it is real? Who would have the motive to fake such a document and why? We use traditional investigative journalism techniques as well as more modern rtechnology-based methods. Typically we will do a forensic analysis of the document, determine the cost of forgery, means, motive, opportunity, the claims of the apparent authoring organisation, and answer a set of other detailed questions about the document.
We may also seek external verification of the document For example, for our release of the Collateral Murder video, we sent a team of journalists to Iraq to interview the victims and observers of the helicopter attack.
The team obtained copies of hospital records, death certificates, eye witness statements and other corroborating evidence supporting the truth of the story. Our verification process does not mean we will never make a mistake, but so far our method has meant that WikiLeaks has correctly identified the veracity of every document it has published.
Publishing the original source material behind each of our stories is the way in which we show the public that our story is authentic. In this way, we also support the work of other journalism organisations, for they can view and use the original documents freely as well. Other journalists may well see an angle or detail in the document that we were not aware of in the first instance.
By making the documents freely available, we hope to expand analysis and comment by all the media. Most of all, we want readers know the truth so they can make up their own minds.
Submit documents to WikiLeaks
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. We can not provide details about the security of our media organisation or its anonymous drop box for sources because to do so would help those who would like to compromise the security of our organisation and its sources. What we can say is that we operate a number of servers across multiple international jurisdictions and we we do not keep logs.
Hence these logs can not be seized.
Anonymization occurs early in the WikiLeaks network, long before information passes to our web servers. Without specialized global internet traffic analysis, multiple parts of our organisation must conspire with each other to strip submitters of their anonymity.
However, we also provide instructions on how to submit material to us, via net cafes, wireless hot spots and even the post so that even if WikiLeaks is infiltrated by an external agency, sources can still not be traced. Because sources who are of substantial political or intelligence interest may have their computers bugged or their homes fitted with hidden video cameras, we suggest that if sources are going to send WikiLeaks something very sensitive, they do so away from the home and work.
A number of governments block access to any address with WikiLeaks in the name. There are ways around this. WikiLeaks has many cover domains, such as https: It is possible to write to us or ask around for other cover domain addresses. Please make sure the cryptographic certificate says wikileaks. We have never revealed a source.
WikiLeaks - About
We do not censor material. WikiLeaks has released more classified intelligence documents than the rest of the world press combined. S army in Iraq Dili investigator called to Canberra as evidence of execution mounts - the Feb killing of East Timor rebel leader Reinado Como entrenar a escuadrones de la muerte y aplastar revoluciones de El Salvador a Iraq - The U.
Special Forces manual on how to prop up unpopular government with paramilitaries Government, trade and corporate transparency Change you can download: WikiLeaks has saved dozens of articles, radio and tv recordings from disappearing after having been censored from BBC, Guardian, and other major news organisations archives.
Has been in the worldwide news. Received international news coverage in print, radio and TV.